Primarily, I suppose I was influenced by my dreams. I have always dreamt quite vividly, in all five senses and with all the pain that entails. Sometimes I dream of Eldritch races from beyond the stars, sometimes I dream of wars between men and beasts. I dream of daemons who talk with me about those they call the 'morituri'; humanity. I dream of fae creatures that just want to be adored by a human heart. Sometimes I speak to my wife in the tongues of long-dead races, sometimes I babble about space-penguins enslaving humanity.
In terms of books, I was raised on a diet of Sci-Fi and fantasy. The Illiad and the Odyssy, Shakespeare and Arthur C Clarke. At the age of ten, while some people were just starting to explore Narnia and Prydain, I was reading Star-Wars and just about any book I could get my hands on.
I would have to say that the writers who have most inspired me would have to be Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne-Jones and Roger Zelazny. They all hold in their works a sense of the 'other' - a strong understanding of what it is not to be human. Be it faerie or magician, one of the Endless or a space-traveller playing the role of Buddha. I think each one of them has helped me keep Elaquine from ever being too human...
Right now, I am re-reading the Song of Ice and Fire stories, while telling myself that I should really find out what happened to the Witcher novel I ordered last month.