Many a time I’m asked how one overcomes writer’s block, how a writer keeps going, how one sustains one’s excitement. For me, in writing any book, there will be writers I read simply to refresh my spirits. I may dip into their books at random, or go to their short stories, or to the opening pages of novels that have always goaded me in the past to do my best work. How many of you have such favorite authors, authors you keep close at hand for the quick pick me up, for the quick clearing of the palate, for the quick caffeine jolt? With me now it’s Thomas Wolfe, but I keep Hemingway, Carson McCullers, Tolstoy, and Stephen King right here. I keep Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” beside me. And always there is Dickens, Dickens and the Bronte sisters, and sometimes Nathaniel Hawthorne. I could name so many.