Monday, June 14, 2010

A Conversation With Louis L'Amour

Read the best writing you can find, and write. Write all the time. Anything you can write, anytime.

25 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

Thanks for posting this. A big fan of his writing, as most of us are I would imagine.

Deka Black said...

I don't know this author, but the words you quote below the post title are VERY similar to the ones who saidto me a pulp writer very well known among us spanish fans: to learn to wtite? Is easy write. ;)

My own translation: You are like a samurai, a martial artist of the words. Find a style yulove, a dojo with an honorable master, and train hard. And if you fight, fight to win.

David Cranmer said...

Randy, This is the first time I've seen him in an interview. He seemed like a genuine kind of man.

Deka, L'Amour (1908-1988) is one of America's most respected authors. He is primarily known for his westerns but also wrote many wonderful crime stories. He is respected across genres.

I like your samurai analogy.

Evan Lewis said...

Great stuff! Never heard old Lou speak before.

Matthew Pizzolato said...

That was great. I've read everything he published, but I've never heard him speak before. Thanks.

Barrie said...

I'm showing this to my husband. I think he's read every Louis L'Amour western. which says a lot, given that my dh isn't a reader. (Yes, he reads my books, though! ;) )

Deka Black said...

Thanks david. I like this type o analogy. Mostly to things related to discipline and training.

David Barber said...

I love seeing/watching interviews with authors. They are so inspiring. And, yes, he does seem like a genuine bloke. Thanks.

Dave King said...

Excellent advice. I don't think it could be bettered. Will have to come back to listen to the conversation.

David Cranmer said...

Evan, Yeah, I was glad to come across this. Kinda like Garbo talking. Well, maybe not.

Matthew, I’m still working through his collection. I read four or five titles a year.

Barrie, Like mentioned above, L’Amour stretches across genres and now we can add nonreaders. Kinda like King. I met a chap a few years back that said the only author he’d ever read was Stephen King. He was a film buff, loved King’s films, and couldn’t wait for the next celluloid experience.

David B, I guess unassuming could be added too. I actually have a signed copy of LAST OF THE BREED and would have given a year’s salary to have met him.

But I disagreed that by adding foul language or sex scenes that it was unimaginative or lack of talent. I think a writer can go overboard (DEADWOOD) but the reality is profanity and sex were part of the 19th century like they are today.

David K, Let me know what you think.

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks so much for finding this interview. The comment on profanity and sex suggests an understanding of his audience - readers who grew up on western movies and got their understanding of the West from them.

Sex and profanity are part of the "revisionist" Hollywood western. He was old school, and I believe his loyal readers appreciated that.

Charles Gramlich said...

This was cool. Having just read a work about him it was nice to hear him state in his own words the things his biographers were saying.

Scott Parker said...

If I hadn't already decided to read a LL novel this summer, this interview would have done the trick. Thanks for posting. Too bad my grandfather couldn't have seen this interview.

Mike Wilkerson said...

My life in reading began with L'Amour and I still covet Last of the Breed as one of the great adventure stories of all time.

I remember a story, in which L'Amour was at his typewriter, pecking away like a madman. One of his children asked: "why you writing so fast, Daddy?" To which he replied: "Because I want to see how this story ends."

I always remember that story.

David Cranmer said...

Ron, True enough regarding his fan base but the mistake (my humble opinion) is that westerns that showcase those elements feature lackluster writers.

Charles, Which bio?

Scott, He may have. It’s us whippersnappers that are new to the LL game.

Mike, LAST OF THE BREED must have been one of the final novels he worked on toward the end of the eighties.

And great L’Amour story you passed along. Thanks.

Rick said...

His "Education of a Wandering Man," is one my favorite works. I re-read it every year. Good to see you're a chess player, too!

Craig Clarke said...

I, too, recommend Education of a Wandering Man for anyone who wants to know more about how he became who he was. He goes into his reading habits in more depth. He apparently did read whatever he could get his hands on, and he was never without a book.

ARCHAVIST said...

The legend himself - great to see this.

David Cranmer said...

Rick, I'm on RedHotPawn under the moniker Paladin One, if you ever wanna play a game. Signing up is free as long as you stick to six games or less.

Craig, Certainly a man I would have like to have known. I will check out Education of a Wandering Man.

Archavist, L’Amour is arguably the biggest and most recognizable western legend. Then Zane and Max.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I can't even imagine writing that many books (let alone short stories).

And I liked his comment about keeping off-color language out of his stories.

David Cranmer said...

Alyssa, That's a full time writer working around the clock. The late Robert B. Parker did six days a week, turning out five pages a day. I'm betting Mr. L'Amour had a similar schedule.

Deka Black said...

About that... i write as a hobby, and the first thing i have learned is the schedule. Very important thing.

Mine is not five pages by day (if were, i 'll be able to quit my job).

Anyway. The thing is, to me, the schedule have turned my first lesson. Without one, the others thing related to writing are not possible.

David Cranmer said...

Deka, I'm managing about 1,000 words a day which is comfortable for me.

Deka Black said...

What coincidence! The same amount as me! Since i'm focused in short stories, works good for me.

David Cranmer said...

I read where novelist Jack London wrote 1,000 a day and it fits what I'm able to accomplish. If I write more that's cool but I always try to at least hit a 1,000.