Thursday, September 17, 2015

Writers Born Today - John Creasey

It's the birthday of John Creasey, born September 17, 1908 in England. He came from a working class family, and work he did. Depending on who you ask, he wrote somewhere between 560 and 620 novels using more than two dozen pen names (as well as his own). A complete bibliography of his work has never been assembled, and even Creasey admitted he could not remember all of them.

A teacher suggested he would make a career as a writer when he was just 10 years old. He took the advice to heart and began writing while still a teenager. Despite his dedication, he was rejected over 700 times. In his early years he wrote while working odd jobs to support himself, and produced up to 7,000 words a day on average.

By 1935 he was writing full time and publishing several books a year under different pen names. (Book sellers complained that he monopolized the letter "C" on their shelves).

He created two famous and lasting protagonists, Richard Rollinson (the Toff), an amateur detective, and George Gideon of Scotland Yard. Both of these characters made their way onto film and television. 

In 1962 the Mystery Writers of America awarded him an Edgar for Best Novel for Gideon's Fire. The organization honored him again in 1969 by making him a Grand Master.

He sold over 80 million books by the time he passed away in 1973.

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