If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." --Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing
Elmore Leonard died today at his home in Bloomfield Township, Mich. He was 87 He had suffered a stroke recently. In my opinion, Leonard was one of the best writers of dialogue. His dialogue is so real, street-smart, down and dirty. He’s very talented. His writing over the years has covered various genres: westerns, crime novels, thrillers, mysteries, short stories and screenplays.
He was recipient of the 2008 F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award; and the American chapter of PEN honored Leonard with a lifetime achievement award in 2009, and stated that his books “are not only classics of the crime genre, but some of the best writing of the last half-century.”
In 2012, Leonard published his 45th novel, “Raylan,” with the television series in mind. Leonard was working on his 46th novel, “Blue Dreams,” at the time he was stricken in early August. “He was pretty excited about it,” his son, Peter Leonard said. “He came over three times for dinner the week before the stroke, he was telling me about the story: how he had changed it, how he was going to bring the character Raylan Givens (from the Leonard-derived TV series “Justified”) into it. We would tell each other what we’d worked on that day. I will miss that, and him.”
Several movies have been based on Elmore Leonard’s books, including “Hombre” (starring Paul Newman), “Get Shorty,” “Out of Sight” and “Jackie Brown,” based on “Rum Punch.”
I wrote a blog in June 2009 about my meeting him several years ago. I found him to be very nice, modest, and friendly. I also posted video of an interview by Michael Brown.
You can also read more about him in today's New York Times .