As part of getting to know our authors when we first sign them, we ask them a sprinkling of questions. Here’s Tim Waggoner‘s reply to…

The biggest influence on your writing?

My greatest influences are the two authors I was reading during my formative years in high school: Stephen King and Piers Anthony. I loved King’s characters, his sense of place, and the way he built suspense. In Anthony’s work, I admired his fast-paced writing style, his almost manic free-form invention, and his skewed sense of humor. Throw all that into teenaged Tim’s mental Mixmaster, and you eventually get novels such as Nekropolis.

Lawrence Block was also a big inspiration. I used to read his fiction-writing column in Writers Digest religiously and learned so much from it. He stopped writing the column years ago, but you can find some of his columns reprinted in the books Spider, Spin Me a Web and Telling Lies for Fun and Profit. His Writing the Novel from Plot to Print is another classic how-to book. My biggest inspiration of all, though, would be my friend and mentor, the fantasy novelist Dennis L. McKiernan. I was fortunate enough to be in a writers group with Dennis some years back. He was wonderfully encouraging and taught me so much not only about being a better storyteller, but also about what it truly means to be a professional writer. He’s a darling man, and a hell of a writer.

Nekropolis is out now.

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