Nightstand: Lawrence Block

By Piper Castillo, Times Staff Writer
Published December 16, 2007

This month, William Morrow will rerelease Lawrence Block's Eight Million Ways to Die, a 1982 mystery that features his popular series character Matthew Scudder, a recovering alcoholic and private investigator living in New York. Block, 69, is wrapping up a new novel he has written more than 50, Hit and Run. We caught him by phone at his home in New York.

What book is on your nightstand?

Twilight at Mac's Place by Ross Thomas. After his name came up during an interview I did, I decided to go back and reread all the Ross Thomas on my shelf.

When you're in the middle of writing, does it interfere with your voice if you read another mystery writer's work?

No, because I might come across a story that I feel is better than my own, and I can learn from it and use the experience.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer, can be reached at pcastillo@sptimes.com.