What books (or writers) have been the most influential in your development as an artist? Can you discuss a favorite book or writer in terms of your own writing? There are too many to name. Nevertheless: Stephen King, simply because he was the first horror author I read growing up. The approachability of his fiction has always resonated with me, and I believe this is the reason he is perhaps the most popular horror writer—or perhaps the most popular writer, period—of our time. Then there is Peter Straub. I relish every word Straub puts to paper; there’s poetry in everything the man writes. And just when you think you can’t get away with something in mass market fiction, you’ll see that Straub has gotten away with it, and gotten away admirably. Another big influence on me has been Ernest Hemingway—his terseness, his economy of word, the power that he is able to convey in so few lines…. He is a writer all other writers should read. The Sun Also Rises is probably the greatest American novel ever written, and it is certainly my favorite.