Author H.P. Lovecraft was never able to support himself from his earnings as an author. His book “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, written one year before his death, sold a meagre 200 copies. He died in poverty at age 46.
Edgar Rice Burroughs earned just $400 USD for his first published story in 1912. However, ‘Tarzan’ would become a hit. Burroughs purchased a ranch in California in 1915-1919 & the citizens the community elected to name the city Tarzana, California.
Isaac Asimov wrote 500 books. His first novel was published in 1950, and he died in 1992. This means he wrote aprox 1 book per month for 42 straight years.
In 1865, Charles Dickens was traveling home from France when his train derailed while crossing a bridge, and his car was left dangling from the tracks. He helped save stranded passengers and then climbed back into the dangling car to find a manuscript he was supposed to send to his publishers.
Ray Bradbury wrote the first draft of Fahrenheit 451 (1953) on a coin-operated typewriter that charged 10 cents for every 30 minutes, costing him $9.80.
Born in January 1921, the writer Patricia Highsmith once smuggled 100 snails and a head of lettuce into a literary party in her handbag so she had someone to talk to.
When Maxim Gorky arrived in the US in 1906, he initially received a warm welcome. President Roosevelt, Mark Twain planned to meet him. But when it was reported that Gorky was accompanied not by his wife, but by his mistress, his hotel threw him out and he got cancelled. Gorky on a goodwill and fundraising mission for the Bolsheviks. But in 1906 this didn’t mean much to Americans.
It turned out the woman accompanying Gorky was not, in fact, Mrs. Gorky. She was Maria Andreyeva, a star of the Moscow Art Theatre. Sure, she was another ardent Bolshevik, but apparently that wasn’t the problem. She and Gorky weren’t legally married. That was the problem, considered by the media to be a moral blemish worse than anarchism. American morality, was made of different stuff.
The best-selling living author, Danielle Steel, has received “a resounding lack of critical acclaim” for her 179 books. In her romance novels, she draws from her experiences of having been married 5 times to financiers, ex-convicts, and a vintner, and having 9 children.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was written over a period of three weeks after he was misdiagnosed with brain cancer and given a year to live.He decided to spend that year writing five novels to provide for his wife after his death. Ironically, he outlived her.
When Leo Tolstoy became a vegetarian, two of his children followed, but his wife and aunt didn’t. He didn’t pressure them, but sometimes teased them. His aunt once came to dinner and found a knife and a chicken on her chair. Tolstoy said “We knew you wanted chicken, but none of us would kill it”.