All genres, including current events (the everyday news headline/story), might inspire me to write. However, if it's someone else's work, it's got to be well-written or my focus becomes their mishaps, rather than their story. Intriguing storylines have often sparked an idea that has compelled me to pull up a page and start a new tale of my own.
Mawlana Jalaluddin RUMI
Poetic writing with strong visual imagery. My first inspiration to write was the poetry of Dylan Thomas.
JRR Tolkein, TH White, Salman Rushdie, Peter Carey, AS Byatt, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Richard Adams and William Horwood have all inspired me at different times. My inspiration is nothing if not eclectic.
All reading matter that revels some new found medical cure, or inventions, which some time ago would have been impossible. Anything that encompass the human genome, it amazes me that such complex living organisms can be created from amino acids which in its self forms DNA & RNA. So everything about life, gives me the incentive to write.
Emotional, yet cerebral writing. Writing with a lot of facts and figures and descriptions and pourings over the terror and drama and clinical life of the characters. Something with wit, with bite.
Reading doesn't inspire me. Movies do. And to be honest it's the really bad movies that inspire. They inspire me to bring something bigger and better to the screen.
Wow, loaded question! I am inspired by love, humanity and life all around me.
Could be anything. Good stuff reminds me that I could be writing something; bad stuff reminds me that someone--and why not me--should write something better. Probably the closest I get to plagiarism, apart from ripping off Beowulf whenever I do anything, is reading whatever novel and, halfway through, thinking I know how it's gonna end; when I'm wrong about that, I tend to wish I hadn't been; then I'll write my own ending to the novel, working backwards to fill in the story leading up to it without borrowing anything specific from whatever I'd been reading in the first place.
As a really simple example:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Ooh: an establishing shot.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. I see we're leading into Act Two here.
All the king's horses, and all the king's men...contracted the bioengineered virus Humpty was breeding, leading to a pandemic outbreak of symptoms causing a compulsion to sit on walls before becoming dizzy enough to fall off, die, and release the virus at the next iteration of victims?
...couldn't put Humpty together again. Oh. That...sucks. Doing it my way, instead.
I am an enormous consumer of news -- I browse between 75 and 100 different news links and blogs every day. When I encounter something that interests me, or more often than not, annoys me, I'll follow up with some additional research and usually generate my own article on the topic.
Historical novels of ANY type. Roman, Knights, French Kings, English novels, I read many, because I don't need much sleep and they are all in my Kindle. (To the relief of my family - no more piles of books everywhere.)
I do not do a lot of reading. I do not truly have time. being the author of t lines of books and a radio show host on Para X along with being on the road 7 out of 12 months a year doing events and book signings keeps my on my feet.
I haven't found it for picture books but for my journal memoirs and heavy novels make me write. Right now I am reading Johnson's "The Orphan Master's Son" and that has me writing down ethical and patriotic issues for myself.
I can't say it all...
Anything and everything. I read compulsively and often indiscriminately: medical journals, scientific papers, society columns, children's books. Anything can trigger a spark. I keep an open mind...and an open eye.
I love a story with a powerful dialog that instantly gives you a peek inside the character's mind. I love strong, human characters with human traits. Shiny, polished heroes are not my cup of tea.