“His writing career happened almost by chance. [Richard] Adams had children late in life and liked to entertain them with stories. In 1966, driving from London to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, he began telling them about two rabbits named Fiver and Hazel who traveled to the real-life Watership Down, five miles from his childhood home.
“Two weeks later, when he had finished his improvised tale, his daughters urged him to write it down. He completed the book over the next two years.”
Adams, who died the day before Christmas this year, began writing Watership Down when he was 46 year old. It took him two years to write, and after initial rejection it was finally published years after he completed it, before going on to sell 50 million copies.
It was made into the movie Watership Down in 1978.