I've been an avid reader since I was a child, sometimes hiding under the blanket at night with only a flashlight to read a Hardy Boys mystery or Junior Encyclopedia. Growing up, I fell in love with Greek mythology and comic books, becoming enamored of characters like Wonder Woman and Thor. These types of stories fueled my interest in writing, and I started a short story in my senior year of high school (1985) that was the seedling for my novel. Over time, I wrote quite a bit of poetry, but in the last ten years, I've taken my original short fiction and expanded it (and changed it quite heavily) into a novel.
Writers who have intrigued me for both style and content are Neil Gaiman (American Gods is an all-time favorite), Terry Goodkind, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, Asimov, and comic book writers and artists like Phil Jimenez and Gail Simone (both friends of mine).