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Newspapers 1970-1979


From 1970 until 1976, my writing consisted mainly of fiction and some non-fiction for home-produced magazines (called Strange & Unknown, The Warthog Reader, and Mystery Magazine). I entered college in 1974 – New York University – but it wasn't until 1976, when I transferred to Columbia University, that I began writing professionally for the Columbia Daily Spectator. I got my gig there because I was angry about a review by George Stevenson of the horror film Burnt Offerings. It so missed the point of the movie that I went into the editor's office and complained – quite angrily – about it. They asked me if I could do better and then assigned me a movie review of The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella. I don't know if it was better but that became my first published piece of writing. For the next two years, I wrote about all my favorite subjects – Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Tarzan, and The Prisoner, among others – as well as subjects in which I had little interest. After graduating, my newspaper work continued at a trio of community papers: The Westsider, The Chelsea Clinton News, and The East Side Express, where I learned to report about anything. That was a big help at my first job as a magazine editor at Firehouse.Thomas Hardy

Perry Mason novel