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The Secrets Behind Pop Culture's Most Mysterious Pseudonyms
J. K. Rowling, Stephen King and other covert authors

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The Secrets Behind Pop Culture's Most Mysterious Pseudonyms | Donald E. Westlake
Donald E. Westlake

Pseudonym: Richard Stark

Master crime writer Donald E. Westlake published his first novel, All My Lovers (aka Apprentice Virgin!) in 1959, under the pseudonym Alan Marshall. A further 13 books under that name followed before he started using his own, and he’d continue to publish as Westlake (40-odd times) until his death in 2008. Marshall was only one of an amazing 16 nom-de-plumes he employed over his career, however, and the most famous of those alter egos was undoubtedly Richard Stark.

It was Stark was responsible for Parker, the criminal-with-a-code who stalked through 24 novels between 1962 and 2008. Parker himself went by other names in the films Point Blank (from The Hunter), The Split (from The Seventh), The Outfit, and Payback (The Hunter again). The first time we got a Parker who was actually called Parker was this year’s Jason Statham movie of that name (adapted from the 19th novel, Flashfire). George Stark, the come-alive killer pen name in Stephen King’s The Dark Half, was named in tribute to Richard.

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