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Monday, March 11, 2019

That Great 'Last Page'

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.” – Mickey Spillane
Mickey was a master of “getting to the destination.”  Born in Brooklyn, NY, in March 1918 as Frank Morrison Spillane, “Mickey” created one of the most memorable of characters, the hard-boiled detective Mike Hammer.  At the height of his popularity in 1980, Spillane (who died in 2006) had a remarkable 7 of the year’s 15 top-selling fiction books.    
                                  Like many great writers, he used “life experiences” as background for his own work, starting during his high school days in New Jersey.  His jobs included a time with the circus, lifeguarding, meatcutting, bartending and flying – something that led to time in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Spillane said he was “a writer not an author” who also loved to read, especially about history.  “I think a lot of authors like history,” he said,  “because they want to be part of it.”

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