Well, gee, guys, how big of you to crap all over Joe Loya, calling him a liar and a sleaze bag, when you neither know him nor have read his book, which clearly got Leonard's attention, favorably so. The man is one of the most loyal, big-hearted and yes, honest people I know, precisely because he learned his lesson the hard way. Very hard.
I think Leonard was being gracious at first, asking to use the term. Of course it's not copyrighted, neither Joe nor I are nitwits. And Leonard asked for Joe's input and got it. Generously so. And the relationship was cordial until the very end. (It still is on Joe's end, no importa, even though he's kinda ruffled. His notes weren't belligerent, he was trying to be helpful. And he's a smart cat, incredibly funny too,. So stop dissing this image you have in your heads and try to see this situation for what it is, not jump to conclusions.)
My point is this: You show the man a note of appreciation, then yank it in the final book--just because he disagrees with you? We're all adults here, that could have been handled far more graciously than it was. A simple call, even from the assistant: Joe, I appreciate what you're saying, but I'm happy with the book the way it is. Joe would be fine with that. Instead, just for commenting honestly, suddenly he's no longer worth even a thank you.
Meanwhile, it's easy to make nasty assumptions about somebody when you don't have to look him or her in the eye. Maybe ROAD DOGS is great. But Joe's great, too, his memoir is brilliant and he said some of the most compelling things about writing, the criminal life, and getting out of same that I've ever heard when he and I worked with the guys in the San Quentin writing program.
From here on in, you want to slam somebody, call him names, make assumptions about his character, do it to me. I'm the one who brought the story up. Leave Joe out of it.
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