Readers frequently ask novelists about the writing process. These questions come in many flavors, but here’s a common one: When you’re stuck, which authors inspire you to get going, to break free? At a recent writer’s conference, the panelists ahead of me pointed to Shakespeare, Flannery O’Connor, and John Gregory Dunne. When my turn came, I said: “Crockett Johnson, particularly Harold and the Purple Crayon Board Book.”
That drew some laughs. But I was serious.
–Excerpted from novelist Len Rosen writing inspiration and Harold’s Purple Crayon