Im a huge Stephen King fan and one of my fav short stories of his is The Mist.
I also like Dean Koontz's Twilight Eyes
Dolan's Cadillac - Stephen King for short story
I'm torn on novels. Darkfall/Midnight/Lightning - Dean Koontz
Insomnia/Dark Tower series - Stephen King
Anne Rice gave me first inspiration to write many years ago. Dean Koontz taught me the power of poetic description, and Stephen King taught me how to keep the story believable.