Still vital at 79, novelist talks of newspaper serials, movies - and getting the name right
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)
June 1, 2005 Wednesday
BYLINE: CAROLE E. BARROWMAN, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
At nearly 80 years old, Elmore Leonard is still the coolest writer in the book biz. Inspired by the linguistic leanness of Hemingway, who, according to Leonard, “was easy to imitate, but not so funny,” Leonard wrote his first novel, “The Bounty Hunters,” in 1953. Forty novels and numerous short stories later, Leonard’s dialogue driven style, his wicked wit and his keen view of the contemporary urban world have made Leonard a literary legend in his own right. Although Leonard admits his latest, “The Hot Kid,” is “a quieter novel” than his usual fare, it’s a boldly American novel in its ironic exploration of second chances and bootstrap survivalism. Leonard has visited Milwaukee on numerous occasions (his daughter, Katherine Leonard Dudley, and one of his granddaughters, Shannon Freels Belmont, graduated from Marquette University). In town recently to promote “The Hot Kid,” Leonard talked with Journal Sentinel correspondent Carole E. Barrowman about his craft and his upcoming literary endeavors.