In writing a biography of Alex Haley, I learned some surprising things about him and his career as a writer.
1. Haley sold more books in one day in February 1977 than I have sold in my whole career of publishing fourteen books. Both his two main works, The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Roots, sold in the neighborhood of six million books. That is mind-boggling success to me. I have never experienced celebrity, and Haley lived with it most of his adult life, with all its pleasures and its pitfalls.
2. But I found that Haley and I had some things in common.