Jean-Dominique Bauby dictated his book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, about his life following a stroke, by blinking his left eyelid.

Russian author Vladimir Nabokov wrote most of his major novels on index cards. Nabokov felt this method  helped him figure out the best way to structure his plots. He kept a pack of cards under his pillows t so he could jot down any ideas that came to him at night.


Mark Twain was the next-door neighbor of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in Hartford, Connecticut.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens originally signed his writings with the pseudonym Josh before using the name Mark Twain.

Noel Coward claimed he began every day by checking the obituary column in The Times; if he wasn’t listed there, he could get down to work.

Roald Dahl’s school report read: ‘I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended.’

Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of Tarzan, worked as a pencil-sharpener salesman before he tried his hand at fiction. He only began writing at the age of 36 to support his family.

Robert Louis Stevenson legally gave his birthday away to a little girl.

L. Frank Baum’s first book was called, The Book of Hamburgs: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs, and was all about caring for chickens.

When Dr. Seuss had a bout of writer’s block, he would go to a secret closet filled with hundreds of hats and wear them until the words came to him.