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Mickey Spillane Quotes


Mickey Spillane
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Frank Morrison Spillane
  • Born: 9th March 1918, Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
  • Died: 17th July 2006, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, U.S.
  • Resting place: Ashes scattered in a creek near his home in South Carolina
  • Occupation: Novelist and actor
  • Pen name: Mickey Spillane
  • Genres: Crime, private investigator, detective and fiction
  • Inspiration: In the unforgettable words of the man himself he stated Dollars as his biggest literary inspiration
  • Religion: He became a Jehovahs Witness in 1951 and was active in the religion for many years to come
  • Trivia: Hurricane Hugo destroyed his South Carolina home in 1989
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"Inspiration is an empty bank account"

Mickey Spillane

"The first chapter sells the book; The last chapter sells the next book"

Mickey Spillane

"I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends"

Mickey Spillane

"The most important part of a story is the ending. No one reads a book to get to the middle"

Mickey Spillane

"This is an income-generating job. Fame was never anything to me unless it afforded me a good livelihood"

Mickey Spillane

"I'm not an author, I'm a writer .... Authors want their names down in history; I want to keep the smoke coming out of the chimney"

Mickey Spillane

"No one likes my books except the public"

Mickey Spillane

"I'm the most translated writer in the world, behind Lenin, Tolstoy, Gorki and Jules Verne. And they're all dead"

Mickey Spillane

"Those big-shot writers; Could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar"

Mickey Spillane

"The literary world is made of second rate writers writing about other second rate writers"

Mickey Spillane

"I don't care what the editor likes or dislikes, I care what the people like"

Mickey Spillane

"Hemingway hated me. I sold 200 million books, and he didn't"

Mickey Spillane

"I don't research anything. If I need something, I'll invent it"

Mickey Spillane

"If the public likes you, you're good"

Mickey Spillane

"I've been in business because I stayed alive longer than some guys who didn't want me that way"

Mickey Spillane

"My work may be garbage, but it's good garbage"

Mickey Spillane

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Mickey Spillane Biography

Mickey Spillane was born in Brooklyn but grew up in the shadow of New York on the not so mean streets of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Nonetheless Spillane had a appetite for the written word and it was not long until he was writing for comics and magazines alike.

Spillane was later quoted as saying that the comic book scene was "a great training ground for writers". Indeed his first creation was a private investigator called Mike Danger that he struggled to sell to the comic publishers. So he decided to ratchet up the sex, gore and violence a few notches and turn it into a novel with the not too subtle name change from Mike Danger to Mike Hammer and Spillane's first novel 'I, The Jury' was born in 1947.

Post war America was fed up of being drip fed the old classics and was looking for something new and vibrant and the rather shady character of Hammer became the new hero of the masses. Spillane grabbed the market by its short and curlies and was soon the king of pulp fiction, he was the prince of the private investigator genre and the literary giants of the day gasped in awe as he sold his books by the millions.



Literary critics queued up to denounce his work as sordid, nauseating and downright dreadful they described it in words that would make an alley cat blush. But Spillane was undaunted, a quote oft trotted out was when he stated; "If the public likes you, you're good", and the public did indeed like him, at the last count at least 220 million of them liked him by putting their money into his pockets by buying his books.

Ernest Hemingway disapproved of his writing and had a legendary feud with Spillane, but he was not alone as the critics allowed their literary snobbery to cloud their judgement and their stance cemented itself as jealousy as their frustration grew in tandem with Spillanes book sales. This reminds me of the Frank Sinatra quote: "The best revenge is massive success" and novelists do not come much bigger than Spillane with 7 of his books in the top 25 best selling fiction list for the 20th century.

Hard bitten writers are great for one liners so this is my compilation of 16 of the best Mickey Spillane quotes.

Quotes About Mickey Spillane

The novelist Lawrence Block paid him a somewhat unorthodox compliment: "I learned a lot about transitions from reading Mickey Spillane. In the early Mike Hammer books, he hardly ever explained how Hammer got from one place to another, or wasted time setting up scenes elaborately. There were no slow dissolves in those books. They were all fast cuts, with each scene beginning right on the heels of the one before it. Since the books had enormous appeal to a generally unsophisticated audience, I would assume few readers had trouble following the action line, for all the abruptness of the transition"

The writer Max Allan Collins explained his sales strategy: "Spillane once persuaded his publisher to run a full-page newspaper ad with blurbs from his negative reviews, along with his stratospheric sales figures and the tagline 'Let’s hope the next one gets even worse reviews'"

The philosopher Ayn Rand was impressed to say: "There is no one that I could say I admire among the so-called serious writers. I prefer the popular literature of today, which is today’s remnant of Romanticism. My favorite is Mickey Spillane"

Ayn Rand went on to say: "He is primarily a moralist. In a primitive form, the form of a detective novel, he presents the conflict of good and evil, in terms of black and white. He does not present a nasty gray mixture of indistinguishable scoundrels on both sides. He presents an uncompromising conflict. As a writer, he is brilliantly expert at the aspect of literature which I consider most important: plot structure"

Dr. Daniel Turner described him thus: "Mickey Spillane was a master at the typewriter. It was like his piano. He was hunting and pecking at that keyboard to keep the smoke coming out of the chimney, to keep the bills paid"


Mickey Spillane image quote