A collection of previously unpublished short stories by the late Get Shorty writer Elmore Leonard will be released next year.
Expect a film or two to materialise some time after the fiction appears, given Leonard’s ready adaptability for the big screen.
Get Shorty was adapted into a successful film starring John Travolta. Leonard's Out of Sight was also made into a movie starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.
Leonard's novel Rum Punch became Quentin Tarantino's much-celebrated Jackie Brown. The most recent Leonard adaptation, Life of Crime - inspired by the writer's The Switch - will hit cinemas in September.
The new, as yet unpublished stories venture "from the bars of small-town New Mexico to a military base in Kuala Lumpur." They were mostly written while Leonard was working as a copywriter writing car adverts in a Detroit advertising agency in the 1950s.
Leonard wrote 45 best-selling, yet convincingly-executed crime novels. The author would arise at five every morning and write for two hours before work, selling his first story, the western, Trail of the Apache, in 1951. He argued that adverbs in fiction were a "moral sin.’ "I used up all my adverbs when I was writing car catalogues for Chevrolet," he wryly observed.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson will publish Leonard's The Unpublished Stories in Autumm 2015. “Leonard wrote dialogue like a screenwriter, could build a character you can picture in just a few lines, “ said Sophie Buchan, who acquired the stories for Weidenfeld. “And it's astonishing that, so early in his career, these gifts are already on display."
Leonard counselled aspirant writers to "never open a book with weather", "keep your exclamation points under control", and his "most important rule … If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."