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I just picked up a copy of “Johnny Tremain”, a book of a young boy during the American Revolution by Esther Forbes published in 1943. I remember this was a class reading assignment I had back in fifth grade. I’m sure I didn’t finish it then as I moved half way through the year; I thought I would finally finish the book. This time I actually read the forward by Gary D. Schmidt which I’m sure I didn’t read back in 1964. He said that it was most unlikely that this book was ever published as Esther was dyslectic, hardly ever spelling the same word twice the same way and punctuation to her was just a series of dashes; sort of the way I write.

 

My favorite author story is about Robert A. Heinlein. One day he was talking to fellow science fiction writer Isaac Asimov who was known to have an eidetic memory; he could remember everything he ever read word for word. Asimov was complaining that he hated the process of using several pieces of paper and carbon paper as he was typing up the rough draft of his books. Heinlein looked at him and said, “What’s a rough draft?” Evidently Heinlein would sit at his typewriter with a single sheet of paper and start typing his books. When he was done he would box them up and send them to his editor.

 

Do you guys have a favorite author story?

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So many, too many to choose from.

 

There's one where I think it was a journal that Tolkien wrote.  It said something like 'a fairy tale should not be too modern.  It would be terrible for example to have a lamp post.'  This inspired CS Lewis for The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe.  (Admittedly I've heard of other origins of the Lamp Post but this is still my favourite.)

 

I'm always encouraged by stories of great stories nearly being given up on and struggles that authors had writing them.  Lolita was very nearly thrown on the fire, but Nabokov's wife saved the manuscript.

 

I also really like writer community stories.  Like how Arthur C Clark said that he would be the best science fiction writer, but Isaac Asimov would be the best science writer.  And the stories of how much their editor John Campbell helped them.

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