Monday, September 14, 2009

Veil's Visit

Reading Veil's Visit, a short story that my brother Andrew Vachss and I wrote about my characters Hap and Leonard, and his character Veil. Veil also appears in CAPTAINS OUTRAGEOUS. I'm reading a bit of it at a time and will post it on my site a bit each day, or if you have an interest you can download it all. Should be finished soon, but I haven't had a chance to go at it regularly. My daughter is helping me film it. So, soon...
Kasey has a new site,, and I recommend you look it over. It should be growing shortly. She has a songwriting contract in Nashville, and we're hoping for an artist contract in the near future.
DEVIL RED, the new Hap and Leonard novel is closing in on a third done, and I'm pretty happy with it. Changes for everyone in this one, and you might even call this one a private detective novel as Hap and Leonard go to work for Marvin Hanson who has opened an agency. They won't work for him in every book, but from time to time I thought it would be a fun way to go.
Off to Las Vegas wednesday for KILLERCON. Kare and I arrive Wednesday evening, and Kasey and her husband Adam are showing up Friday. Kasey is actually performing Friday somewhere in Vegas, the spot being on her site if you're out that way or know someone who is.
Anyway, should be fun. Kasey and Adam are both on panels. My son-in-law is one of my martial arts students and he'll be on a panel for martial arts. Kasey is on a marketing panel.
As for the cop in Nebraska, I thought of writing a letter about his unprofessional behaviour, but they would just think I was complaining. If they have a camera on his car they can see what an idiot he is, however. May he grow like an onion with his head in the ground.
So, enough for now, and I'm off.

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's been long enough, but my excuse is I've been on the road, doing book tour and then back briefly and on the road with my brother taking a vacation drive from East Texas to New Mexico to Colorado to the Buffalo Bill grave and museum on Lookout Mountain, then up to the top of Wyoming, and over into Montana to visit the Custer Battlefield. After that, over to Yellowstone, and then back through Wyoming to Deadwood, South Dakota to see Wild Bill Hickock's grave and death site, and then down through Nebraska and Kansas and Oklahoma and back to Texas. All of this is about seven days time. We weren't wasting any time as my brother had to be back. Actually, I was at home on the eighth day after staying with him the next day at his place. We were stopped by a cop in North Platte, Nebraska who seemed to have been given an award as Chief Moron. We pulled out of a filling station and forgot to turn on the car lights, and were pulled over. He decided for no reason we could determine, that we were drinking or on pills or had stolen the car. And though I showed him papers and license and insurance he still had me say the alphabet and then complained that the T sounded like a D, as if this proved me drunk. As I told him "I'm from EAst Texas. I have an accent." I had to follow the tip of a pin with my eyes without moving my head, and then when that was finished that he was determined to do it again, and I finally said, "Give me a breathalyzer, which he didn't do, and then asked me if I had restrictions. I said, "You got my license. Do you see any?" "thought you had trouble reading the insurance card." "I did. I use glasses for reading, from Wal-Mart, but I don't have restrictions. Check the license." Anyway, Barney Fife went at it for about thirty minutes or more before finally giving me a 55 dollar ticket and sending us on our way. My brother, worn out and having a bit of trouble with his diabetes, tried to get out of the car--not a good idea--and Barney dropped down like he was going to draw. I understood the mistake, but this guy really should get Jackass Of The Year. It was like a comedy skit.
Working on the new Hap and Leonard book, titled now, DEVIL READ, and hope to have it finished well before the end of the year, as I've worked on it off and on all year along with a variety of other projects, including screenplays and comics. So, excuse my tardiness. I'm going to try and pick up my blogging, but sometimes I think I may just not be the guy for this stuff. I prefer to work and do my day to day business and visit in person. I'm gregarious enough, and structured in so many ways that the stucture of a blog wears me out. But, hey, I'm trying.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back from my tour

Finally back and trying to catch up. I'm so far the world's worst blogger. But the book tour was great and a lot of books were sold. I got to see a lot friends and visit and hang out in hotels with cheese plates. Hey, I'm from East TExas, it was a big time. In case you might not know, Delacort has accept an idea of mine for a young adult book, to be written the end of and the beginning of next year. It's called ALL THE EARTH THROWN TO THE SKY, and has to do with the Dust Bowl and The Great Depression, takes place in Oklahoma and Texas. I'm really excited about this one, and look forward to it. Also a couple of unannounced and forthcoming projects are in the works....Last night I was on FUNKY WEREPIG, which is an on line "radio" show, and it was a lot of fun, though I probably rambled more than I meant to. Still tired from all that traveling. Currently working on a short story, then I'll dive into the Hap and Leonard project that I'm currently calling DEVIL RED. Hope I do better blogging on a regular basis, but, alas, I'm easily distracted. Will be in Austin at Armadillo con August 14th through the 16th. Drop by the dealers table where either my daughter of myself will be selling books to pay for the massive amount of dog food my dog, Buffy The Biscuit Slayer consumes, and then watch for me at KillerCon in September, 16th-20th, in Las Vegas. Over and out.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vanilla Ride Review

The Dedication to Vanilla Ride reads as such:For all you Hap and Leonard fans. Bless your little weird hearts. Who you calling weird, Lansdale?If that's true, there's a lot of weird people out there. The Hap and Leonard books are among the most universally loved pieces of fiction I've ever known about. I've turned a lot of people on to them and every one has loved them. Every single individual. Even those that either don't read or barely read. They love Hap and Leonard.I got on board early and I bought Savage Season immediately upon its publication. I was already a huge fan and had been since the first book I read by Joe, which was The Drive-In. I was later blown away by other Lansdale works like The Magic Wagon, Act of Love, Dead in the West and especially Cold in July. But Savage Season was special. Its lead characters captured my heart and it became an instant favorite.Luckily for Joe's readers, Savage Season was not the last time we would see Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. They returned in Mucho Mojo and again in The Two-Bear Mambo. Over the course of eleven years six Hap and Leonard novels were published. The ones I named as well as Bad Chili, Rumble Tumble and Captains Outrageous. And they also made an appearance or two in short stories.Then there was a hiatus in which there were no novels coming out about the baddest pair of Texas ne'er do wells since Augustus McCrea and Woodrow Call. Captains Outrageous was released in 2001 and the fans had to wait a long eight years before Hap and Leonard resurfaced. Which they just have, in a new novel called Vanilla Ride.A new novel and a new publisher. Now Joe is putting out books with the prestigious Alfred A. Knopf Publishing House and it's a suitable home for his awesome skills.The first question interested parties are likely to ask is, was Vanilla Ride the wait? My answer is, what do you think? Vanilla Ride is everything that Hap and Leonard fans love about the series. It's funny as hell, there's breathtaking action, there's mood and careful attention to the details of the locations in the book. And as always with Lansdale, the characters rise above the simple stereotypes that might at first seem obvious.The best things is that there is as much introspection and, dare I say it, philosophy in Vanilla Ride as there is violence and bawdy humor. Which is to say there is a great deal of it. The first person narration is always by Hap Collins, who constantly questions his own motives and impulses while his wisecracking exterior masks his inner turmoil.This one is as tough and hard as any and Hap and Leonard face their deadliest (and sexiest) opponent yet in the enigmatic and beguiling Vanilla Ride.Joe R. Lansdale has made a habit of bringing past characters back into his stories, much to the delight of his readers. Longtime Lansdale fans will be overjoyed to learn that Jim Bob Luke makes an extended appearance. And this reader holds out hope that we'll get to see Vanilla Ride again.Hap and Leonard are officially back and it's up to the readers to help ensure that the series will continue. Publishing is a business like any other. If the books make money, more will probably come. Skip the library and don't wait for the paperback with this one. I don't want to wait eight more years for another ripping Hap and Leonard adventure.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Excerpt from Vanilla Ride

Vanilla Ride

Big Guy said something and then two of his guys, one with the shotgun, the other with a pistol, went back toward where they had parked the Ford. Big Guy eased toward us slowly, and one of the other guys started around the cabin, toward the back.
“Who you want?” I asked.
“The big motherfucker,” Leonard said.
I hurried into the kitchen and stepped up on the counter that was near the door and pointed my weapon, waited. There was a slight sound at the back door, and then it was pushed back gently. I saw a hand with an automatic poke in, and then I heard a shot from the front of the cabin, Leonard or Big Guy’s weapon. I didn’t know for sure. And then the guy at the kitchen, perhaps smelling blood in the water, charged in and I shot him above the ear and he fell back against the wall and his head stayed propped against it while the rest of him spread out in that relaxed manner only the dead have. There was blood on the wall.
I jumped down and charged into the other room. Big Guy had Leonard by the neck and was lifting him off the floor with both hands. Leonard’s gun was on the floor between Big Guy’s legs, and Big Guy’s weapon was thrown up against the wall. I wasn’t sure how things had got that way, who had fired and who was hit, but before I could blow Big Guy’s brains out, I heard a shotgun blast outside, and then another, and then Leonard went sailing across the room, slammed onto the bed hard enough for the slats to break and the girl to scream from under there, and then Leonard was up and the kids were crawling out from under the bed, cowering in the corner.
I lifted up my .38 and shot Big Guy directly in the chest. He stepped across the room quickly and grabbed my gun hand, and slapped the hell out of me with the back of his other hand. I did a nice backwards roll, and when I got it together, Big Guy was firing at me with my .38.
Leonard leaped like a panther and hit big Guy above the knees with the side of his body, trying to clip him. Didn’t work. He bounced off.
I got the gun from the dead guy in the kitchen, a nine-mil, and went back to help Leonard. Leonard was grabbed again, and Big Guy was slinging him around like wet laundry. I couldn’t get a good aim.
All of this was going on at the same time there was a lot of racket outside. Gunfire, cursing, screams.
Finally Big Guy tired enough that Leonard, still hanging high while this guy choked him, was able to slap his hands over Big Guy’s ears. Big Guy dropped him. I tried to shoot Big Guy as he came rushing toward me, but the gun jammed.
He grabbed me around the waist and pushed me backwards and slammed me into the wall so that the back of my neck hit a bookshelf and the shelf came loose and fell and the one above it fell too, hitting me on top of the head dead center. At least the owner wasn’t a reader; no books fell on my head.
Next thing I knew I was pitched against the far wall next to the open front door. I got up and saw Leonard throw a right hook into Big Guy’s body and jerk his hand back with a sour look on his face.
I knew then why my bullet hadn’t hurt Big Guy. He was wearing a bulletproof vest.
The kids, both barefoot and Tim bare-chested, yanked a duffel bag out from under the ruins of the bed. They headed out the door before I could get off my ass, and when I did, the cabin felt as if it was moving.
I started to go after them, but when I looked back, Leonard was being slammed by a punch that might have killed a steer. My head was mostly back together, so I rushed the Big Guy and threw a hard round kick into his thigh. It was a perfect kick, hitting right on the nerve in the outer thigh, and I had used it before, dropping the leg right out from under strong men, but if it bothered Big Guy his expression didn’t show it. He came rushing at me, and without really knowing I was going to do it, I started backpedaling and went right out the front door.
A gun barked to my left and I saw one of Big Guy’s team on the ground and Jim Bob walking over. I got a glimpse of Tonto, but I didn’t see the other bad guy. The two kids and their duffel bag had disappeared.
Big Guy had lost his gourd, came charging out into the open, practically foaming at the mouth.
I’m a little ashamed to say I turned and bolted. I thought I was running like a goddamn deer on steroids, but Big Guy was tight on my ass as a dingleberry, and the next thing I knew he had me and we’re tumbling down the trail, rolling like a couple of doodlebugs. When we came to the bottom of the hill, I got hold of his ear with my teeth and bit as hard as I could, taking off a chunk big enough for a small sandwich.
He jerked his head up and came to his knees and let out a bellow. I tried to make a quick exit, stage right, spitting out the chunk of ear as I went, but he got hold of my rain slicker with one hand and hit me so hard with the other I thought I had accidentally stepped onto train tracks and been hit by a locomotive.
He was about to hit me again when I heard a grunt, and Leonard, doing a Superman, flew down the hill and hit Big Guy. The two of them went tumbling down some more, covered in mud, and ended up near the water’s edge. Big Guy came up on top and he was giving Leonard a pounding.
I ran down there and kicked Big Guy in the head. It was a pretty good shot, and it did more damage than the kick to the thigh. He was knocked over and into the water. He tried to get up and I kicked him again, but because I had to step out into the water to d it, it wasn’t as good a kick, and it only knocked him back. And then Leonard got hold of the minnow bucket and slammed it over Big Guy’s head. It was a tight fit. Leonard chopped Big Guy across the throat, twice in rapid succession. Big Guy stood up. Leonard slipped behind him with one smooth motion and tried to choke him with his forearm. The guy’s neck was like a tree, and Leonard might as well have been squeezing one. The guy shook like a dog and Leonard went into the water, scrambled up and out of it and onto the shore to meet me. We both stood there looking at the monster with the minnow bucket on his head. Big Guy clawed at the bucket, started pulling it loose. Leonard said, “Run like a motherfucker.”
And we did. We ran. We were like little girls being chased by the Big Bad Wolf.
Leonard said as we ran, “Where the fuck is that guy from?”
“Hell,” I said.
We were coming up on the boathouse. I said, “Goddamn it. Let’s take the boat and get away from that sonofabitch.”
Looking back, I saw Big Guy minus his bucket, and he was really coming. When we got to the boathouse the kids were there with the bag of money. They had the other rain slickers on and the towels over their shoulders. They were just standing on the platform looking at the boat as if they thought they might be magically transported into it. The rain was really coming down outside the boathouse, and it could be seen through the big opening at the back where the boats went out and came in, peppering the water like buckshot.
“What the hell are you waiting on?” Leonard said to the couple. “Get in the boat.”
“I’m scared of water,” the girl said.
“Something coming through that door you’re gonna be a lot more scared of,” Leonard said, and at that moment Big Guy came in, flinging the door back so hard it slammed against the wall.


Thanks to everyone who has ordered the book. Hope to see you on tour.


On Tour

Schedule for VANILLA RIDE
Thursday, July 2
Joe in Italy
Tuesday, July 7 HOUSTON
6:30 p.m. -- Murder by the Book. This will be a reading/book signing. 2342 Bissonnet St. , Houston , TX 77005 . murderbooks. com Arranged with David Thompson, murderbk@swbell. net, (713) 524-8597 / (888) 424-2842 / Fax: (713) 522-7945.
Wednesday, July 8 AUSTIN
7:00 p.m. -- Book People. This will be a reading/book signing. 603 North Lamar Blvd , Austin , Texas 78703 . Arranged with Alison Kothe Nihlean, BookPeople Marketing Director, 512.472.4288 x207, www.bookpeople. com, events@bookpeople. com
Thursday, July 9 DENVER
7:30 p.m. -- Tattered Cover. This will be a reading/book signing. Colfax Avenue, 2526 East Colfax Avenue, Denver CO 80206. Arranged with Charles Stillwagon, Event Manager, (303)322-1965 ext: 2736, charles.stillwagon@ tatteredcover. com.
Friday, July 10
Tuesday, July 14 PHOENIX
7:00 p.m. -- Poisoned Pen. This will be a reading/book signing. Arranged with Barbara Peters, barbara@poisonedpen .com and Lorri Amsden, Lorri@poisonedpen. com, 888 560 9919.
Wednesday, July 15 SAN FRANCISCO
7:00 p.m.-- M is for Mystery. This will be a reading/book signing. 86 East Third Ave. San Mateo , Ca. 94401. Arranged with Ed Kaufman, ed@mformystery. com / info@mformystery. com / 650-401-8077
Thursday, July 16 SEATTLE
12:00 noon -- Seattle Mystery Bookshop. 117 Cherry St , Seattle , WA 98104 . This will be a formal book signing and “conversation” event. Arranged with J.B. and Fran, staff@seattlemyster, 206-587-5737, www.seattlemystery. com
Week of July 29 – date tk
Time tk -- Hastings Entertainment in Nacogdoches . 3601 Plains Blvd. , Amarillo , TX 79120 – arranging with Sylvia Everitt, Sylvia.Everitt@ goHastings. com.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 23rd

June 23rd:


My daughter Kasey and I went to a meeting for P.R.O.T.E.C.T. in Nashville. This is an organization close to my brother, Andrew Vachss's heart, as well as ours. To find out more about it, check it out on line. It's for the protection of children, and is not your usual chairty. It's an actual lobby for children, and boy has it got good things done. Again, for more information, check it out. David Keith, the actor, is the mouth piece for the organization, and he did a wonderful job explaining what the organization is all about. Also, Martina McBride and Trace Adkins the country singer was there as well. And many others. It's great to see this organization grow from a little seed to this. Again, go to the website and find out about becoming a member. Off to Italy Thursday for a long weekend to be at an envent titled La Milanesiana, which is for literature, cinema and music. Lot of Noble prize winners, and me and Roger Corman. I should also mention that Protect had two wonderful advocates there, two people who make the organization happen. They are Grier Weeks, and Camille Cooper. I'm proud to be a member, but these guys do the work. Last word, sales: Check out VANILLA RIDE from KNOPF, due the end of this month. I've seen the book, and it looks great, and I hope it reads great. Reviews have been awesome. First Hap and Leonard novel in eight years, followed next year by another, and now you can buy the entire backlist of Hap and Leonard, as well as other books of mine, from VINTAGE BOOKS, in lovely editions. Hey, I'm excited.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Learning to blog without putting an eye out

Went out blogging on invitation spots, but I was actually invited on some. They asked me to come by, then dumped me...sniff, by not making me a friend. Well, I'll just take my books and go home.This has been one of those days. Working on screenplay revisions and beginning first day of teaching screenplay writing at SFA, and now trying to keep up with this blog. I like people, so it's fun, but to be honest, I see it as a tool to let people know about my work. Honest as I can get. Hey, folks, trying to sell books here. Anyway, once again, end of this month, VANILLA RIDE from Knopf. For those who are fans of Hap and Leonard, I think this may be the best in the series, or damn close. Check it out. For those who want to sample my short stories, which are what I prefer writing over everything else, check out SANCTIFIED AND CHICKEN FRIED, THE PORTABLE LANSDALE from The University of Texas Press. I understand they're moving fast.And so I retreat back into my lair to...well, probably read comic books. I'm really into those old DC ARCHIVES book, and the new Grand Morrison BATMAN AND ROBIN.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2nd Tour

Completed a podcast interview this afternoon www.

Craig Clarke:

Maryann Miller at


Monica and Wrath with Killercon2009

Check out all these sites to see comments and information

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tour Schedule

June 2nd, Begins at 2pm, central time.

Phone interview to be posted with Jeff Rutherford 3pm ET.

Craig Clarke

Maryann Miller

Monica & Wrath

Stay posted to see if you made the tour!!


I've never done this blogging stuff before, and have already sent what I wrote earlier into cyberspace by accident. So, if you find it, let me know. Spent the weekend visiting with Brian Fitzpatrick, who is working on THE KILLER INSIDE ME as assistant to the Assistant Director. He plans to direct, and we plan for him to direct MISTER WEEDEATER, one of my favorites of my short stories. We'll see how that pans out.

Have written a straight to DVD movie of Swamp Thing, and a ten minute film that's supposed to go on the JONAH HEX movie DVD, when that happens, or so I'm told. We'll see. Currently, I'm writing articles for Italian publications, and then I'll finish up the revisions on THE BOTTOMS which is supposed to be directed by Bill Paxton. Beyond that, a short story, and then the new Hap and Leonard novel, which I've started. Also, should have a couple of surprises soon, or so I hope; looks like some things I've wanted to do for a long time are coming to pass. More as I know for sure.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Vanilla Ride

First Lansdale Blog

What better way to start a blog than shameless self promotion. The New Book, Vanilla Ride, coming out June 30th from Knopf.

In this Texas-sized thriller, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine—best friends, freelance troublemakers, and tough guys with good intentions—find themselves in the crosshairs of the Dixie Mafia.Hap is an East Texas smart mouth with a weakness for southern women. Leonard is a gay, black veteran pining for a lost love. They’re not the makings of your typical dynamic duo, but never underestimate the power of a shared affinity for stirring up trouble and causing mayhem. When an old friend asks Leonard to rescue his daughter from an abusive, no-good drug dealer, he gladly agrees and, of course, invites Hap along for the fun. Even though the dealer may be lowly, he is on the bottom rung of the Dixie Mafia, and when Hap and Leonard come calling, the Mafia feels a little payback is in order. Cars crash, shotguns blast, and people die, but Hap and Leonard come out on top. Unfortunately for them, now they’re facing not only jail time but also the legendary—and lethal—Vanilla Ride, who is still out to claim the price on their heads. Full of twists and turns, gunfire and gaffes, this hilarious, rip-roaring novel will have readers turning the pages faster than a Texas tornado.