James Hadley Chase
The future writer was born in the family of a retired officer, he studied at the royal school in Rochester and later in Calcutta. At the age of 18, Chase leaves his home, and with it his studies. He tried many professions, changed many places of work, and then one day he became an agent-distributor of the books of the Children's Encyclopedia. Later, he will remember these years with irony: “... I had to knock at least a hundred thousand doors, and for each of them I could meet any of the characters of my future novels, and expect any reception - from a kind invitation to come in and have a cup of coffee to sharp orders to get out ... And so much had to soak in the rain and knock down the heels on the wet pavements, that now no one can make me leave the house in wet weather ... ” A few years later, Chase was already working in a large wholesale book firm, Simpkin and Marshal, first as an ordinary seller and then head of the department for delivering goods to special bookstores. Here he thoroughly acquainted with literature, reads a lot (sometimes all night long), sees with his own eyes “the whole literary business”, and at the same time studies quite fully the tastes and needs of the general reader. Soon decides to "try to write something yourself ...". Initially, Chase writes a series of humorous stories using various pseudonyms. In 1938, Chase made the first attempts to write an action movie in the spirit of the "adventures of American gangsters", since there is a lot of information in the newspapers. For 6 days off from work (12 days), 32-year-old Chase composes his first "cool detective story", "No Orchids for Miss Blandish" (No Orchids for Miss Blandish, 1939; revised edition - 1961). The novel was well received by the publisher, critics and readers, becoming one of the best-selling books of the decade. Chase becomes a professional writer, writes a lot, often published, and only serving in the army as a pilot of the Royal British Air Force during World War II interrupts his work for some time. Some literary critics (in particular, Bogomil Rainov) find "plot relatedness" in Chase's first novel with the famous novel "The Sanctuary" by William Faulkner, published a little earlier than "Orchids" by Chase. But perhaps the basis of these two novels is a sensational criminal case about a gangster group led by "bloody mother Barker" in print.