I just sent out another query for my middle-grade manuscript. I was flying through the usual parts. Even the agent research didn’t take long. Theoretically, it would be a good fit. So I compiled the query, chapters, and synopsis, answered the basic questions, then got walloped by a question that isn’t too uncommon. What author influenced you the most?
I kept struggling to come up with an answer. Picking one author, that is rough. Influenced me the most, how? I wanted to ask. John Steinbeck taught me the power of tragedy, Stephen King taught me that character is integral to horror, Edgar Allan Poe taught me words could sing, Washington Irving taught me the power of familiarity and humor, Bernard Cornwell illuminated the past through fiction, Dickens taught me the power of language, Patrick McGrath wove a web with prose, R.L. Stine showed me goosebumps, I could go on and on and on. I’ve read so many great authors, and there are so many ways to tell a story, shortening a list to one seems sacrilegious.
So writing community, can you single out just one author? Is it a hard question for you as well? What author (singular) influenced you the most?