Book Review: Writer’s Block


Many writers, me included, will be attracted to the title Writer’s Block, which strikes fear in me, as a writer and a teacher. After reading the title, I didn’t even look at the cover picture, which is sort of unremarkable, I just ordered it.

The book begins with, a well-known action-adventure writer, Wyatt Whitlock, despite a contract and advance money, sitting and staring at the blank screen day after day. She is visited only by her agent who tries to be helpful with soft words and threats. Whitlock has recently lost her parents although they haunt her and she rather likes that. After a showdown with her agent and a dream about her parents  Whitlock decides to go to New Orleans. On impulse she makes a low-ball bid on an old house she’s seen there. Unexpectedly, the offer is accepted, and Whitlock moves into an old house with no plumbing, electricity, or other necessities.  It does have a neighbor whose bedroom is just across the way from the room Whitlock chooses to sleep in. A mutual voyeuristic and erotic game begins between them. These scenes are pretty hot considering the women haven’t met. Whitlock begins remodeling and finds pages of a journal written by a former owner, a woman and her life and marriage, hidden in the wall.  The combination of several things gets Whitlock writing about something other than her popular action thrillers. The combination of her ghost parents and putting together the old house, the journal, and the woman who sleeps in the room in the next house who gives her erotic shows each night, and eventually Wyatt joins her.

Hayley Fox works as an assistant for a publisher and is reading stories for an erotic anthology. She is visited often by her parents; they are the living kind.  Each day she swears she will find a way to meet the woman who’s moved in next door and who she now calls Butch. Each day she doesn’t do it. Most nights she sits in front of her bedroom window and starts touching herself. Butch, just across the way, does the same. One thing Hayley and I found particularly erotic was when Butch finds her father’s tool belt and wears it. Haley finds it extremely erotic.

So this book has New Orleans, a sexy neighbor, and writing.

Writer’s Block, by Ali Vali. Bold Strokes Books. ISBN 13: 978-1-63679-021-3. pg. 232. 2022. $17.95.