Lex Thomas is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies, who met in a writers’ group and bonded over their mutual fascination with B-movies. Visit them at www.lex-thomas.com.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
One of the books I remember first reading on my own and carrying around with me everywhere was Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz. The black and white drawings by Stephen Gammell were nightmarish and gruesome, and I would study them intently as I read and re-read every short story inside. The book was a collection of horror-based folklore, ghost stories and urban legends that, I can see now, was a gateway to reading all the Stephen King and Ray Bradbury that followed.
Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison. That was the first novel I remember reading for pleasure. My brother told me about the story and I had to read it. Bill was a space marine who had two left arms. He was tricked into enlisting, was always trying to get laid, and always making me laugh. I thought the book was fun and hilarious, and until then I had no idea that a book could take me into such an odd, funny, imaginative world like that.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“And watch out for Molly. See if she does anything unusual. There’s something I don’t trust about the way she exploded and then came back from the dead like that.”
– David Wong, John Dies at the End
“As Rilke says, there are no classes for beginners in life, the most difficult thing is always asked of one right away.”
-James Salter, A Sport and a Pastime
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Jorge Luis Borges
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I had stories to tell, and writing gave me the most control.
I like making things that evoke emotion, and I like practicing a craft.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Learn structure. Learn how storytelling works inside and out until it’s second nature. Then, let it all go when you discover an idea you love, and trust your instincts.
Tell the truth, and make it cool. Also finish what you’re writing, let people read it, and face the criticism. Then repeat that, until someone pays you.