Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
If someone were to ask you who your inspiration was, who would you say? I love Minette Walters and reading her books in my late teens I think was my main inspiration. I think the first that I wrote was 'The shape of Water' - a story that was a bit of a suspense as well as including quite a bit of knowledge about Tourettes, something that was not much talked about. I liked that each of her novels brought in some facts about something I knew relatively little of- I liked the fact that not only did I get an interesting read but I leaned something as well (Wow- what a geek)
Now I love Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Shadow of the Wind is one of my favourite books ever and Paulo Coehlo is another favourite. His stories really inspire like The Devil and Miss Prim and Eleven Minutes as well as By The River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept.
Kazuo Ishiguro is also great- When we were orphans transported me to another world, a frindship between two boys a life in England and Hong Kong. I love the way each of his novels are different almost like they are written by different people. He is an amazing writer- to able to switch the voice like that is something else.
And of course most recently Aravind Adiga -White Tiger and Between the assassinations were great great books. White Tiger was his first and was one of the best books I have read in a long time.
So for now I aspire to be like one of these writers, but I want to create my own style as well. As I look at the first printed copy of my next book "The Book Club" I keep my fingers crossed.