SPOTLIGHT ON… Sidney Sheldon

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This is a brand-new segment for my blog, aptly named ‘SPOTLIGHT ON…’. Since this is my first spotlight to shine, I had to shine it on my all-time favourite novelist and the man who relit my love of reading, Mr Sidney Sheldon. Each day this week, join me for more Sheldon facts, quotes and book reviews.

There aren’t many accolades that the late novelist and screenwriter Sidney Sheldon hadn’t achieved; a Tony, Oscar, and Edgar Award winner with an Emmy nomination for I Dream of Jeannie and regarded by the Guiness Book of World Records as the most translated author in the world. Today, Sheldon remains one of the world’s top bestselling authors, having sold more than 300 million copies of his books.

Famed for creating and producing I Dream of Jeannie which ran for five seasons from 1965 to 1970; it was during the final year of the series that Sheldon “decided to try (writing) a novel”. Despite a hectic schedule, Sheldon commandeered an enviable writing schedule and routine: “Each morning from 9 until noon, I had a secretary at the studio take all calls. I mean every single call. I wrote each morning — or rather, dictated — and then I faced the TV business” he revealed in 1982. It has been reported that Sheldon would dictate up to 50 pages a day to a secretary or Dictaphone, correcting the pages the following day and continuing until he’d achieved 1,200 to 1,500 pages completed.  He would then embark on a complete rewrite, “12 to 15 times. I spend a whole year rewriting” Sheldon once commented.

His cleverly plotted bestselling novels focus on strong, assertive women who triumph in hostile situations often against ruthless men. Suspense merged with sensuality a generous helping of exotic locations and travel keep the reader engaged and enthralled. Sheldon took great pride in providing authenticity in his novels, commented in 1987: ‘I don’t think you can fool the reader. If I write about a place, I have been there. If I write about a meal in Indonesia, I have eaten there in that restaurant”

Though scorned by critics and book reviewers, his debut novel The Naked Face found steady footing within the mass-paperback market with the novel reportedly selling 3.1 million copies and landing Sheldon a place on international bestseller lists. Despite disparaging critical acclaim, Sheldon remained undeterred once stating, Don’t give up. There are too many nay-sayers out there who will try to discourage you. Don’t listen to them. The only one who can make you give up is yourself”.

After Sheldon’s death in 2007, the Sheldon family approached author Tilly Bagshawe, a lifelong Sheldon fan, to continue the Sheldon legacy. Bagshawe has since written Angel of the Dark, After the Darkness, and Mistress of the Game a sequel to Sheldon’s classic Master of the Game.

Sidney Sheldon’s back catalogue is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Join me tomorrow for TEN GREAT SIDNEY SHELDON QUOTES

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