Susan E. Hinton, S.E. Hinton was 16 when she wrote "The Outsiders." She did not do "research" as we think of it. She simply wrote about her life in Tulsa,OK. She admired the "Greasers" and wrote from the perspective of a 15 year-old teenager. One thing that was accomplished by the publication of her book was a new type of teen literature. According to Hinton, up until this novel no one had ever written a realistic book about teens.
"Susan Eloise shortened her name to S.E. Hinton so that boys would not know the author was female. (Her publishers did not think boys would read a story written by a woman.) It was published to critical acclaim, won several awards, and became a cult classic among teen readers."
Hinton was able to attend college because of the money she made by writing "The Outsiders," but she went through four long years of a writer's block. Her future husband told her she had to write two pages a day or he wouldn't go out with her. She eventually finished her second book, "That Was Then, This Is Now."