When I started my first book I wasn't sure if I could write or not, but this story kept nagging at me to be told. I felt as if I just didn't have a choice. It needed to be told so I started writing it.
I really like the writers from long ago. Mark Twain, Jules Vern, H.G.Wells.
I try not to read so much in the field that I write in. That tends to keep me original.