(Photo: Karen Lansdale)
This brief collection opens with an appreciation of the author by fellow novelist Michael Koryta and closes with a couple of non-fiction pieces: one in which Lansdale interviews his two main characters and an essay from Lansdale about the genesis and evolution of the series. In between are a baker’s half-dozen stories.
The collection opens with one of the longest pieces, “Hyenas,” the perfect introduction to the stories of these unlikely amigos. It is a classic Hap & Leonard tale, starting with Leonard getting himself into some trouble with some bad guys and, by extension, the local law enforcement, with Hap being summoned to try to calm the situation. Hap and Leonard aren’t detectives or lawyers, but they do often find themselves being hired to get people out of sticky situations, and that’s just what they do here when they agree to help a guy prevent his brother from getting in trouble. The course of their little schemes never does run smooth, of course, and their loved ones oftentimes become collateral damage, although they usually do come out the other side successful if slightly scathed.
This collection is a good introduction to the eccentric characters who feature in ten novels and now the television series. The stories are full of trademark repartee, violence and shenanigans.
For WRITER’S BONE, Sean Tuohy interviews Lansdale.
ST: You have written for TV, film, and comics. Does your process or writing style change between the three formats?
JRL: Well, the format is the change, but you always write as well as you can, and you write to the strengths of the medium. Each as different, but you try and do them all as well as you can. I find I sometimes need a day to get comfortable doing something other than prose, but then the method comes back to me, and I’m into it.
ST: Your novel COLD IN JULY was turned into a film and your long running Hap and Leonard series was turned into a TV show. How does it feel to see your work translated into another form?
JRL: It’s fun, but always a little nerve-wracking. You always see stuff they left out, or changed, but my experiences so far have been really good. Enough things get made, I’m sure to have one I really hate. But again, so far, way good.
Lansdale discusses the classic film THE HAUNTING on the SCREAM ADDICTS podcast.
This week on SCREAM ADDICTS, special guest Joe R. Lansdale drops by to chat one of his favorite films- Robert Wise’s chilling 1963 horror classic THE HAUNTING.An author of numerous novels, short stories, teleplays and comic books, Mr. Lansdale discusses the first time he saw THE HAUNTING, its impact on the genre, Shirley Jackson’s original novel, and the film’s subtle, classy approach to its horror.It’s an enlightening chat with a fantastic guest, and one you’ll need to hear if you’re a fan of THE HAUNTING, Mr. Lansdale, or the horror genre in general.
For more info on HAP AND LEONARD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Elizabeth Story
For more info on COLD IN JULY, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story