Elmore Leonard with <i>Justified</i> star Timothy Olyphant Elmore Leonard with Justified star Timothy Olyphant

Elmore Leonard doesn't waste words on the page or in conversation.

So when asked what he thinks of Justified, the FX series based on one of his characters, anachronistic U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, the prolific author's response is simple and direct: "I like it a lot."

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, on the other hand, has Raylan Givens nailed, Leonard says. "I thought he was laid-back in just the right way," he says. "He's a confident lawman, and he knows he can shoot. He knows he can pull his gun. That's what I like about him: He doesn't rush anything. He doesn't seem on the muscle, because he knows he's the good guy."

Leonard has begun work on a new Raylan Givens story which he hopes might inspire plots for the show's second season, if FX renews the series. "It's a new idea that they can get into if they like it," Leonard says. "It doesn't have anything to do with the continuity of what they're doing, so they can wedge it in anywhere. I'm going to write at least 60 pages and give it to them. If they like it, fine."

And if they don't, Leonard says he will pen a couple more Raylan stories and publish a collection. After almost a year working on his latest novel, Djibouti — a story about Somali pirates holding merchant ships for ransom — Leonard views writing Raylan as a break.

"It's not a rest, but it's more restful to write about Raylan Givens because I know him so well," he says.

Justified airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.