By Susan Whitall
The Detroit News
Book lovers, authors, musicians, politicians and even a counterculture hero or two gathered Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of The Book Beat on Greenfield in Oak Park to celebrate the feisty independent store’s 30th anniversary.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, perused the author tables with his wife, Barbara, as jazz buffs swarmed saxophonist James Carter, and Detroit’s best-known scribe Elmore Leonard strolled around, chatting with fans, posing for cellphone snaps and signing books. Leonard was accompanied by his thriller writer son Peter. (Full disclosure: I was there signing my book “Fever,” alongside a dozen other authors.)
The elder Leonard even dispensed some of his famous, somewhat Zen writing advice. When a fan told him that she felt anxious because her Ph.D. adviser told her to write her dissertation “as Elmore Leonard would,” the author of “Raylan” and “Freaky Deaky” took her by the elbow.
“Don’t think about it, just write,” he advised.