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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Guess Who With Three Clues (43 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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S2000magician
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Not Harper Lee.

10. The origins of the material for the first edition of my book (which, to be clear, is nonfiction (though some readers will likely suspect that some parts are fictional)) are obscure. My daughter recalls that they were used by me in a class that I taught that predates my book, but later research has questioned this; there is no indication that mimeographs of the material existed before my first edition.

11. The first edition was illustrated by my daughter, who directed the art department at John Burroughs School. The cover illustration featured Saint Martha of Bethany slaying a dragon.

12. The first edition was printed by A.C. Clayton, a company which had printed labels for fancy St. Louis shoe companies and for Listerine mouthwash, but never a book.

13. The St. Louis Post Dispatch covered the book's 1931 launch with an enthusiastic feature article in which the reviewer remarked, "It does not insult my intelligence."
arthur stead
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Grace Coolidge.
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S2000magician
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Not Grace, but that's a really interesting guess.

14. With help from my daughter, I sold copies personally and had copies placed in bookstores and gift shops throughout St. Louis and as far away as Michigan and Chicago. By the Summer of 1932 roughly two-thirds of the original 3000 copies had been sold.

15. The main selling point – what differentiated my book from others of the genre – was my inclusion of casual chat: bits of humor, friendly advice, and homely anecdotes. A later author in the same genre summed it up:

The best thing about [this book], however, is the voice of its author, [me]. She engages in a constant dialogue with her readers, telling stories about herself and her family, sprinkling the text with genuine witticisms and excruciatingly corny puns . . . .
arthur stead
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You don't mean the book about manners and etiquette, do you?
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S2000magician
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Quote:
On Feb 26, 2022, arthur stead wrote:
You don't mean the book about manners and etiquette, do you?

I suspect that you mean Emily Post's Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home, first published in 1922.

Not the book and not the author, but an interesting (and excellent) guess.

16. My initial success led me to seek an established publisher for the next edition. After receiving rejection after rejection, in 1935 my manuscript was finally accepted by a publisher specializing in legal publications, children's literature, and trade books (not remotely my genre). Unfortunately, I chose to represent myself in the negotiations, without help from an agent or a lawyer, and the resulting contract was highly prejudicial to her interests, resulting in an author-publisher relationship that brought misery and rage to both sides, up to and beyond my death.

17. The publisher engaged in a vigorous sales campaign, and the 1936 edition sold 6,838 copies within six months, on its way to six printings and an edition total of 52,151.

18. The 1936 edition retained my anecdotes and witticisms (contrary to the publisher's wishes), but changed its format to one that was unique in the genre, and reinforced teh conversational tone of the book.

19. The third edition came out in 1943, with new material tailored to wartime rationing. Through 1946 it sold 617,782 copies, obliterating the sales of my nearest competitor.
karnak
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Betty Crocker?
For a supernatural chiller mixing magic (prestidigitation, legerdemain) with Magic (occultism, mysticism), check out my novel MAGIC: AN OCCULT THRILLER at http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Occult-Thriller-Reed-Hall/dp/1453874836
S2000magician
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Quote:
On Feb 27, 2022, karnak wrote:
Betty Crocker?

It turns out that Betty Crocker is fictional, but you're thinking along the right lines.

20. By 1946 my health was declining (I was 69 years old), and I was concerned that the publisher might name a new author for future editions. I managed to negotiate that my daughter would be my sole successor in case I was unable to continue as author. On the 1951 (fourth) edition, she was listed as co-author, and received 40% of the royalties.

21. The publisher wanted to add photographs to the book, but we resisted and, instead, included line drawings done by a friend of mine.
arthur stead
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Is the book "The Joy Of Cooking?"
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landmark
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Fanny Farmer? Or was she also a fictional author?
S2000magician
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Quote:
On Feb 27, 2022, arthur stead wrote:
Is the book "The Joy Of Cooking?"

Almost: no "The". It's just "Joy of Cooking".

And the person is Irma Rombauer; her daughter is Marion Rombauer Becker.

The authorship has now passed to Marion's son, Ethan Becker.
S2000magician
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Quote:
On Feb 27, 2022, landmark wrote:
Fanny Farmer? Or was she also a fictional author?

I think that you mean "Fannie" Farmer.

She was a real person, the "nearest competitor" I mentioned in clue 19.

Fanny Farmer was a candy maker and retailer.
S2000magician
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Personally, I thought that the bit about her half-brother, clue 2, was quite interesting.

One item that I decided not to include as it would have given away too early that it was a cookbook: she changed the format for recipes that had been used in cookbooks since time immemorial. Instead of listing all of the ingredients at the top, followed by the directions, she chose to introduce the ingredients as they were incorporated. This gives her recipes a more conversational tone, which is part of Joy's charm.

You're up, Arthur!
arthur stead
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Your reply to Karnak about “thinking along the right lines” (after he guessed Betty Crocker) made me speculate that it was a cookbook, so I thought of titles that had been around forever. (P.S. as you had anticipated, the author is not a familiar name – at least to me).

I was born September 18, 1951, in Detroit, Michigan.

My father was a Baptist minister who later became an automobile plant laborer. My mother was 13 and my father was 28 when they married in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

When I was 5 years old, my mother learned that my father had a prior family and had not divorced his first wife. Consequently, my parents separated and I moved with my mother and older brother to live with Seventh-Day Adventist relatives in Boston.
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S2000magician
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Tom Scholtz
arthur stead
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Not Tom.

In Boston, my mother attempted suicide, had several psychiatric hospitalizations for depression, and for the first time began working outside the home as a domestic worker, while my brother and I attended a two-classroom school in a church (where two teachers taught eight grades, and the vast majority of time was spent singing songs and playing games).
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arthur stead
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In 1961, at the age of 10, I moved with my mother and brother back to Detroit, where my brother and I attended public schools. Because our academic performance initially lagged far behind our new classmates, my mother limited our time watching TV and required us to read and write book reports on two library books per week.
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arthur stead
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As a young boy I had dreamt of becoming a missionary doctor, but at age thirteen I aspired to the lucrative lifestyles of psychiatrists portrayed on television.
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S2000magician
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Dr. Phil
arthur stead
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Not Dr. Phil.

In high school, I played the euphonium in band and participated in public speaking, chess club, and the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program where I reached its highest rank -- cadet colonel.
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arthur stead
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I served as a laboratory assistant in the high school's biology, chemistry, and physics school laboratories from grades 10 - 12, and spent a summer working as a biology lab assistant at Wayne State University.
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