So, to make a long story short, we were at the American Library Association Conference in Washington in June of 1998, and we noticed that Westlake was signing books on the morning that we were there. Since we were a few minutes early, we found it easy to go right up and talk to him. After we bought a book and got it autographed, my wife forgot to leave well enough alone, and she nudged me into telling my newest victim that I might be doing a web page about him.
“Oh, I’m not on the web – I don’t even have an electric typewriter.” I told him that there were hundreds of pages on the internet that mentioned him, but no one page at the moment that you might consider a first stop on your way. That is the kind of thing we do, being librarians and all. He just smiled at us – thinking that he could put us into his next book and kill us off in Chapter 2.
I mentioned to him that his latest Dortmunder book had somebody taking the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station, instead of Penn Station. “Yes, sometimes I throw in things like that so I’ll get a lot of mail,” he said benignly, thinking – “I’ll kill this one off in Chapter 1.”
Meantime, his current publishers from Mysterious Press heard this and thought this page was a pretty good idea. I took that as encouragement, so away we go!
Nice story taken from Terry Ballard.