I began reading Howard Gruber's investigations into the creative processes of historically great individuals back in Huntsville (1981-83), and a decade later I wrote this essay which attempted to systematically explain his phenomenological method.
It would be impossible to overstated Gruber's influence on me. My forthcoming study of Joss Whedon, for example, is grounded in Gruber's ideas.
Though Howard I never met, we did speak on the phone, and I would attend a memorial service for him in 2005 and contribute to a Gruber festschrift.
Now available in The Ventriloquist.