Welcome to Gleefully Macabre!

BringHerBackFrontCoverWelcome to my website! Whether you were brought here by interest in my work or a Google search gone terribly wrong, I encourage you to hang around and start clicking away!

My latest novel, Bring Her Back, is now available in a Kindle and paperback edition.

My new YA comedy, How You Ruined My Lifeis available at your local bookstore or from the online retailer of your choice!

Sick House is available in Kindle and paperback editions.

(P.S.: People who leave reviews on Amazon deserve great big hugs!)

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Audiobook Roundup

Last weekend I had a great time at the HEAR Now Audio Fiction & Arts Festival. I emceed the first annual Audiobook Reviewer Listeners’ Choice Awards, and I’ll probably include my opening monologue in my next newsletter.

In the meantime, here’s a handy list of all of my available audiobook editions. Some are available on CD, and some can be synched with the Kindle editions.

Wolf Hunt (read by Scott Thomas)

Wolf Hunt 2 (read by Scott Thomas)

Pressure (read by Scott Thomas)

Dweller (read by Scott Thomas)

Cyclops Road (read by Joe Hempel)

Sick House (read by Joe Hempel)

Kumquat (read by Adam Verner)

Blister (read by Daniel Dorse)

Kutter (read by Jack Clancy)

An Apocalypse of Our Own (read by Nadia Mori)

Fangboy (read by Janine Haynes)

I Have a Bad Feeling About This (read by Aaron Landon)

Stranger Things Have Happened (read by Kyle McCarley)

How You Ruined My Life (read by Andrew Eiden)

Suckers (read by Dick Hill)

Draculas (read by Eric Dawe)

Coming soon: Dead Clown Barbecue (read by Andy Barker).

Coming less soon: The Haunted Forest Tour and Bring Her Back (read by Joe Hempel).

 

 

Ear Entertainment

I’m a guest on the latest episode of The Horror Show With Brian KeeneThis interview was recorded at the Scares That Care telethon last month, which is why I don’t make any tasteless jokes about Brian Keene’s recent accident where he was severely burned, or even ask how he’s feeling. There’s a GoFundMe campaign set up to help with his medical expenses.

The audiobook edition of Sick House, read by Joe Hempel, is now available. If you’ve got an Audible credit, why not spend six hours and forty-three minutes being ever so scared?

February 9th, 2019 I’ll be giving my “Stick With It! Sustaining Your Writing Passion In A Brutal Business” talk at the first-ever Con-tagion convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you buy your ticket between now and June 15, you can get $10 off by using the promo code PLAGUE. Click HERE for the details.

 

 

Audiobook Listener Awards!

Can’t make it to the Audiobook Listener Awards tonight? No need to wallow in self-pity. KAAD-LP 103.5 FM in Sonora, California is going to air a live feed of the audio.

Don’t live in Sonora? Listen online at http://kaad-lp.org. It should start promptly at 9:15 EST.

From The Mailbag: KUMQUAT and Romantic Comedy

Goodreads has a feature where people can post questions to authors. This one came in, and I decided to give a long, rambling answer that I could use as a blog post.

Robert Baker asks: Hey! I bought all your [stuff] and enjoyed it. Surprisingly, I enjoyed KUMQUAT the most. Do you have any plans for another romantic comedy soon? 

Thanks for the question, Robert. Sorry I replaced the s-word.

The answer is: Maybe….?

KUMQUAT is in my top five favorites of my own books, and I was thrilled by how well readers responded to it. It is also one of my poorest sellers.

It was written as a mainstream comedy, not necessarily a romantic comedy. It’s an outlier in my own work, but also unquestionably a “Jeff Strand” novel. Same sensibility, different genre. FANGBOY is a very strange novel that was quite obviously never intended to have universal appeal, but I think that almost anybody who enjoys my work would like KUMQUAT.

I sent the book to my agent. She dismissed it as “kind of slow getting started” and that was the end of that. (It would her repeated but never fulfilled promises to read CYCLOPS ROAD before I finally got the hint, like a clueless boyfriend who didn’t realize he’d been ghosted.)

I considered trying to find a publisher, but books like WOLF HUNT had done so well for me in the self-publishing realm that I decided to go that route for this one. I knew that it would be a harder sell, so I offered advance digital copies to anybody who wanted one, to help get the word out.

Early reactions were outstanding. DWELLER probably has more passionate supporters, but almost everybody loved KUMQUAT. The book came out, the reader reviews were the best of my career, and…it didn’t sell all that well. The hype didn’t matter. Most of my readers were simply not going to buy a romantic comedy.

Now, I hadn’t called it a romantic comedy (I went with “road trip comedy”) but that’s basically what it is. After a few months, I decided to try to go after the audience that WOULD want a romantic comedy, so Lynne Hansen did a new cover and I reworked the description and I went all-in on this tale of awkward quirky love.

Nope. Didn’t work. The reviews may have backfired a bit in that regard, because so many of them were a variation on “A romantic comedy written by a HORROR author??? Whaaaaaat???”

It could be the title. I love the title. Many other people love the title. But I’ve also heard “Who the hell would buy a book called KUMQUAT?” Fair enough.

So that’s where it stands. A book that many readers consider a favorite that didn’t sell very well.

At the time I wrote KUMQUAT, I had a full-time day job and, honestly, it didn’t matter all THAT much how well a book sold. I wanted a thriving career but it didn’t impact groceries or rent. Now I’m a full-time writer, which means that whenever my Amazon rankings start to slip I break into a cold sweat and scream “NOOOOOOO!!!!” at my computer screen.

Do I have plans for another romantic comedy soon? No. Do I have plans for another romantic comedy eventually? Yes.

I’ve got a decent chunk done of a novel called DROP THE MIC about a stand-up comedian, which I think is my funniest book by far. Commercial prospects are limited. This one is quite a bit darker than KUMQUAT because, like many stand-up comedians, our hero is prone to a bit of self-loathing, but it’s also a sweet and funny romantic comedy. I fully intend to finish it someday; it’s just not a currently active project.

And I wrote sample chapters for a novel called A PLAYFUL TUNE, a comedy about an office manager who calls in love with a woman who performs novelty songs after he saves her from an enraged audience that she accidentally offended with a poorly timed joke. This one is a romance novel. A funny romance novel.

But my next novel is a thriller.

Almost KC MC Time!

All of my Master of Ceremonies jokes have been written for the Audiobook Listener Awards, which will be Friday night at the HEAR Now Audiobook Conference in Kansas City. My tuxedo has been dry cleaned. BBQ recommendations have been solicited. I’m ready to go…and I don’t leave until Thursday morning! What’s up with that???

The Wolf Hunt movie deal that I never posted here about ended up not happening. What typically happens with movie interest is that I think, “Yeah, yeah, whatEVAH!!!” and then file it away into a rarely used compartment of my brain. That’s where this one stayed until I got an update that things were looking promising. It didn’t completely break through the shell of my dark, cynical exterior, but there was certainly a moment of, “Gosh, that would be just swell!” But ultimately the answer was a big ol’ nope, and although the parties involved will be pursuing other possibilities, for me it returns to the Land of Not Really Thinking About It Very Much, at least after I finish this blog update.

Fortunately, I follow the advice I give in my “Stick With It! Sustaining Your Writing Passion in a Brutal Business” talk, which is to always be working on other stuff. This sucked, but I’ve got a new novel to focus on!

June Newsletter

The latest issue of my newsletter went out this morning, featuring the new tale “A Story I’m Writing While Being Devoured By A Lion.” If you’re not a subscriber, you can read it HERE.

I’m toying with the idea of making the newsletter more frequent. However, when I did an informal survey, the answers were pretty much evenly divided, which is what happens whenever I do a survey. Half of the people said “Yes, a more frequent newsletter would be delightful!” and the other half said “Ugh, no, once a month is fine.”

Right now I’m leaning toward just keeping it monthly, but we’ll see…

Lionel Ray Green Reviews BRING HER BACK

Lionel Ray Green has reviewed Bring Her Back on his website. You’ve already bought the book, read it, and formed your own opinion, so why not see if his matches yours?

Click HERE to check it out.

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