I get asked this question a lot, and even though I don't exactly write anything like him, my answer is always John Marsden. His Tomorrow When the War Began series is what made me want to become a writer.
2. First book you ever remember reading?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And the Great Big Block of Chocolate.
3. How do you pick your character's names?
I have a couple of baby name books, including international ones. I peruse, noting down a big list of potential names and then I pick names that FEEL right for the character.
I don't look at the meanings of names or anything like that. I just go by my gut, mostly.
4. Name an excellent indie book that you think needs more recognition.
My favourite one at the moment (which actually has plenty of recognition!) is Between the Lines by Tammara Webster. It's a great, light read.
5. Share some quotes you love! Either from your book or someone else's!
You can't lead the cavalry if you think you look stupid on a horse.
I don't know who said that, but I love this quote. It really speaks to me. I guess I'll never lead a cavalry, then. :)