New York: Cambridge House, 1943.
Softcover. First edition. Small octavo. 125pp. Original goldenrod paper wrappers printed in black. Slight smudging on the wrappers, faint crease on a couple of leaves, likely a printer's error, else near fine. This guidebook includes chapters on everything from sports and detective fiction plot development to plotting the slick story and writing for newspapers. Kanigher (1915–2002) was a successful editor, screenwriter, poet, and comic book writer who wrote the *Wonder Woman* comic book for more than 20 years. His earliest comics work included Fawcett Comics’ *Captain Marvel Adventures* but he is best known for creating the war hero Sgt. Rock for DC comics and for writing what is considered the first Silver Age comic book, *Showcase Comics* #4 which introduces the all-red version of The Flash. The section of this book on comics (“writing for pulps”) is thought to be one of the earliest works on the subject.
In addition, Kanigher turned to the dean of hardboiled detective fiction, and the only other contributor to this publication, Dashiell Hammett, for a brief essay (pages 34-36) on character development. In particular, Hammett writes about developing characters for *The Thin Man* and *The Maltese Falcon*: “Spade had no original. He is a dream in the sense that he is what most private detectives I worked with would like to have been and what quite a few of them in their cockier moments thought they approached.” Aside from being well-regarded among other working writers of the era, no other obvious link between Hammett and Kanigher is known. Scarce. OCLC locates only seven copies.