We're asking writers this week to tell us about favorite authors and/or influences on their work.
My favourite author is Graham Greene. Taking the last question first, it's not so much a case of imitating him as the problem of trying not to sound like a bad version of him. When I started writing, everything I did seemed to come out as second rate Graham Greene and, even now, reading Greene while writing a first draft is dangerous. As for why he's my favourite: his ability to write sentences that resonate off the page; all of his wonderful seedy characters (particularly the minor ones, which I think is mostly where Greeneland lies); the brilliantly constructed plots; his ability to write thrillers and literary fiction equally well; his writing's huge international scope. The other thing is, I found Greene when I was around 16 -- I wonder how much an author's influence comes from the age at which you find them?
[Mithran Somasundrum is a short story writer published in literary and genre