Author Mark Twain was born in 1835, the very day that Halley's Comet first appeared. In 1909, he jokingly predicted that he would die upon its return. "I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835," Twain said. "It's coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it." Mark Twain did just that, dying in 1910 on the date of the comet's next appearance.
Norman Mailer's novel Barbary Shore is about a Russian spy living in the US; this is the book's main character which, according to Mailer, was not his intention when he started the novel. He meant for this character to play only a minor role. After Barbary Shore was completed, the US Immigration Service arrested the man who lived upstairs from Mailer. The man's crime? He was Colonel Rudolf Abel, the top Russian spy working in the US.
In the 19th century Edgar Allan Poe wrote a book called The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym--four survivors of a shipwreck are in an open boat for many days before they decide to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name is Richard Parker. In 1884, after the release of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, four survivors of a shipwreck, the Yawl Mignonette, were found in an open boat. To survive their ordeal, they ate the cabin boy. His name? Richard Parker.