December 8, 2008

hey, Mario Puzo did it........

The below is from an article in the Daily Mail. Its a great story. For the entire article - heres the link.

The reason I wrote The Godfather was to make money. My first novel, The Dark Arena (1955), received very good reviews and netted me $3,500, so I thought I was going to be rich and famous.

But when my second novel, The Fortunate Pilgrim, came out ten years later and netted me just $3,000, I was going downhill fast.

While the book received some extraordinarily fine reviews, my publisher was not impressed. I asked them for an advance to start on my next book (which would be a big classic), and the editors were cool. They were courteous. They were kind. They showed me the door.

One editor had wistfully remarked that if The Fortunate Pilgrim had only had a little more of that Mafia stuff in it, maybe the book would have made money. (One of the minor characters was a Mob chief.)

I was 45 years old and tired of being an artist. Besides, I owed $20,000 to relatives, finance companies, banks, and assorted bookmakers and shylocks. It was time to grow up and sell out, as Lenny Bruce once advised.

So I told my editors, OK, I’ll write a book about the Mafia, just give me some money to get started. They said no money until we see 100 pages. I wrote a ten-page outline. They showed me the door again.

I knew I’d never be able to write another book if the next one wasn’t a success. The psychological and economic pressure would be too much. I had never doubted I could write a best-selling commercial novel whenever I chose to do so. My writing friends, my family, my children and my creditors all assured me now was the time to put up or shut up.

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