Jack Higgins (b. July 27): “You’ve got to be obsessive, spend enormous effort and still get nowhere.”

27 Jul

 

Jack Higgins, born 27 July 1929, is the pseudonym of British novelist Harry Patterson. He is one of the best-selling authors of popular thrillers and espionage novels. His 84 novels have sold over 150 million copies and have been translated into 55 languages. His breakthrough novel The Eagle Has Landed sold over 50 million copies and was adapted into a successful film.

Quotes on writing:

  1. The critics never really like any author who sells too many books.
  2. Anyone who expects fairness in this life is seriously misinformed.
  3. Words become meaningless, the mind cuts itself off from reality for a little while, a necessary breathing space until one is ready to cope.
  4. I read Oliver Twist when I was six. Not because it was a classic, but because it was a book that was available. I probably didn’t understand everything in it – for years I used to pronounce the word rogue as rogger – but I didn’t care. I just loved reading.
  5. I spent years learning my craft, writing all sorts of things. Short stories, radio plays. Four or five unpublished novels. You’ve got to be obsessive, prepared to stick at it, spend enormous time and effort and then still get nowhere. But it’s a bit like acting. You need a touch of luck as well. The right person reading your manuscript at the right time.

 

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