Thursday, December 9, 2010

Writer line of the day

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of the fine books from Subterranean Press. If you're not already buying books from them, I strongly encourage you to check them out. Bill Schafer, who runs the show there, is also a swell guy, another reason to buy from them.

Yesterday, I received from them a copy of Hellcats and Honeygirls, a book I ordered the moment I heard about it. This lovely hardback collects all three of the short mystery novels that Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake published under pseudonyms. I greatly admire the work of both of these writers, so I can't wait to read their collaborations.

Block provided an introduction to the collection, and in it I found a line, from Westlake, that hit home with me. I suspect it will with many, if not all, writers. Here's the excerpt that contains the line, with it in bold.

When Don agreed to have Hard Case Crime reissue some of his early books--crime novels, I should point out, which had nothing to apologize for--a mutual friend asked him why he thought this was a good idea. The money didn't amount to much, after all, and the work was not as good as what he'd produced since then, and--

"The difference between being in print and out of print," Don told him, "is the same as the difference between being alive and being dead."
I'm sure some writers would disagree and claim not to feel that way.

I suspect they'd be lying.

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