Ed McBain

Literary Birthday – 15 October – Ed McBain

Ed McBain was born 15 October 1926, and died 6 July 2005.


  1. A detective sees death in all the various forms at least five times a week.
  2. Changing writing styles is like an actor taking on a different part.
  3. It’s a matter of style. The Evan Hunter style and the Ed McBain style are very, very different.
  4. Readers are what it’s all about, aren’t they? If not, why am I writing?
  5. Depending on what I’m working on, I come to the writing desk with entirely different mindsets. When I change from one to the other, it’s as if another writer is on the scene.
  6. I began using pseudonyms early in my career, when I was being paid a quarter a cent a word for my work, and when I had to write a lot to earn a living. Sometimes I had three or four stories in a single magazine without the editor knowing they were all by me.
  7. I enjoy what I do every minute of the day, even when the going gets tough. When I first began writing, I used to work at a desk in the bedroom, of a small development house. My three sons all under the age of 3 would come running in and out of the room every minute.
  8. I never take ideas from the headlines. I feel that if a story is good enough, a real story that is, then it’s already been covered by the media, and if it’s not good enough, why would I want to bother with it?
  9. I wanted to be an artist. I was studying art. I wanted to be a great painter. When I went into the Navy, there wasn’t much to draw at sea. So I began writing, and I began reading a lot.
  10. I would like to win the Pulitzer Prize. I would like to win the Nobel Prize. I would like to win a Tony award for the Broadway musical I’m now working on. Aside from these, my aspirations are modest ones.

Ed McBain was an American author and screenwriter who also wrote as Evan Hunter. He wrote for five decades, penning hundreds of novels, including The 87th Precinct Series. He also wrote screenplays such as The Birds for Alfred Hitchcock. He was the first American to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association’s highest award. He also holds the Mystery Writers of America’s prestigious Grand Master Award.

Source for Image


Photographed by James M. Curran, JamesCurran, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 15th October 2013