Single Question Interview: Joe R. Lansdale

What scares Joe?


When I was a kid I don’t remember being particularly scared of the dark or what was under the bed, anything like that. I got delicious scares from stories and movies and certain TV shows, and sometimes an after event sort of creep. That said, I never really was an overly frightened child. My imagination could conjure up some serious boogers, but this was all delightful stuff and it passed in a kind of warm haze, like a hot bath going cold. I loved it. But what really scared me, what made me nervous, what truly frightened me were true life events. I remember the Boston Strangler, and wondering how far Boston was from where we lived in East Texas. Quite far, actually, but the idea of this guy was terrifying to me. And Charles Whitman who climbed up in the University Texas tower and rained death and burning hell down on unsuspecting students and teachers and people near the campus really got to me. How could someone do this? IN COLD BLOOD, first the film, and then the book, messed with my head, and I still think about it to these days, and a recent re-reading of it did nothing to soothe those feelings. It’s still dark. Still unsettling, and it was true. For me the fears of the supernatural are, as I said before, a kind of warm chill, if you can imagine such. Something I know isn’t true, and that I can get over quickly. It’s a thrill, not a true terror. Life, wars and disease and early, lingering death, all the things I mentioned before, something terrible happening to a loved one, those are my true fears, not witches and vampires, werewolves and the living dead.

***You can pick up Joe’s books through AMAZON.

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