Elmore Leonard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, but moved to Detroit, Michigan, with his family when he was 9 years old. After high school, he joined the Navy and then returned to Detroit for college.
After college, he worked in advertising and did writing on the side. Eventually he was able to quit his job and write for a living. He wrote novels and short stories. His early works were mostly Westerns. Later on, he wrote a lot of crime fiction. He also wrote screenplays. Many of his novels and short stories were turned into movies .
Sometimes people criticized him for the way he wrote. They wanted him to add more words and make his stories less choppy. That is exactly what Elmore Leonard did not want to do. In fact, he said that his most important writing rule was, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” He wanted to write stories which reflected the way people spoke in everyday life.
Just as the Author Adventures site was about to launch, the news broke that the enormous Elmore Leonard archives was bestowed upon the University of South Carolina Thomas Cooper Library (1322 Greene St, Columbia). This was Leonard’s decision following a visit there near the end of his life. Read www.sc.edu/uofsc/newsreleases/2014/10_elmore_leonard_collection.php#.VE1c6fldV8F,
and contact the Thomas Cooper Library in advance with any questions about access or future exhibits.
The University of South Carolina is the second stop on our South Carolina Trail!