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November 30, 2018– C.S. Lewis’ birthday was technically yesterday (November 29) but Mark Twain’s is today! Let’s celebrate both authors right now by sharing some interesting facts about them and their works. We’ll start with C.S. (the beloved author of Chronicles of Narnia)!
- C.S. stands for Clive Staples. He was known by his initials rather than his full name because, at the time, it was considered more formal and intellectual to be known professionally by initials rather than first name.
- He hated his first name. So much so that he nicknamed himself “Jacksie” after his childhood pet (a dog) that was struck and killed by a car. As an adult, he went by the name Jack.
- J.R.R. Tolkien was one of his BFF’s. Both met at Oxford University in England where they were professors. They were life-long friends even after some heated discussions and disagreements about each other’s work!
Let’s talk about Mark Twain, most famously known for writing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (two of my most favourite books ever!)
- He wasn’t expected to live. Mark Twain, whose real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was very sickly as a baby and well into childhood to about the age of seven. Twain was born two months early and was the sixth of seven children. He was one of three to survive into adulthood.
- He almost drowned… nine times. Before the age of thirteen, Twain almost drowned a documented, nine times. I wonder how many times weren’t documented!
- He was born two weeks after Halley’s Comet. The comet crosses the Earth’s skies every 75 years. In 1909 Mark Twain predicted that he would die with Halley’s comet the next year. Just as Mark Twain predicted, he passed the night after the comet lit up the sky at the age of 75. It was the second death he predicted, the first being his brother’s.
I hope that you’ll take the time to celebrate both of these iconic authors by reading some of their works! Happy Birthday to C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain.
November 7, 2018– This month we’ll be focusing on authors that celebrating birthdays in November. Most of the authors we are going to talk about are deceased, but they’ve left such a mark on the literary landscape, that they’re impossible to forget.
Tomorrow, November 8th is Bram Stoker’s birthday! To celebrate his birthday and the genius that is his writing, here are some interesting facts about him:
- He fought with Oscar Wilde over a woman. Wilde, Florence Balcombe, and Stoker were all part of an intense love triangle! Stoker ended up winning the fight and married Florence.
- He got to meet two presidents. Stoker met Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley while he was visiting the United States as part of managing an actor by the name of Henry Irving. Stoker’s trips revolved around managing his client.
- He wrote romance novels. Stoker is known and much beloved for his supernatural works such as Dracula, but he also wrote romantic novels, in fact, over half of his works of fiction were classic Victorian romance pieces.
- Dracula was inspired by a woman. In fact, it was an essay by Emily Gerard titled, “Transylvania Superstitions,” that inspired Stoker’s Dracula. Oh, and remember Henry Irving, who Stoker managed? He was the physical inspiration for Dracula.
Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker! He would have been 171 years old tomorrow if still living…now that would be really something to write about!
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Historia/REX/Shutterstock (7665085dt) Bram Stoker Novelist and Short Story Writer Best Known For the Gothic Novel Dracula (1897) He Was Also Theatre Manager For Henry Irving at the Lyceum Theatre London 1847 – 1912 Historical Collection 2
September 14, 2018- I get asked this question a lot, “How long should it take me to finish writing my novel?” Here’s the answer: