On Writing | Mickey Spillane, 1918 – 2006

Mickey Spillane with a L.C. Smith Standard Super Speed typewriter, 1952

“Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end.”

“The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.”

“I was one of the first guys writing comic books, I wrote Captain America, with guys like
Stan Lee, who became famous later on with Marvel Comics. Stan could write on three
typewriters at once! I wrote the Human Torch, Submariner. I worked my way down.
I started off at the high level, in the slick magazines, but they didn’t use my name,
they used house names. Anyway, then I went downhill to the pulps, then downhill
further to the comics. I went downhill class-wise, but I went uphill, money-wise!
I was making more money in the comics. I wrote the original Mike Hammer
as a comic, Mike Danger.”

“See, heroes never die. John Wayne isn’t dead, Elvis isn’t dead. Otherwise you don’t
have a hero. You can’t kill a hero. That’s why I never let him get older.”

“I always wanted to have Mike Mazurki play [detective character]
Mike Hammer… too bad he couldn’t act.”

“I don’t research anything. If I need something, I’ll invent it.”

“If you’re a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer
gets more knowledge, and if he’s good, the older he gets, the better he writes.”

“Hemingway hated me. I sold 200 million books, and he didn’t. Of course most of
mine sold for 25 cents, but still… you look at all this stuff with a grain of salt.”

“Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more
salted peanuts consumed than caviar.”

“I don’t give a damn about reviews. What I like to read are royalty checks.”

“I’m actually a softie. Tough guys get killed too early… ”

Mickey Spillane, 1918-2006


Mickey Spillane (1918-2006) was an American crime novelist, whose stories often feature
his signature detective character, Mike Hammer. More than 225 million copies of his books
have sold internationally. Spillane was also an occasional actor, once even playing
Hammer himself.



Mike Hammer novels:
I, the Jury, 1947 / My Gun is Quick, 1950 / Vengeance is Mine!, 1950 / One Lonely Night, 1951 /
The Big Kill, 1951 / Kiss Me Deadly, 1952 / The Girl Hunters, 1962 / The Snake, 1964 /
The Twisted Thing, 1966 / The Body Lovers, 1967 / Survival…Zero!, 1970 / The Killing Man, 1989 /
Black Alley, 1996


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