When I started thinking about an “Interview with a Character” series, I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I’ve always been a bookworm, and I clearly remember the days before the interwebs when I lived amongst people with whom this was not necessarily a badge of honor. Much to my joy, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Which made me brave enough to reach out to some of the authors whose characters are inextricably linked to my own life story, the characters I consider family. Like Matthew Scudder.
Since 1976 and through 17 novels, we have followed Scudder around New York. We’ve shared an early morning chat with Mick the Butcher. Cheered as his relationship with Elaine has triumphed. Giggled at TJ. Shared Chinese food with Jim.
When I wrote to Lawrence Block asking for an interview with Scudder in advance of the impending release of A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF on May 12, I was fully prepared to get no response at all. I can’t quite describe the fangirl thrill when the answers arrived, and I’m excited to share them with you.
1. If you had to move somewhere outside the tri-state area, where would you go?
Pete Hamill wrote a wonderful novel called FOREVER in which the hero is immortal so long as he remains within the five boroughs of New York; if he leaves, his life is over. I’ve a feeling I wouldn’t last long outside of New York.
2. Some would say you’ve mellowed a bit with age. Do you think you have?
I’m the wrong person to answer that. You’d have to ask someone else.
3. Are you registered to vote?
Yes. But I don’t always get to the polls.
4. New Yorkers have a singular skill when it comes to bitching about the weather. Yet it doesn’t seem to bother you much. Is there any kind of weather you loathe?
It’s a good day if the weather’s the worst thing about it.
5. What’s your favorite song about New York?
6. If you were in a situation that put your life was in danger and you could choose just one person to be with you, who would it be?
Elaine. If things worked out, we’d celebrate. If not, we’d be together.