BC: Wow. “A Right to be Dead” was a long time ago. Joe Lansdale and I were corresponding by letters (as I said, a long time ago), and I was trying to write a story that might fit Mike Shayne’s Mystery Magazine. What I came up with was “A Right to be Dead,” and I thought it had a great first line, which I still remember: “The dead man sat up and looked around.” It didn’t sell to Shayne, so Joe said he’d look it over and punch it up, which he did. I wrote most of it, and he did the polish and the marketing.
He eventually sold the story to Black Cat Mystery Magazine, which was published in Canada. I was thrilled, and I was even more thrilled when the editors agreed to buy another story from us before “A Right to be Dead” was published.
After the TDE interview was published, Tore Stokka wrote to say the story was reprinted in Lansdale’s anthology For A Few Stories More.