Man, 2013 has not been a good year for authors! Today, Elmore Leonard passed away, and even if you don’t think you are familiar with him, you are sure to be familiar with some of the movies and television shows he wrote or inspired: Out of Sight, Get Shorty, 3:10 to Yuma, and Justified, to name just a few. I was first introduced to Leonard through the very short-lived tv show Maximum Bob which ran for just seven hysterical episodes in 1998, but inspired me to read the novel with the same name and become a lifelong fan of the author.
I consider him one of the founding fathers of the craziness-in-Florida niche genre continued by Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen, and if you haven’t read any of his work, you should definitely check it out if you want to laugh at some head-shaking craziness that doesn’t seem that farfetched anymore. Honestly, with Florida, you laugh so you don’t cry, and Leonard is very good at making the reader laugh. In eulogy, Vulture posted Leonard’s Ten Rules of Good Writing, and it is easy to see why I am such a fan.
You know, I think that maybe I have never read an Elmore Leonard book. But Justified is FUCKING AWESOME, and I always loved hearing about how collaborative he was with the makers of the show.
I hadn’t realized that Justified was based on Leonard’s books, and of course, I’ve been trying to carve out time to watch it for the past couple of years. Hopefully, this will inspire me to actually do it, since I’ve really liked the couple of episodes I have seen.
I’m not sure if I’ve read any of his books (although clearly I need to) but I love his writing advice. I’d read that before, but I enjoyed reading it again and I love the points he makes, particularly #10: don’t write what the reader will skip over. 🙂