Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy birthday, Lawrence Block.

MWA Grand Master Lawrence Block, the creator of smart-aleck burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, detective Matt Scudder, hit man Keller, and spy Evan Tanner, turns 69 today. Among his latest releases is Lucky at Cards from Hard Case Crime with a con artist and card shark who becomes enmeshed in murder.

My World War I story, "No Man's Land," appeared in Blood on Their Hands, the MWA anthology edited by Block. I still sorely miss his column on fiction writing in Writer's Digest, which he penned for some 17 years and often featured the entertaining Arnold, his perpetually dim fictional student. Few of his longtime readers forget how he encouraged us to go hang around in bars to pick up authentic dialogue. Block's sage writing advice can be found in his books Spider, Spin Me a Web; Writing the Novel from Plot to Print; and Telling Lies for Fun and Profit.

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