Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in eighteen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies.
Lansdale has received the Edgar Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the Herodotus Historical Fiction Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many others.
A major motion picture based on Lansdale’s crime thriller Cold in July was released in May 2014, starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down), and Don Johnson (Miami Vice). His novella Bubba Hotep was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. His story “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” was adapted to film for Showtime’s “Masters of Horror.” He is currently co-producing a TV series, “Hap and Leonard” for the Sundance Channel and films including The Bottoms, based on his Edgar Award-winning novel, with Bill Paxton and Brad Wyman, and The Drive-In, with Greg Nicotero.
Lansdale is the founder of the martial arts system Shen Chuan: Martial Science and its affiliate, Shen Chuan Family System. He is a member of both the United States and International Martial Arts Halls of Fame. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife, dog, and two cats.
Tell us about yourself. Tell us a little about your work.
I was born in East Texas and have lived here all my life, except for a brief time in Austin, Texas, which is South West, Texas, and a period in Berkeley, California in early seventies. I worked a lot of blue collar jobs until I went full time as a writer in 1981 at twenty-nine years of age. I have been a full time writer ever since. My wife went to work for me in 1988, and we’ve been at it ever since. I’ve worked as a novelist, short story writer (my favorite) comic and film script writer, and have been a martial artist for fifty-five years. Both of our kids are in the entertainment business. My son Keith is a screen and comic book writer, and daughter Kasey is a singer/songwriter, story writer, and works in film as an actress from time to time.
Tell us about your experience with comic books. What is the first comic book you remember reading? What is your favorite single comic book story?
I don’t remember the first, but the first that caught my attention was Superman and Batman, and then all the DC comics in the fifties and early sixties. I also loved Classic Comics Illustrated. I read the original Marvel Comics, and others. They led me to wanting to write.
What was the first convention you ever attended? What are your most vivid memories about that show?
You know, I’m not certain. I went to a few Science Fiction conventions, more drops ins early on, but the first I attended that meant anything special to me was AggieCon, in the late seventies. I met George Martin, Lewis, Shiner, Howard Waldrop, Melissa Mia Hall, lots of others at those early conventions, and I’d see a lot of them yearly. After that I began to attend a lot of conventions, science fiction, fantasy, horror, Western, Crime and mystery conventions. What I remember best was buying used paperbacks and meeting a lot of people who had the same interest I did. I was never a convention every week end kind of guy, but I enjoy them.
What comics, books, TV, and movies are you enjoying right now?
I don’t have any comics I’m reading regularly, but from time to time something jumps out. I have collections of the old DC comics I dive into, and a lot of compilations of oldies from a variety of sources.
What are you looking to most when it comes to Cave Con’s inaugural event?