Ernest Thompson Seton. Ray Bradbury. Ernest Hemingway. Charles Bukowski. Robert Graves. Hal Clement. Charles Dickens. Hugh Lofting. Jack Kerouac. Cormac McCarty. Robert E. Howard. Charles Portis. Isaac Asimov. Harlan Ellison. Karl Edward Wagner. Etc.
But I rarely talk about two writers who had a huge and almost overwhelming influence on my modern work, because they didn't work in the form of straight prose. These men are principally remembered as illustrators of comics, but they created and wrote everything that they illustrated. Those two amazing gents are:
Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.
And what stories they wrote! Adventure yarns! Fantasy tales! Science Fiction! Thrillers! Political subterfuge! Romantic entanglements!
Kirby and Ditko were the finest comics writers of their age.
From Kirby I learned how to write broad stories that contain tension and great emotion.
From Ditko I learned how to write stories of conviction, and to have the courage not to flinch in the telling of those tales.
Thus, two writers I rarely mention when I list my seminal influences. But I'll try to correct that in the future.