Today is National Author's Day. National Author's Day was first suggested in 1928 by Nellie Verne Burt McPherson as a way to thank her favorite author, Irving Bacheller. November 1, 1949 was the first official National Author's Day, recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
To celebrate, here are some assorted fun facts about famous authors!
Stephen King has released 56 novels (7 under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman), 13 short story collections and an assortment of other writings including non-fiction and comics. He has received over 50 awards for his writings.
Jane Austen published 4 novels in her lifetime, with an additional 2 published after her death. None of the novels published while she was alive bore her name and we not identified as hers until her brother identified her in a note in her posthumous novels.
The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group of England. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or elections and contained only men (though Dorothy Sayers claimed an Inkling due to her friendship with some of the men in the group). The main activity of the group was for the authors to read out parts of their unfinished works, though they also had silly competitions such as seeing who could read bad prose the longest without laughing. Some of the more well-known authors of the group were JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Charles Williams and Christopher Tolkien.
Lewis Carroll, though extremely successful as an author, was also an accomplished photographer, inventor, and mathematician.
Alan Moore's Watchmen is the only graphic novel to win a Hugo Award, which are awarded to the best sci-fi and fantasy works. Neonomicon was the first recipient of a Bram Stoker Award in the newly created Graphic Novel category.
James Patterson has written 97 novels since his start in 1976, with 19 consecutive New York Times bestselling #1s, and he holds the record for most bestselling hardcover fiction titles by a single author at 63. His novels account for one in 17 of all hardcover books sold in the US, selling more than Stephen King, Joh Grisham and Dan Brown combined.
Janet Evanovich tried to write the "Great American Novel", but was unable to sell any of the three manuscripts. She switched to writing romance in 1987 and romantic adventure in 1994 with the Stephanie Plum books, which have had 12 of the 18 books debut at #1 on the New York Times best seller list.
Who is your favorite author?