Erle Stanley Gardner, who was a practicing lawyer before he took up writing, said: “I still have vivid recollections of putting in day after day of trying a case in front of a jury, which is one of the most exhausting activities I know about, dashing up to the law library after court had adjourned to spend three or four hours looking up law points with which I could trap my adversary the next day, then going home, grabbing a glass of milk with an egg in it, dashing upstairs to my study, ripping the cover off my typewriter, noticing it was 11:30 p.m. and settling down with grim determination to get a plot for a story. Along about 3 in the morning I would have completed my daily stint of a 4,000-word minimum and would crawl into bed.”
It paid off, and Gardner’s Perry Mason became one of the most successful series characters in crime fiction. Raymond Chandler and his wife used to visit Gardner’s ranch, more than a little envious of his study (pictured above) and his revenues.
Erle Stanley Gardner also said, “If you have any comments, write them on the back of a check.”