“I needed to find my way to write. I need about six hours of uninterrupted time in order to produce about two hours of writing, and when I accepted that and found the way to do it, then I was able to write.” – Robert B. Parker
Born in Springfield, MA on this date in 1932, Parker intended to teach for a living. And, he was well into an English Lit career at Northeastern University (where he became a full professor) before switching to writing when his novels about a detective named “Spenser” hit the bestseller lists. Ultimately, he would write 41 books about the private eye. His writing about Spenser is often credited with changing the style and face of the crime-writing genre.
Parker loved Boston and the Boston area (the setting for Spenser books) and walked the streets, learned the vernacular of its various districts, and studied policing there. “There can never be any substitute for your own palate nor any better education than tasting the wine yourself,” he said.
Spenser also became a popular TV series “Spenser for Hire,” but more recently it’s his “Jesse Stone” television series that have brought Parker a whole new audience for his writing.
His advise for new writers is simple: “If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it.”
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