The death of famed crime novelist Elmore Leonard is weighing heavily on the hearts of the team behind "Justified," the FX drama series based on Leonard's 2001 story "Fire In The Hole."
Dave Andron, co-executive producer and writer for "Justified," joined HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri to discuss how Leonard's death has affected the show's creative team, including series creator Graham Yost.
"Graham particularly took it hard. He had spent the most time with Elmore over the years," Andron said. "But yesterday was a really sad day. I think we all just felt a little deflated."
The "Justified" writers' room is busy preparing for the show's fifth season, and Andron said knowing that Leonard won't get to see their work has been difficult to process.
"I think more than we even realized, we were aware that Elmore was out there watching it and kind of loving it, and I think the idea that he was no longer out there watching it was really hard for us to kind of wrap our heads around," he said.
But Leonard's influence and ear for dialogue will remain part of the series, as the writers include Leonard's literary flourishes in their scripts, Andron said.
"You can still have that subtext and all those great things, but have these guys who are on their way to go kill somebody and cleaning their guns talking about barbecue or whatever," he said about what he's learned from Leonard. "You kind of look for what is the most -- I'm sorry, what we use is 'fucked up and funny,' but that's what we do -- we look for what is the great situation where you can put a couple guys in where they start talking about whatever it is that is totally incongruous to the situation."
Watch the full segment on Elmore Leonard's legacy at HuffPost Live HERE.
Also on HuffPost:
Get Shorty, 1990
<em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Get-Shorty-Novel-Elmore-Leonard/dp/0062120255/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377014771&sr=1-2&keywords=get+shorty" target="_blank">Get Shorty</a></em> might be Leonard's most famous novel. If you haven't read it, get your hands on this book (even if you dug the <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/get_shorty/" target="_blank">1995 film starring Danny DeVito and John Travolta.)</a> The taut tale of Ernest "Chili" Palmer, a seriously cool Miami loan shark betting big on Hollywood, and Bo Catlett, a gangster in sheep's clothing who'd prefer Ernest dead, is one of the rare Leonard novels with a happy-ish ending. As for that title? You could read the whole book before the meaning clicks.
<em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Swag-Novel-Elmore-Leonard/dp/0062227866/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377014994&sr=1-1&keywords=swag+elmore+leonard" target="_blank">Swag</a></em> introduces another memorable Leonard man from the underworld, armed robber Ernest Stickley, Jr. While Leonard himself was no crook, <em>Swag</em> introduced 10 helpful rules for successful armed robberies, delivered by an "almost honest" used car salesman, Frank Ryan. Rule #1: <em>"Always be polite on the job and say please and thank you."</em> You'll root for these two stick-up artists.
Three-Ten To Yuma, And Other Stories, 1953
This <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Three-Ten-Other-Stories-Elmore-Leonard/dp/0061121649/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377015034&sr=1-1&keywords=three-ten+to+yuma" target="_blank">Western short story</a>, an undeniable classic, helped make Leonard a star. So good it was made into two films: a 1957 version starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin, as well as the 2007 film with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Leonard was still an ad man in Detroit while penning these yarns.
Rum Punch, 1992
Leonard called it <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Rum-Punch-Novel-Elmore-Leonard/dp/B008W2ZGD4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377015148&sr=1-1&keywords=rum+punch" target="_blank">Rum Punch</a>, but you know this story from <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/jackie_brown/" target="_blank">Quentin Tarantino's 1997 flick</a>, "Jackie Brown." Leonard never wrote about women who were damsels or wallflowers, but this aging-still-amazing flight attendant is a first-class treat all her own.
Crime novels AND Westerns? Listen, Leonard could do it all. His Out West books were so gripping, we'd call 'em suspense novels in cowboy hats. Take <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062206117/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=10G22ZGRRCZTK359AD4W&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846" target="_blank">Hombre</a></em>, hailed as one of the 25 best Western stories of all time. It's the tale of John Russell, an Apache man on a cross-country journey to live as a white man. He's shunned by his fellow passengers... that is, until the outlaws arrive. It's a meditation on race and identity, with gunfights and stagecoaches to boot.
Out Of Sight, 1996
Before George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez turned in one of the <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1083436-1083436-out_of_sight/" target="_blank">best performances</a> of their earlier careers in the 1998 movie by the same name, there was this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Out-Sight-Novel-Elmore-Leonard/dp/B003F76J5A/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377015338&sr=1-3&keywords=out+of+sight" target="_blank">unlikely love story</a> between Jack Foley, a robber on the run, and Karen, the U.S. Marshal he has the hots for. Leonard absolutely nails the flirtatious dialogue in this story. If only all hookups sounded this way...
52 Pickup, 1974
Detroit businessman Harry Nolan stepped out on his wife... but only once. Too bad a blackmailer has the whole sordid secret on film -- and will stop at nothing, including murder, to get the payoff. Sound familiar? Let's just say Harry isn't the kind of guy to go along with extortion. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/52-Pickup-Elmore-Leonard/dp/0060083999/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377015627&sr=1-1&keywords=52+pick+up" target="_blank"><em>52 Pick Up</em></a> demonstrates just how much Leonard could do with a simple plot.
<em>Killshot</em> was made into a 2008 movie starring Diane Lane and Mickey Rourke. It's one of the only novels we can think of where the heroes are an ordinarily suburban married couple on the run from a pair of thieves.
Split Images, 1981
The plot of <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Split-Images-Novel-Elmore-Leonard/dp/0062122517/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377015827&sr=1-1&keywords=split+images" target="_blank">Split Images</a></em> is vicious: Palm Beach playboy guns down a Haitian refugee. Was it justifiable homicide, or just practice for a rich man with an itch to kill? This isn't one of Leonard's most famous books, but there's one chilling scene involving a chase and a videocamera we all but guarantee you <em>won't</em> be able to stop reading.
This <a href="http://www.amazon.com/LaBrava-Novel-Elmore-Leonard/dp/0061767697/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377016003&sr=1-1&keywords=labrava" target="_blank">Edgar Award-winner</a> is generally hailed by critics as one of Leonard's best (and considering that he published 45 novels, that's quite a compliment). The story of faded screen star Jean Shaw and Joe LaBrava, a former fan who steps in to protect her, is almost outmatched by Leonard's dead-on gazing at South Beach's seamy 1980s underworld.