I'm curious about how authors feel about audiobooks. The consensus I've noticed from past interviews seems to be that authors would rather be read than heard but would rather be heard (if not read) than not consumed at all. Is that your view? Or do you have a preference on whether you're read versus being heard?
I don’t listen to audiobooks, but that’s because I happen to absorb information better by reading than listening. Others are the opposite, and audio works for them in a way that print does not. I’ve narrated some of my own audiobooks, and enjoy it. Why on earth should I care whether people read me with their eyes or their ears?
I read here - and you mention on your Facebook site as well - that you're publishing a new book at Hard Case Crime returning to an older pseudonym, Jill Emerson. Why did you decide to bring back that pseudonym and publish it with Hard Case Crime? Or was that always the plan since they reprinted some of your older books?
The book’s called Getting Off, the subtitle is “A Novel of Sex and Violence,” and it carries an open pen name; the byline reads “by Lawrence Block writing as Jill Emerson.” It’s about a young woman who goes home with men, has sex with them, and then kills them. She likes the sex a lot, and she likes the killing at least as much. It is — let us be very clear about this — a hot book.
Now a couple of years back I published a book called Small Town, a big multiple-viewpoint New York novel set in the aftermath of 9/11, and in the main it was very well received. But I got a surprising number of emails from readers who were outraged by the sexual content. One character, an art gallery owner named Susan Pomerance, was sexually active in a way that came as a shock to readers who came to the book expecting something about a gentleman burglar and his tailless cat.
I’m greatly pleased with Getting Off, I had a fine time writing that character, but I’d just as soon limit its audience to people who are up for that sort of thing. Hence the pen name, the subtitle, and the cover — which ought to let folks know what they’re in for.
I publish my interviews at community web sites so I invite the community to also submit questions. These are some of those: How do you read the newspaper - are you of the type that follows a story to the jump page or finishes the current page first? Also what section do you read first and what newspapers and magazines do you read?