I grew up a lover of all the fiction I could cram into my little tow-headed brain. Anything that introduced me to heroic characters, other worlds, and people with a good sense of humor about themselves facing complete disaster.
This drew me especially toward all things fantastical, and inspired me to close my eyes, put fingers to keyboard, and forge made-up worlds and the strange people that walk around in them.
Though I've read everything from Ayn Rand to Raymond Chandler to Garth Nix, I've found reading Stephen King's stories to always feel like "coming home." If I've got a major influence, he's the guy. Combine that with anything Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Avengers) , and you've got the titans I look up to.
Many of my stories fall into the Young Adult category, because I've always enjoyed looking at the world through the young, conflicted, cynical-optimist eyes that only teenage protagonists can provide.