My Favorite Bit: Joe R. Lansdale Talks About BORN FOR TROUBLE

Joe R. Lansdale is joining us today to talk about his story collection, Born For Trouble. Here’s the publisher’s description:

When you meet him, Hap Collins seems like just a good ol’ boy. But even in his misspent youth, his best pal was Leonard Pine: black, gay, and the ultimate outsider. Together, they have sort of found their way as partners in crime-solving—and at least as often, as hired muscle.

As Hap wrestles with his new identity as a husband and father, and Leonard finds love in a long-term relationship, the boys continue their crime-solving shenanigans. They grapple with a stolen stuffed dog, uncover the sordid secret of a missing bookmobile, compete in a warped version of the Most Dangerous Game, regroup after Hap’s visit to the psychologist goes terribly awry, and much more.

So sit yourself back and settle in—Born for the Trouble is East Texas mayhem as only the master mojo storyteller Lansdale could possibly tell.

The classic Hap Collins and Leonard Pine mystery series began in in 1990 with Savage Season. Hap and Leonard made their screen debuts in the three season Hap and Leonard TV series, starring Michael K. Williams (The Wire), James Purefoy (The Following), and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men).

What’s Joe’s favorite bit?


One of my favorite scenes in BORN FOR TROUBLE: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF HAP AND LEONARD is the opening of BRIAR PATCH BOOGIE. I like the fact that Leonard wants Hap to get up and get him a glass of water, just like a little kid asking daddy for a drink after they’ve already been put to bed for the night. Their conversation is too long to duplicate here, but I like this one better than any of the openings in the other stories, though I think there are some good ones. This one matters to me because it shows how close they are, and at the same time how people who know each other well can aggravate one another. They are familiar with each other’s buttons, which ones to push. Leonard is better at this than Hap. It’s also a way for readers to fall in immediately with the characters, and even if they do not know the past Hap and Leonard adventures, how they became friends, this quickly sketches their relationship in, and I like to think gives the characters a bit of reality and suggested depth of shared experience immediately. I think it’s so simple on the surface, that it may go unnoticed, but in my view it causes the rest of the story to fall into place and immediately connect a reader to the characters.

Well, okay. I must admit, I write for me and really don’t think about the reader when I write. This method helps me connect, so I’m hopeful readers will have the same experience. I can only write what entertains me, but if it works for you as the writer, there’s a greater chance it will work for a reader.


Born For Trouble Universal Book Link






Joe R. Lansdale is the internationally-bestselling author of over fifty novels, including the popular, long-running Hap and Leonard series. Many of his cult classics have been adapted for television and film, most famously the films Bubba Ho-Tep and Cold in July, and the Hap and Leonard series on Sundance TV and Netflix. Lansdale has written numerous screenplays and teleplays, including the iconic Batman the Animated Series. He has won an Edgar Award for The Bottoms, ten Stoker Awards, and has been designated a World Horror Grandmaster. Lansdale, like many of his characters, lives in East Texas, with his wife, Karen, and their pit bull, Nicky.

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