Literary Birthday – 12 July – Donald E. Westlake

Donald E. Westlake was born 12 July 1933, and died 31 December 2008.

Seven Quotes

  1. What advice I would give to anybody about anything. Life is a slow-motion avalanche, and none of us are steering.
  2. All of the changes in publishing since 1960 are significant. There are far fewer publishers.
  3. I start with the story, almost in the old campfire sense, and the story leads to both the characters, which actors should best be cast in this story, and the language. The choice of words, more than anything else, creates the feeling that the story gives off.
  4. Nobody gets everything in this life. You decide your priorities and you make your choices. I’d decided long ago that any cake I had would be eaten.
  5. I make a note, set it aside, and hope it makes sense when the time comes to look at it again.
  6. Sorry; I have no space left for advice. Just do it.
  7. The many magazines, ranging from pulp to slick, that used to serve as both farm teams for writers and lures to readers, with hundreds of short stories every month, don’t exist. Most of the doors for new people have been sealed.

Donald E. Westlake was an American writer. He wrote more than a hundred novels and non-fiction books. He specialised in crime fiction, especially comic capers. In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America named Westlake a Grand Master, the highest honour bestowed by the society. His won three Edgar Awards: the 1968 Best Novel award for God Save the Mark; the 1990 Best Short Story award for “Too Many Crooks“; and the 1991 Best Motion Picture Screenplay award for The Grifters.

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Posted on: 12th July 2014