The old Hammer Vampire films would be one of my first entertainment influences, especially “Vampire Circus” also known as “Circus of Fear”. Ages 5 to 7 seemed to have been the most impressionable years.
Learned to read at age 7. (I was an undiagnosed dyslexic.)
Tried to write stories at age 12. Never finished one.
Found the short story collection, PIGEONS FROM HELL by Robert E. Howard the creator of Conan the Barbarian when I was thirteen, or fourteen. It was the first dark fantasy and heroic fantasy I’d ever read. In that moment I knew not only did I want to be a writer, but this is what I wanted to write.