I should probably explain the header.

ResumeSpeedWhen I undertake to get out a newsletter, the first order of business is to enter a title for it. I can make the header something different, but Vertical Response is going to show the original title when they send it out, so consistency is to be desired.

But how do I know what to call something before I’ve written it?

So in this instance I was reminded of the Young Novelist who’d written a book and went to his friend, the Old Pro, explaining he was stuck for a title. The Old Pro thought for a moment. “Call it Drums and Bugles,” he said. “Stirring, provocative, has a nice cadence to it. Yes, that’s what you should call it.”

Is there more to the story?

We’ll get to it. First I want to say something about Resume Speed. It’s had a wonderful run as a Kindle Single, topping their fiction chart for a solid week, and continues to sell well. But right now I want to let you know about the hardcover edition coming in a few months from Subterranean Press.

I wish I could show you Ken Laager’s cover, but I haven’t yet seen it myself. (The cover shown above is for the Kindle ebook.) I’d planned to hold this announcement until the Subterranean cover becomes available, but by then the book may be sold out—especially the 200-copy limtied edition, signed and bound in leather, and priced at $40. It won’t be around for long, and the $25 clothbound trade edition may also sell out before publication. I don’t want to hard-sell these books, there’s no need, but if you want copies for your own collection or to give as gifts, I’ll urge you to act sooner rather than later.

Gee, LB, what’s it like when you hard-sell something?

That’s easy. I manage to appear modest by quoting other people. Ed Gorman, for instance, says A Diet of Treacle “…has the feel of first-hand observation. Set in Greenwich Village in 1960, peopled 13_Cover_A Diet of Treacleby faux-beat losers of various kind and a cop out of Malcolm Braly, the drug scene, the crime scene and the scene of hardscrabble drifting life in the big bad city crackle with authenticity…Of all the hardboiled writers working today, Block for me remains the most believable in dealing with crime and criminals. He’s able to write about them and their milieu without tricking them up or romaniticising them. And, as he demonstrates here, he was doing it as far back as 1961.”

A Diet of Treacle is eVailable as a Classic Crime Library title for Kindle Nook Kobo and Apple—but that may change, as I’ve been finding it advantageous to make these CCL ebooks exclusive to Kindle. If you want to pick up any of the following from non-Amazon sources, I can guarantee their availability on all platforms through the end of March: Coward’s Kiss, Grifter’s Game, Killing Castro, Lucky at Cards, Such Men Are Dangerous, The Triumph of Evil.

05-Ebook Cover-Block-Carla 2I’ve had a couple of interviews published recently, but I won’t quote them, as one’s in German and the other’s in Hungarian. And, while I’m passing out links, here’s one to Lynn Munroe’s website, where he discusses in fascinating detail the work of Paul Rader, whose magnificent cover paintings enhanced most of my early Midwood novels.

The ones in the Collection of Classic Erotica?

01-Ebook-Cover-21 Gay Street 2Yes, remarkably enough. In thrall to ego and avarice, I’ve been republishing those early books. They’re all Kindle Exclusives, all priced at $2.99, and all available to be borrowed by Kindle Unlimited subscribers. And, eventually, I’m planning to publish them as paperbacks, as I’ve done when possible with the Classic Crime Library titles.

02-Ebook-Cover-CandyHere’s what’s available so far:

21 Gay Street


Gigolo Johnny Wells

April North

03-Ebook-Cover-Gigolo Johnny WellsCarla

A Strange Kind of Love

And the following are scheduled for publication over the next few months:

Campus Tramp

04-Ebook-Cover-April NorthCommunity of Women

Born to Be Bad

College for Sinners

Of Shame and Joy

A Woman Must Love

06-Ebook-Cover-A Strange Kind of Love 2The Adulterers


The Twisted Ones

And that’s all, LB?

Don’t you think it’s more than enough? Not that there aren’t more I could add to the shelf, if there’s enough demand to warrant it. You know, I can’t pretend that the world of American letters woud be much the poorer if all of these titles went the way of the non-acid-free paper they were printed on. They’re not my best writing—they wouldn’t be anybody’s best writing—and by today’s standards they’re not particularly erotic, either. And yet they’re how I learned the business, and reading through them now (as I’ve had to do in order to write the book descriptions) I almost always find something I’m not ashamed of having written.

I think that’s it for now, and—

What about the header?


The header. No Drums, No Bugles. You said there was more to the story?

Oh, so I did. Well, you see, the young novelist was taken aback. “But it’s not a war story,” he protested. “There’s nothing military about it, and nothing musical, either. It’s a fine title, but I can’t see how it fits the book.”

“Ah,” said the old pro. “You’re quite right, of course. Call it No Drums, No Bugles.”

As for me, I’m going to call it a day.



PS: As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might find it of interest. And, if you’ve received the newsletter in that fashion from a friend and would like your own subscription, that’s easily arranged; a blank email to lawbloc@gmail.com with Newsletter in the subject line will get the job done.
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