Summer's here, and that means it's time for beach reading. Mental Floss compiles some surprising facts about the authors most commonly toted along to the shore:
- Dan Brown hasn’t spent his whole life pondering Vatican conspiracies: he was also a musician and pop singer. The name of his second album? Angels & Demons.
- John Grisham left a career as a lawyer to write his bestselling legal thrillers, but he returned in 1996 to represent the family of a railroad brakeman who was killed at work. Grisham won $650,000 for the family.
- Nora Roberts is living proof of the old “if at first you don’t succeed" maxim. When she first sent Canadian publisher Harlequin her manuscripts, they returned them because they "already had their American writer.”
- Danielle Steel may have mined her own life for her titillating fiction. She’s been married five times—one of her husbands was a bank robber convicted of rape and another was a burglar with a heroin addiction.
- Nicholas Sparks has a talent other than penning tearjerkers—he attended Notre Dame on a track scholarship, and he set a relay record that still stands.
Click the link for a complete list.