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Questions for Elmore Leonard
Q:Where did the inspiration for the title Road Dogs come from?
A: Road Dogs was on a list of prison expressions my researcher Gregg Sutter got for me: inmates who watch each other’s back. I liked the sound of the words together.
Q: What made you decide to bring back Jack Foley, Cundo Rey, and Dawn Navarro now? What is it about these three characters that stuck with you through the years?
A: Foley was played by George Clooney in Out of Sight. I imagined George in the scenes I wrote and it worked. Dawn Navarro was the psychic in Riding the Rap, a supporting character ready for a leading role. Cundo Rey from LaBrava, another favorite of mine, also deserved a bigger role, so I brought him back..
Q: Any chance Foley and the woman he loves, Federal Marshal Karen Sisco, will be back in the near future?
A: I’m not sure Foley is up to robbing another bank. But Karen Sisco, the federal marshal in Out of Sight, could show up again; maybe working for her dad, a private investigator.
Q: One of the hallmarks of your writing is your gift for the telling detail. When Foley is offering Cundo Rey’s money man, Jimmy, some advice about his skimming, he tells him that Cundo won’t kill him, but he might “break your legs with a José Canseco bat.” That’s one of those small yet wonderfully deft touches that adds color without slowing the pace. How do you do this so well?
A: Realism is the key to my style of writing and dialogue is what keeps it moving, always in live scenes. Rather than use my voice, my language, to describe what’s going on, I let the characters tell who they are and what they’re up to by the way they talk. Scenes are written from a character’s point of view, never mine.
Q: Many of your characters are working class stiffs and tough, intelligent broads. What draws you to these kind of characters? What do you think accounts for their popularity?
A: My women often upstage the guys; they’re natural, their own person, while my cops and criminals talk the way I’ve observed them through research and being on the scene.
Q: What’s next for Elmore Leonard?
A: Next comes Djibouti, with Dara Barr, a documentary filmmaker with the Somali pirates off the coast of East Africa.
Quirky/credible characters, authentic/witty street dialogue, crisp/entertaining plot development.
While reading his books, you've got an absolute "picture" in your mind of his characters...the bad guys always have great ideas, but are just a bit stupid.
Okay, a third: if you don't know these characters from previous books, you may be even less interested or less dialed-in to what's going on.
Leonard Elmore had a knack for storytelling with a catchy turn of phrase and Road Dogs is yet another example. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Dr. Bubba hisownself
Page turner, strong and surprising plot twists and turns. I'm going to look up more books by the same author.Published 12 days ago by Udi
I've read several of Elmore Leonard's novels. This one didn't disappoint. Witty dialogue. Quirky characters. A bent plot. He was in his 80s when he wrote this. Read morePublished 1 month ago by patty page
Foley is somewhat likeable. The plot has some interesting twists. But from early on it was easy to see Dawn was out for herself. Witch is a mild term for her. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Donna S. Meredith
Elmore's scraping the bottom of the barrel, writing dialogue for coalition's sake . . . Thinking about Clooney doing the next movie and little else.Published 1 month ago by David Fielding
I found Road Dogs very absorbing and read it in a day.
I liked the dialogue and characters, particularly the Cuban guy's dialogue, and the quirky plot twists. Read more
How did he ever get a name like Elmore. It is so cool, that he didn't Mark Twain it. One of his better books. I've read a number.Published 2 months ago by Bruce Clemens
In Road Dogs Elmore Leonard returns to his favorite bank robber, Jack Foley(Out Of Sight). Foley, serving 30 years now at a maximum prison meets a fellow jailer in Cundo Rey. Read morePublished 4 months ago by B-Goody
What can I say? I love Elmore. His strange blend of past and present tense in his prose is uniquely his. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tom Pitts