I've always been a storyteller. Once I was able to pick up a pen and write basic sentence structures, I began scribbling my first written works. I've always been fascinated with suspense, the supernatural, and any story that has that "bump-in-the-night" feel. I was raised, however, in a very religious home, and those kind of stories were frowned upon, so I read The Boxcar Children and Teddy Jo series, simply because I was unaware there was anything else out there. When I was 12 or 13, my cousin (the black sheep of the family...a title which I now hold) gave me a stack of R.L. Stine's Fear Street books (on the very down low). I read them all in a week. It became my mission to read all things R.L. Stine, including the Goosebumps series. Just after I turned 14, his adult novel, Superstitious, was released. I read it in one afternoon. I read it again the next day.

I can unabashedly say that R. L. Stine was my inspiration to write horror. As I've aged and my reading tastes have diversified, I can add several more authors to the list (Lovecraft, especially), but Stine will always be held in a very special (though dark and twisted) space in my writer's heart.

Can you remember what author (or book) first inspired you to write? Or perhaps introduced you to a genre that made your world seem a bit more complete?