I have a question for you all and it is this: When you're writing the first draft of a novel, how do you pick your reading material as compared to what you are writing? So, for example, if you're writing in third person do you think it makes a difference whether you read a third of first person book? Do you read in the same genre you are writing in, or consciously read outside the genre? Things like that.
Right now I am reading 'Gilead' by Marilynne Robinson, an astonishingly beautiful book. I'm hoping to imbibe some of the beauty of Robinson's sentences in my own writing. I am writing in third person, though, so reading in first person is a bit jarring. Hopefully in a good way.
What writers have influenced you in your own writing? Its odd to think about, in a way. I think everything we read influences us in some way, but I bet there are a handful of writers that each of us sort of claim as our own and really learn from. For me, my favorite kinds of stories come from Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, perhaps also Charles Dickens, my favorite voice and tone comes from Amy Tan, Stephen King, Connie Willis, and Orson Scott Card. I love, love the romance and emotional grip of the Austen and Bronte stories, and I love the honesty, plainness, detail and grittiness of the voice and tone of the other writers. What about for you?