If you read today’s print paper, you’ll have seen the obituary for author Elmore Leonard, whose tales include “Get Shorty,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “Out of Sight” and “Rum Punch.” If you haven’t read the books, you might recognize them as famous films. (Quentin Tarantino made “Rum Punch” into “Jackie Brown.”)
Leonard won acclaim for his sharp characters and snappy dialogue, for revolutionizing the crime genre with his meaty, well-developed work. What inspires me is that he didn’t have his first best-seller until he was 60. He never gave up before then, and he didn’t stop writing once he hit that mark. For those of us who write professionally, or would like it, it’s a sign that we shouldn’t give up. Our talent ripens as long as we use it, even if we don’t see the fruits decades later.
Are you a fan of Leonard’s work? Which is your favorite and why?