Monday, September 6, 2010
Margaret Mitchell Gets "The Call"
Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind, was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Smith College, but dropped out when her mother died from the flu epidemic. Margaret then took a job writing for the Atlanta Journal.
When an editor from Macmillan Publishers came to Atlanta, his publicist introduced the two of them. The editor asked Margaret if she had ever written a book, and she said no. He told her that if she ever did, he would like to see it.
Margaret later overheard an acquaintance remarking at the incredulity of Margaret writing a book. Incensed at the woman’s remark, she hurried home, gathered up some envelopes of her writing, and brought them to the hotel to give to the editor, just as he was preparing to leave.
Later, Margaret regretted the impulsive act, and wrote to ask for the manuscript back. However, the editor had already read enough to know he had a winner in his hands. He sent her a check and asked her to write the book. At that point in time, she didn’t have the first chapter written.
In 1936, Gone with the Wind was published. That year, the sales of her book soared, and Macmillan Publishers gave their employees an 18 percent pay raise.
If you get to Atlanta, don’t miss seeing the Margaret Mitchell home, where you can learn more about her and her writing.