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A bunch of answers to a bunch of requests

Joe Lansdale is eager to sign autographs on books he has written or been part of as editor or writer as long as return postage is provided. He does not mean to sound ungrateful, but so many who write want autographs, photos, books, comics or galleys without providing return postage or offering to pay for the item requested. Really.

Some of these people are indignant and write huffy letters or e-mails if Mr. Lansdale isn't willing to supply the return stamps or provide the item. They are angered that he has not met their "reasonable" requests, and are certain he is being an egotistical, inflated jackass for not falling all over himself to pay for their needs. They sometimes threaten to not buy his books if he does not respond. He will not be blackmailed. If they had a book, they would send it. If they have a book and won't send it with return postage, they may keep it and use it to level their washing machine or boxed autograph collection. They can save themselves the purchase of future Lansdale books. This would please him. The choice is theirs.

Stamps run into money, and if a favor is being asked, the expense should be absorbed by whoever makes the request. Mr. Lansdale does quite well as a writer, but prefers to practice his philanthropic inclinations on legitimate charities chosen by him.

It's rude to think authors live to meet your personal needs. Mr. Lansdale doesn't call asking you for rolls of stamps to send out his manuscripts, or to borrow phone cards so he can talk to his agent, or ask you to provide him with fax paper or an internet provider, though he might like to. That's his responsibility. Providing return postage for items you want signed is your responsibility.

Mr. Lansdale does not send out photos of himself at this time. There's enough horror in the world. He will only sign photos of himself taken by others if sent to him with return postage. He no longer signs autographs written on pieces of paper or book plates through the mail unless he is familiar with the letter writer.

Mr. Lansdale receives numerous requests from people who say, "You are my favorite writer. I sure loved Cold in Julie and The Nightworms," or some such misspelling that shows the writer has never read his books but is merely an autograph collector. This has little to do with real interest in the work and is time consuming and mostly a cottage industry created by others so money can be made, or collections built, off his, and other writers', signatures by stroking their egos. Mr. Lansdale realizes some of these requests are legitimate and from readers who buy his work, but since so many are not legitimate requests, he has had to cease this practice. In person he'll be glad to sign.

What's the difference?

A long story that will not be provided here.

Mr. Lansdale no longer signs galleys.

Books, magazines, etc., containing Mr. Lansdale's work, sent without return postage, will be designated a gift and will be kept or disposed of in the manner Mr. Lansdale chooses. Selling the items is a favorite choice.

More common sense things: Don't make a film, even a student film, of Mr. Lansdale's work without obtaining the rights. You can be sued for doing this, and this isn't meanness. When you make a film of his work without permission, you are violating copyright laws. Mr. Lansdale options or sells these works to make a living. This is no different than if he borrowed your car without telling you and took a little spin to Mexico and sent you the gas bill and asked you to dispose of the body in the trunk.

If stories are filmed without his knowledge, they can damage his chance to option these works and profit from his creations. Please don't do it. Mr. Lansdale hates lawsuits. Even if he's the one suing.

This also applies to comic books, teleplays, plays, or any other media.

Remember, you didn't create the material, he did. No matter how much you love the idea of making a film, comic, etc., of his work, you must get permission, and it costs money because his electric, water, and sewage bills cost money and all requests to let him work it out in sexual favors or raking leaves have been denied.

If you do have legitimate interest in a work of his, contact his agent, Danny Baror (914-273-9199), and for film, Justin Manask (310-433-8616). Do not write them looking for an agent pretending Mr. Lansdale sent you.

Mr. Lansdale does not read unsolicited manuscripts of any kind. He no longer reads solicited manuscripts. He will look at books or galleys sent to him by book publishers or writers, and if time permits, and if he likes the work, he will provide a quote. Mr. Lansdale loves helping new writers, but time is more and more limited.

Also, outside of friends or requests from editors, he never sent manuscripts of his work to working writers to read and comment on. His publishers sent galleys. If you are a writer, he has gone through all you are going through and respects your efforts and knows how hard it is.

True, if Mr. Lansdale read your manuscript, he might love it, but it won't really help you get it published. Mr. Lansdale no longer has the time to do this, and prefers choosing his own reading. His study/library is backed up with manuscripts sent to him, and though he hates the decision, can no longer manage the time or inclination. Reading manuscripts after a day of writing manuscripts feels too much like work and takes away from writing, family, books he has purchased to read, and outside activities. He likes his writing, family, books, and outside activities.

Finally, Mr. Lansdale will try and help other writers by providing articles and bits of advice from time to time, as he has in many of his collections, introductions and afterwards to books. He would like to write a book on writing in the future, if time permits.

Mr. Lansdale attends writers' conferences and conventions and is always more than willing to discuss writing with anyone. He offers to answer questions over the internet, and in interviews, but is not looking for a pen pal.

If your question is how to get your book turned into a movie or television series, Mr. Lansdale doesn't have the answer for you. Producers read his books and liked them, and then they made it happen. He has no more insight into that process than you do.

Mr. Lansdale believes he is constantly learning from others, new writers and old hands, and is trying to devote time to becoming a better writer. Therefore, he has much to learn, and less and less time to learn it. Time is sacred.

Again, Mr. Lansdale thanks you so much for your enthusiasm and support. He appreciates it very much. In fact, Mr. Lansdale is writing this because he always wanted to see himself called Mr. Lansdale.


Mr. Lansdale (hisownself)
4112 County Rd. 724
Nacogdoches TX 75964

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