Inside the mind of Elmore Leonard’s researcher

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I recently submitted a short story for possible inclusion in an upcoming anthology that will be dedicated to the writing and style of the late Elmore Leonard. Leonard (GET SHORTY, RUM PUNCH, OUT OF SIGHT) has long been my favorite author and in many ways the inspiration for my own style of writing. Especially in the crime writing I’ve done (including BORDER TROUBLES) and even in the sci-fi work I’ve written, I can definitely trace back the flow I use and the way I position characters to something I’ve read of Leonard’s. Very thankful to have had access to his writing genius.

I came across this fantastic interview of Leonard’s researcher for over 30 years, Gregg Sutter. Tremendously inspiring as he relates how Leonard approached his writing, how he utilized his characters and the intricacies and tricks he used to keep momentum. I am wildly appreciative of the fact that I see some of my own approaches as similar to his, and only hope that I can have a portion of his success in my writing career.

My favorite part:

Q: There is such a rhythm to his prose—did he ever write aloud? Or did he lock himself in his office with a “Do Not Disturb” sign, like some writers?

Sutter: No, Elmore actually picked up the phone while he was writing. During the call, he’d read you the scene he was working on. You’d think, “Wow, I’m special, he’s reading to me.” The fact of the matter is, he’d read to almost anybody. He used the interruption to his advantage, like the runner at a red light, running in place. He’d read a scene aloud to kept the rhythm going.

Hope you enjoy!