I’m guilty of not having read many of the classics and read mostly YA. I’m working on that, though. But, authors that inspire me are:
Edgar Allan Poe: One of the only classic authors I have read more than one work for. The Fall of the House of Usher really stuck with me when I finished it. I can still see the images that played out in my head as I was reading it.
Cassandra Clare: Her world building is spectacular! She’s able to seamlessly blend the modern world with one of her own. Her characters are rich and vibrant with distinct personalities. I wish I could write like her.
Ai Yazawa: She focuses on characters’ emotions and motivations to drive her stories. Even though her characters are achieving amazing things she always grounds them in reality. She’s not a prose writer, but a manga-ka (Japanese comic creator). But, even if you took away the comics aspect you’re left with a beautiful story.
Of course, there are a lot of other authors I love. These are just the first three that popped into my head first.