of the three judges. One of the judges was a Baltimore lawyer and writer named John PendletonKennedy, who was so impressed with me that he recommended me for a job with the Southern LiteraryMessenger. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Q4: How did the major cultural, economic, and political situations of the time impact your work?A: At an early age, my mother died and I was taken in by wealthy step-parents. Thus, I was able to travelto England and was schooled as a person of high status, but I had no wealth of my own or my familysand as a college student at the University of Virginia, I engaged in gambling, drinking, and sometimesfighting and before long was $2000 in debt. My stepfather refused to pay and pulled me out of school. Icame home disgraced and penniless. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Although I had lived part of my life as a man of means, I would spend the majority of the rest of my life in poverty. This time in history, there was still slavery. In fact, some of my classmates at theUniversity of Virginia brought their slaves with them when they came to school. The IndustrialRevolution had not yet taken a grip on the country so that there were not a lot of jobs to be had forcommon people. If you didnt have a trade or an inheritance, you were probably in poverty. (ZacharyKent, 2001)Q5: What were your major accomplishments and the methods you used in your arts?A: My major accomplishments were that I was the first American author who wrote stories of themacabre and the frightening. I was able to write suspenseful, descriptive stories of murder and mysteryand dark subjects that were not in favor at the time for most American readers. Although I wrote a fullnovel, I was more at ease writing short stories. I found that the ordinary novel is objectionable, from itslength... As it cannot be read at one sitting, it deprives itself, of course, of the immense force derivablefrom totality." In other words, as soon as a reader sets a book aside, the effect of suspense orexcitement is lost. The best stories let you keep that feeling straight through, from beginning to end.
(Jill Lepore, 2009)I am also known as the father of the mystery novel. In fact, the award for the best mystery novelis called THE EDGAR, quite an honor. I was able to write in such a manner that things like murder,betrayal, and sadness were presented in such a way that the reader was intrigued and given to thoughtas to how something like this couldve occurred instead of being turned off because it was a subject thatwasnt popular in others writings. (Zachary Kent, 2004)Q6: What were the key opportunities you had that led to turning points in your life and art?A: I dont know if youd call them opportunities. There were many tragic and sad events in my life thatleft me alone and struggling to survive. The deaths of many of the women that I loved; my mother, mystep-mother, and my wife at the age of 20. Her name was Virginia Clemm and I loved her very much. Shedied of consumption or as you would know it, as tuberculosis. My brother also died at the age of 24 of the same disease. This left me with little to do, but write and drink. This dark misery that I found myself in would be the inspiration for many of my stories and poems. (Zachary Kent, 2001)After winning the writing contest and meeting Mr. Kennedy, he recommended me to ThomasWhite, who invited me to join the staff of the Southern Literary Messenger as an assistant editor for the