Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Coming Dearth of Favorite Authors?

I was sorry to read that Elmer "Dutch" Leonard has died, age 87.  He was a prolific writer (49 books; 19 turned into movies and seven as made-for-TV projects) and the one who taught me dialogue-driven plot writing.  Thank you, Mr. Leonard.

Then I remembered another who is gone - Robert B. Parker (9-17-1932 - 1-18-2010) who never taught me much of anything; the most useful being "write short" - his chapters were generally two and a half pages, but who did amuse me in every book he wrote.  There were nearly 50 of them.  Parker's publishers quickly hired a faux Parker giving him full credit on book jackets and in PR, but that seems to have dwindled away.  (Maybe he died, too?)

Having just finished a Stuart Woods, I began to wonder how long he could last and looked him up.  Born 1-9-1938 he is 75 and apparently going full speed ahead.  I love his books for the "uppah clawss" tone in all of them.  No one ever says, "I can't;" they say, "I cannot."  I find that amusing and damned near unheard of in today's world of books.

Spurred by the thought of loss of other authors I favor, I quickly made a list to see who among them might be of an age to keep'em coming.  Assuming no run amok buses...

Richard North Patterson, 2-22-1947, is "only" 66.

Joan Collins, 5-23-1933, is 80; younger sister (and far more famous author) Jackie is 76. 

James Lee Burke, 12-5-1936 is 77 (and looks every minute of it.)

Jonathon Kellerman, at 64, and his wife Faye, 61, seem destined for good long runs at the typewriter.

British Cozy writer Maeve Binchey has a new one and she's 73.  Go, Maeve!

Edna Buchanon, 3-16-39, is 74 and forging ahead with her Britt Montero series.

Whewsht -   for the moment, all seems well among my favorite authors. 

No comments: