An American author, he published thirty-four novels and twenty-five short story collections in the Western, horror, science fiction, and mystery genres. He is particularly known for his Hap and Leonard series.
He worked as a martial arts instructor and was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
He is associated with the Splatterpunk and Cowpunk literary movements.
He lived in Texas with his wife, Karen, and taught at Stephen F. Austin State University.
He wrote a novel that features a fictionalized version of Elvis Presley.