I grew up reading stories by Fredric Brown, Philip K. Dick, E. A. Poe, J.R.R.Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, and Anne McCaffrey, and I am happy to say they also helped shape my writing.
Fredric Brown was a pulp novelist back ‘in the day’ and if you ever get your hands on “The Best of Fredric Brown” or “The Very Best of Fredric Brown” buy it, and more importantly read it. The man’s wit and ability to turn a story on its ear is breath-
“The Deep End,” is literally a roller coaster ride of a murder mystery and “Night of the Jabberwocky” will give you whiplash with the twists and turns. (My one piece of advice if you’re going to read both, read the Deep End first, because after Night of the Jabberwocky, you’ll know the twists and turns to expect from Fredric Brown.)
If you can only read one of them, go for “Night of the Jabberwocky.” (and I will warn you, you’ll probably learn more about linotype, typesetting and printing a newspaper in the 40’s-
Fredrick Brown has influenced my writing in two ways. First, the man had a way with a short story. His writing showed me that you can do a lot with just a few words and how you handle the ending can make the story haunting or humorous, sometimes both. From his books I learned the importance of a well timed twist in the story where you think you know what’s going on, only to discover that things are never as they seem.
Philip K. Dick –
What more can I say? Philip K. Dick’s writing is well thought out-
J.R.R. Tolkein –
I never believed someone could do the story justice and Peter Jackson, thankfully, proved me wrong.
J.R.R. Tolkein’s influence comes in in world building. I learned that if you are going to write about an imaginary place, you need to give it depth and history-
Robert Heinlein –
It remains one of my favorite stories to date and I keep in mind that one of the best things you can do as a writer is mix things up.
Anne McCaffrey –
From Anne McCaffery I learned world building and the importance of character.