Rick Riordan for the whole quest-adventure-cast of characters thing!! Along with pacing and series structure.
Maggie Stiefvater for her descriptions.
Neil Gaiman for atmosphere and that sort of eerie-paranormal-something’s off touch he’s got.
Arundhati Roy for grace and structure of storytelling—heteroglossia and that sort of “unfurling petal” story format.
The Welcome to Night Vale people—Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink—for a bunch of reasons, really. The descriptions are beautifully done and creepy, the characters are interesting, well-developed, and thought-through, every romance subplot is perfect and devastating, and the way they build story arcs is brilliant. Also, plot twists. Genuinely their books are the only books with plot twists that have actually shocked me.
I cut my science fiction teeth on her books, and my writing style is said to emulate hers pretty closely. I take that as a huge compliment. Joan Vinge
From the Snow Queen to the Summer Queen to World’s End, man does this lady know how to write. Alan Dean Foster
Another master from the same era as Norton. He’s even written a book or two in the Star Wars Franchise!
Matthew Reilly got me into fiction writing, Ice Station and Area 7 * were the first books of his I read, but I lost interest in his works after Scarecrow.
For action writing authors, I matured into Chris Ryan and Andy McNab. Honourable mention to John le Carré and Ian Rankin who also inspired some of my characters and plots. A long time ago I once binge-read a bookcase worth of Terry Prattchett’s works, but he didn’t really influence my writing (just my procrastination priorities).
I read these books again last week, and its almost comical the number of technical and terminology mistakes he made. And Scarecrow appeared to have at best a coincidental acquaintance with reality.
He had an absolutely foridable intellect, and was skewring England’s political scene, so there are things “us foreigners” miss.
For example. He did a gender-bender on Monsterous Regiment where one of the observations was that women in battle (in this case pretending to be men) are far more violently warlike.
I read that 10, 15 years back, and until I saw that there was clear evidence of Queens having more bloody wars than Kings, I would have just taken it as an old man’s observations. No, he was academically sound.
Same thing when taken on an indivisual level:
I suspect that he was looking at women like Kit Cavanaugh / Christian Davies, Hannah Snell, Deborah Sampson, Sarah Emma Edmonds, etc.
They had to be tough as nails because they couldn’t be caught.
And like a lot of brilliant people, he lost that mind as he approached the end of his life.
Also Michel Foucault and Judith Butler because everything I write is influenced by them.
Other writers I think about a lot tho I haven’t read enough to pull as an influence:
Hilary Mantel, Zadie Smith, Douglas Stuart, Sally Rooney, Pat Barker, Eva Balthasar, Derek Owusu, Adam Mars-Jones, Sarah Waters, Mariana Enriquez, Bryan Washington.