Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jeff Strand Interview

It's no secret I'm in love with Jeff Strand. He's funny, and fans of my Jack Daniels books and Jack Kilborn books will love him just as much as I do.

Strand may be the most almost-famous author in the horror community, but he will soon be catapulted to super-stardom with the upcoming release of PRESSURE, his first mass-market paperback, which will be available everywhere in May.

Pressure is one of the most frightening, most intense books I've ever read. No BS.

The irony there is that Jeff is a hilarious guy, and all of his previous books contain a great deal of comedy.

If you like ebooks, you can pick up his hilariously gruesome novel BENJAMIN'S PARASITE over at Horror Mall.

You can also pick up the 53,000 word Kindle version of SUCKERS, which Strand and I co-wrote. It features my character Harry McGlade from the Jack Daniels books, and Strand's series character Andrew Mayhem, and it may be the funniest book ever written, by anyone, ever, for all time.

PARASITE is reasonably priced. SUCKERS is underpriced, for only a dollar and some change.

But because Strand is so prolific, today he's not flogging PRESSURE or BENJAMIN'S PARASITE or SUCKERS. He's got another completely new and different book that you should buy.

As you can see by the picture, it's called THE SEVERED NOSE.

Joe sez: "If I could choose only one summer beach read, I'd pick Jeff Strand's Severed Nose."

I would then also make some crack about the cover, something along the lines of, "Hey, Jeff, your nose is running."

I caught up with Strand at his Swiss chalet, where we talked of wine and various cheeses and the best way to cut the cheese, and eventually the conversation steered toward his new book, mostly because he had grown weary of my puns.

Joe: Tell me about the nose book. But don't use any verbs.

Jeff: Severed nose on plate in dining room. Why? Answer in book.

Joe: Remember that novella we collaborated on? SUCKERS? Shouldn't we do a sequel? It's already made over ten bucks on Amazon Kindle and it's only been up for four days.

Jeff: Ten bucks? Last time I checked, we’d made over seven thousa—oh, right, ten bucks. Your five dollar check is in the mail. I’ve deducted four dollars and thirty-five cents for administrative costs. Go buy yourself something pretty.

Joe: I'm buying cheese. Swiss cheese. It's God's favorite. Because it's holey. I may also get some Dutch cheese. Because Dutch cheese is gouda.

Jeff: . . .

Joe: I once cut my finger on cheddar cheese.

Jeff: Sharp cheddar?

Joe: Boy, was it ever.

Jeff: And back to the interview, I haven’t heard the world demanding a sequel to SUCKERS yet, but maybe it just isn’t demanding loud enough! I do have a cameo planned for Harry McGlade in the fourth Andrew Mayhem novel, Lost Homicidal Maniac (Answers to “Shirley”). I’ll clear it with you first, but you should sue anyway just to drum up some publicity.

Joe: I've already got a lawyer on a retainer. I told him to get off—how am I supposed to put that in my mouth while he's stepping on it?

Jeff: . . .

Joe: . . .

Jeff: . . .

Joe: See, a retainer is an orthodontic device used to straighten your teeth.

Jeff: Your wife is a very patient woman.

Joe: Indeed. Talk a little about the editing process. Is it true The Severed Nose got cut?

Jeff: I’m going to acknowledge your pun, and then give a real answer. Not much was cut out of the book during the editing process—the editor did ask me to cut a section near the end, but I managed to successfully address his concern by adding MORE stuff. And I reworked a minor character who was overly silly even by the standards of The Severed Nose.

Joe: It's a very funny book.

Jeff: . . .

Joe: I wasn't joking that time.

We're both going to be at the Romantic Times Convention at the end of the month. Doncha think it would be fun to get really wasted on tweak and then pretend we're astronauts and have a fake laser gun fight but with real guns? You got any real guns? Then maybe, later, we could rob a liquor store, or roll some old people.

Jeff: I don’t own any guns. I say, if you can’t kill somebody with a stiletto heel, then you don’t deserve to be killing people.

Joe: I've been fortunate that AFRAID is getting a lot of attention, much of it positive. Personally, I think your novel PRESSURE is even more disturbing than AFRAID. Give my readers the low down.

Jeff: Well, the two books take completely different approaches. PRESSURE is a slow, steady build, and AFRAID is “Booga-booga! RrraaaRRR!” all the way through. PRESSURE is about a good kid named Alex who ends up in boarding school, where he meets a not-so-good kid named Darren. Their paths cross several times over a couple of decades; sometimes as the best of friends, sometimes as the worst of enemies. It’ll be in bookstores on May 26th, so it’ll give your fans something to read between AFRAID and CHERRY BOMB.

Joe: So you got any guns? Or tweak?

Jeff: I don’t even know what tweak is. I’m sure I don’t want to google it. [Insert Google pause.] Okay, I thought it would be something worse than that. I have no tweak, but on my desk right now I’ve got Haribo gummi bears, Starburst sour jelly beans, Sweet Tarts jelly beans, Cadbury dark chocolate mini eggs, Red Vines, and a great big ol’ bottle of Triazolam we can chug. Party!!!

Joe: Everyone reading this needs to rush out and buy all of Jeff's books. Folks not reading this should also buy his books. Buy mine, too. If you like my books, other authors you should buy may include but are not limited to: Tom Schreck, Henry Perez, and Blake Crouch, who are all authors you should be reading.

Also, buy green peas. Go on. Give peas a chance.

And visit Jeff at His website is funny as hell.

I'm now leaving on tour. See some of you on the road...


Morgan Mandel said...

A character with the last name of Mayhem has to be a bit screwy and fun.

Love that Severed Nose cover. Nice to learn about Jeff. Janice, his wife, is the editor of my two Hard Shell Word Factory releases.

Morgan Mandel

Aim said...

Joe, do you ever have a serious conversation?? Ever?? When I get done with AFRAID, I'll check out Jeff's stuff. BTW, AFRAID?? I'm not. There's so much death and destruction that I think I'm becoming immune. Maybe not. I'll let you know when I get done reading. And I hate peas. HATE. Can't stand. It's a thing from my childhood. Sorry.

Robyn Heirtzler said...

Great interview. Thanks for sharing so we could all get a good laugh! I'll admit I did have to take my own Google moment...

Vickie said...

My sister just asked how I find the books that I read. This is how I find new to me authors and their books. Thankin' you for turning me onto Jeff Strand. I have read Blake Crouch and he scared the bejeezus out of me with just one book, LOCKED DOORS. Now to get the courage to read DESERT PLACES. And look up Tom Schreck and Henry Perez.

Karen from Mentor said...

I once saw a "clown" try to get a bunch of preschoolers to figure out how to extrapolate the words "whirled peas" into the phrase "world peace." The problem?
A) they couldn't read
B) you need broader comedy for preschoolers.
You guys would kill with 3 year olds. Well, Joe would. Jeff's humor might be too sophisticated. He might need the 11 year old crowd.
This was very very damn ..where's the infinity key....funny.
Thanks guys!

Jeff Strand said...

Hey, Joe, can I borrow the hundreds of blog entries and interviews you did on your blog tour last month, and just replace AFRAID with PRESSURE?

JA Konrath said...

Yes you can, Jeff. Yes you can.

Elizabeth aka All Purpose Monkey said...

Great interview. Individually you two are seriously not right in the head and, together, it gets even more wrong. Thanks for sharing!

I got the hardcover of Pressure when it was originally released by Earthling in '06, and it most definitely kicks serious ass!! Hopefully this mass-market release will get Jeff the more widespread recognition he so justly deserves for that incredible work.

"I don’t own any guns. I say, if you can’t kill somebody with a stiletto heel, then you don’t deserve to be killing people."

That is soooo going up on my fb wall quotes. I'm not kidding.

Oh yeah..... I want a SUCKERS SEQUEL!!!!!!!! ;-)

Samantha Clark said...

I love peas!

Good luck to both of you on your books. They sound killer.