This is an optional question, thankfully, but it made me think about all the books I've read and whether I can really call any of them an influence. What does artistic influence even mean? Is it the writing style of a particular author? Books that inspire you? I'm not sure, and while its tempting to go with either or both of those interpretations, it's not going to help me.
The first few books that came to mind as being influential to me in terms of writing were Kafka's Metamorphosis and The Hunger Artist, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Dune by Frank Herbert, and Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. None of these books are anything like mine, nor can I honestly say that my style is anything like those authors, so I don't think I can call them influences after all.
I've committed a grave sin as a writer, in that I wrote in a genre I know very little about. It wasn't something I realised at the time, I just thought it would be cool to write fantasy in a modern setting. I'd read a few books like that once and enjoyed them, but I didn't even realise that Urban Fantasy was a thing. I've tried to catch up since it dawned upon me that I haven't a clue about who else is out there writing stories like mine, but most of them aren't like mine.
There aren't any Vampires, Shifters, Fae, Witches, Zombies, or such in my series and there isn't a whole lot of anything that can clearly be defined as Magic. There are plenty of books about people with Elemental affinities, and books about people with psi abilities, but nothing I've read so far has shadow creatures or regularly features summoning with blood.
If I were insecure in my work, I'd be facing some sort of existential writer's crisis right now. As it is, I just wonder if I'm lame for not having obvious artistic influences. What do tou guys think, is artistic influence important?