Lawrence Block may be best known for his crime and mystery writing but with his latest publication, he’s returning to his roots of sex and violence. Block’s first release under the pseudonym Jill Emerson was back in 1965 with Warm and Willing and 2012 brings her back to life with the novel, Getting Off. This gripping read finds the lead female turning serial killer as she murders every man she beds, then returns to her past conquests to finish up the job. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review in Starburst soon.
We were lucky enough to be able to track down Lawrence Block to ask him a few questions about the return of Jill Emerson.
Starburst: What inspired you to bring back your old pseudonym Jill Emerson after all this time?
Lawrence Block: I felt that an open pen name, "Lawrence Block writing as Jill Emerson," would help to indicate that Getting Off is categorically different than most of what I've been writing in recent years.
Have any of your previous female characters or characters in any other fiction you have enjoyed, influenced your female lead in Getting Off?
Influenced? I wouldn't think so. But Kit Tolliver might feel a kinship with Susan Pomerance of Small Town.
Were you ever tempted to tone down the sexual nature of the book to become more mainstream?
No, I knew I liked it just the way it was. And I was encouraged throughout by my editor, Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime, who didn't seem in any way deterred by the book's sexual intensity.
Are you going to be continuing to write as Jill Emerson and if so, where are you going from here?
I really don't know. But the keen reception Getting Off's had is gratifying, as are the strong eBook sales of Jill's seven-volume backlist.
After becoming such a well known and prolific writer, are you still influenced by or admire any other specific writers?
Too many to name!
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers trying to get into a similar field of work?
Well, I've written half a dozen instructional books for writers, so I evidently do. But I think the most important piece of advice I can offer is this: Write to please yourself.