The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book.
Inspiration is an empty bank account.
I don't like people. I don't like any kind of people. When you get them together in a big lump they all get nasty and dirty and full of trouble. So I don't like people including you. That's what a misanthropist is.
Nobody reads a book to get to the middle.
I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends.
Stephen King. Now I'm not crazy about him, but he's a great a writer.
If I need something, I'll invent it.
The most important part of a story is the ending. No one reads a book to get to the middle.
Now I'm not an author, I'm a writer, that's all I am.
Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.
I started off at the high level, in the slick magazines, but they didn't use my name, they used house names. Anyway, then I went downhill to the pulps, then downhill further to the comics.
If the public likes you, you're good. Shakespeare was a common, down-to-earth writer in his day.
I'm the most translated writer in the world, behind Lenin, Tolstoy, Gorki and Jules Verne. And they're all dead...
I'm a country boy. I hate New York. But that's where things happen, so I use it as a base for stories, I know enough about it. But I have to keep going back there.
I'm actually a softie. Tough guys get killed too early... I've got a full head of hair and don't wear eyeglasses.
I'm a commercial writer, not an author. Margaret Mitchell was an author. She wrote one book.
I'm 82 years old, wherever I go everybody knows me, but here's why... I'm a merchandiser, I'm not just a writer, I stay in every avenue you can think of.
Imagine this guy hits Mike Hammer over the head with a wooden coathanger and knocks him out. You hit Mike Hammer over the head with a wooden coathanger, he'll beat the crap out of you.
I'm not an author, I'm a writer, that's all I am. Authors want their names down in history; I want to keep the smoke coming out of the chimney.
I dont like any of them, because they don't read the books. In Kiss Me Deadly my story is better than his story. Anthony Quinn played in The Lond Wait and he didn't read the book either.
See, heroes never die. John Wayne isn't dead, Elvis isn't dead. Otherwise you don't have a hero. You can't kill a hero. That's why I never let him get older.
If you're a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he's good, the older he gets, the better he writes.
Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle; they read it to get to the end. If it's a letdown, they won't buy any more. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.
The first page sells this book. The last page sells your next book.
Critics themselves, they used to tear me up.
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