Monday, July 12, 2010

I Wish He Were Here to Celebrate It

Going on the Belief Walleyes Eat Late by Thom Ward | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor: "It's the birthday of mystery novelist Donald Westlake, (books by this author) born in Brooklyn, New York, (1933), the author of more than 100 books.

He worked as slush-pile reader for New York-based magazines, and at night he wrote his own short stories — things that did not often advance past the slush pile. In fact, he received 204 rejection slips before his first short story was ever accepted. But soon after that, the first novel he wrote was accepted by Random House. It was called The Mercenaries (1960), it was huge best-seller, and it was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

He wrote fast, sometimes publishing four books a year. Publishers had reservations about releasing multiple titles in one year by a single author. And for this reason — especially early in his career, when he was furiously prolific — he used pen names. Mystery novelist Donald Westlake was also mystery novelist Richard Stark, and he was Curt Clark, and Timothy J. Culver, and Tucker Coe. And he was Samuel Holt and also Edwin West."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a real loss when he died. Even if the new Stark books weren't quite up to the old ones it was still good having them. And I liked the Tucker Coe mini-series as well.

Still, my favorite might be DANCING AZTECS. Or JIMMY THE KID.