John D. MacDonald
Recently, I came across an in-depth article on John D. MacDonald from around the time of the movie adaptation of Darker Than Amber. “The man who writes those Travis McGee stories: A look at John D. MacDonald” was written by Mike Baxter and was published in The Washington Post Times Herald on Feb 1, 1970. It was a fairly lengthy article, but below are excerpts of some of the most insightful parts:
[Mickey] Spillane visits [John D.] MacDonald’s home at intervals, and both write mysteries. As craftsmen, however, they are as close as Eldridge Cleaver and Sam Spade. Even Spillane can recognize the gulf. “I am a writer; you are an author,” The Mick once told MacDonald. There is more in that than semantic nonsense.
MacDonald writes on a beige IBM Selectric as if Doom were about to unplug it in the last great denouement…He devotes a business-like seven-to-nine hours a day writing, doing it until the lunch hour, then doing it again until the cocktail hour. Fast subtraction shows that this leaves “too little time, dammit” for other pursuits.