“These are rules I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story.”
YOU might like to follow the example of Big Issue sellers on London streets and stand outside the offices of publishers, film studios, campuses and even stationers offering would be scribblers and editors copies of this small masterpiece.
Better known for his film scripts like Hombre, Valdez is Coming, 3:10 to Yuma, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown and the TV spin offs serialised as Justified, Leonard started out writing westerns and graduated to urban crime. He died last year.
My edition is filled out by drawings by Joe Cradiello and cardboard thick paper to make it 89 pages which lend it the dignity of print, the sentences presented as poetry rather than prose of what was originally an article for the New Yorker published in 2001.
The second sentence of the introduction above reads like one of Leonard’s own post mortems, before the act as it were:
“If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your own voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after and you can skip the rules. Still you might look them over.”