Lawrence Block is a Grand Master. Officially, this happened when the Mystery Writers of America declared it so in 1993, but unofficially, this was obvious the first time he picked up a pen. The author of over sixty novels, hundreds of short stories and at least five notable series, Mr. Block is one of the greatest writers in his field. He confesses that he's made a "dog's dinner of his own retirement" with six new books out in 2011, as well as the (long overdue) eBook release of his backlist.
One of his 2011 releases, the sexy-sinister Getting Off, was with Hard Case Crime, who have been diligently bringing some of the best of Mr. Block's books (new and old) to readers.
We had the opportunity to ask Mr. Block a few quick questions.
Pornokitsch: Getting Off is the triumphant return of Jill Emerson, one of your earliest pen names. Ms. Emerson is perhaps best known for her work on steamy Midwood Press titles. What prompted you to bring her out of retirement?
Lawrence Block: It was all her idea. While I was writing Getting Off, she pointed out that it was very much her kind of thing. “Put my name on it,” she said. “Play fair, dammit.”
PK: Portions of Getting Off first appeared as short stories in various anthologies. When did you decide that Kit Tolliver’s adventures should be collected (and extended) as a single volume?
LB: Three or four episodes in, I realized I was doing what I’d done a few times before — unwittingly writing a novel on the installment plan.
PK: Kit is a terrifyingly amoral protagonist in a terrifyingly amoral world. How do you (or Jill) get into the head of such a frightening person?
LB: (I’ll let Jill take this one.) “You really think so? Gee, she just seems like a fun-loving young woman to me.”