Categorized | For the love of books, News

Before they were published…

Posted on 02 June 2012 by Alice

Ever wondered what your favourite authors did before their books hit the shelves? Here’s a top-10 of the best and most random.

10) D H Lawrence: Junior Clerk, surgical appliances factory (1901)

At Number 10 it’s D H Lawrence, author of the once-banned Lady Chatterley’s Lover. A surgical appliances factory indeed! Not very author-like.

DH Lawrence, surgical factory clerk/author












9) Thomas Hardy: Architect

At Number 9 is classic-lovers’ author Thomas Hardy. He trained as an architect and was in charge of excavating the St Pancras Old Church graveyard before it was destroyed to make way for a new train terminal at St Pancras.

Thomas Hardy, Architect/author









8) George Orwell: Police officer, Indian Imperial Police, Burma

At 8 it’s George Orwell, creator of Big Brother and the political satire Animal Farm. His grandmother lived in Burma and so he trained and served in the police force there.

George Orwell, Police officer/author











7) Agatha Christie: Nurse, Red Cross hospital, Southern England (during WWI)

At 7 it’s Agatha Christie – all-time best-selling crime author and creator of the Miss Marple series. Moving on to the dispensary during her time in the Red Cross gave her some invaluable knowledge of poisons; something that was very helpful for her books later on.

Agatha Christie, nurse/author








6) Tess Gerritsen: Medical Doctor

Number 6 is Tess Gerritsen. As the daughter of Chinese immigrants, the US crime novelist was expected to source financial stability. And so she became a doctor, later finding time to write while her small children were sleeping.

Tess Gerritsen, Dr/author











5) Jeffery Deaver: Lawyer

At Number 5 it’s crime writer Jeffery Deaver, creator of the Lincoln Rhyme series and author of Carte Blanche, James Bond novel. His vast legal knowledge probably came in handy when writing his books.

Jeffery Deaver, lawyer/author (yes that's me interviewing him!)










4) Mark Billingham: Stand-up comedian

Number 4 is Mark Billingham, creator of the Thorne detective series and ex-stand-up comedian. While that makes him a generally good bloke to chat to, it probably doesn’t help him plan out plot-lines. 

Mark Billingham, comedian/author











3 ) Tami Hoag: photographer’s assistant, show-horse trainer.

At Number 3 in this compilation of random jobs is Tami Hoag, US romance and thriller writer. She’s reportedly held various jobs, including photographer’s assistant, horse trainer, circulation desk work at a newspaper and selling designer bathroom accessories!

Tami Hoag, horse trainer/author









2) Mo Hayder: Barmaid, security guard, film-maker, Tokyo club hostess…

…and the list continues for Number 2, crime writer Mo Hayder, who seems to have had every job under the sun.

Mo Hayder, lots of things/author












1) J.K. Rowling: Unemployed single mother

And in at Number 1 it’s J.K. Rowling – the world’s most famous wizard-author – with absolutely no job at all! Having worked for a while at Amnesty, she survived on benefits as a single mother before fame came knocking.

JK Rowling, unemployed/author


Tags | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.