Richard Mealand (1904–58) was a screenwriter and novelist whom AR met when she was a reader at Paramount in New York City. It was he who recommended The Fountainhead to Bobbs-Merrill after it had been rejected by multiple publishers.
January 23, 1944
Thank you very much for your nice Christmas letter. I could not send out any Christmas greetings this time, but you know what my wishes are for you this new year and every year to come.
I think I am still keeping my head, but Hollywood is doing its best to turn it—by being unexpectedly and unbelievably good to me. Maybe I shouldn’t praise a rival studio, but Warners have been grand so far. Henry Blanke is a miracle of a producer—it’s a pleasure to work with him. He seems to be in love with “The Fountainhead”. He read the book itself, not just a synopsis, and he told me that he couldn’t put it down. I heard from others that he dropped all his other business until he had finished the book. Five days after he had finished, Warners had bought it. It all happened here as simply as that.
I have turned in the first sequence of my screen play—and Mr. Blanke was enthusiastic about it. He even said that he was surprised—he had not expected such a professional job. I realize that I can’t tell what will happen later, but so far everything has been wonderful for me.
I don’t mind if all this sounds like boasting—“The Fountainhead” is your god-child, so you should be informed. Are you proud of the god-child? I mean specifically that it was mentioned as one of the “notable” books of the year in Time magazine, that it had a scrambled-up digest made in “Omnibook”, and that you will soon see the most lurid ads of it put out by the Literary Guild which picked it as a “divident book”. I like to watch all this and to think of the day when you stopped me in the hall and asked where I would like to submit my book.
Once more and always: thank you.
Please give my love and best regards to Frances,