Meeting Elmore Leonard

Written by Mike Stotter

 
Crime Goes West, Mike Stotter
meets Elmore Leonard at The Savoy
 

 
Ali and Lizzie Hayes.jpg
Ali and Lizzie Hayes

 

On the 10th May 2006, I was fortunate enough to meet with one of my all time heroes, Elmore Leonard.  I had read his early Westerns many years ago, and The Last Stand at Saber River  has always stayed in my mind. Of course, I went on to read everything in his Western oeuvre. And naturally his crime books as well. Looking back, it was then that I began writing Westerns*. 

 

So it was an honour to meet ‘Dutch’ on a very rare visit to London. He was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger 2006 to mark a lifetime's achievement in crime writing. The presentation was made by Monsieur Arnaud Bamberger of Cartier at the Savoy Hotel.

 

The event was limited to 100 guests amongst whom were past recipients Ian (or Jan in Monsieur Bamberger’s accent) Rankin,  Colin Dexter, Peter Lovesey and Robert Barnard. Many others from the crime and thriller fiction world attended, writers, editors & press alike.

 

I managed to grab five minutes with Dutch and I told him that he was my inspiration in writing Westerns, and he was genuinely pleased. I also had with me a hardback copy of The Fatal Frontier which contained my very first short story (actually an extract from McKinney’s Revenge my first full-length Western). I asked Dutch to sign it for me. He took a look at the cover, and said, “This is an odd one.”  To which I replied, “It’s the first anthology in which I have a story published alongside you.” He laughed and said, “Well, a Brit Western writer. Well done.” 

 

The rest of our conversation was spent talking about the importance of characters’ names and getting their clothing right. 

If the name doesn’t fit, he doesn’t talk to me.” He explained. Then he went on to tell me that the name for the reporter in The Hot Kid (recently published in paperback by Orion Books) actually came from an auction held for the public to have a name used in his books.  A woman won the bid at $17,000 to have Anthony Antonelli, her son’s name in the novel. He had died the previous year in an automobile accident.

 

More people wanted his time, so we shook hands and said good bye. In parting, he said, “Keep writing those Westerns.”  What more can I say to that?

 

 


 

 

***

 


 
Book Jacket, McKinney's Revenge by Mike Stotter

 

 
McKinney’s Revenge Robert Hale 1990 ISBN: 0709040474 / Linford Western Library 1999 ISBN: 0708954278



and now available in eBook

Amanda Barrie.jpg
Amanda Barrie
Arnaud Bamberger of Cartier4.jpg
Arnaud Bamberger of Cartier4
Barry Forshaw, Dutch, Ali and Mike.jpg
Barry Forshaw, Dutch, Ali and Mike
Colin Dexter and Dutch.jpg
Colin Dexter and Dutch
David Shelley and Krystna Green.jpg
David Shelley and Krystna Green
Dreda Say Mitchell.jpg
Dreda Say Mitchell
Dutch and his Cartier Dagger.jpg
Dutch and his Cartier Dagger
Dutch and wife shows his Cartier Dagger.jpg
Dutch and wife shows his Cartier Dagger
Elmore Leonard and Ali Karim.jpg
Elmore Leonard and Ali Karim
ex-CWA Chairs Danuta Reah and Hilary Bonner.jpg
ex-CWA Chairs Danuta Reah and Hilary Bonner
Fiona Davies and Richard Reynolds.jpg
Fiona Davies and Richard Reynolds
Ian Rankin.jpg
Ian Rankin
Laura Wilson Margaret Kinsmann Julia Wisdom and Selina Walker.jpg
Laura Wilson Margaret Kinsmann Julia Wisdom and Selina Walker
Lesley Horton.jpg
Lesley Horton
Malcom Edwards of Orion.jpg
Malcom Edwards of Orion
Mike Stotter and Elmore Leonard.jpg
Mike Stotter and Elmore Leonard
Richard Reynolds and Margaret Murphy.jpg
Richard Reynolds and Margaret Murphy
Richard Reynolds Deryn Lake and Mike Stotter.jpg
Richard Reynolds Deryn Lake and Mike Stotter
Zoe Sharp.jpg
Zoë Sharp
The Award from Cartier.jpg
The Award from Cartier

 

Pictures © Zoë Sharp:

Danuta Reah  (outgoing CWA chairman).jpg
Danuta Reah (outgoing CWA chairman)
Dutch with Ali.jpg
Dutch with Ali
Elmore Leonard says thanks.jpg
Elmore Leonard says thanks
I'll fight you for the last drop of champagne.jpg
I'll fight you for the last drop of champagne
Is This A Dagger I See Before Me.jpg
Is This A Dagger I See Before Me
Judith Cutler and non-CWA member Winston Churchill.jpg
Judith Cutler and non-CWA member Winston Churchill
Just a couple of swells - Ms Lake & Mr Dexter.jpg
Just a couple of swells - Ms Lake & Mr Dexter
Laura Wilson and David Roberts.jpg
Laura Wilson and David Roberts
Messrs Barry Forshaw, Colin Dexter and Peter Guttridge.jpg
Messrs Barry Forshaw, Colin Dexter and Peter Guttridge
Peter Ostacchini (Duncan Lawrie) and Robert Richardson (CWA chairman).jpg
Peter Ostacchini (Duncan Lawrie) and Robert Richardson (CWA chairman)
Presenting the Cartier Dagger to Elmore Leonard.jpg
Presenting the Cartier Dagger to Elmore Leonard
Robert Barnard former Cartier winner.jpg
Robert Barnard former Cartier winner
Snapper Karim Snapped.jpg
Snapper Karim Snapped
The Long & Short of it - Colin Campbell & Mike Stotter.jpg
The Long & Short of it - Colin Campbell & Mike Stotter
The men in grey - Peter Lovesey & Mike Stotter.jpg
The men in grey - Peter Lovesey & Mike Stotter

 

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Mike Stotter



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