Thursday, May 10, 2007

“I’m Always Making It Up As I Go Along”

Finally able to poke my head up briefly above myriad assignments, random editing responsibilities, and planning for a Rap Sheet project that will launch later in the month, I want to direct your attention to author-editor Duane Swierczynski’s outstanding interview with Elmore Leonard at the Philadelphia CityPaper’s Web site. What I know after reading this piece that I didn’t know before:

Manhattan bookseller and editor Otto Penzler makes a cameo appearance of sorts in Leonard’s new novel, Up in Honey’s Room, playing a former German SS officer.

Three characters from Leonard’s previous novels have parts in his next one, of which he’s written only about 60 pages so far.

And he writes his books (41 so far!) on a series of “eight-and-a-half-by-11 yellow pad[s], unlined. It’s the same kind of yellow pad they used at the ad agency [where] I worked, so when I left, I would just go to a print shop and order two thousand pages more. I write everything by hand first. And then it goes on the typewriter. I did get an electric typewriter about 15 years ago. I was afraid of it at first.”

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