Ann Rice, Shakespeare, Jack Gantos, Lionel G. Garcia, Sandra Cisneros, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allen Poe, Chris Wooding, there are many others but at the moment I can't think of any more
Karel capek (czech writer)
Julian Barnes, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie... Ray Norsworthy is someone whose work I've read on a writers' site and who has published a book or two of short fiction that I've bought. I read part of a novel of his on the recent Amazon.com new writers' contest - he's fantastic and ought to be well known.
Among F and SF writers, I like Modesitt, Cherrhy, some of the new urban fantasy, especially Briggs, Armstrong... I enjoy Lackey, especially the Valdemar stuff and the recent magic series. I never liked elves and cars, though.
Murder? K.C. Constantine, Ian Banks, Reginald Hill.
Poetry - I like James Dickey a lot. I've got a weakness for narrative poetry, poetry with plots and stories. Browning's Last Duchess, Tennyson's stuff, the Iliad, Frederick Ahl's new translation of the Aeneid is very good and something I'm currently reading.
Spike Milligan / Clive Barker / Jerome K Jerome
Richard Mattherson, Bentley Little, Louis L'Amour and Sidney Sheldon. I love these writers because they prove my theory that if you cannot write a short story, then your novel writing lacks power.
I appreciate Mattherson's ability to use as few words as possible the way they used to do in the past, removing clutter while choosing the right word, and pounding the story down into one's mind. He also has the capacity to tell a story in which the reader has to figure out if the main character is crazy, or if things are really happening. Mattherson also has the ability to tell enough and let the reader create the spaces "between the lines," fill in the blanks (something they don't teach anymore).
Little has the capacity in his short stories to take ordinary items and turn them into objects of horror, but the real reason he's one of my favorites is his ability to do what Mattherson does; he uses each word perfectly with no clutter, hammering home the plot and emotion (usually horror), until the story has wrapped itself so tightly around the reader's mind he cannot help but continue reading.
Sheldon has the uncanny ability to have a story take many years, sometimes decades, and in his stories oftentimes entire generations are born, fortunes are made (and lost), and true love is lurking around every corner. Instead of simply having his stories take place over a couple days or a month, perhaps a year, his stories span lifetimes making the read that more powerful; it's not just the ink going into the story which tells the tale, it is the entire lifetime of the fictional characters telling the story, and this brings a very realistic feel to his writing. Plus his scripts and television success is phenomenal.
There are simply so many - poets, novelists, biographers.... And not all of their works move me. Sometimes it can be just one poem, one novel. And sometimes I admire them more for their approach to writing rather than for the writing itself.
Poets I admore range from Cavafey to Ted Hughes, David Grubb to Bruce MacRae, Laura Riding to William Carlos Williams, Colin Simms to Michael Hamburger.... the list could go on and on...
Same for novelists. Henry Miller, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Djuna Barnes, Violette Leduc, Francois Sagan, Albert Camus, John Berger, Michael Holroyd, Margaret Drabble, Edna O'Brien.... the list is near endless.
I admire Rick Warren, Susan Taylor, Barack Obama, Maya Angelou, and William July.
I've read just about everything by the husband and wife writing team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, known collectively as Nicci French. Love the TV adaptations as well. I've just started on their latest, 'What To Do When Someone Dies' - I'm hooked already.
Needless to say, I'll read most crime novels if they contain lesbian lead characters, because it's what I write myself.
I'm a huge fan of US author Katherine V Forrest (and not just because she sent me a lovely email wishing me luck with my first novel) - I was genuinely thrilled when 'Curious Wine' received the accolade of Best Lesbian Novel of All Time.
Recently finished re-reading 'The Ice House' by Minette Walters - gripping plot and brilliant characterisation - it is everything I aspire to.
Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Knut Hamsun, Kenneth Patchen, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, Charlie Kaufmann. Lord Byron. William Blake.
Jane Austin, Shakespeare, W Somerset Maugham, Mario Petrucci, Paul Farley, George Szertes, Stephen King, Louis de Berniere, Alan Bennet, Alan Ayckbourn, Maeve Binchy and many others
In the spy novel genre, my favorite writer is Alan Furst. I am also very fond of Daniel Silva.
Patrick O'Brien who writes the Master and Commander series is a big influence on me and I love his humour and characters. J.R.R Tolkien would be another especially of course the 'Lord of the Rings'.
They say that ‘ The fist impression is the lasting impression’ and I quite agree with it. I have been deeply influenced by the Urdu Poets such as Mirza Ghalib, Amir Khusroo, Dr. Iqbal, Meer and many others.
In English literature I very much admire, Keats, Wordsworth,
Shakespeare and Bob Dylan. Recently I read a Poetry book by
Tony Harrison and I found it quite amusing.
So many. Toni Morrison, Ursula Leguin, J. M. Coetzee, all the authors of the classics, a lot of lesser known authors. If they have managed to say what they have to say well, I admire that.