I started Richard Thomas‘ Short Story Mechanics Class over at LitReactor today, and the very first lecture was about voice.

A writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an author that is unique to them. Just as a painting by Van Gogh or Picasso is identifiable at one glance, so too is a short story by Peter S Beagle or J.R.R Tolkien.

So where does your voice come from? To understand where you are as a writer, you need to look at the writers you love to read and understand their influence on your work. With this in mind, I’m going to list my five favourite authors and books. I find it difficult to narrow the list down to five, so these are my top five favourites for today.


  1. Bram Stoker
  2. Richard Matheson
  3. J.R.R Tolkien
  4. William Goldman
  5. Dean Koontz


  1. The Last Unicorn
  2. I am Legend
  3. Dracula
  4. The Hobbit
  5. The Sheep Pig

After looking at these lists, it makes sense to me why I love writing horror and fantasy, but also why I can’t keep humour out of my stories. This became very obvious to me when I was putting my short stories together for Zoo of the Dead and other horrific tales (out August 16th!). They are horror stories, but they could also be described as dark comedy. Or maybe I just have a morbid sense of humour.

What do your favourite authors and books say about you? Let’s not narrow it down to the written word – how about movies, tv shows and games? Do you think you are influenced by your top 5, or are they in your top 5 because they have the voice you love? I look forward to read about it in the comments.

2 thoughts on “”

  1. It’s always hard to pick favourites because there so many and they vary every year or month or even week! Authors consistently on my top 5 list would include G.K. Chesterton, Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, Garth Nix as well as yourself! Favourite books – Emma, Lord of the Rings, The Moonstone, Crime & Punishment, and many many more. Tolkien has no doubt influenced me most as I have a fondness for fantasy secondary world adventures…

    Liked by 1 person

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