Tag Archives: John D. MacDonald

Four Greats Share a Birthday

There are a number of writers and artists who share a birthday today, July 24.  I’m going to focus on four of them, although there are others such as Alexandre Dumas, Barry Malzberg, Gordon Eklund, or Travis S. Taylor, whose work has either been significant to the field or work that I enjoy (or both).

I want to focus on these four because they’ve had a major impact on my reading and writing habits and/or have had lasting influence.  I”ll discuss them in the order of their births. Continue reading

I Wanna Be a Paperback Writer

Think of this post as what’s been falling out of the holes in my head lately.  I’m working on a story with a deadline.  Late last week I figured out why it had stalled and how to fix it; I’ve gotten a few thousand words done over the last couple of days.  I figure I’m about half done unless the thing goes in an unexpected direction (again).

But that means I’m not getting as much reading done as I usually do.  Lately my habit has been to read one novel in print form (usually a review copy) while reading something else on the phone’s ereader app (usually when I have time on my hands and am not at home), plus assorted nonfiction as I can fit it in.  I’m not making much progress on the current paper novel.

renegade or kregenI’m enjoying it quite a bit, but it’s rather thick.  So I’ve been thinking a lot lately, in odd moments here and there, about how things have changed since I was a kid.  (It’s a requirement for me to earn my Geezer Merit Badge.)  As a teenager, there were paperback books all over the place, for sale in a variety of venues.  Most of them were around 200 pages in length, if not slightly less.  I could finish one of them in a day or two.  They had bright, eye-catching covers and (although I hadn’t yet encountered the term) were full of all kinds of pulpy goodness.  (I’m looking at you, DAW books.)  Swords, monsters, NSGs.

And it wasn’t just science fiction  and fantasy, either.  There were plenty of mystery and thriller titles around (Fawcett Gold Key, anyone?), although I really didn’t get into those until I was an adult fully grown. Continue reading