December 31

Well, here in the Eastern time zone, it’s just about the end of 2019. I spent much of the day working on the second draft of my screenplay (down to 155 pages from 164), and tomorrow night it’ll be off to the producers.

2019 was a productive year. Four new novels:FerociousMy PrettiesClowns Vs. SpidersandWolf Hunt 3Sales success varied (My Pretties did extremely well, while many of the reviews expressed surprise that Clowns Vs. Spiders was actually a good book!) but they were all well-received.

I was surprised by how well Five Novellas did. Expectations were low, low, low, and I went out of my way to make it clear that none of this was new material, including purposely giving it a generic title. I may try a collection of all-new novellas in the future…

Expect a lot of new stuff in 2020. A new horror/suspense novel early in the year, and a book many people have been awaiting for a long time. Plus a super-scary novel that, if all goes well, you won’t see anytime soon.

Maybe some movie news? I’m not allowed to officially talk about anything except the adaptation of my book Disposal, but several books have been optioned (I’m only writing the script for one) and my role is basically to sit here and wait for updates.

Stay tuned…

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December 28th

I finished the first draft of the screenplay adaptation of one of my novels (I’m not allowed to blab which one yet) this morning. I decided not to worry about the length with this initial pass, a fact that is obvious, since this draft would make a two-hour and forty-four minute movie.

So, yeah, I’ve got some cutting to do.

December 24th

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In the summer of 2017, I moved from Tampa, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. But I’d already committed to playing a small role in Lycanimator, so two weeks later I drove back down to Florida to portray the evil Dr. Cleighton.

My part involved a) sinister dialogue, and b) a lot of screaming. I honestly never realized I was so good at screaming. I also had to pretend to be dead of a recently torn-open neck–yes, it’s a spoiler, but I want you to brace yourself so that you’re not too heartbroken at the sight. I assume my fans will be outraged and call for the extermination of lycanimators across the nation. I hope they will take a deep, calming breath and realize that it’s just a movie. I did ruin a perfectly good shirt, though.

Anyway, the movie hits DVD in April 2020. Am I any good in it? That’s for audiences to decide, but, no, probably not.

More Lycanimator updates in the months to come…

 

 

December 21st

A double dose of book mail today! First was the (now sold out) Thunderstorm Books collector’s edition of My Pretties. Cover art by Frank Walls.

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And Laughing at Shadowsa horror/comedy anthology that contains my story “Captain Pistachio’s Charming Rampage.” The actual book won’t be available until March 2nd, but you can pre-order it HERE.

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The short film Hostile is in the “picture lock” stage, so if you watched it on mute, that would be the final product. Music and sound effects are presumably not far behind.

 

December 15th

Director Brett Kelly filmed Hostile today, based on my short story. Look at the props!

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And here’s a shot from the actual movie:

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The movie will probably only be three or four minutes long. Film festivals love really short flicks because they can squeeze more of them into the programming. “Gave Up The Ghost,” at 20+ minutes, got rejected from most places it was submitted; it would hog up too much time in a short films block!

I’m not sure what plans are in store for it, but I’ll share ’em here!

Yesterday was my birthday. If you forgot it, that’s okay, you have until the end of the year to buy one of my books to celebrate the occasion of my birth.

December 10th

I used “November” on my last two posts, presumably because I’m in denial about the end of the decade.

The Kindle edition of Hark the Herald Angels Scream is currently only $1.99. It contains my story “Good Deeds,” which is one of my most popular (and most demented) short tales. I have no idea how long this sale will last; get it right HERE.

Hark the Herald Angels Scream

It’s a little maddening when a limited edition ALMOST sells out, but then those last couple of traitorous copies stick around, mocking you. I prefer the scenario where people are wailing in misery because they missed out. Anyway, you can still get the Thunderstorm Books hardcover collector’s edition of My Pretties right HERE.

Also Ferocious right HERE. And Bring Her Back right HERE.

I finally got to see Knives Out last night and loved it. I was worried that I wouldn’t avoid somebody blabbing whodunnit before I made it to the theater, but aside from a friend who should know better eliminating two of the suspects by saying he wished the performers had more to do, I was able to see it unspoiled. Huzzah!

December 8th

My Pretties Thunderstorm

Ooooh, it’s the Frank Walls cover to the Thunderstorm Books hardcover limited edition of My Pretties! Usually these collector’s editions go up for pre-order first, but this one EXISTS and is ready to ship!

They’re already down to the last few copies, so if you’re a book-collecting gourmet, get your copy right HERE.

On the opposite end of the pricing scale, despite being a brand-new full-length anthology, the Kindle edition of Tales of the Lost is only 99 cents. It contains my story “Lost Gator,” and also stories by F. Paul Wilson, Tim Waggoner, Lisa Morton, Yvonne Navarro, David Wellington, Lee Murray, Stephen Graham Jones, Jess Landry, John Palisano, Chris Mason, Paul Moore, Eric J. Guignard, Ben Monroe, Christina Sng, and Kevin J. Anderson.

Order it HERE.

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December 7th

I haven’t stopped working for the day, because I’m a full-time writer and concepts like “It’s Saturday night!” are meaningless in my world. But I did take time off working on the screenplay to add two more behind-the-scenes essays to the website:

Dead Clown Barbecue Expansion Pack: https://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/order/dead-clown-barbecue-expansion-pack/

Clowns Vs. Spiders: https://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/order/clowns-vs-spiders/

I’m not expecting my website traffic to go up as a result of these, but I hope it gives people a reason to poke around here a little more. It’s entirely possible that nobody actually CARES about the origin of something like Dead Clown Barbecue Expansion Pack, but hey, it’s there if you wanna check it out!

December 6th

First things first: I’m planning to start posting here much more frequently. And I’ve certainly been in that situation where I subscribe to somebody’s blog, and then suddenly I’m getting e-mails every day and I’m thinking, “I didn’t want THAT much of my life to be devoted to this person!” So if you’re a subscriber and the notifications are annoying, you won’t hurt my feelings if you click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the e-mail.

I’ve been waiting to hear back news on a very cool project I’m not allowed to blab about (hint: movie adaptation) and today I heard back: it was a pass. But that update came with a surprising and exciting piece of news, and the project is still very much alive…though, odds are, I won’t get any further updates until 2020.

I’m only indirectly involved in the project above. There’s another one where I’m writing the screenplay myself. I put a great big dent in it today, but I switched my standard process. I am NOT a “Just get the words down and worry about fixing it later” type of author, but this time, that’s what I’m doing. Looking at how little of the book I’ve covered and how much of the script I’ve written, I know that I’ll have to cut out a lot, but I’ll worry about that later.

My long-term goal is to update every book page on this website with a behind-the-scenes essay. I’m not doing them in any particular order, but today I finished two of them and updated a third.

Kutter: https://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/order/kutter/

Disposal: https://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/order/disposal/

How to Rescue a Dead Princess: https://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/order/how-to-rescue-a-dead-princess/

No Snow Here

I did not get stranded in Minnesota, though it was actually pretty close. The snowplows didn’t reach my mom’s street until shortly before they were scheduled to quit on Monday, and we needed to head out early Tuesday morning. (There are, of course, much worse fates that being stuck at my mom’s house with its plentiful supply of post-Thanksgiving food and beverages. I could’ve probably survived for a couple of extra days just on the gummi bears that my sister brought me from Germany.)

Today I finished up a short story called “Ghetto Blaster” for an upcoming anthology. Excluding stuff for my newsletter, that’s the last short story I owe until March 1st. FREEEEEDOM!!!

Instead of multi-tasking as planned, I think I’m gonna focus entirely on the screenplay until it’s done, with time in the evenings for my long-long-long awaited website updates, and catching up on the backlog of books I’ve promised to read for blurbs. (Currently reading Johnny Walker Ranger: Demon Slayer by Ezekiel Kincaid, which is wildly entertaining.)

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