“My first published book”

Although Irving Wallace published his first article at the age of 15 and had many articles and short stories published early in his career, his first book was not published until 1955 when he was a tender 39 years old. Interestingly, for an author who became known for his fiction novels, screen plays, and movie scripts, his first publication The Fabulous Originals was a nonfiction book.

It would seem that Mr. Wallace had the golden touch from the get-go as he was offered an impressive $1000.00 advance (for 1954 anyway) from Alfred A. Knopf. His book was well-received and sold some 12,000 copies in its first printings.

Reviewing his work for the purpose of donating his papers to the Claremont Colleges Library in 1978, Wallace noted, “I was on my way–and doing what I wanted to more than any other thing in life.” How satisfying it must be to look back on a prolific career of “best-selling” publications and still know that there is no other thing in the world you would rather have done or be doing–still.

As I continue to work through streamlining the Irving Wallace Papers, I learn more and more about a man who lived an exciting life of travel, research, and writing. A life I would love to have more than any other thing in life.

Cheers, Mr. Wallace!