Lawrence Block: It’s so nice to be working together again.

Jill Emerson: Oh, is that how you see it?

LB: Well, don’t you? We’ve got a book coming out together from Titan. Getting Off, by Lawrence Block writing as Jill Emerson. It’s Hard Case Crime’s first book since they hooked up with Titan, and their first hardcover book ever.

JE: Blah blah blah.

LB: You know, I don’t get your reaction at all. I thought you’d be excited.

JE: You always think women are going to be excited. And then you think it’s their fault when they aren’t.

LB: But—

JE: I’m not even going to mention the fact that your name is like HUGE on the cover, and you need a magnifying glass to read mine. LAWRENCE BLOCK writing as jill emerson.

LB: I thought you weren’t going to mention that.

JE: I’m not. What I will mention is a book that’s coming out September 1. A Drop of the Hard Stuff.

LB: Oh, right. Well, it’s nice of you to mention it, actually. It’s the seventeenth Matthew Scudder novel, and Orion’s bringing it out in the UK.

JE: On the first of September.

LB: Right. Oh, I think I see what you’re getting at.

JE: Oh, do you?

LB: It’s just three weeks before Getting Off comes out.

JE: Two weeks and six days, actually.

LB: Well, that’s almost three weeks.

JE: When did it come out in the States?

LB: Uh, that would be May 12.

JE: That was three and a half months ago. Or, as you might put it, almost four. Why should it take them so long?

LB: The book got exceptionally good reviews in the U.S. I suppose Orion wanted to be able to splash them all over the cover.

JE: I saw the cover. There’s an old generic Scudder blurb by Elmore Leonard and an even older one from Jonathan Kellerman. They haven’t used the new reviews at all.

LB: Well, they could have.

JE: Right. So there are four names on A Drop of the Hard Stuff, aren’t there? Yours, of course, Mr. Famous Writer. And Elmore Leonard’s and Jonathan Kellerman’s. And, of course, Matthew Scudder.

LB: I think I see where this is going.

JE: Oh, do you? I don’t see my name on the cover, Larry. You don’t mind if I call you Larry, do you?

LB: No, that’s okay.

JE: Oh, that’s a relief. I was afraid you might insist on being called Mr. Block…

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