I was asked which authors most influenced me as a young reader. I often think about a couple of major ones, and then my mind is flooded with the stories and adventures I read about and I have to stop trying to list it out and just start writing.
In no particular order:
To start with an easy one: Orson Scott Card. I often remind my friends and family that I
inhaled read Ender's Game MUCH too young, and it influenced my thinking in significant ways. This isn't the time or place or audience to discuss my childhood tendency to get into fights, end them quickly, and ensure that the adults in my life had no idea about it.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was the first book that I read on my own. Well, part of it. As soon as they were finally in the chamber and I was sweating and shaking and wide-eyed with anticipation, my mother received a phone call and it lasted an ENTIRE HOUR, until I finally took the book from her lap and discovered how the characters survived on my own. Achieving that, I was unstoppable.
I devoured the Discworld novels by Sir Terry Pratchett and my father and I still call each other with new puns and revelations we've found or finally understood through his layers of story, comedy, and worldly truth.
When I found Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey and Sherryl Jordan, and then I tried to read J.R.R. Tolkien (not much success), and I lived in the world of Philip Pullman, and I think about how many authors let me borrow their worlds through my teenage years before I found Brent Weeks and Brandon Sanderson and Hugh Howey and Pierce Brown... but I have to think about the stories we read in school and that I found at the library (like the entire Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine)...
Honestly, it's overwhelming. I haven't even scratched the surface of what's out there and I've grown even more picky.
I do remember staring at the pictures of these people who had created entire worlds and could make me cry and laugh and forgo sleep and food. When I started writing my own stories by hand, it didn't even feel significant - this was always going to be the road I would take. I knew I wasn't good yet, but I didn't need to be - I enjoyed them for myself and the more I read, the more I wanted to improve. My style has changed and I expect it will keep changing as I grow and change as a person, too.