Sunday, June 12, 2011

Questions I asked Lawrence Block on Goodreads.

Lawrence Block, one of my literary heroes, recently did a Q&A on Goodreads.  Here are the Questions I asked him and their answers.  Traffic was fairly light so I got to ask quite a few.

Hey Mr. Block. A Drop of the Hard Stuff was great. Any chance Mick Ballou will tell Matt a story during one of their late nights? 

Ha! An interesting thought, Dan. Very interesting indeed. 

Was the relationship between Keller and Dot influenced by the relationship between P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster? 

No, not at all. 

I've read Telling Lies for Fun and Profit and Spin me a Web, Spider, and enjoyed both, not only for the writing tips but the anecdotes as well. Any chance of an autobiography in the future? 

Yes, in a way, and in the very near future. I recently readied 40+ books for a new life as Open Road ebooks, and for each of them I wrote an afterword of 1000-2500 words, sometimes about the book, often more about the circumstances in my own life when the book was written. I got very candid in some of those pieces, wrote about things I never expected to share with the world. By the time I was done, I realized I'd written a piecemeal memoir of my life as a writer. I talked to the folks at Open Road, and we're putting all those afterwords together, along with some other intros I'd done---for the Tanner series and the Ehrengraf stories, etc. And the result is a pretty hefty book, which we'll call AFTERTHOUGHTS, and which we'll make available soon at a bargain-basement price, probably 99¢. 

What was the best book you've read in the past six months? 

Oh dear. Much as I hate to say anything good about the work of another living writer, I have to say it's THE INFORMANT, by Thomas Perry. And that, I must say, is the very last who-do-i-like-what-have-i-read-what-do-i-think-of question I will respond to. Period.

Which of the Lou Largo books did you have a hand in writing?  

I completed one for which William Ard wrote a couple of chapters and an outline. I recall the title as Babes in the Woods, but online sources show it as Babe in the Woods. Doesn't matter. It wasn't any good.

When you write a Matthew Scudder book, do you skim the older books as needed to keep the details of Matt's past consistent or do you have some sort of Scudder cheat sheet?  

In TV series they call it a bible—a record for everything established for the various characters, etc. I don't have anything like that. I check when I need to. My memory for what I've written is usually pretty good.

In regard to the Hard Case Crime series, who chose which of your books to reprint, you or the fine folks at Hard Case? On a side note, I think Deadly Honeymoon would make a fine Hard Case novel.
Dan, the decisions were arrived at mutually. I agree with you about Deadly Honeymoon; After the First Death would also fit their list nicely. We held back those books that had been in paperback fairly recently, but someday Hard Case may see fit to do them. 

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