Perhaps this has been asked, and I've think I have rated this on BN and Amazon regarding your novels, the influence to your fantasy writing. Authors you read as a young person. I want to say the early David Eddings series, the Belgariad, Elenium. did you play D&D?
I LOVED David Eddings. Also Le Guin, Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Tolkien. I devoured pretty much whatever I put my hands on. I've gone back to a lot of these authors in my thirties, and the only one who really stands up well, for me at least, is Ursula Le Guin. She gets better every time I read her...
I only barely played D&D. Some friends and I tried out a campaign one winter, but we never got into a real rhythm with it.