I know what you mean. I am reading Women In Love right now, as I too am in the middle of a book of my own. I can read things that aren't anything like what I write, but then again, writing is writing, and themes don't need to be similar for styles to seep through. That goes for music and life in general though and you can't keep yourself totally apart from influences.

I loved Scott's books. They were truly some of the best Epic Fantasy I have read in a long long while.

I will read Blade as well. I bought that too but I haven't gotten to it yet.

Are you going to Glasgow?