By L. Ron Hubbard by L. Ron Hubbard

  I
guess I must have written the line “By L. Ron Hubbard” many thousands of times between 1930 and 1950.

     And every time I wrote it I had a sense of starting something pleasing, something exciting and, it worked out, something that would sell. 93 1/2 percent of everything I wrote was accepted first draft, first submission.

     I wrote adventure, detective stories, air stories, science fiction, fantasy, technical articles, you name it.

     Production was about 100,000 words a month most months, done on an electric typewriter, working an average of three hours a day, three days a week.

     Arthur J. Burks, Ed Bodin, Bob Heinlein, John Campbell, Willy Ley, Isaac Asimov, these and the rest of the greats were my friends.

Picture      I shuttled between New York and Hollywood with way stops at a hideous rainy ranch in Puget Sound.

     When I took time off, I went on expeditions to freshen up the old viewpoint.

     I had one main problem, and that was running out of magazines to write for.

     So I added about five pen names for stories to be “by.”

     One issue of one magazine was totally filled with my stories, once. All by different names.

     It came about this way. Old-timers had editor problems. Editors were also readers. They got tired of one’s stories but mainly got tired of the high prices they had to pay per word to a real pro.

     So now and then an editor would cut you off his list for a while.

     Once when this happened, I got even. I went back home and wrote a story, “The Squad That Never Came Back” and signed it “Kurt von Rachen.” Then I had my agent, Ed Bodin, take it to dear old Leo Margulies (bless him) as something by a “new” writer.

     Ed was scared stiff. “But if he finds out...”

     I pushed him hard. It was a gag on Leo. So Ed did it.

     Day or two later, Ed called me in a panic. “They love it. But they want to know what this guy looks like.”

     So I said, “He’s a huge brute of a man. Tough. Black hair, beard. His idea of a party is to rent the floor of a hotel, get everybody drunk and smash the place to bits. A tough character.”

     So Ed hung up and all seemed well.

     The next day he called again in even more of a panic, “They want to know where he is! They want to see him! And sign a contract!”

     So I said, “He’s in the Argentine. He’s wanted for murder in Georgia!”

By L. Ron Hubbard continued...

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