"There are many unspoken postulates in literary criticism," writes the legendary author, "one being that the more one writes, the less remarkable one's work is apt to be." And yet…
Some prolific writers have made a deep impression on the public consciousness. Consider Agatha Christie, arguably the most popular writer of the 20th century, whose entire oeuvre remains in print. She wrote 91 novels, 82 under her own name and nine under a nom de plume — Mary Westmacott — or her married name, Agatha Christie Mallowan.
Those novels may not be literary, but they are far above the porridge turned out by John Creasey, and some of them are strikingly good. Christie gave us two characters — Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot — who have achieved a kind of immortality. Add to this the stylistic and thematic unity of Christie's novels (the cozy warmth of the settings and the British stereotypes, placed within the context of her surprisingly cold appraisal of human nature), and one must view those many books in a different light.
Buried lede: he wrote The Running Man in a week.
Can a novelist be too productive? [New York Times]