Christie, Agatha

agatha christie

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) borrowed from her observations of the world and people surrounding her to become the Queen of Crime and the best-selling author in the world. Christie always planned out her characters before the whole story emerged, piecing them together from people she observed in shops and on the streets. Dialog was inspired by snippets of conversations she overheard. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles was written as a dare from her sister, and although it took a couple years to produce, Christie was the clear winner of the bet.

Her life of education, travel, archeological digs, and Red Cross nursing during the war all helped shape her as a writer. Her work as a nurse, particularly, informed much of the detail for the murders in her books. Christie also wrote romance novels under the pen name of Mary Westmacott. She earned many honors in her lifetime, including President of the Detection Club and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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Agatha Christie Quotes

“Nothing turns out quite in the way that you thought it would when you are sketching out notes for the first chapter, or walking about muttering to yourself and seeing a story unroll.”

“The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”

“But surely for everything you love you have to pay some price.” (An Autobiography, 1986)

“I’ve always believed in writing without a collaborator, because where two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worry and only half the royalties.”

“There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”

“It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.” (Clocks, 1963)

“I like life. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”

“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.”

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

“I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find – at the age of fifty, say – that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about…It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you.”

“I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest.” (May 14, 1956)

“There is nothing more thrilling in this world, I think, than having a child that is yours, and yet is mysteriously a stranger.”

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” (An Autobiography, 1986)

“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.” (The Mysterious Affair At Styles, 1921)  

“Plots come to me at such odd moments, when I am walking along the street, or examining a hat shop… suddenly a splendid idea comes into my head.”

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