When I was very young, I spent summers at my grandfather's ranch in New Mexico. There was no electricity. No television or even radio. It was a magical place for a little boy during the day, but pretty boring alone in my room in the adobe guest house in the evening. However, there were a lot of books in there. I lit the kerosene lantern and read "The Maneaters of Kumaon" by Jim Corbett. The true story of a man who set out alone to get tigers that had killed and eaten hundreds of people fascinated me. I ended up reading all of the books in the library, and that was the beginning of my interest in reading and writing. I still have my first short story written when I was six.
I write stories that I would like to read. I like improbable, unpredictable plots that end up believable. I like unusual characters who start out with everything against them in their environments, but who somehow overcome it to become people we admire and even love.
I've been a voracious reader all my life. To choose one author who influenced me, or even a few, would be very difficult. However, if you put a gun to my head, I guess I'd say Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Larry McMurtry, Ken Kesey, and John le Carre.