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Posted: 07 September 2005 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]
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There are people on this Forum who know a lot about Elmore’s work.  Ask us.  We’ll get the answer even if we have to go to the top.

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Posted: 04 October 2005 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have a question?
What’s the latest on Tishomingo Blues?

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It’s a Long Long way to FALL

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Posted: 05 October 2005 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Gregg, I have a question about Dutch’s earlier Dell paperback originals.  I have a first printing of the “New Dell Edition” (April, 1984) of “Swag”.  According to the publishing history, this was first issued in 1976 as “Ryan’s Rules”.  Fine.  But on the “also by” page of my copy of “The Hunted” (1st printing September, 1977) it’s referred to as “The Rules (formerly entitled Swag)”!  What was the original title?

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Posted: 06 October 2005 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The original title was Swag.  Ryan’s Rules was Dell’s title of the first edition paperback.  Swag is currently out of print; it has still not been re-released in paperback.

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Posted: 17 June 2007 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Gregg,

We’ve just read ‘The Big Bounce’ for the first time, having somehow missed it after reading all the other crime novels.  There seems to be a gap in Jack Ryan’s career between ‘The Big Bounce’ and ‘Ryan’s Rules’ (if memory serves—it’s been a while).  Is there another book featuring Ryan between the two that I’ve missed or forgotten?

Thanks in advance.

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Posted: 17 June 2007 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The Jack Ryan of Big Bounce does not appear in Swag. That would be Frank Ryan. Jack reappears in Unknown Man No. 89, older and wiser. There are other Jack stories, none of them named Ryan though.

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Posted: 17 June 2007 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks for the correction, Son—really appreciate it.  Must revisit ‘Unknown Man’—have I read it?  Not sure—thanks again.

mike

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Posted: 19 August 2007 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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“Dutch” - 1980 Article

Gregg,

Thank you for posting your wonderful article on the legend.  This little slice of history is five years ahead of NEWSWEEK.

Can you give us some details about the screenplays you mentioned in the article?

AMERICAN FLAG (1973)
JESUS SAVES (1978)

Neither of these are mentioned on the Internet Movie Database.

Thanks.

UPDATED and answered below by Gregg

Title:  Moving to Movies
(an original screenplay by best-selling author Elmore Leonard, ‘American Flag,’ will be made into a feature film)(Brief Article).

Author(s):  Elmore Nathan.
Source:  Publishers Weekly (Jan 6, 1997)

MOVING TO MOVIES

One could have detected an itch to make his own movies in Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty (a funny take on the Hollywood scene both as a book and a picture), and now he has done something about it. The bestselling author has joined producers Chuck Fries find Dick Berg in the creation of American Flag Productions, which will make a feature film based on an original Leonard screenplay, American Flag. The story is described as “action/romance set at the turn of the century when silver mining flourished:

Berg, in association with Allan Marcil of Stonehenge Films, recently wrapped up an adaptation of Leonard’s 1994 novel Pronto for Showtime.

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Posted: 20 August 2007 07:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’d be grateful for any statistics about sales of individual novels over time. To help answer questions like: did EL really become a superstar in the early 80’s or was it more that a bunch of critics noticed him at that time?

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Posted: 20 August 2007 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’d be grateful for any statistics about sales of individual novels over time.

Did you ask me for this before?  I’d have to take a leave of absence from my job and my senses to get this data.  Look at it this way: in the 50s he probably sold hardcovers in four figures, in the 60s and 70s in five figures and since the early to mid 90s, in six figures where he has been ever since.  Paperback runs may be a half million or more.  He doesn’t sell a ton of books but he sells enough.  You have to have a certain mind to get Elmore, like for jazz.

did EL really become a superstar in the early 80’s or was it more that a bunch of critics noticed him at that time?

This is a chicken and egg question.  Elmore gained a cult following in 1978 with Unknown Man and it grew from there.  Arbor House took him over with City Primeval and marketed the hell out of him, so by mid 80s he was on the cover of Newsweek and enjoying a sustained presence on the Times list.  It was a combination of good marketing and a great writer finally breaking through.

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Posted: 20 August 2007 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Gregg Sutter - 20 August 2007 01:43 PM

You have to have a certain mind to get Elmore, like for jazz.

Or punk or anything genuine. I’m looking for the right word, here.

It’s pretty much impossible to get sales figures that actually mean anything - publishing is as bad as the movies now. Even something like the New York Times bestseller list doesn’t tell you how many books were sold, just which ones sold the most that week. A book that’s number one in August or February may not even make the list in the run-up to Christmas or in the spring.

I remember that publicity of the early eighties (there was an article in the Montreal Gazette, where I was living), that’s when I first started reading the books. A few were published in paperback with similar covers; Unknown Man #89, Swag, City Primeval, 52 Pick-Up. (probably some more).

Strange as it sounds, sometimes the critics get it right.

But what I really like is that Elmore Leonard never repeats himself. He said in an interview that another writer (John D. MacDonald?) told him not to write books with the same main character. Whatever the reason, most of those “bestseller superstars” write “series” books about the same character, over and over. And publishes love that, they love being able to put some kind of subtitle, “a ____ mystery.” A lot of writers complain that after a while their publishers don’t even want to see books that don’t have the same character. It’s likely that publishers wanted EL to write books about the same character.

The “business” of publishing is as secretive and complicated as any other business, so we’ll never know enough about it to really talk about. All we really know about are the finished books we get to read.

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Posted: 20 August 2007 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Can you give us some details about the screenplays you mentioned in the article?

AMERICAN FLAG (1973)
JESUS SAVES (1978)

Neither of these are mentioned on the Internet Movie Database.

Because neither was ever produced.

AMERICAN FLAG (1973)

Elmore wrote this feature screenplay for Steve McQueen.  The story of a little guy who is mining part of the same mountain for gold and copper as a big mining company.

The big guy blows up Steve’s little mine then—lookout—Steve blows up their main mine.  That makes the Company men real mad…  There’s also a woman character, perhaps a love interest who works for the mining company..

American Flag was written for Charles Fries who produced the regrettable, High Noon Part Two - The Return of Will Kane.

JESUS SAVES (1978) was very close to being made as an ABC TV movie when the project was killed by the incoming head of production.

Jesus Saves bears similarities to Touch which was written around the same time.  It’s about a faith healer who preached at truck stops and stood on top of a trailer to get a crowd around him to hear his preaching.  He was hired to preach at a church where they had a guy who dressed like John the Baptist and featured the world’s tallest cross, down near Dalton Georgia.

This is all I have right now.

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Posted: 20 August 2007 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Right, Jesus Saves from ‘78, then Moses Invests, the proposed sequel from 1980.

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Posted: 27 August 2007 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Someone needs to make American Flag to keep the Western revival alive and as a tribute to the Utah 9.

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Posted: 12 January 2008 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Gregg,

In the NEW BLACK MASK QUARTERLY 2 (1985), the following is written at the end of their bio for Mr. Leonard:

He is presently working on a pilot film for an ABC television detective series to be called WILDER.

Any information on this?

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Posted: 13 January 2008 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I did the research for Wilder in New Orleans in 1984.

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