An Old Letter from Mickey Spillane

I was cleaning up the other day and I found this piece of memorabilia.  I thought some of my readers might appreciate it.

I’m a big fan of Mickey Spillane.  So big that this blog used to be named “808 Hackard Building” after the fictional office address of Spillane’s most famous character, Mike Hammer.

I know, I know, me being a fan of Spillane doesn’t make much sense.  We’re miles apart as far as politics and writing style.  But he had a great attitude about writing.  He called himself a writer not an author.  He considered himself a workman, a mechanic, a guy who performed a service.  He felt that if you bought a hotdog it should taste good, and if you bought a book you should be entertained.

Anyway, I used to send the old guy notes, usually on his birthday or at Christmas.  One year I sent him a card for his 85th birthday.  A couple of weeks later this letter came in the mail.

Imagine my surprise.  Here’s a letter from Spillane, in my mailbox, complete with strike-outs and inappropriate language.  You can tell that 9-11 had really torched his shorts and they were still smoldering.  I could just picture him banging the letter out on that old typewriter of his.

If you’ve never read anything by Spillane I recommend you try One Lonely Night (1951).  It’s my favorite — short, intense, gut-wrenching in parts, and a true hard-boiled masterpiece.  While trying to thwart a violent communist cell, Mike Hammer wonders if he’s any better than the killers he kills.

R.I.P. Mickey.

Spillane Letter

Here’s the letter Mickey Spillane wrote me on 3/27/2003. R.I.P Mickey.

2 responses to “An Old Letter from Mickey Spillane

  1. Robert Mitchell

    Haha, the old boy was hardboiled to the end! Thanks for stopping by — I’ll checkout your site!

  2. kevinburtonsmith

    That “Mission Hills” setup must have been the LA Pulp & Paperback Show, which was right around that time, and where he and Max Allan Collins shared a signing table. When Collins introduced me to Mickey and explained who I was (I do the THRILLING DETECTIVE WEB SITE), Spillane told me “Thanks, kid.”

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