Frederick Nebel (Frederick Lewis Nebel)
BiographyStaten Island, New York, USA
Largely self-educated, Frederick Lewis Nebel was sent to live with his grandfather in northern Canada in order to escape the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic ravaging New York City. There he soaked up Canadian pioneer history, which he'd draw upon in the 1920s writing for the pulp, Northwest Stories, which is where he'd score his initial success as an author. Nebel spent his early adulthood working his way across the Atlantic and Europe as a merchant seaman. In Paris, he'd met his future wife, Dorothy and together they wandered back stateside and the couple took up residence in St. Read more... began his writing career in earnest. After his first successful sales to Northwest Stories, he branched out to other burgeoning pulp publishers, writing effectively across several genres. Aside from Northwest Stories, Nebel scored big with Black Mask in 1926. Its legendary publisher Joe 'Cap' Shaw promoted Nebel as its first star author, probably in an effort to upgrade the image of the 6-year old magazine, which he felt was hindered by the almost inexplicable popularity of the mindless writing of Caroll J. Daly. Nebel's characters were denizens of Richmond City; police captain Steve MacBride and a sometime acrimoniously-teamed local news reporter simply named Kennedy. Nebel burned through 37 actioned-packed stories that were among the most popular entries in the magazine. Nebel went on to create another memorable hard-nosed character, Donny Donahue that Shaw promoted as a replacement from the high-profile loss of Dashiell Hammett. Donny Donahue, a private detective from the Interstate Detective Agency debuted in 1930 and kept readers happy over the next 3 years. Although Nebel has several film credits, he maintained a very negative view of Hollywood. He would often cite examples of how the studios chewed up his colleagues. Nebel would license the film rights to his stories (most famously Torchy Blaine) to the highest bidder, steadfastly declining to write the screenplays. In later years he discontinued writing crime stories altogether, shifting to romance stories for the women's magazine market. Plagued with health problems in his 50s his writing ground to a premature stop. He died in 1967.