Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Robert Bloch owes to H. P. Lovecraft

In a 1983 interview with Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier, author Robert Bloch described how much as a teenager he enjoyed the magazine Weird Tales and how frustrated he was at not being able to find stories by his favorite writer, H. P. Lovecraft, from past issues. So he wrote to Lovecraft, as told by the Reader's Almanac blog:

In about the fourth letter he said, “There's something about the way you write that makes me think that perhaps you'd be interested in doing the same thing. Would you like to write some stories? I'd be glad to comment on them.” So, naturally, how could I resist? I wrote several stories which were very bad, and he didn't criticize them, he praised them. Which was just the kind of encouragement I needed.

When I got out of high school at seventeen, I bought a second hand typewriter, I sat down and I began to work. Six weeks later I sold my first story to Weird Tales. Lovecraft and I remained in close contact until the day he died in 1937.

One wonders if anyone ever wrote to Bellairs on such things.

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