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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Readers: Trick Or Treat by Joan Reeves

I’m a trivia collector. I love the odd fact -- especially odd facts and bits of esoteric knowledge about authors.

Since tomorrow is Halloween, I thought I'd celebrate early by offering some tempting treats to whet your appetite -- for books, of course. Or, am I trying to trick you with falsehoods? After all, the phrase of choice on Halloween is Trick or Treat.

So, I'll leave it up to you whether I'm offering an amusing tidbit of knowledge or tricking you with a made-up bit of fancy.

1. Stephen King's real name is Richard Bachman.

2.In the last seven years of his life, Thomas Hardy, author of Far From The Madding Crowd, took no baths.

3.  Jude Deveraux's real name is Judy.

4. LaVyrle Spencer was the protege of the late Kathleen Woodiwiss.

5. Lord Byron set his hair in curlers at night. (True, he probably wasn't the only man of his day to do so, but the mental picture is still funny.)

6. Sandra Brown wrote the very first Harlequin American Romance.

7. Charles Dickens idolized his grandchildren and loved to be called Grandpa.

8. Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Castle wrote the very first Dell Candlelight Ecstasy Romance.

9. Frank is the real first name of Mickey Spillane.

10. Ernest Hemingway said of Harold Robbins: "Robbins is a jerk."

11. Continuing insults, here's one from history. Tolstoy said of Nietzsche: "Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal."

12. Kurt Vonnegut said: "I’d rather have written Cheers than anything I’ve written."

Truth Will Out

1. Trick. Bachman is a psuedonym Stephen King has used.

2. Treat. And yuk!

3. Trick. Jude was a Jude from birth. Jude Gilliam.

4. Treat. Yes, LaVyrle Spencer and Kathleen Woodiwiss were neighbors, and Kathleen became her mentor.

5. Treat. Yes, I know it makes a less than sexy image of the famous lover, but it's true.

6. Treat. Tomorrow's Promise by Sandra Brown was #001 in the Harlequin American Romance line.

7. Trick. Dickens was less than avuncular. In fact, he detested being called Grandpa.

8. Trick. Joan Hohl writing as Amii Lorin was the author of The Tawny Gold Man, Dell Candelight Ecstasy Romance #001. Jayne Krentz wrote #002, The Gentle Pirate.

9. Treat. Yes, hard-boiled mystery author Mickey Spillane was indeed named Frank.

10. Trick. It's the other way around. Harold Robbins said: "Hemingway is a jerk."

11. Treat. Totally true. Many of the literary giants made scathing remarks about other authors. Truman Capote had something nasty to say about everyone it seems. He was infamous and prolific in his biting remarks so it's kind of pointless to single out any individual for his caustic comments. Gee, if these guys had the Internet, just think of the flame wars they could have engaged in.

12. Treat. Mr. Vonnegutt did say that. I think he appreciated the best in popular culture. I can only imagine the magic he could have brought to Cheers had he indeed written a script for them.

Post Script

Authors are endlessly interesting because they are mere humans, with the foibles and attributes all humans possess.


  1. Great trivia, Joan! Thanks for taking the time to find all this.

    Morgan Mandel

    1. Thanks, Morgan. Authors -- especially famous ones -- are endlessly fascinating.

  2. Good info! I think I remember that Stephen King or one of the guy writers wrote romance novels under a different name. Anyone know about that?

  3. Replies
    1. Right, Mary. Dean Koontz wrote under a female name Leigh Nichols. Robert Vaughan has also written under female name -- Patricia Gallagher I think, when he fulfilled some contracts she had when she was hugely popular.

      Actually, I know lots of male authors who have written as female.