Bitter, Talentless, Mean People

As authors, we never really want to get bad reviews, but I couldn’t help but be entertained by this Amazon review for my novel OUT OF WHACK:

“mean..not funny

this isnt funny. its just sarcastic stupid and disgusting. Author is clearly a bitter person with no talent.”

If she thinks OUT OF WHACK is sarcastic stupid and disgusting, I can barely imagine what would happen if she read something like DISPOSAL. I suspect that her brain would explode and pour out of her ears. (Requiring a minor Q-tip dab to clean up—HA! I’m mean and bitter!) 

Signing in Duluth

The last official signing of the PRESSURE book tour is this Saturday, July 25th! 1:00 PM at Northern Lights Books & Gifts in Duluth, Minnesota. Afterward, we’ll go get some Wisconsin cheese!

The bookstore’s website is

The Last (Currently Scheduled) Florida Signing…

Wednesday, July 22. Clearwater Barnes & Noble. 7:00 PM. If you live in Florida, you are required to attend. Some of you thought my last “attendance is mandatory” message was a joke, and I guess it was, and technically the “required to attend” part of this message was also a joke…but, c’mon! It’ll be fuuuuuuuuun! I’ll buy you a pony!

Check out for full details.

Almost Over…

Well, I’m back from the second-to-last week of the PRESSURE promo tour. Two more signings and it’s over, kiddies! You’d think that the feeling of elation that comes from seeing your book on the shelf would eventually fade…and it does. I’m sick of seeing that frickin’ book. It makes me want to kick the shelf. If I have to tell one more person what it’s about, I’m going to start screaming obscenities and punch out a Dalmatian. 

No, I’m kidding. I’ll prove it with a smiley face. 🙂   I’ve spent too much of my life with my books NOT on bookshelves not to get all giddy when I see PRESSURE right there next to UNCLE TOM’S CABIN and Peter Straub. Also, at my Ft. Myers signing this afternoon, a potential reader shouted “I WANT TO SEE IT! I WAAAAAAAAAAANT IT!!!” Granted, it was a four-year-old child, and I’m not sure he would have even liked the book if his mom had bought it for him, but his level of enthusiasm toward PRESSURE is something we should all emulate.

So did you pre-order THE SEVERED NOSE yet?

The Tour Continues: Delray Beach & Ft. Myers

And I’m headed back on the road for another weekend of PRESSURE insanity. First official stop, excluding drop-in signings: the Murder on the Beach bookstore in Delray Beach, Florida. You know darn well you want to go to a bookstore called Murder on the Beach. I’ll be there Saturday, July 18 starting at 5:00 PM.

It’s at 273 Pineapple Grove Way. Delray Beach, Florida. 33444, and you can check out their website at C’mon out!

And then, Sunday, July 19th, starting at 1:00 PM, I’ll be at Barnes & Noble in Ft. Myers. 13751 S. Tamiami Trail. Ft. Myers, Florida 33912. 

That’s not the end, but it’s starting to wind down…

Poll Time!

Okay, this poll is only aimed at those whackos who have bought stuff like the hardcover limited editions of DISPOSAL, THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE, GLEEFULLY MACABRE TALES, THE HAUNTED FOREST TOUR, or my various other pricey books and would consider buying them again. 

Let’s say I’ve got another one of those high-end hardcover limited editions coming out. Tiny little print run. No current plans for a paperback edition, but I’m toying with the idea of an e-book edition.

Thanks! And please feel free to add any comments, if you’ve got more to say about the subject!

Lots o’ Stuff

For those of you who’ve asked, my next “serious” novel is called DWELLER, coming March 2010 from Leisure Books. I got a sneak peek at the cover art today, and it’s perfect. Way better than what I asked for, which I guess is why I’m an author and not a cover artist. 

I found out that my novella KUTTER has been moved up two months, from February 2010 to December 2009. The book should go up for pre-order fairly soon, and the day before that happens I’ll post a blog about the process of writing it. At this very moment I’m waiting for a glimpse at the first piece of interior artwork…it could show up in my e-mail any second now…the suspense is unbearable…

Meanwhile, the interior illustrations for THE SEVERED NOSE are weird and wonderful things, drawn by Melanie McVey. This one’s set to ship in the next two to three weeks, so if you didn’t order it before because it was months and months away, now’s the time to reserve your copy! 

When I finish a piece of writing, whether it’s 500-word flash fiction or a 75,000-word novel, my response is “Yeah! I’m done! Huzzah!!! Woo-hoo-hoo!!! I’m doooooone!!! Cha-cha-cha!!!” THE SEVERED NOSE is the only thing I’ve ever written where I was kind of sad when it was over. It’s easily the most fun I’ve had with a project for at least the past few years. The tone is sort of like a dry-humored, extremely dark piece of sketch comedy, with characters who are extremely polite in the face of ghastly events. 

I’ve shared the opening bit here before, but it’s been a while, so…

“When you kill people for a living, you get used to finding the occasional body part lying around your home. I do not kill people for a living, and so I freaked.”

Pre-ordering links are conveniently located here (paperback numbered edition)…

And here (hardcover lettered edition)…

Tell the economy to suck it! Order your copy today!


So I flew to Chicago this past weekend as the PRESSURE tour continued its path of destruction. Most of it involved driving around with Joe Konrath, whose novel CHERRY BOMB (the sixth in his “Jack Daniels” series) came out last week. We stopped at 20 bookstores, where I scrawled my name on whatever copies of PRESSURE they had on the shelves.

But there was also time for touristy stuff, most notably the Sears Tower (now the “Willis Tower,” but if I said “Willis Tower” you’d probably think “WTF is the Willis Tower?” whereas if I say “Sears Tower” you probably know what I’m talking about) which now has these clear plexiglass boxes protruding from the top floor, where you can walk out and see straight down 103 stories. It’s freaky. Really, really freaky. It’s unlikely that the people in charge would approve this whole idea if the bottom of the box were likely to drop out and send you plummeting, but it’s still pretty unnerving.

We left Joe’s car in a parking garage during this adventure. It’s self-pay parking where you feed your ticket in when you return. The machine ate the ticket, then wouldn’t take the credit card. We pushed the button for assistance, and a pre-recorded voice insisted that somebody would be with us shortly. We waited. Joe went to look for an employee. We waited and pushed the assistance buttons on the other machines. Joe returned, his mission unsuccessful. We waited. We all went looking for an employee, any employee. There were none. (Note that this was Friday afternoon, not Sunday at midnight.) 45 minutes later, we pressed the emergency button. A pretty light flashed. Nobody came. We noted that this would be a superb place to break into somebody’s automobile. We also prepared ourselves for a burst of pure rage in the likely event that an employee finally showed up and explained that we had to pay the maximum rate since we didn’t have the ticket.

That didn’t happen, though, because nobody ever showed. Finally, we got in Joe’s car, waited for another car to pull out, and rode its bumper, hoping that the gate wouldn’t come crashing down on us. Actually, I kind of hoped that it would, since it wasn’t my car and I was actively seeking blog material, but it didn’t and all was well.

We had dinner with Charlaine Harris, which was way more fun than wandering around a parking garage. She gave us free DVDs of all of the unaired TRUE BLOOD episodes. Okay, not really, but she probably would have if I’d used puppy dog eyes.

By pure coincidence, we stopped at a Barnes & Noble store where fellow Leisure and Delirium author John Everson was doing a signing, so I babbled at him for a bit. Rhonda Wilson, who’d driven six hours (!!!) for this event, was also there. She brought lots and lots and lots of books for me to sign–in fact, I believe it’s the largest collection of my stuff outside of my own, which is way more Jeff Strand writing than anybody needs to possess.

(By the way, the “largest collection of my stuff” comment is a CHALLENGE! Everybody reading this should vow to beat the record! Purchase, purchase, purchase!)

My wife went to the American Library Association conference while Joe and I drove around, and she acquired approximately 8,371,009 free books. 

Bill Breedlove held a truly awesome BBQ, whose guests included most of the aforementioned people along with Martel Sardina. Bill has a pet pigeon that pecks on his arm. He didn’t flinch when the pigeon pecked on it, so I assume that the pecking was more gentle than it looked or that the nerves in Bill’s arm have worn away. 

I ate several Chicago dogs, including one with a satanic sport pepper that still burns.

The main event was a signing at the Centuries & Sleuths bookstore, which also included KILLING RED author Henry Perez. I was completely brain-fried by then, but managed to babble my way through a Q&A. PRESSURE sold out quickly and several people were left PRESSUREless, although they were polite and did not form an angry mob. 

And, yes, Joe Konrath’s wife does indeed exist. I always kind of assumed that his “wife” was an amalgam of dozens of women who lived with him for three or four weeks then ran screaming into the night, but there is actually a woman who seems to be able to handle the torment. She deserves your respect.

Anyway, it was a great weekend. Thanks to Joe for letting me crash at his place and driving me around Chicago for three days!

Next weekend: Drop-in signings around southern Florida, along with an official signing at Murder on the Beach on Saturday, July 18 at 5:00 PM ( and at the Ft. Myers Barnes & Noble on Sunday, July 19 at 1:00 PM. 

My Precious…

A couple of weeks ago I had a layover at the Chicago O’Hare airport, during which I purchased this. 

I’m headed to Chicago tomorrow morning, and it WILL be mine again. Oh, yes, my sweet, you will be mine. All mine.

Not that exact one. That would be gross. But one very much like it…or even better.

Oh yes.


It’s been brought to my attention that some people reading this did not purchase a copy of the mass market edition of PRESSURE, available now at your local bookstore. Never mind how I know this. Now, some of you bought it in hardcover and are excused, but as for the rest of you… for shaaaaaaame. Heads down on your desk for ten minutes.

Okay, that was twelve, but you looked so peaceful I didn’t want to disturb you. Now get to a bookstore, purchase TWO copies of PRESSURE to atone for your slackery, and then speak well of it on Amazon. (If you don’t like it, bash yourself in the head a few times until you forget the storyline, then re-read it. You’ll enjoy it more with slight brain damage.)

Everybody understand the plan? Cool.

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