Influences & Favorites

Here are some of the writers I admire the most, those who have inspired me to take up the pen and write my own tales of fantasy and terror.

Stephen King

Stephen King's early work is some of the best horror ever written. Period. I read a lot of it when I was way too young for such things, so in addition to inspiring me to write, he's also responsible for a lot of my sleepless nights. I love the way he heightens the terror in his stories by making you care so much about the characters who are experiencing it, and strive to do the same in my own work.

Richard Matheson

A love of the original Twilight Zone led me to Richard Matheson's work. So many of the iconic episodes of that show were drawn from his short stories. Even if you think you don't know any Matheson stories, chances are good that you do because they're so prevalent in popular culture, from the Zuni fetish doll in Trilogy of Terror, to the vampires of I Am Legend, to the homicidal truck in Duel. When I write, Matheson is the gold standard against which I measure myself.

J. Michael Straczynski

For those who might not be familiar, Straczynski is the creator of two of my absolute favorite works of fiction: the graphic novel series Rising Stars and the television series Babylon 5. He also scripted what might just be the greatest run of The Amazing Spider-Man in the entire history of that comic book. His characters are heroic, flawed, and always in motion. His stories are sweeping, and yet intensely personal.

Edgar Allan Poe

You just can't love horror without loving Edgar Allan Poe. I memorized The Raven when I was ten. By the time I was thirteen, I had read just about every story and poem he'd written. His "The Cask of Amontillado" still ranks as one of my favorite short stories of all time.

H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft picked up where Poe left off, and took horror to places it had never been before. His work dealt with impossible terrors, and unknowable secrets that would drive men mad. At their best, his tales are truly terrifying, but even at their worst, they're still inspiring in sheer audacity of his imagination.

Philip K. Dick

Dick's stories mess with your head, and force you to think in ways that you're not used to thinking, a little drug trip right there on every page. His stories range from the humorous to the fantastic to the absolutely terrifying, but they're always entertaining and thought-provoking, as the best fiction should be.