What I Do

Some exposition on the subject is necessary, I feel.

Broadly speaking, I see myself as a sci-fi and fantasy writer.  More sci-fi than fantasy in truth, as I am more widely read in sci-fi.  I’ll do a list of my influences, because I like lists of things.
Terry Pratchett.  In my opinion, a master of the art of writing.  His ability to craft characters and settings with such ease, and with so few words, is staggering, and his sense of humour is unrivalled.  I have read each book of his that I own (I am missing about 6 from the Discworld collection) at least three times each, my favourites more than I can count.  And since you ask, my favourites are: Mort, Night Watch, Men at Arms, Small Gods, and all the rest of them :p
Bernard Cornwell.  A legend in the field of historical fiction, his books bring to life their periods better than any academic book I have ever picked up.  I was lucky enough to meet him when he came to do a book signing at the store I was working at, and I have to say he’s a really nice chap.  He writes battles like no-one else, and his characters are indelibe.
Max Brooks.  Admittedly I have only read World War Z and the Zombie Survival Guide, although I think thats all he has actually published.  What I liked so much about World War Z was the great style that was so different to anything else I had read, and with the great committment to detail that he put in.  The idea of telling a big, dramatic story with global implications through the voices of individuals who only witness a small area of it is a fantastic one, and something which has hugely influenced how I plan to write series of books.
Dan Abnett.  The best writer Black Library has.
Off the top of my brain, I can’t think of anyone else to throw onto that list, although I’ve read stuff from all sorts of people.  Its a list which will probably be added to a great deal when things come to me.
So, what do I actually want to write?  In short, all sorts of things.  
I like reading books which are about epic events, things which change the way things used to be, and I like reading characters who do them – when they are grounded and written like normal human beings (or sqizmars, or whatever), that is.  The problem with having larger-than-life characters is that they are often too large for us to believe.  For example, take Josiah Bartlett in The West Wing, a programme I can’t recommend highly enough by the way.  He is a man who honestly wants to obey principles, do the right things, as he sees them, and is a towering intellect.  He is also funny in an ecletic sort of way, loses his temper at understandable things, and is horny for his wife (something which is hilarious and a great piece of characterisation).  Its these little things which lets us believe in Bartlett as a character and as a man (along with Martin Sheen’s great acting).  If he was just a perfect idealist without any of the little personality traits, we would find him pompous and hard to like, because we wouldn’t be able to get on handle on him.
Wow, that was a rant from nowhere.  That happens.
So, I want to round off this post before I get into another one of those, so I will end by saying that the project that I want to put all of my creative juices into is stored in a folder with the rather grand title of The War of Nations, is heavily influenced by steampunk (in particular the really cool airship scenese from Last Exile), the darkness of the 40k universe, and my own desire to get published and make a living being creative, instead of all the alternatives.
I promise you, internet, the next post will be substantial :p