When I was younger and impressionable, I picked up a book my dad was reading at the time. I wasn’t a reader. I hated required reading because it was required. But this book was curious because it reminded me of this imaginative game I was playing called a Dungeons & Dragons. The book was called The Sword Of Shannara by Terry Brooks. To say I was immediately hooked to this story would be a gross understatement. I immediately loved the mystery of the character Allanon and loved the relationship between Shea, Menion, and Flick. I loved it all. After devouring that book I began to read. I read the classics, the new classics, and even the science fiction.

I still remember reading the books of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and many others. One story that really changed my view on life were the Chronicles Of Amber by Roger Zelazny. This opened up an infinite amount of possibilities. And who remembers the Xanth books by Piers Anthony? Or the Adept series?

Without those influences in my life I don’t think I’d ever been able to come up with half of what I’ve done.

Recently (meaning in the last 20 years) I’ve had the pleasure of being influenced by authors like Jim Butcher, SM Reine, and Kevin Hearne. I’d seriously found my niche in Urban Fantasy. I read the Twilight books as well, those aren’t lost on me. But the Iron Druid, the Descentverse, and the snarky Harry Dresden were the exact kind of stories I wanted to write about.

I do have to admit that my biggest influence aside from those aforementioned authors has to be Kim Harrison. I probably say this because I loved the Rachel Morgan books so much, I had to meet her. So I went to a book signing in a Powell’s bookstore in Portland, Oregon. My eyes were opened even more. She totally inspired me to put things down on paper.

Recently, I’ve been obsessing over SM Reine. She’s got a style I can really relate to and her books are great reads. Her characters aren’t your normal characters because people aren’t normal. They’re unique. I love most of the characters in her books, even the villains. Especially the villains.

I’m pretty sure I could go on all day about my influences. But I want to hear about yours too! Do you get as excited as I do talking about your favorite authors and characters? Do you squee when you hear a new book is on the horizon? Inquiring minds want to know!

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