How To Become a YA Author in 34 Easy Steps

A bunch of guest blogs by me are going to start popping up around the mighty internet, including “How To Become a YA Author in 34 Easy Steps,” posted at Elizabeth A. White’s awesome book review site:


An Important Warning About Voodoo

Tyler Churchill, the main character in my novel A Bad Day For Voodoo, wrote an informative guest blog which you can…….sorry, I can’t keep up the charade. Tyler didn’t write it. He doesn’t exist. I wrote it, and I resent the idea that a fictional character is getting the credit for my hard work. 

Anyway, Sourcebooks offered this piece to various cool bloggers about YA fiction, and I believe that Letters Inside Out was the first one to post it. It contains very important information for those of you who may be considering NOT buying the book next month, so click that link! 

Stokers 2013 Emcee!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, as if there wasn’t already enough reason to go to New Orleans next June (i.e., a muffuletta from Central Grocery), the Horror Writers Association has officially announced that I’ll be the Master of Ceremonies for the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards banquet. 

And they’ve already announced their first Guest of Honor: the legendary Ramsey Campbell! Holy crap!

You’ve got more than a year to save the money. I recommend starting a swear jar. Learn more about the event at

Voodoo Bookmarks

Even if you’re a Kindle-wielding maniac, you love bookmarks, right? Everybody loves bookmarks. 

Especially…A Bad Day For Voodoo bookmarks!

How much would you pay for a Voodoo bookmark? Thirty-two cents? Forty-five? Maybe even seventy-eight cents? Well, you won’t pay a gosh-darn penny, because I’m mailing those things out for free! All you’ve gotta do is send your mailing address to and I’ll send you a few, one for you and some to give to your friends, loved ones, bookstores, and public libraries.

Q: What if I only want one?

A: Tough.

Q: What if you send me 10 or so, and I keep one and trash the other 9? 

A: Then you totally suck.

Q: But how will you know?

A: I won’t. But YOU’LL know. And it will haunt you.

Q: When does this offer expire? 

A: Pretty soon.

Q: I’ll e-mail you right now!

A: Sweet. 

Figure 8 School Bus Racing!!!

This past weekend, I went to see figure 8 school bus racing. That is not code. That is, literally, school busses racing around a track in a figure 8. The center of the figure 8 is an intersection without a traffic light, and that’s where the magic happens.

You can’t watch figure 8 school bus racing ironically. Oh, you can try. You can walk onto the bleachers with your Mountain Dew and boiled peanuts and think “Heh heh, I’m going to see how the less intelligent people of the world entertain themselves.” It doesn’t work. The first time those beat-up busses race past each other in the intersection and miss by freakin’ INCHES you’ll be all “Wooooooooo-hooooooo!!! Goooooo school busses! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”

This will not be my last figure 8 school bus race. I promise you that.

And, yes, there was an awesome crash.  


Andrew Allan, co-producer of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ The Uh-Oh Show, sent me this amazing screen capture of me in action. So I’m posting it here. Because I look rage-filled.

Cult Movie Mania: Part Of What You Missed If You Weren’t There

Last night, the Tampa Pitcher Show hosted that Cult Movie Mania event I kept bugging you about. Since some of you do not live in Tampa, or Florida, or the United States of America, it was expected that a couple of readers of this website would not be able to attend. There’s nothing I can do about the fact that you missed the vile disgustingness of “Filthy,” or the disgusting vileness of “The Psycho Dish,” or the WTF-ness of “Final Curtain,” but I can post the script to one of the live theatre pieces!

(These were acted by Calvin, Natalie, Tex, and Samantha from Cheap Little Punks, along with Joel Wynkoop. Cash and Andy Lalino put the whole show together.)

This comes after Koopwell the Mentalist has accused the audience of being a bunch of deviants, which they were.


KOOPWELL: Now, watch as I present these two innocent people with a moral quandary…one that may destroy them!

[Koopwell walks over to where Tom and Esmerelda are seated. He is holding a small box with a button on top.]

KOOPWELL: I, Koopwell the Astounding, present you with a gift! If you press this button, you will be given one million dollars…but somebody you do not know will die!

TOM: Oh, hell yeah! Hand it over!

KOOPWELL: You must carefully consider the moral implications of this action. Can you sleep at night, knowing the great price that came with your newfound wealth?

TOM: Sure, I don’t even know the dude. Gimme the button!

KOOPWELL: This is not a decision to take lightly. You must fully consider–

[Tom stands up.]

TOM: Stop talking and just give me the kill button!

[He snatches the box out of Koopwell’s hand and then sits back down.]

TOM: Wow. I’ve always wanted one of these buttons that kills people you don’t know for a million dollars!

ESMERELDA: Are you sure we shouldn’t make a list of pros and cons before we do this?

TOM: That’s sissy talk.

ESMERELDA: But what if it comes with an ironic twist?

TOM: Look, honey, if you waste time worrying about ironic twists, you’ll never get ahead in life. For all we know, the person we don’t know could be a serial killer, who could kill even more people, and the people he kills could get up and kill, and the people they kill could get up and kill!

ESMERELDA: Well, we don’t want that.

[She presses the button.]

KOOPWELL: I am Koopwell the Magnificent, and you have made your moral choice! Check your PayPal account.

TOM: We’re rich! We can buy anything in the world that costs a million dollars or less!

ESMERELDA: Let’s go on a cruise!

TOM: No! I’m going to take that million dollars and buy an army of pugs! An entire army. Oh, they may look harmless, but my army of pugs will take down the entire city of Tampa!

ESMERELDA: Please, Tom, no! Maybe we should invest the money.

TOM: Never! Death and destruction is the way to go! All prepare for the pug apocalypse!

ESMERELDA: Oh, Tom, it’s like I don’t even know you anymore!

[They look at each other for a moment. Tom drops dead.]

KOOPWELL: Yes, life always comes with an ironic twist! In this case, our lovely heroine never expected the irony that…PayPal took out a substantial service fee!


KOOPWELL: And now, ladies and gentlemen, we present our first film of the evening! Keep in mind that any technical difficulties we might encounter are merely a homage to the great Ed Wood. Remember that. Any screw ups–Ed Wood homage. We promise. So prepare your senses to be assaulted like never before…

Cult Movie Mania on Bay News 9

Me on the TV! Check it out:

Blood Lite III

I’m one of the “…and many more!” Blood Lite III will be out on May 29th and contains my story “Scrumptious Bone Bread.” While you’re waiting, check out author DL Snell’s website, where contributors talk about why humor is important in a horror story.

Cult Movie Mania on May 4th!!!

For the past several weeks, Cult Movie Mania has had a fantastic film series at the Tampa Pitcher Show, including great stuff like Slime City Massacre, Bellflower, The Theatre Bizarre, Chillerama, Father’s Day, Dear God No, and The Uh-Oh Show. But on Friday, May 4th, they’ll have a show so SHOCKING, so THRILLING, so GASP-INDUCING, so SENTENCES LIKE “HOLY CRAP I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE SITTING IN THE THEATRE WATCHING THIS EVENT!” INSPIRING, that you’ll want to bring an underwear sponge with you!

The evening consists of three short films: Andy Lalino’s gross-out masterpiece “Filthy,” JB Whirley’s “The Psycho Dish,” and…wow, a long-lost film by the legendary Ed Wood, “The Final Curtain!” (It’s actually the pilot for a TV series that never aired, and based on the few minutes I saw, it is awesomely bad.)

But that’s not all! There is also a “live theatre” element, consisting of three ghoulishly funny skits written by highly acclaimed moderately acclaimed occasionally acknowledged author Jeff Strand (me) and performed by members of the Cheap Little Punks, joined by Joel D. Wynkoop!

And it’s only ten bucks. Short horror flicks and live theatre! You can’t possibly have any better options on a Friday night. The insanity starts at 9:00 PM at the Tampa Pitcher Show, 14416 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, Florida.

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