Facts to Whirl your mind and Increase your Literary Knowledge, while showing you how you sometimes aren't as bad off as a Writer, as you think you are.

In the first submission of A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes was called “Sheridan Hare”. Somehow, it just doesn't have the same flare.

“Doc” Holliday, cousin of Margaret Mitchell, is said to have been her model for Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. She supposedly based Rhett Butler on her first husband. Methinks the lady led an exciting life.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was 19 when she wrote Frankenstein in 1816. Oh, those teenagers!

Bram Stoker is said to have based the character of Dracula on his employer, Shakesperean actor Henry Irving. Who needs a boss like that?

The Phantom of the Opera was first published in 1909 as a serial and sold badly, yet the musical based upon it is now the longest running show in Broadway history. Guess someone listened to the Music of the Night.

Actor Errol Flynn was the author of three novels and his autobiography, all of which are still available. The Tasmanian Devil is still striking back!

It took Frank Herbert six years to research and write his science fiction masterpiece Dune, and it was rejected by twenty publishers before finding acceptance. So waiting 6 months to hear back isn't so bad after all.

After submitting Gone with the Wind and having it accepted by a publisher, Margaret Mitchell changed her mind and asked to have her manuscript returned. And Carol Burnett could never made that hilarious comedy sketch!

The Guinness Book of World Records is the most sold book in the world; The Bible is the most published book in the world; El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha) is the second most translated book ever (after the Bible); the Diamond Sutra is the first printed book with a cerifiable date (868 AD) but it isn’t necessarily the oldest printed book or the first. Movable type was invented around 1050 AD in China by Bi Sheng and the oldest printed book is likely a Buddhist religious text from the 11th century. In Korea, book were printed by movable type as early as the 1200s, wand the first surviving printed book is the Jikji (1377). The Gutenberg Bible was printed in 1454. What can I Say?

The original title of Gone with the Wind was Tomorrow is Another Day.

Just doesn't have that Zing!

Edgar Allan Poe is credited as being the first writer to try to earn a living through writing alone. He is also credited with originating the detective story. He never used the name “Allan” in any of his signatures, but always signed “Edgar A. Poe.” Hm, and we all use it, don't we?

With H.G. Wells, Jules Verne shared the title “Father of Science Fiction” for his stories which give accurate predictions of the future, such as From the Earth to the Moon, in which three astronauts are launched from the Florida peninsula at Tampa Town, and recovered through a splash-down landing. Fiction is sometimes coincidental to Truth.

The two most famous science fiction novels are Frankenstein and War of the Worlds. Can't argue with that.

Western novelist Louis L’Amour wrote 89 novels which sold 225 million copies. At the time of his death in 1988, he had 108 written works in print. And I've never read one. Memo: Put on "To Read" list.

Jack London was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. In 1903, he sold Call of the Wild for seven hundred and fifty dollars and twenty-two days later Macmillan bought the book rights for two thousand dollars thus beginning his fame. Lucky devil!

As of 2010, Stephen King has written 49 novels, 5 non-fiction books and 9 anthologies, which have sold 350 million copies. Originally, King threw out his manuscript for Carrie which was retrieved by his wife who encouraged him to finish it. It was published in 1973 while he was teaching at Hampden Academy in Maine. I still say he could print his grocery list and it'd be a bestseller!

Ryoki Inoue, a Brazilian writer, is listed by the Guinness World Records as world's most prolific writer, having had 1075 books published. But do they sell?

53 of Stephen King’s novels have been made into movies; 30 of Louis L’Amour’s; three of Bram Stoker’s; Jules Verne – 27; Agatha Christie – 78; Sir Author Conan Doyle – 63. They must be doing something right!

Robert E. Howard was never paid by his publisher for many of his "Conan the Barbarian" stories. And we complain about our paltry Royalties!

My Recipe Offering


(Absolutely No Calories!)

1/2 pound ground almonds or walnuts 7 separated eggs

pinch of salt 1/2 C honey

1 tsp vanliia

Beat egg whites until stiif. Set aside. Beat tolks with honey until creamy. Add nuts, salt, and vanilla and fold mixture ito egg whites. Bake in grease tube pan for 1 hour at 325 degrees. Cool before removing from pan.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!


  1. Mona Risk // December 18, 2010 at 7:12 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Mona Risk // December 18, 2010 at 7:14 PM  

    Interesting, thank you Toni. My father wrote a book called The Genuis of Edgar Allan Poe. It was published in the late eighties.

  3. Mary Marvella // December 18, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

    Who knew? Well, I knew some of those things, but added to my vast store of stuff I know but will likely never have the opportunity to share. At least you shared!

    Christmas Eve is a WEEK away? Whoa!

    Say hello to my bud Edgar!

  4. Scarlet Pumpernickel // December 18, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

    Had to read all of these Toni, never know when I'll need a bit of trivia to stump someone. Thanks for sharing.

  5. D.M. McGowan // December 19, 2010 at 1:30 AM  

    You haven't read Louis L'Amour? You haven't lived!
    If you're looking for Charles Dickens he isn't. If you're looking for entertainment you won't find enything better than L'Amour.
    Yes, some of Dickens is entertaining but all of L'Amour's are; perhaps not gramatically correct in some cases, but entertaining. Which should be the point and why he sells.

    And, if nothing else, D.M. McGowan is entertaining as well.

  6. Judy // December 19, 2010 at 9:57 AM  

    Toni, I loved your post. It's always interesting to hear the stories behind the stories of other writers. And your cookie recipe is very interesting! Must be really crispy, huh?

  7. Toni V.S. // December 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM  

    Thanks, everyone. Mona, I'd love to read that book your father wrote. Is it still available?

  8. Mary Ricksen // December 19, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

    Where did you find all of these interesting facts! AMAZING!

  9. Mary Marvella // December 19, 2010 at 7:20 PM  

    Mona, I keep learning more thing about you!

  10. Joanne // December 20, 2010 at 9:20 PM  

    Hi Toni,
    You're right about the Stephen King grocery list. And the recipe--really---no calories at all? Sounds good for any high-protein diet.