THE UH-OH SHOW Now on DVD

Many people say to me “Gosh, Jeff, your books are sure swell, but can you act?”

I always chuckle and say “Yes, indeed I can,” because no evidence exists either way, so why not lie?

But now YOU can be the judge. Because I have a 15-second role in THE UH-OH SHOW, the new film from legendary splatter director Herschell (BLOOD FEAST) Gordon (2000 MANIACS) Lewis (THE GORE GORE GIRLS). I’m not saying that my role (spoiler: I die) is the greatest part of the movie, nor am I saying that it is the standard by which all future 15-second roles will be judged, but I’m not denying that, either.

Order your copy from Amazon right here!

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First Mobile Post

Yes, this update is not only being posted on my IPad, but I’m posting from Panera (“Where free wireless means that you will never, ever get a seat inside”). The sky is darkening and it’s going to be a race to finish my turkey sandwich before the thunderstorm begins. I probably won’t do many mobile updates, because they encourage me to share things like how I’m trying to finish a turkey sandwich before a thunderstorm, but it’s nice to have the option.

Angry Birds Has Not Sucked Away My Life

Of course, I don’t have Angry Birds on my iPad, and will not be getting it, leaving me free to continue to write novels and stuff. I did, however, get a game called Hector: Badge of Carnage, which is an adventure game in the style of those 80’s-90’s games with the ridiculous puzzles that I loved so dearly, which have been pretty much replaced by hidden object games. Oh, I like hidden object games, don’t get me wrong, but they’re no Day of the Tentacle / Full Throttle / Grim Fandango / Monkey Island / Broken Sword / Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist / The Longest Journey etc.

To demonstrate the amazing movie-watching power of this new device, I watched an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 featuring a grainy black-and-white film and finally finished watching Troll 2, which I’ve been watching in 10-minute increments over the past few months. Worst movie ever? If you exclude Birdemic: Shock and Terror, I was inclined to agree until the very last scene. However, I maintain that the final moment of Troll 2 is so dark and twisted that it removes the film from Worst Movie Ever consideration. Sorry.

I still haven’t seen Best Worst Movie, the Troll 2 documentary, because these days I’ve become a slave to Netflix Instant Watch.

Now I’m Posting With Power!!!

Yes, I’m posting this website update with my new iPad2. Now I can consume media like never before!

THE MONSTER’S CORNER Multi-City Book Launch

The Monster’s Corner, an anthology of stories from the monster’s point of view (and including my own tale “Specimen 313,” which those of you in the United States can download absolutely FREE right here), goes on sale September 27th, and to celebrate, I’ll be doing a booksigning at…

7:00PM
Barnes & Noble  # 2767
11802 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618

Don’t live in Florida but want to be part of the fun? There are going to be signings all over the country, so if you can’t make it to mine, keep watching this space for more updates!

Bloody War Between Interviewer and Interviewee

Sometimes interviewers ask polite questions, and sometimes interviewees give polite answers.
Other times…things get ugly.

Cuffs

This charming photograph with me and Sally Bosco is somehow related to the fourth Andrew Mayhem novel…

Specimen 313 For Free!

The Monster’s Corner, a collection of short stories where the monsters are the good guys (or at least you understand why they feel the need to go on murderous destructive rampages) comes out on September 27 from St. Martin’s Press. This book is so awesome that the publisher said “You know what? We’ve got nothing to hide here. Let’s give away a couple of stories for FREE.”

“Specimen 313,” written by me, is one of those stories. That’s right, much of the fate of The Monster’s Corner rests on my shoulders. If people read it and think it sucks, they won’t buy The Monster’s Corner and it’ll be all my fault. Editor Christopher Golden will kick me in the side of the head. But if they like it…my gosh, I’d be a hero! I’d be the guy who rescued the publishing industry from its impending collapse!

Anyway, it’s free, and I’ll love you forever if you download a copy. Even if you were going to buy The Monster’s Corner anyway, which you know you were, go ahead and download the e-book. Publishers Weekly called it “an effectively funny tale of love and plant monsters.” You like love and plant monsters, right?

Click here for “Specimen 313” for Kindle.

 

Click here for “Specimen 313” for Nook

Publishers Weekly on “Specimen 313”

Publishers Weekly has a review of the upcoming anthology The Monster’s Corner (edited by Christopher Golden), a collection of stories where the monsters are the protagonists. My own “Specimen 313” is mentioned as a highlight, which they call “an effectively funny tale of love and plant monsters.”

You can confirm that I’m not a lying bastard at http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-312-64613-4

Can’t wait until late September for the book to be published? Then wait just a couple more days, and I’ll post a link to the absolutely FREE e-book of “Specimen 313.” That’s right, FREE! Keep frantically clicking “refresh” for updates.

Guest Blog By Jared Sandman

I’ve never had a guest blogger here on my website, but when Jared Sandmann asked if he could do one, I thought “Free content! Woo-hoo!” I said it had to be funny, ‘cuz that’s the way we roll in these parts, so he contributed an essay on Humor and Horror. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, madmen and madwomen, presenting…Jared Sandman!

 

Jared Sandman’s Blogbuster Tour 2011 runs from July 1st through August 31st.  His novels include Leviathan, The Wild Hunt and Dreamland, all of which are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.  His next book, The Shadow Wolves, will be released in August.  Follow him on Twitter (@JaredSandman) and be entered to win one of several $25 Amazon gift cards.  See rules at www.jaredsandman.com for eligibility.

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“The Yuk Factor”

Humor and horror are two sides of a double-edged sword, each equally pointed and capable of drawing blood when well used.  Horror is more direct, like a fatal knife thrust, while humor takes an indirect approach.  Humor’s lethality is comparable to death by a thousand cuts, shallow barbs that inflict massive damage through cumulative effect.

Horror, which is really another name for tragedy, has a storied kinship with comedy.  My favorite writer is Robert Bloch.  Bloch was the undisputed master of the pun, the twist ending, the gag-inducing gag.  (If you doubt me, look no further than his contribution to Dark Forces, “The Night Before Christmas.”)  Early in his career, Bloch worked as a stand-up comic and sold jokes to radio programs.  Even William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, wrote several satirical novels and comedy screenplays before working in the horror genre.  Then there are those who wield the twin talents of writing and illustrating, such as Gahan Wilson or Edward Gorey, whose drawings add another layer of wit to the wicked.

Humor springs from the chasm between what one expects and what actually transpires.  It shares with horror a need to subvert expectations.  Both genres lampoon the sacred and the scared, poke fun at things others hold dear or hold at arm’s length out of disgust.  If there can be no sacred cows for comedians, neither can there be any for horror writers.

People laugh at whatever frightens or confounds them.  What elicits a gasp from one person produces a guffaw in another.  These are reflexive reactions that can’t be stifled, two different types of emotional coping mechanisms:  our fears parried through parody.

The quickest shortcut to make an audience care for a protagonist is to have that character crack wise.  Nobody wants the comic relief to get killed, after all.  (Of course this usually means the funniest person must die, as William Faulkner reminds us to kill our darlings.)  When the two genres work in tandem, the effects can be greater than the sum of their parts.  Movies like Ghostbusters or Shaun of the Dead garner cult followings because they appeal to double the demographics, horror fans and comedy lovers alike.

In horror fiction, the writer requires a certain level of atmosphere and dread to craft a memorable scene.  He or she builds tension like a simmering pot of water set to boil.  And a well-timed punchline at a particularly suspenseful moment in a horror movie will provoke thunderous laughter because the audience members crave a momentary lapse in their unease.

Unbeknownst to them, that same joke serves merely as misdirection.  It’s in that instant, when viewers or readers drop their guards, that the real trap is sprung and something truly terrifying is let loose.

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