“The Black Tanker” Illustration 1 in American Boy Magazine March 1941

Howard Pease Offers Post San Francisco Earthquake Credits

Here are Howard’s comments on his personal success of melding his own life experience into his novel The Mystery of Thunderbolt Mansion: I could even see the end of my book, the five of us trudging uphill with thousands of other refugees, with all we owned on our backs or in our arms, heading for open country to sleep by night under falling ashes and to watch by day a sun swinging across the sky like a blood-red moon through the smoke. I even had my theme to lie hidden behind the story’s action: “Wealth does not always bring happiness.” Continue Reading →

Howard Pease’s Family Experience of the San Francisco Earthquake

If you have read Howard Pease’s The Mystery of Thunderbolt Mansion, then you can see the authenticity of his story in this reminiscence: I could remember only confused bits of the day following that ominous dawn, with newsboys crying “Extry—extry!” with word pictures of San Francisco shaken into rubble, and the spreading fires and no water to fight with because of the broken water mains, and Mama going about her housework with a strained expression because her younger sister, my aunt Libby, worked and lived in the City right in the path of the flames; then the second day with Continue Reading →

First Experiences of the San Francisco Earthquake

The following material is taken from Howard Pease’s Writing In Depth.  It contains biographical material obtained nowhere else.  In this section, Howard recalls his childhood experience of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.  The unique characteristic of this excerpt is that Howard is describing how he crafted this event into his book Mystery At Thunderbolt House. Flash! On the instant I had a complete book laid out before me like an architect’s design. Our inheritance in Chapter One. My own family as a boy moving to San Francisco with a new way of life leading to bickering, arguments, mishaps, frustration, Continue Reading →