There is this tag which has been circulating around Facebook on the 15 authors who had the most influence on you and you are not supposed to think too much. Which according to me does not really do justice to them who have really influenced you. So without much ado, here is my list 15
1. Enid Blyton : Writer extraordinaire. The kind of books that wanted you to go on a adventure immediately, eat something or own a dog. Best escape for any kid
2. Franklin W Dixon: Spent the better part of 3 years reading tons and tons of Hardy Boys. Adventure without too much bloodshed and a master of chapter cliff hangers. No violence but action. Clean humor.
3. Aliastair McLean: No one can quite write better war time/ Cold war stories in less than 300 pages than McLean. Terse, racy, the dry British humor all found a place in his stories often involving laconic, cynical, calculating almost superhumanly perfect heroes
4. Agatha Christie: Served as a nice counterpoint to McLean. Intensely cerebral, Christie’s stories are stories with strong pay-offs in the end and more often than not, is a function of meticulous planning
5. Jefferey Archer: No book has made me laugh more than Not a Penny more, Not a Penny less. Enough said
6. JRR Tolkien: For sheer imagination, scale and size of the world he had created. For producing one of my most favorite characters, Aragorn
7. Alexandre Dumas: One really can never get enough of Count of Monte Cristo despite multiple readings. There is something primeval about vengeance and its brought about in all its beauty and brutality by Dumas
8. Grant Morrison: No one straddles the thin line between Genius & Insanity better than Grant Morrison. Insane ideas rooted in insane worlds is just something that Morrison envisages on a daily basis
9. Ramachandra Guha: Brilliant writer, of both cricket & history, jointly & independently.
10. PG Wodehouse: Really, no description needed
11. George RR Martin: No one blurs white and black into gray as effectively or as brutally as Martin. If only, he could finish the damn series
12. Brian K Vaughn: Having a clear sense on how you want your story to end even as it starts and sticking to it is no mean task. BKV stands head and shoulders over other writers in infusing a sense of tragedy as well as belonging to the protagonist in each of his works
13. Geoff Johns: Writing for yourselves is as important as writing for the audience. No one does this as effectively week in week out as Johns. Despite working on high blown concepts, there are always moments for the fan when Johns throws everything including the kitchen sink in his storyline, while at the same time working new quirks or taking a look at characters in a totally new way
14. Shashi Tharoor: Great Indian Novel. Period.
15. Wilbur Smith: Passionate. No one makes Africa look as beautiful or as brutal as Wilbur Smith does. Once you have read his best works, all one wants to do is to pack a bag to Africa and leave to land up in one of those places he so beautifully describes