Copyright ©2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And another loss yesterday: Elmore Leonard, the creator of some of the most memorable characters in modern crime fiction, has died. Until he suffered a stroke a few weeks ago, the 87-year-old never stopped writing.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Elmore Leonard lived in or near Detroit for most of his life. He wrote about his hometown, but his characters could also be found across the country, from Atlantic City to L.A., coming at readers in a rush of dialogue both funny and crass, and stumbling upon trouble wherever they went.

GREENE: In an interview with NPR, Leonard said he auditioned his characters in the first 100 pages of his books to figure out who would live and who would die.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

ELMORE LEONARD: If I have several bad guys, and I only want to end up with one of them, then I have to decide which one I want in the end. And it's - normally, it's the one who is the most interesting talker.

MONTAGNE: And Leonard's characters were great talkers. He wrote more than 40 novels: "The Big Bounce," "Get Shorty," "Rum Punch," "Glitz."

GREENE: Many of them were made into movies. Elmore Leonard was also known for his 10 rules of writing, among them: Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. He was writing to the end, hard at work on yet another novel.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.