Any writer worth their salt got to where they are by reading, absorbing, and growing. It's not a matter of copying a style or structure of a favorite author, but rather, allowing influences to expand and shape one's uniquely personal voice.
Influences? I there are so many. Early on, Stephen King was a major one as was Edgar Allan Poe. Looking back, some other authors that made a significant impact were Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Allen Ginsberg, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Mary Shelley, and Chuck Palahniuk to name a few. Recently, I've gone back to reading Hunter S. Thompson and loving every sentence.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, the point I'm trying to make is this: if you want to be a writer, you need to be a reader.
On a completely different topic, I'm making real progress with the next installment of the Twisted Tales series, Blackreach. Similar to my re-imagining of werewolves in Shadowood, this dark fantasy is a fresh take on vampirism. In fact, expanding lore and forging my own is something I intend to do throughout this young adult series.
With my earlier works, I've always been focused on pushing boundaries. With the recent Dark Fantasy series, however, I've narrowed the scope to fit a Young Adult audience, and it's very challenging to stay in that lane. Suffice to say, I defiantly will be returning to Horror/Suspense at some point in the future.