When I read that, I said to myself, "If I ever have a chance to be the guy who makes that mention, I'm gonna do it." Sure enough, when I was working on one of the M.I.A. Hunter books (I did several of those, and I believe Back to 'Nam is the one I'm talking about here), the opportunity arose, and I put it into the text. Did the mention make it into the published book? I have no idea, but if it did, I'm pretty sure Block never saw it. I get the feeling he didn't read the M.I.A. Hunter series. At any rate, I loved doing that, and it's one of the reasons writing can be so much fun.
Friday, September 16, 2011
An Afterword on Afterwords
When I was reading Lawrence Block's Afterwords, I was happy to see that he repeated a story I first read in one of his Writer's Digest columns many years ago. In one of his books, Two for Tanner, which is set in Thailand, he found an error in the galleys. Instead of "tobacco shop," the text read "tobbo shop." He started to correct it but had second thoughts. "Tobbo shop" sounded like one of those local-color things real insider would know about, so he left it in. I believe he said at the time that he hoped someone would come along later, stumble across the term, and write a book that mentioned the notorious tobbo shops of Thailand in an attempt to get at the real spirit of the place.