Right out the door, the number one spot would have to go to, two gun Robert E. Howard. More than anyone else, I would say his influence has shaped the action and yet colorful descriptive realm in which I wished to write. I am a cumpulsive Howardian attempting to get my hands on everything he ever wrote. Favorite titles: 'Beyond the Black River' 'The Phoenix on the Sword' and 'Hour of the Dragon' These are all Conan tales by the man who came up with heroic fantasy back in the 30's and 20's. Though he wrote action yarns all across the spectrum of genres. Other favorites include 'Kings of the Night' 'The Gods of Bal-Sagoth' and 'The Fires of Ashurbanipal'.
a kid I wondered why no one was writing Book of Mormon fiction like Tolkien wrote the weaving together of Norse, Welsh, Celtic, and Finnish myth. Not that I am calling the BoM myth by any means, on the contrary I am of the opinion that it did indeed happen in largely what we now call the United States but my problem was no one was doing a big enough sweeping epic like Tolkien did. This is my vision, that I would like to think carries the same depth and far reaching movements. Yes, I disdain the Limited Geography Theories down to my very soul, but that is another post. Favorite titles: Like I need to tell you.
Contributing to my LDS related research and new ways of looking at things I love both Hugh Nibley and Cleon Skousen. I am stunned at how one of them is still upheld within the community and how much the other is bashed, I don't get it. Either one has done more than any twelve men you can shake a stick at; their combined research dwarfs that of any two dozen other researchers. Favorites titles of Nibley include: all four of his 'Teachings of the Book of Mormon' (invaluble material) and though all of his titles are great, I especially have gleaned from 'Lehi in the Desert' and 'Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri' for Cleon Skousen there is 'The First Two Thousand Years' and all in that series and his 'Treasures from the Book of Mormon' series.
I grew up on comics, practically learning to read on comics. They may have fueled my need in reading for things to be happening for the story to constantly be moving on. My alltime favorite comic book writer is Larry Hama. At one time or another I have been an avid follower of what he is working on from junior high to the present. Favorite titles: (He has worked on all my favorite titles) 'Wolverine', 'G.I. Joe', 'Conan', and 'Batman'.