Books themselves provided the major influence of my life. Cutting my baby teeth - literally - on Dr. Suess, I discovered the lilting lyricism and zany joy of words in general early on.
I raced through the children's classics, (though I still re-read Wind in the Willows and The Jungle Books each year). At the age of 8, I started writing my own tales. My reading appetite is so voracious and my taste so eclectic that I find it impossible to say what authors influenced me the most. They each did - and do - either by setting a standard of quality writing I want to achieve, or by showing me an example of writing I want to avoid.
I can think of very few days in my entire life when I haven't read and written for at least a part of the day. I began freelancing and web-writing in 2003 and started publishing my rather extensive body of work in 2008.
Other formative influences in my life include Mother Nature, whose siren song entranced me the first time I heard it, and my own vital and precious relationship with the Spirit That Lives in All Things.