Now That’s Writing!

Who is the most prolific novelist of all time? Do you know? Can you guess?

I always thought it was John Creasy. Born 1908, died 1973, Creasy wrote under 28 pseudonyms and had over 600 of his novels published–mystery and crime novels, spy thrillers, romances, and westerns. His first book was published in 1930, and he was only 65 when he died. So that’s 600 books in 43 years, for an average of almost 14 novels per year.

And lest you think he just cranked out a lot of rubbish, in 1962 he won an Edgar Award for Gideon’s Fire, and in 1969 was voted a Grand Master Award by the Mystery Writers of America.

But I was wrong. The most prolific novelist ever was not John Creasy.

It was Barbara Cartland.

Dame Barbara (1901-2000) lived longer than Creasy and had a longer career, and more than 700 (!) of her novels were published, starting in 1922. She started with flashy, controversial, “sex among the rich and famous” novels, then settled down to write historical romances.

In fact, her career is still going on–she left at least 160 unpublished novels, which ought to be enough to hold her fans for the next few decades.

In 1983 Barbara Cartland wrote 23 novels.

I must remember this, the next time I feel moved to describe myself as a productive and prolific writer.

3 comments on “Now That’s Writing!

  1. Wow, now that is amazing. I don’t see how anyone, working without sleep or time to eat or anything could possibly crank out that much writing. It blows me away.

  2. I have never heard of either. I guess I have to do more reading. I’ve got three more books in the works, but don’t know if I will finish any of them. 23 in a lifetime would be a lot for me.

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