With more than twenty books to his credit, Lansdale is the champion Mojo storyteller. He's been called "the Stephen King of Texas" by Texas Monthly; "an immense talent" by Booklist; "a born storyteller" by Robert Bloch; and The New York Times Book Review declares he has "a folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace." He's won umpty-ump awards, including five Bram Stoker horror awards, a British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Horror Critics Award, the "Shot in the Dark" International Crime Writer's award, the Booklist Editor's Award, the Critic's Choice Award, and a New York Times Notable Book award. He's got the most decorated mantle in all of Nacogdoches!
Lansdale lives in Nacogdoches, Texas, with his wife, Karen, writer and editor.
Q: Tell www.buried.com about yourself (Biography)...
LANDSALE: I was born and raised in East Texas. Lived outside of Texas only once, Berkeley, California except for an extended vacation in Britain a few years ago with my family. I lived outside of East Texas one other time, and that was South Texas, Austin. But, of course, I was still in Texas, just not East Texas.
Q: What is the most appealing thing about horror fiction for you?
LANSDALE: I think when it's really working it makes you feel alive. You get all kinds of delightful sensations out of it. It can surprisingly let you know a lot about yourself as well. It helps you face fears and phobias.
Q: Some writers say that what they write doesn't have much to do with themselves-others say that their writing is very much influenced by their own experiences. How is this with you?
LANSDALE: My writing has a lot to do with my background and my experiences of growing up and living in East Texas. But the works are not strictly autobiographical, of course. They are stories welded to my own experiences and to those of others I have known. I think a story works best when you have some true connection to it.
Q: What is the weirdest true life thing that happened to you that if you wrote it down would read like fiction?
LANSDALE: The weirdest thing that ever happened to me was that our next door neighbors hired a blind grounds keeper who got lost and started weed eating everything in sight(or in his case, not in sight). It was wild. In fact, that's just one of many odd experiences I've had. Two of these became stories--hell, many of these became stories. But two stories that are based on true incidents (and I mean only the initiating circumstances) are THE PHONE WOMAN and MR. WEEDEATER.
Q: Who is your favorite horror author?
LANSDALE: Robert Bloch.
Q: Most of your recent work is mysteries/thrillers-and it seems that quite a few authors who started out with horror also tend to also write mystery. Do you think these two genres go hand in hand?
LANSDALE: I think mystery and horror go hand in hand. You can't very well create the atmosphere for a horror novel if you don't have a sense of mystery, and you can't create the feel of terror you need for a mystery novel if you don't have a sense of horror. I actually think mystery /suspense is a broader field than horror. Ultimately for a horror novel to be horror it has to be about scaring the reader, and that can be true of a mystery or suspense novel, but not always. Suspense is a broader field that can also contain horror, and you can in fact write a horror/suspense novel. I also think horror works best in the short form.
Q: You're related to Nancy Collins, who is also a horror writer?
LANSDALE: Actually Nancy and I are not related, though at one time I thought we might be. Turned out we weren't. I thought my grandmother's maiden name was Collins, and I knew they came from the general area where Nancy grew up, but it turned out her maiden name was Cox.