The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book.
The most important part of a story is the ending. No one reads a book to get to the middle.
Inspiration is an empty bank account.
Nobody reads a book to get to the middle.
Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.
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.
I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends.
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.
Stephen King. Now I'm not crazy about him, but he's a great a writer.
If I need something, I'll invent it.
Mike Hammer drinks beer because I can't spell Cognac.
Now I'm not an author, I'm a writer, that's all I am.
If the public likes you, you're good. Shakespeare was a common, down-to-earth writer in his day.
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.
Hemingway hated me. I sold 200 million books, and he didn't. Of course most of mine sold for 25 cents, but still... you look at all this stuff with a grain of salt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 wrote the original Mike Hammer as a comic, Mike Danger.
I played in a movie called Ring of Fear with Clyde Beatty and Pat O'Brien.
I read all the time... I read a lot of history books.
Critics themselves, they used to tear me up.
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.
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