Monday, May 6

Elmore Leonard and the romance novelist.

The Wranglers are happy to welcome my fellow Hoosier, Linda Morris, to the corral today. I've read and very much enjoyed By Hook or By Crook, so am especially happy she's here.

Thanks for having me at Word Wranglers. My latest release, By Hook or By Crook, is a bit of a different take on a road romance, in that gangsters are involved. I have a bit of a weakness for crime capers, and that probably influenced this story. In the book, a spoiled heiress, Ivy, teams up with her father's security consultant, Joe, in a last-ditch bid to prevent the (she's sure) disastrous marriage of her little sister to an MMA fighter. Convinced that her sister's fiance is only after the family's money, Ivy expects to fly out to Chicago, locate her sister, and talk her out of the marriage. Joe thinks her meddling is inexcusable, but she's the client, after all, so he agrees to travel with her to help locate the two.

When they arrive in Vegas, they discover that her sister's fiance never showed for his scheduled bout and the couple is missing. They set off in pursuit of the couple, trying to avoid angry gangsters and fight their own growing attraction along the way.

I love books by Elmore Leonard, author of crime novels such as Get Shorty and westerns such as 3:10 to Yuma, and when I wrote this story, I was sort of wondering, "If Elmore Leonard and a romance novelist had a baby together, what would it look like?" (Work with me here.) I love the romance between bank robber Jack Foley and federal marshal Karen Sisco in Out of Sight, my favorite of his books. (Spoiler alert: If your romance always has to have an HEA, this is not the book for you.) It was also made into a fantastic movie with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. Did I mention George Clooney is in it? Hmmm, George Clooney. . .

Anyway, where was I? I'm also a big fan of movies like To Catch a Thief, Charade, The Thomas Crowne Affair, and many others. Even A Fish Called Wanda is a romantic caper if you look at it the right way.

I incorporated many of my favorite things about crime capers in general in my story: a heroine who is a bit of a naïve ingénue, a tough-guy hero, snappy dialogue, and some wacky gangsters who may not be all that menacing, but were sure fun to write. (I admit, my favorite is Ramirez, the henchman with a fondness for Santeria and Thomas Kincaid paintings.)

How about you--are you a fan of crime capers? Which ones? Do you like your bad guys super-scary or a little bit quirky? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Linda Morris can be found online at, or you can follow her on Twitter at @LMorrisWriter.


  1. Welcome, Linda. We're glad to have you here today!

  2. Congratulations on the interview! It's always nice to meet another Indiana author. Good luck!

    I like my bad guys scary.

  3. Nice blog, Linda. Anxious to start BY HOOK OR BY CROOK--it's waiting on my Kindle. I'm not a huge fan of crime capers, although Pierce Brosnan, both in "The Thomas Crowne Affair" and as "Remington Steele" is...well...quite delicious. Oh, heck, Pierce Brosnan reading the damn phone book is quite delicious! And I loved Cary Grant in "Charade," so maybe I am a fan. Who knew? ;) Obviously, I like my bad guys suave and debonair, eh?

  4. Hi, Linda, welcome to WordWranglers! We're excited to have you here today!

    I'm a quirky bad guy fan, personally. Now and then a really scary villian will capture my attention (but usually I'm also breathing into a paperbag, trying to keep from hyperventilating). Quirky bad guys, though, get me every time. Love the premise of your book - good luck with it!

  5. Although I've never read Elmore Leonard, I'm a HUGE Justified fan.I love Raylan...sigh. Your book sounds fab!

  6. Hey there! I'm a quirky bad guy fan. Your book sound interesting. Good luck!