I've been writing stories and poetry since I was first able to read and write! As a sixth form student, the influences on my poetry were Keats and Gerard Manley Hopkins, for fiction, Emily Bronte, Jane Austen. I'd say these still hold something powerful for me.
As a young child my imagination was utterly captivated by Tove Janssen; I still read the Moomintroll books today, if I want something uplifting, innocent and charming to raise my spirits! I was held spellbound by Mary Norton's "Borrower" series, a miniature, complex and poignant world, with so much resonance in any child's life. Arthur Ransome too, and lots of pony books by the Pullein Thomson sisters! Not to mention the Chronicles of Narnia...
Nowadays spend my working days editing and correcting translations from French and German, making sure they are accurate, but read like they were written in English in the first place. So, I read so much, it's ever harder to find the time to write anything of my own. I have, however, recently translated a book on oscar winning animation, from French, and a memoir of pioneers in Tanzania in the early 20th century from German.
I did a creative writing module as part of my BA degree with the Open University, and it sparked off some new poems and short stories which I have recently published, along with some earlier work.
I've been working on my own novel, but it's slow going, as my days are so full of other people's words, but I am hoping that joining authorsden will give me the motivation to burn the midnight oil and get it finished!