The idea that there is going to be a Joe R. Lansdale Appreciation Day is to put it mildly, exciting.
When I was a kid I wanted to grow up and be a writer because I discovered comics were written. I made my own, wrote and drew them, but the art part, well, that wasn’t my talent. I could never get hands right. Well, come to think of it, I could never get any kind of drawing right. I preferred the stories, anyway.
As I grew older, stories and novels and films began to influence me. When I was very young there were still radio shows, though I don’t remember that well, but there were a few and I probably was influenced by those as well. My people were also storytellers, and I remember sitting under a tree in my grandmother’s yard at night listening to stories while the other kids chased fireflies. I loved hearing the stories and they held me. Some of the stories were real, some were legends and folk lore, and I’m sure some were just plain lies. But they influenced me.
I have always preferred the pure storyteller’s voice to any other kind. I’ve written from a variety of voices, and have tried many methods of attack when it comes to story, but my favorite is the plain storyteller, just laying it out, yet, having no fear of digressing, or diverting, and still, somehow, holding the reader and pulling them back to the story line whenever they have the urge. The idea that I have grown up (almost) and am making a living doing what I wanted to do as a child, and am myself symbolically sitting under a tree in the yard and spinning stories and being paid for it amazes me daily.
I’ve carried this storytelling desire to animation, film scripts, comics (my first love) to stories and books, plays, you name it. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. And the fact that there is a Joe R. Lansdale Appreciation Day here at this site just makes it all the more wonderful. Thank you.
Joe R. Lansdale