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Why did you write books as Richard Bachman? Back to Questions
I did that because back in the early days of my career there was a feeling in the publishing business that one book a year was all the public would accept but I think that a number of writers have disproved that by now. I'm one of them and the guy who writes the Along Came the Spider books is another one who's written two or three books a year. Danielle Steel usually publishes two books a year. So the public will accept more than one book from a writer in the course of a year. The thing is, one book is all most writers want to produce or can produce in the course of a year and some of them only publish a book every two years. Ed McBain is another novelist who publishes multiple books in some years and his original name was Evan Hunter. That's the name he's always published under and he adopted the pen name of Ed McBain for the same reason I adopted Richard Bachman and that was that it made it possible for me to do two books in one year. I just did them under different names and eventually the public got wise to this because you can change your name but you can't really disguise your style. The name Richard Bachman actually came from when they called me and said we're ready to go to press with this novel, what name shall we put on it? And I hadn't really thought about that. Well, I had, but the original name - Gus Pillsbury - had gotten out on the grapevine and I really didn't like it that much anyway, so they said they needed it right away and there was a novel by Richard Stark on my desk so I used the name Richard and that's kind of funny because Richard Stark is in itself a pen name for Donald Westlake and what was playing on the record player was "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" by Bachman Turner Overdrive, so I put the two of them together and came up with Richard Bachman.