No, seriously, I mean it. I know it sounds corny, but one of the things I’ve noticed about writers is that we pay attention to things—things catch our eye, and get filed away for future reference and use in the next (or next, or maybe the one after that) book. The best way to keep your conversations from being ‘clunky’ on paper is to listen to actual people talking. The best way to have diversity in your writing is to pay attention to the rich diversity existing all around you and try to reflect it on paper.
And influences? I can’t even begin to count them all. Every book you ever read, show you watch, even people you’ve run into on the cross town bus can come into play. Say you have a craptastic day where the car won’t start, and the toast gets burnt, you’re late to work and the boss is grumpy. It’s awful. Continue reading