Between the Lines
David Haviland

Between the Lines

Between the Lines will tell the hidden stories behind some of the world’s best-loved books. It will be a book aimed at book lovers, which will reveal some of the most fascinating, amusing, and little-known stories behind our favourite novels, poems and plays.

For example…

  • Do you know who killed the chauffeur in detective novel The Big Sleep? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone; it turns out that the author Raymond Chandler had no idea either.
  • Do you know where Ian Fleming found the name James Bond? Or why he nearly changed the name of the character Goldfinger to Goldprick?
  • Did you know that Joan Collins holds the record for the largest unreturned author’s advance in history? Why did Random House pay her $1.2 million for a book that was never published?
  • Any idea who was nominated for an Oscar for writing Hamlet, despite not changing a single word of Shakespeare’s play?
  • Which author was memorably described by one reviewer as being ‘…what Stephen King would write like, if Stephen King could really write’?
  • Who is widely acclaimed as being the world’s worst novelist?
  • Which of these characters is based on a real person: Faust, Robinson Crusoe, or Shylock?

Obviously, the history of literature is an enormous subject, filled with interesting stories and characters, so to provide some kind of continuity and focus I’ve imposed a number of guiding principles in choosing the material. Generally, the stories in Between the Lines will be stories which give a new perspective on the books themselves. These will be stories at one remove, rather than being the central stories of the books themselves, so I will avoid entries about books’ autobiographical origins, or explanations of books which are primarily allegorical, or the stories of the authors’ biographies and creative process. A more general rule is that these stories should all be reasonably obscure and little-known.

Between the Lines will be structured chronologically, so the entries will collectively come together to provide a light and accessible guide to the history of literature. Between the Lines will be an amusing, anecdotal collection, which should make an ideal gift for anyone who loves books. 

Book Details:

  • Author: David Haviland
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Summersdale

David Haviland

David Haviland is a writer, editor, and ghostwriter, with a number of bestselling books to his name, which have been sold to publishers all over the world and widely serialised.David has written a number of books of amusing trivia and popular science. The most recent, How To Remove A Brain (Summersdale, 2012), is a collection of fascinating stories and anecdotes concerning the history of medicine and health. This book was previously published by Penguin in the US as Why You Should Store Your Farts in a Jar.David's next book is a myth-busting guide to history, revealing the truth behind many...
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