From The Tennessean. by Frank Daniels III
I have often been asked how I came to write. The best answer is that I needed the money. When I started I was 35 and had failed in every enterprise I had ever attempted.” — Author Edgar Rice Burroughs
Though from a comfortable Chicago family (his father was president of the American Battery Co.), Edgar Rice Burroughs was whittling away his opportunity working as a clerk for a pencil sharpening wholesale company in 1911. One of his responsibilities was placing ads in various publications, mostly “pulp” magazines (popular magazines that serialized stories — often science fiction, mystery, and crime yarns — that were called pulp because of the inexpensive paper used). His job was not all consuming, and Burroughs often wasted time reading on the job. Perhaps with some editorial license, in a 1929 article, he recalled:
“I made up my mind that if people were paid for writing such rot such as I read, that I could write stories just as rotten. Although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I had chanced to read.”
Many readers have likely commented in similar fashion about the quality of stories they find themselves regretting the investment in time over, but few can boast the accuracy of the prediction that Burroughs made.
(Comment: We are always appreciative of articles like tho but please, please, get the facts at least a little right. It’s strange to see something that clearly involves doing a bit of googling and research …. but misfiring on little things from start to finish. Don’t mean to be snarky…….)