A Writer Prepares

A Writer Prepares – Lawrence Block

A Writer Prepares is the new memoir from author Lawrence Block that details his early years as a writer and how he broke into the industry offering a glimpse into an incredibly successful and prolific career.

I received a copy from the author for review.

How this book came together is just as interesting as the content itself.  Block began writing this memoir in the mid-90s while in his mid-fifties hoping to fulfill an obligation to a publisher.  Ultimately, even though he was several thousand words deep, Block decided against finishing the damn thing and shelved it.  Now, nearly twenty-five years later, and Block now in his eighties, he picked up where he left off and is finally releasing it.

Despite knowing from an early age that he wanted to be a writer, Block didn’t quite know where to start.  He took a job early on working for a literary agency where he would read short stories, novellas and novels and offer feedback to amateur writers desperate to break into the market.  He’d work that mind-numbing job all day and then turn around and pump out erotica in his spare time as a writer-for-hire under various pseudonyms.

He mentions in the book that much of his early work ended up being stories he wanted to distance himself from as he became more established under his own name.  In fact, he would flat-out refuse to sign some of the stuff that had been floating around under any of these old pen names, which is surprising to me considering some of those stories are really quite good (Sinner Man and Lucky at Cards come to mind).  

I guess we have a publisher like Hard Case Crime to thank for his change of heart.  With Hard Case publishing several of his early novels and the favorable response from readers, Block now takes to self-publishing much of his back catalog.  Which is great, because you’ll never hear me complaining about more Block!

I’m happy that Block ultimately decided to finish and release this book.  While Block has written several books about the craft of writing, I’ve always wanted to know more about just how one of my favorite authors got his start and A Writer Prepares allowed me to sit down and get to know him a little better.

A Writer Prepares is scheduled for publication on June 24, 2021

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