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Saturday, August 02, 2014

E W Hildick

"Several years ago, at the beginning of a long and often painful apprenticeship as a professional author, I decided to aim at having work accepted by as wide a variety of magazines as possible," wrote E. W. Hildick in 1966. "I regarded this not so much as a prudent financial bread-casting operation as a valuable literary exercise—an exercise to be marked by some of the toughest teachers in the world."

So begins the foreword to Hildick's book A Close Look at Magazines & Comics, published by Faber & Faber in 1966. Hildick goes on to explain how he studied each magazine he submitted his work to and in so doing learning more about the publishing world and the tough, taciturn editors who put magazines together. The exercise of study and submission earned him many sales and Hildick was able to boast that he had sold stories or articles to John O' London's Weekly, A.M.A., Reveille, Schoolmaster, Symbol, Football Monthly, Use of English, Times Educational Supplement, Yorkshire Post, Journal of Education, On the Road, The Writer, New Statesman & Nation, Co-operative News, Pick of Today's Short Stories, Farmers' Weekly, Teachers' World, Blighty, Yorkshire Evening Post, Look & Listen, The Lady, Evening News, Family Doctor, Bookseller, Time & Tide, The Londoner, Hardware Trade Journal, Cheshire Life, Glasgow Evening Citizen, Red Tape, Nottingham Weekly Guardian, Books, Woman & Shopping, Truth, Beat, Observer, Weekend, Yorkshire Life, Eagle, Man About Town, Radio Times, Spectator, Books and Bookmen, Forward Trends, Sydney Sun-Herald, Author, Teacher and the Kenyon Review.

Edmund Wallace Hildick was born in Bradford, W. Yorkshire, on 29 December 1925, the son of Edmund Vernon Hildick (1884-1958), a commercial traveller, and his wife Edith A. (nee Dews). A younger sister, Dorothy, was born in 1931.

He was schooled locally and later said that he knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of 14 and that his training in mathematics and science helped him become more precise in his writing. After working as a junior assistant at Dewsbury Public Library and as a clerk in a truck repair depot in Leeds, Hildick worked during the war as a laboratory assistant at the Admiralty Signals Establishment, Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire, and Haslemere, Surrey. He then joined the Royal Air Force in 1946-48.

After the war, he attended City of Leeds Training College where he obtained his teacher's certificate in 1950. He taught at Dewsbury Secondary Modern School between 1950 and 1954, leaving in order to become a full-time writer.

Hildick felt there was a gap in the market for books for working class children and began writing a series of stories featuring Jim Starling. Jim's adventures were broadcast on the BBC and two novels (the third and fifth in the series) were serialised in Eagle: "Jim Starling and the Colonel" (1959) and "Jim Starling and the Spotted Dog" (1961).

In all Hildick wrote some 80 novels for children, as well as writing non-fiction and mystery novels for adults (as Wallace Hildick). His work won numerous awards, including an honor book citation from the International Hans Christian Andersen Award, in 1968 for Louie's Lot; the American Ambassador Books booklist selection for children's literature in 1970 for Manhattan Is Missing and Top Boy at Twisters Creek; an honor book citation from the Austrian Children and Youth Book Prize Award in 1976 for Lucky Les: The Adventures of a Cat of Five Tales; and Edgar Allan Poe special awards from the Mystery Writers of America in 1970 (for The Case of the Secret Scribbler) and 1995 (for Hester Bidgood Investigatrix of Evill Deedes).

Many of his novels featured Jack McGurk, who, as leader of a group of friends, helped unravel over two dozen mysteries. The later novels brought in elements of fantasy and time-travel.

Hildick's books have been widely translated in Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Poland, the former USSR, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Taiwan and Holland. In the late 1960s, many of Hildick's books were considered "too British" for American publication, a situation he remedied by writing books with American settings.

Hildick married Doris Clayton in 1950, who gave teaching in the 1960s to act as her husband's agent. Although he lived in England, he would spend part of each year in America. Hildick died on 12 February 2001.

PUBLICATIONS

Novels (for children, in series)

Jim Starling
Jim Starling, illus. Roger Payne. London, Chatto & Windus, 1958.
Jim Starling and the Agency, illus. Roger Payne. London, Chatto & Windus, 1958.
Jim Starling and the Colonel, illus. Roger Payne. London, Heinemann, 1960, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1968.
Jim Starling's Holiday, illus. Roger Payne. London, Heinemann, 1960.
Jim Starling and the Spotted Dog, illus. Roger Payne. London, Anthony Blond, 1963, revised, London, New English Library, 1971.
Jim Starling Goes to Town, illus. Roger Payne. London, Anthony Blond, 1963.
Jim Starling Takes Over, illus. Roger Payne. London, Anthony Blond, 1963, revised, London, New English Library, 1971.

Birdy Jones
Birdy Jones, illus. Richard Rose. London, Faber, 1963; Harrisburg, PA, Stackpole, 1969.
Birdy and the Group, illus. Richard Rose. London, Macmillan, 1968; Harrisburg, PA, Stackpole, 1969.
Birdy Swings North, illus. Richard Rose. London, Macmillan, 1969; Harrisburg, PA, Stackpole, 1971.
Birdy in Amsterdam, illus. Richard Rose. London, Macmillan, 1970; Harrisburg, PA, Stackpole, 1971.
Birdy Jones and the New York Heads. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1974.

Lemon Kelly
Meet Lemon Kelly, illus. Margery Gill. London, Jonathan Cape, 1963, published as Lemon Kelly, illus. Arvis Stewart, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1968.
Lemon Kelly Digs Deep, illus. Margery Gill. London, Jonathan Cape, 1964.
Lemon Kelly and the Home-made Boy, illus. Iris Schweitzer. London, Dobson, 1968.

Louie
Louie's Lot. London, Faber, 1965; New York, David White, 1968.
Louie's S.O.S., illus. Iris Schweitzer, Macmillan, 1968, Doubleday, 1970.
Louie's Snowstorm, illus. Iris Schweitzer. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1974; London, Deutsch, 1975.
Louie's Ransom, New York, Knopf, 1978; London, Deutsch, 1978 [1979].

The Questers
The Questers, illus. Richard Rose. Leicester, Brockhampton Press, 1966, illus. Ruth Chew, New York, Hawthorn, 1970.
Calling Questers Four, illus. Richard Rose. Leicester, Brockhampton Press, 1967.
The Questers and the Whispering Spy, illus. Richard Rose. Leicester, Brockhampton Press, 1967.

McGurk Mystery
The Nose Knows, illus. Unada Gliewe. New York, Grosset & Dunlap, 1973; illus. Val Biro, Leicester, Brockhampton, 1974.
Dolls in Danger, illus. Val Biro. Leicester, Brockhampton, 1974, published as Deadline for McGurk, illus. Lisl Weil, New York, Macmillan, 1975.
The Menaced Midget, illus. Val Biro. Leicesdter, Brockhampton, 1975.
The Case of the Condemned Cat, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1975, illus. Val Biro, Brockhampton, 1975.
The Case of the Nervous Newsboy, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1976, illus. Val Biro, Hodder & Stoughton (London), 1976.
The Great Rabbit Robbery, illus. Val Biro, Hodder & Stoughton, 1976, published as The Great Rabbit Rip-Off, illus. Lisl Weil, New York, Macmillan, 1977.
The Case of the Invisible Dog, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1977, illus. Val Biro, Hodder & Stoughton, 1977.
The Case of the Secret Scribbler, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1978, illus. Val Biro, Hodder & Stoughton, 1978.
The Case of the Phantom Frog, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1979, illus. Val Biro, Hodder & Stoughton, 1979.
The Case of the Snowbound Spy, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1980.
The Case of the Treetop Treasure, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1980, illus. Val Biro, Hodder & Stoughton, 1980.
The Case of the Bashful Bank Robber, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1981.
The Case of the Four Flying Fingers, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1981.
The Case of the Felon's Fiddle, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1982.
McGurk Gets Good and Mad, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1982.
The Case of the Slingshot Sniper, illus. Lisl Weil. New York, Macmillan, 1983.
The Case of the Vanishing Ventriloquist, illus. Kathy Parkinson. New York, Macmillan, 1985.
The Case of the Muttering Mummy, illus. Blanche Sims. New York, Macmillan, 1986.
The Case of the Wandering Weathervanes, illus. Denise Brunkus. New York, Macmillan, 1988.
The Case of the Purloined Parrot. New York, Macmillan, 1990.
The Case of the Dragon in Distress. New York, Macmillan, 1991.
The Case of the Weeping Witch. New York, Macmillan, 1992.
The Case of the Desperate Drummer. New York, Macmillan, 1993.
The Case of the Fantastic Footprints. New York, Macmillan, 1994.
The Case of the Absent Author. New York, Macmillan, 1995.
The Case of the Wiggling Wig. New York, Macmillan, 1996.

Ghost Squad
The Ghost Squad Breaks Through. New York, Dutton, 1984.
The Ghost Squad Flies Concorde. New York, Dutton, 1985.
The Ghost Squad and the Halloween Conspiracy. New York, Dutton, 1985.
The Ghost Squad and the Ghoul of Grunberg. New York, Dutton, 1986.
The Ghost Squad and the Prowling Hermits. New York, Dutton, 1987.
The Ghost Squad and the Menace of the Malevs. New York, Dutton, 1988.

Felicity Snell Mystery
The Purloined Corn Popper. New York, Marshall Cavendish, 1997.
The Serial Sneak Thief. New York, Marshall Cavendish, 1997.

Non-series/Short series
The Boy at the Window, illus. Ionicus. London, Chatto & Windus, 1960.
Mapper Mundy's Treasure Hunt, illus. John Cooper. London, Anthony Blond, 1963.
Lucky Les: The Adventures of a Cat of Five Tales, illus. Peter Barrett. London, Anthony Blond, 1967; revised, Leicester, Brockhampton, 1974.
Here Comes Parren, illus. Michael Heath. London, Macmillan, 1968; illus. Robert Frankenberg, Cleveland, World Publishing, 1972.
Back with Parren, illus. Michael Heath. London, Macmillan, 1968.
Top Boy at Twisters Creek, illus. Oscar Liebman. New York, David White, 1969.
Manhattan Is Missing, illus. Jan Palmer. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1969; London, Tom Stacey, 1972.
Ten Thousand Golden Cockerels, illus. Richard Rose. London, Evans Brothers, 1970.
The Secret Winners, illus. Gustave Nebel, New York, Crown, 1970.
The Dragon That Lived under Manhattan, illus. Harold Berson. New York, Crown, 1970.
My Kid Sister, illus. Iris Schweitzer. Cleveland, World Publishing, 1971; Leicester, Brockhampton Press, 1973.
The Prisoners of Gridling Gap, a Report: With Expert Comments from Doctor Ranulf Quitch, illus. Paul Sagsoorian. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1971; London, Stacey, 1973.
The Secret Spenders (sequel to The Secret Winners), illus. Gustave Nebel, New York, Crown, 1971.
The Doughnut Dropout, illus. Kiyo Komoda. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1972.
The Active-Enzyme, Lemon-Freshened, Junior High School Witch, illus. Iris Schweitzer, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1973.
Kids Commune, illus. Oscar Liebman. New York, David White, 1973.
Time Explorers, Inc., illus. Nancy Ohanian. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1976.
A Cat Called Amnesia, illus. Val Biro. New York, David White, 1976; London, Deutsch, 1977.
The Top-Flight Fully-Automated Junior High School Girl Detective, illus. Iris Schweitzer. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1977; as The Top- Flight Fully-Automated Girl Detective, London, Deutsch, 1979.
The Memory Tap. London, Macmillan Children's, 1989.
My Famous Father, illus. Leslie Smith. London, Macmillan Children's, 1990.
Hester Bidgood, Investigatrix of Evill Deedes. New York, Macmillan, 1994.

Novels (for adults) as Wallace Hildick
Bed and Work. London, Faber, 1962.
A Town on the Never. London, Faber, 1963.
Lunch with Ashurbanipal. London, Faber, 1965.
Le club des pisteurs. Hachette,  1969.
Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies (as E. W. Hildick, novelisation of the screenplay by Jack Davies and Ken Annakin). New York, Berkley, 1969; as Monte Carlo or Bust!, London, Sphere, 1969.
Bracknell's Law. London, Hamilton, 1976; New York, Harper, 1976.
The Weirdown Experiment. London, Hamilton, 1976.
Vandals. London, Hamilton, 1977.
The Loop. London, Hamilton, 1977.

Non-fiction as Wallace Hildick
Word for Word: A Study of Authors' Alterations with Exercises. London, Faber, 1965; abridged as Word for Word: The Rewriting of Fiction, New York, Norton, 1965.
Writing with Care: 200 Problems in the Use of English. London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1967; New York, David White, 1967.
Thirteen Types of Narrative. London & Melbourne, Macmillan, 1968; New York, C. N. Potter, 1970.
Children and Fiction: A critical study in depth of the artistic and psychological factors involved in writing fiction for and about children. London, Evans Brothers, 1970; Cleveland, World Publishing, 1971. 
Only the Best: Six Qualities of Excellence. New York, C. N. Potter, 1973.

Non-fiction as E. W. Hildick
A Close Look at Newspapers. London, Faber, 1966.
A Close Look at Magazines and Comics. London, Faber, 1966.
A Close Look at Television and Sound Broadcasting. London, Faber, 1967.
A Close Look at Advertising. London, Faber, 1969.
Cokerheaton (storypack), illus. Roger Payne. London, Evans Brothers, 1970.
Rushbrook (storypack). London, Evans Brothers, 1971.

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