When I was little my Dad didn't read me fairytales about princesses in puffy dresses, frog princes, or evil queens. Instead, he read me The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I remember laying with him on the couch when he read the part about Gollum and his riddles; that was always my favorite part. When I was older I discovered Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and from then on I was hooked on fantasy. I didn't grow up dreaming of being a princess like most little girls; I grew up dreaming of being a great writer like Tolkien, and unlike those other girls, who one day realize they will never be a princess like in the movies, I intend on making my dream come true.
The beautiful thing about Tolkien's work is that it was, and has remained, something so completely unique. There are many stories out there that are considered high fantasy, meaning they take place in an entirely fictional world (though I will admit I prefer to believe they are real). I have yet to find one, however, that even compares to Tolkien's Middle Earth. He did not merely create a new world and give it a name. He created new races, each with their own culture. He created a complete language, not merely a few made up words, and even went so far as to create variations of the language that emerged over time. To top it all of he created an entire history, dating back long before the time any of his books take place. Middle Earth becomes a real place to anyone who reads anything by Tolkien. I want people who read my books to feel the same way about the worlds I create.
To be honest I do not believe that anyone could ever compare to Tolkien. I do, however, believe that I have the ability to write something people will remember. J.R.R. Tolkien is my absolute greatest inspiration as a writer and my dream is to some day have at least one person be as inspired by my writing as I am by his.