Elmore Leonard, the great American writer

Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard


Author Elmore Leonard passed away this week at 87, making this a sad time for the many authors he inspired and influenced, and the readers he excited with his work.

We know the Elmore Leonard of 2013 as a great success, with novels adapted for Hollywood films and the small screen, a Peabody Award for ‘Justified’ and a National Book Award. His career spanned nearly fifty years, and even Stephen King called him ‘the great American writer’.

But at Lulu, we love Elmore Leonard for his beginning. In a time before self-publishing was workable, he set out to be a writer but was forced to work on the side, with no promise of reward.  He entered many short stories in contests by sending them to magazines, some composed on the pad he hid in his desk drawer at work. We bet there are some Lulu-ers out there right now with documents buried in the folders of their work computer, a manuscript that hasn’t yet seen the light of day.

Leonard was also well known for his Ten Rules of Writing, published in 2007, which also seem to be slanted for the aspiring writer, using simple guidelines like “Never open a book with weather” and “Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue.”

Join our Elmore Leonard Tribute

We are joining in the tribute taking place on Twitter and thought you might like to share a message.

You can tweet to Elmore using the hashtag #LuluLovesElmore so we can share our remembrance together. Add your favorite one of Elmore’s books, quotes, movies, rules for writing.

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