The generosity of some writers never fails to amaze me. Yesterday I posted a bloggery called “Is Genre Writing an Endangered Species?” I quoted Andrew Vachss’s words from the foreward of the 1995 edition of Joe R. Lansdale’s novel, Act of Love, and today I found the following comment on my blog. I’m presuming it’s partly due to the wonders of Google Alerts, but it’s mostly due to Joe R. Lansdale. An act of kindness. Or an act of promotion. Either way, it impressed me. Joe Lansdale wrote:
Interesting to see Andrew’s kind words again. I have no idea who invented the serial killer novel, but my book has been cited by many as being the beginning of the type of novels that have become such a mainstay. I will also agree that it isn’t a great book. I was young when I wrote it, and I hope you’ll be kind enough to try some of the others, THE BOTTOMS, MUCHO MOJO, LEATHER MAIDEN, etc. But the bottom line is I think it blended a lot of things that are now thought of as the serial killer novel’s back bone. Actually, when I finished that book, I moved on. I’ve written about serial killers since, but never in that way, and never in any way as the heroes of a piece. Genre writing and mainstream writing are welding together, and sometimes in good and interesting ways. But the old fashioned genre writing is disappearing. Maybe it should. All things mutate. LONESOME DOVE was a Western, and a great one. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is bestselling genre, and so on. It’s there. It won’t die, but it will mutate. As for ACT OF LOVE, I think there may be a thirty year anniversary volume, 2011, and then I retire it. The reason it doesn’t have the impact it had then is now so many people have done what I did, and better than when I did it. But it’s also dated, and probably, at this juncture, my worst novel. But man, I’m glad I wrote it. I’ve been amazed over the years at how many writers have told me it influenced them. Surprising. I was just trying to learn how to write a novel and have a good time at it and maybe discuss a few social issues, if in a superficial way. Anyway, Thanks for the space. Joe Lansdale
Thank you for commenting, Joe. I will definitely check out your other books.