Jill D. Block – A Chip Off the Old Block

Jill Block's Father is MWA Grand Master, Lawrence Block

Jill Block and her father, MWA Grand Master Lawrence Block, are the second father and daughter team to be guests on Joy on Paper. (Several months ago Laura Resnick joined her father, Mike Resnick, the award winning Sci-Fi author.

I really enjoyed talking to Jill about her contribution to a great anthology: Alive in Shape & Color (16 Painting by Great Artists), which is her father's brilliant follow-up to the highly acclaimed In Sunlight or In Shadow that used the paintings of Edward Hopper as inspiration for a collection of wonderful stories 

Of course, everyone who listens to Joy on Paper knows that Lawrence Block is a Mystery Writer of America Grand Master and one of my favorite guests. This year he called upon authors to to select the artworks that inspired them. And what a selection he got! Seventeen stories from a roster of great authors.

These are a few of the stories and artists to be found in Alive in Shape & Color :

  • Joyce Carol Oates picked Le Beaux Jours by Balthus.
  • Warren Moore chose Salvador Dali’s The Pharmacist of Ampurdam Seeking Absolutely Nothing.
  • Michael Connelly, who sent Harry Bosch to Chicago for a close look at Nighthawks, has a go at The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymous Bosch --Harry’s namesake .
  • S. J. Rozan finds a story in Hokusai’s The Great Wave.
  • Jeffery Deaver’s "A Significant Find” draws its inspiration from the prehistoric cave drawings at Lascaux.
  • And Kristine Kathryn Rusch moves from painting to sculpture and selects Rodin.

Jill Block's story, Safety Rules, is one of my favorites. It is a story of jury selection and was inspired by a  Remember All the Safety Rules by Art Frahm. 

Every once in awhile one comes upon writing that just grabs you. It was the case with this story. Partly, it was because I had recently been called for my jury duty and the process was fresh in my mind. Jill captured that feeling perfectly. It is a strange mixture of wanting to be selected and hoping that not to be selected. In Jill's story there is an urgency in the selection process as her character has ulterior motives to wanting to be on the jury. Weaving in the story of childhood memories of a crime that she doesn't mention when filling in the jurors' questionnaire, the story is delightfully suspenseful. By the end of the story I found myself turning the page in the hope that there would be more. I wanted to know more about the childhood friend who was murdered. More about the Red House. Just more.

Jill Block is currently working on her first novel. I am eager to read it as she has the talent to write a compelling story. She is definitely a 'chip off the old Block' when it comes to talent.

The impressive group of contributors includes Thomas Pluck, Sarah Weinman, David Morrell, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Jonathan Santlofer, Gail Levin, Nicholas Christopher, and Lee Child. Get this great anthology and find out which works of art inspired them.

Anthologies make great gifts -- it is fun to read favorite authors and even more fun to discover new authors whose works you want to read. 

Alive in Shape & Color (16 Painting by Great Artists)  with 17 color plates is from Pegasus Books, a publisher of quality books.

Get the book...

This anthology is a great gift -- 17 beautifully written stories by 17 talented authors!

A message from PatZi (with a Z!)

Hey, Larry -- and everyone at Pegasus Books -- it would be so much fun if there would be an Audible version of this book! It would be really great if you could have the authors actually do their stories themselves. What a treat it would be for all their fans...

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