It’s Almost March…

And you know what that means! It’s almost Dweller time!

Dweller will be on the shelves at a bookstore near you (unless the guy in front of you bought the last copy) on March 30. If you’re an online-ordering kind of person, you can pre-order it from Amazon right now. If you’re a deluxe-edition kind of person, you can pre-order the hardcover limited edition as well.

With Pressure I did a bunch of bookstore visits, but for Dweller I’m focusing on the virtual world. This means that:

  1. Yes, I will do an interview for your website, podcast, or magazine.
  2. Yes, I will write a Guest Blog.
  3. Yes, I will do pretty much whatever you want. Make me your bitch.

So if you’ve got a blog, website, ‘zine, or anything (hell, I’ll even guest tweet!) and you want me to do something, just contact me at gleefullymacabre@gmail.com. Use me! Abuse me! Take advantage of the fact that I would very much like for people to purchase a copy of Dweller, the lifetime story of a boy and his monster, available March 30.

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Research & BBQ!

This weekend my wife and I went on a book-research trip to the Florida Everglades. Fortunately for my deadline, I did not get eaten by any of the thousands of alligators that lurk within, nor did any poodles get consumed (that I saw). I’ve lived in Florida for fourteen years, and I’ve seen PLENTY of alligators, but still, it’s always cool to drive and say “There’s a gator! And another one! And another one! And another one!”

We made a brief stop at the official Skunk Ape Research Headquarters, which is less scientific than you might think but an experience that I recommend to everybody. We didn’t go through the reptile & bird exhibit this time, but we did a few years ago, and it offers the one-of-a-kind sensation that you’ve wandered into something out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

For dinner we went to Porky’s Last Stand in Naples, because when your GPS tells you that there’s a restaurant in the vicinity called Porky’s Last Stand, you go there. Most BBQ places offer a choice between a half-rack and a full rack of ribs–this place is “one rack or two?” We were ravenous (not a lot of dining opportunities in the Everglades) and went for the Hawg Fest For Two.

I’d love to say that we tore through the Hawg Fest For Two, leaving only gnawed bones, and that the drive home was filled with shameful silence, but we didn’t even come close. The to-go container is in my refrigerator at this very moment. We probably won’t even be able to eat all of it for lunch. But, oh, it was goooooood!

I came home to free passes to an advance screening of The Crazies. Score!!!

Postcards From Purgatory

So I just finished reading Sam W. Anderson’s short story collection Postcards From Purgatory. I could say “Well, the final story is about a little person who keeps taking laxatives to help him lose weight for an upcoming dwarf-tossing competition, and that’s really all you need to know,” but that would be inaccurate. Oh, I’m not lying about the laxatives and dwarf-tossing competition–that just doesn’t give you an accurate view of the book’s tone.

Don’t get me wrong: Postcards From Purgatory is a demented book. From beginning to end, it’s the work of an unwell human being. But though this certainly isn’t quiet, literary horror, it is serious horror. He’s not going for the gross-out, and he’s not just saying “Oooooh, look how messed-up I can be!” And don’t look for werewolves, zombies, vampires, mummies, or anything like that–you won’t find ’em here!

It’s sixteen stories, and really, there’s not a dud in the bunch. I will admit to my favorite being “Tossing Butch, Saving Theodore,” but they’re all good, from the creepy-crawly (“On You; In You”) to the darkly humorous (“If Mama Ain’t Happy”) to the short-but-disturbing (“To Die Dreaming”) to the just-plain-freaky (“Sifting Through the Ashes of His Gutted Being”).

The book doesn’t come out until this summer, which means that to remind yourself, you have to bookmark this review and revisit it on a weekly basis. Or you can check out the Sideshow Press website and/or Sam W. Anderson’s website.

Questions! Questions! Questions!

I know that people who visit this website lead extremely busy lives, and you were probably reading it so quickly that you MISSED the part where I asked you to send questions for me to answer during the Dread Media podcast. (Writing-related, horror-related, or anything-related.)

Now I’m asking again, and though you can’t see it, I’m typing this while I’m on my knees begging, tears streaming down my face. It’s a pathetic sight. So if you’ve got a question (and it can even be a really LAME question–everything’s cool) send it to feedback@dreadmedia.net.

Thanks. I owe you. I’ll let go of your leg now.

BLOOD LITE 2: OVERBITE

Here’s the table of contents of Blood Lite 2: Overbite, which will be published this Halloween by Pocket Books. That means you’ve got a few months and should therefore pass the time by ordering a copy of Dweller.

Death and Taxes—Heather Graham

Table for Two—Jeff Ryan

Treatment—J.A. Konrath

Dead Clown Séance—Christopher Welch

The Day the Devil Swallowed a Heapin’ Helpin’ of Pride at the Beaulahville Gospel Jubilee—Scott Nicholson

Piecemaker—Don d’Ammassa

Good Breeding—Lucien Soulban

Tails—John R. Little

Dog Tired (of the Drama!)—L.A. Banks

A Sweet Girl for Todd—Mark Onspaugh

Dark Carbuncle—Kevin J. Anderson & Janis Ian

Tastes Like Chicken—Jordan Summers

Presumptuous Beast Throws Sumptuous Feast—Mike Baron

Bad German—Edward Bryant

The Halloween War—Brian J. Hatcher

Oh, the Ho-Ho Horror—Joel A. Sutherland

The Unfortunate Persistence of Harold Francis Beamish—Aaron Polson

Dick and Larry—D.L. Snell

Son of…a Bitch!—Sam W. Anderson

Her Lucky Day—Allison Brennan

A Wing and a Prayer—Sharyn McCrumb

Barewolf—Daniel Pyle

American Banshee—Eric James Stone

The Epicurean—Amy Sterling Casil

The Ghoul Next Door—Nancy Kilpatrick

Daycare of the Damned—Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Season’s Tickets—Derek Clendening

The Close Shave—Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn

Shaggy Dog Story—Steve Rasnic Tem

Eight-Legged VengeanceJeff Strand

Lucifer’s Daughter—Kelley Armstrong

Movie Talk

No, I don’t have any updates on the PRESSURE movie, but here’s some stuff I’ve watched recently.

First of all, I realized that I never talked about the 3 of the 8 Films To Die For that I saw, so let’s start with those:

THE REEDS – Loved it! I have to admit that I was a little disappointed when the supernatural element was introduced, because I was more interested in seeing a “motorboat gets stuck with psycho killer kids in the area” movie, but I got over that quickly and it was all very creepy and well-done. Much of the film was spent desperately hoping that the revelation of what was really happening wouldn’t suck, and it didn’t.

ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION – I’m all in favor of zombie comedies, but this one looked like complete crap from the preview. But–surprise–it’s a darn good movie. There are some gore gags we’ve seen a million times before and a couple that we haven’t, but its strengths are the characters (yeah, I was surprised too) and the satire. It’s not SUBTLE satire (note the title) but genuinely funny.

KILL THEORY – A bunch of college friends trapped in a large house. If one is alive three hours from now, that person will be allowed to leave. If more than one is alive…they all die! I absolutely loved this movie. If you can go with the fact that the killer can be wherever he needs to be at any given moment, this movie works from beginning to end. Directed by Chris Moore of Project Greenlight, a show that really needs a fourth season.

So, three for three on the 8 Films To Die For. Sweet.

THE WOLFMAN – The serious, dramatic stuff doesn’t work at all, but this movie does provide its share of bloody werewolf action. I’m pretty sure they were striving for more than cheap B-movie thrills, but, hey, failing that I’ll take the cheap B-movie thrills, most notably a wonderful moment that screams for somebody to announce “Get ready to ruuuuuuuuumble!!!”

THE COVENANT – I don’t remember the circumstances that resulted in my acquiring this DVD. It was either so cheap that I thought “Hey, how bad can it be for $1.99?” or my brother-in-law gave it to me. Total crap. There was a hilariously bad dialogue exchange that I wanted to share here, but I forgot it.

HARD BOILED – Okay…let’s go way back to November 2008, when QUANTUM OF SOLACE opened in theatres. It featured that awful modern action movie editing, where you can’t tell what’s happening. I walked out of the theatre desperately wanting to see some GOOD action sequences, so I put HARD BOILED, one of John Woo’s Hong Kong flicks, on my Netflix queue. One year and three months later, I finally watched it, and all I can say is “YES!!!” Also: “Whoa! Did that movie set a record for highest body count in an action movie?” I’ve seen most of John Woo’s American movies, but this was his first Hong Kong movie I’d seen, for which I am suitably ashamed.

MIRACLE MILE – A movie that’s been on my Netflix queue forever, after a discussion of “most disturbing movies.” The heavy-duty 1980’s clothing and hair are distracting, and there’s some really stupid stuff in here, but the movie is still chilling and effective, particularly the finale. Anthony Edwards answers a ringing pay phone and accidentally discovers that nuclear war may break out in 50 minutes. Not a happy cheery lovey feel-good movie.

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND – I wanted to see this when it played in theatres and never did, and I got the DVD for something like $3.99 at Best Buy, and didn’t watch it until Valentine’s Day. In the canon of Charlie Kaufman screenplays, it’s weirder than ADAPTATION but less weird than BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and SYNEDOCHE, NEW YORK. That makes it very, very weird. I was inspired to watch it by seeing it on a bunch of “Best of the Decade” lists, but I can’t rank it much higher than “pretty darn good.”

WEEDS: SEASON ONE – Several people told me that I’d love this show, and they were right.

Also, while cleaning the house I re-watched PLANET TERROR from GRINDHOUSE. Has there ever been a movie this shamelessly entertaining? I think not.

Interrogate Me!

So an interview I was going to do for the Dread Media podcast has turned into a guest-co-hosting gig! And we need YOUR questions. If you’ve got a horror-related, writing-related, or general-related question for me, and you want me to have to babble through my answer without any preparation, this is your chance! Send it to feedback@dreadmedia.net and host Desmond Reddick will ask it when we record the show.

Got a question for Desmond that you want ME to ask? Send it to JeffStrand@aol.com.

Got a question for both of us? Send it to…uh, either address.

Want to hear your lovely, melodic voice on the show? Call the official Dread Media voice mail line at 206-203-1213 and ask your question there!

There are 128 episodes of Dread Media available, and of course they’re all free, so check ’em out at www.dreadmedia.net.

The actual recording date hasn’t been set yet, so until I say otherwise, you can assume that the question line is still open!

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