Thursday, June 5, 2008

Is there a doctor in the house?

If you’ve read the AfterWords profile of Nicholas Sparks at the end of The Choice in the latest volume of Select Editions, you know that Sparks was a pharmaceutical salesman before he became a bestselling novelist. It is not uncommon for writers to start out life as something else. Most, in fact, start their careers as evening-and-weekend scribblers, only dreaming of seeing their names on the spines of a real books. Theirs is a solitary discipline, and it typically involves a long apprenticeship before anyone can spin such polished tales as Message in a Bottle or A Walk to Remember.

Below is a short roster of some of the most illustrious members of the literary House of Fame and their alternate trades. A few combinations, I’m sure, will surprise you.
Kristin Hannah—Lawyer
Jeffery Deaver—Lawyer
T. S. Eliot—Banker
Nora Roberts—Legal Secretary
Charles Dickens—Journalist
Joseph Conrad—Ship’s captain
Robin Cook—Doctor
Anton Chekov—Doctor
W. Somerset Maugham—Doctor
Arthur Conan Doyle—Doctor


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