…there seems to be some synergy between the show and Leonard’s upcoming book, Raylan.
I’m well aware of it. [Chuckles.] We steal a lot from that. I’m a big fan of his stories, so I read them at every turn I get as it is. But that book, we stole a lot of it for season two. We just stripped it apart last year. We were sort of privy to the book as it was being written in its various stages, so last season, we read some of what he was writing, and many of the characters are in large part from the book. We did our own thing with it — in the book, it was a patriarch instead of a matriarch — but he had the sons, the storefront, the marijuana, and Loretta McCready hanging out, as well as the coal mining representative coming to Harlan, the town meeting, and Raylan as security detail. That’s all in the book, and he encouraged us to steal from it.
But he’s also stealing right back.
[Laughs.] We had the original stories, Graham [Yost, the showrunner] took those and added some of his own characters, and Elmore, God bless him, then wrote about some of the characters that were created for the show. For instance, Rachel is a character Graham created for the show, and Elmore took her and put her in the Raylan book, and then he took the liberty of telling us things about her that we didn’t know — like where she’s from and how she paid her way through college. So we took it right back, and put it in episode four of this new season.
The character of Raylan Givens has appeared in three previous Leonard works: 1993’s Pronto, 95’s Riding the Rap and 2002 novella Fire in the Hole on which Justified is based.
Warming Glow reviews the new season of Justified here.
Wall Street Journal’s profile on Elmore Leonard here.