Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Reavis Wortham & Joe Lansdale: In Conversation


I'm about halfway through Reavis Wortham's Burrows right now, and I'm enjoying it just as much as I enjoyed reading The Rock Hole, the first book in Wortham's Red River Mystery series. But that got me to wondering just who Reavis Wortham is and how I managed to miss his books for so long. I knew that Reavis is from North Texas, but that was about it...so I was pleased this morning to find this conversation that Wortham had on YouTube in January 2021 with another of my favorite Texas writers, Joe Lansdale. 

If you've read neither of these writers yet, you don't know what you're missing. Granted, I may "get" them more easily than someone who didn't grow up in Texas in the mid-twentieth century, but both these guys are such brilliant storytellers that I think you really need to take a look at their work. I'll be surprised if you don't fall in love with their writing. 

Lansdale is best known for his Hap & Leonard series (and the fairly awful TV series made from the books), but my favorite of his is a standalone called Paradise Sky. 

I've been reading Lansdale since the early eighties, but Wortham is much newer to me (his first novel was published in 2011) so I was surprised to hear him talk about a second series he already has into its fourth book. Lansdale is one of the more prolific novelists out there, and it looks like Wortham's output is adding up quickly. If you have the time - and patience - to listen to these guys until they get wound up, what they have to say about writing, publishing, their influences, etc. is really interesting. 




Tip: Around the 40-minute point of the conversation, the guys discuss the "woke culture," censorship, racism, realism, honesty, etc. 

6 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed watching this, too. I've had the pleasure of meeting Reavis several times.

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    1. Mr. Wortham is interesting; would love to sit down with him over a cup of coffee to discuss his background and his books someday. Maybe I'll run into him at one of the Texas book festivals...if they ever go live again.

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  2. I recently got The Rock Hole, but haven't read it yet. Need to check out the Conversation!

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    1. I'm hooked on the Red River series now, but it appears that the other series may be getting more attention from him. I found what these guys had to say about their work really interesting once they loosened up and it started flowing more quickly and naturally.

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  3. I have not read either of these authors...but it sounds like I need to.

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    1. I do think you'd enjoy either of them, Lark...and they are kind of similar in the way that some of what they tell about is on the more gruesome side of crime fiction. I think the way they use humor to right alongside all the gory stuff makes it all the more shocking sometimes.

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