Open Wounds

Lawrence Block on the Late Late Show

I met Lawrence Block at a the Ragdale Foundation, a writer’s retreat outside of Chicago. He was there for a month and I was there for a week. I remember thinking, holy crap, it’s Lawrence Block! And he’s sitting at dinner right next to me! Holy Crap.

Okay. Not the most eloquent but I tend to get tongue-tied when I’m around celebrities. Lawrence Block has been one of my hero’s as a writer for a long long time. Besides writing wonderful mysteries like the classic Matt Scudder series (as hardboiled as you can get) he wrote two of my favorite books on writing, Spider Spin Me a Web, and Telling Lies for Fun and Profit. They are collections of his columns for Writer’s Digest when he was the fiction columnist. I read him religiously when I was younger. I use his writing techniques today.

That was the last retreat I was at before my son was born and I haven’t been back since but… I got a chance to speak to Larry a few times, hear him read from a new book he was working on, and talk about the difficult process of writing a memoir. He even defended me against some challenging critiques in the audience when I read my work. I write him an email every once in a while and I’m on his newsletter email list. I just got one the other day and wanted to share his interview on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. It’s a howler. I mean, I was laughing my ass off. He’s a man of few speaking words (Larry, not Craig), well-chosen and taciturn. Watch him talk about his book and enjoy himself. He’s a great guy, a wonderful writer and 100% himself.

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