My father was Catholic, my mother was Protestant, and because of that I got Christened in both churches, so I’ve got all these names… but my Dad always called me Mick.
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.
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 anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.
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.
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.
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 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.
Oh yeah, I was one of the first guys writing comic books, I wrote Captain America, with guys like Stan Lee, who became famous later on with Marvel Comics.
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.
Where I am they can smell out a hurricane. My house survived Hurricane Hazel, but it didn’t get past Hugo.
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.
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.