What’s the trick to writing more than 60 books? Award-winning author Sid Fleischman found the magic of writing a book is well, like magic. Fleischman toured as a professional vaudeville magician after he finished high school and wrote several books about magic before he realized that a mystery novel is very like a magic trick-only the author is kind enough to explain what’s happened where a magician keeps his secrets to himself.
He began writing detective stories, suspense tales, and other pulp fiction for adults after spending four years in the Naval Reserves during World War II and then graduated from San Diego State College in 1949.
After his work as a reporter on the San Diego Daily Journal ended when the paper folded in 1950, Fleischman began writing novels and screenplays. He says he began writing books for children when his own children were old enough to start asking questions about what kind of job he had since he was at home all day. He wrote a story for them which not only cleared up the mystery about his profession, but hooked him on writing for kids.
Many of Sid Fleishman’s books are laugh-out-loud funny, but he believes they’re comic on the surface and really very serious underneath. He doesn’t plan this or any part of his novels. He just starts writing and then improvising day-by-day until he reaches the end. It’s a process that he admits isn’t for everyone, but has certainly paid off for the Newbery Award-winning author.