Joe R. Lansdale's latest novel is Honky Tonk Samurai.
From his Fresh Air interview with Dave Davies:
DAVIES: When you look at your body of work, there's quite a range of stuff here. There's horror and science-fiction and Westerns and detective stuff. What inspired your imagination as a kid?--Marshal Zeringue
LANSDALE: When I was a kid, comic books were the first thing. They were - the most important thing I ever discovered were comics, DC Comics in particular. And I could read very early - 4 and 5 - and so I would read comics. And the comics then led me to be interested in just stories in general. And back then TV was just actually starting to be something and they were putting on old movies like the Johnny Weissmuller "Tarzan" movies and these old Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers movies and stuff. And I watched those with great enthusiasm, and I watched old movies, like "Casablanca" and "The Big Sleep" - whatever they put on. I watched "Hopalong Cassidy." All of those things just inspired me. And then when I began to realize that a number of these things came from books, I began to search for books and stories.
Now, where I lived there wasn't even a library at that time so we would go to Gladewater. We lived in Mount Enterprise. I was born in Gladewater but we lived in place called Mount Enterprise. And when we would go to Gladewater, I would check out a bunch of books on my library card. And then later they started having a bookmobile that came through Mount Enterprise, and I used that to my advantage. Neighbors loaned me books. And once people knew I was nuts for books, they would give me books. My mother was nuts for books. She loved nonfiction in particular, but she was always getting books somewhere and bringing them home, and I read anything I could get my hands on because it was like I was born to it. Now, I don't think that's true since writing is a man-made art, but I think the creativity was something that I was born to, and...[read on]