Well, I grew up in an abusive household and books were a great escape for me. I was also a skinny, beanpole of a kid (hard to believe today, from anyone who knows me) and was a complete nerd.
I grew up during the heyday of D&D; but by then I was already reading stuff that made traditional Sword & Sorcery look rather simple by comparison. So I found myself engrossed everyday in everything from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Zane Grey and Pat Conroy to Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Louis L'Amour.
As I evolved into my teens, I would take the bus to Santa Monica to see the authors I was reading speak at the late, lamented A CHANGE OF HOBBIT bookstore. That was the genesis of me becoming a writer...or a typist, depending upon whom you ask