January 19th

Today is Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday. To “celebrate,” here’s the sequel to one of his best-known tales of terror, which appeared in my newsletter in October.

“The Tell Tale Heart II: Aftermath”

Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now –again! –hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! –tear up the planks! here, here! –It is the beating of his hideous heart!”

The three officers all stared at me. “I beg your pardon?” asked the first.

“It is…” I trailed off, realizing I’d made a severe tactical error. “Sorry. It’s been a long day. What were we talking about again?”

“Did you say it’s the beating of his hideous heart?” asked the second officer.

I violently shook my head. “Oh, no, no, no. You can’t hear somebody’s heart when they’re buried under the floorboards. That would be ridiculous. My ears are good, but they’re not that good. Anyway, if he were buried under the floorboards, he’d be dead, and he’s not dead, he’s away in the country, as I said earlier in our conversation.”

“Then what did you say?”

“I said…it’s the…bleating…of his…piteouschart. It’s the bleating of his piteous chart.”

The third officer frowned. “That’s a perplexing thing to say.”

“I know. But please do not think that I am mad.”

“Why did you ask us to tear up the planks?”

“I don’t remember saying that.”

“You said, ‘Villains, dissemble no more! I admit the deed! –tear up the planks! here, here! –It is the bleating of his piteous chart!’”

“Right, right,” I said. “I admit that I’ve been careless with the maintenance of this home, and the floorboards have warped most badly. I slept fitfully last night, and so I briefly forgot that you were police officers and confused you with home improvement professionals, who would tear up the planks and replace them with straighter ones.”

“Being careless about the upkeep of your home isn’t what I would call a ‘deed,’” said the first officer. “It’s more like an ongoing state.”

“I agree with my associate,” said the second officer. “And why would you call them villains? They’re providing a necessary service. If I was here to replace your floor and you insulted me before I even got started, why, I’d march right back out the door.”

“I’m not going to lie,” said the third officer. “I think you murdered the old man, chopped him up, buried him under the floorboards, and then thought you heard the sound of his beating heart.”

“Ha ha ha,” I chuckled. “How could such a preposterous scenario even enter your mind?”

“Well, you’re clearly a whack-a-doodle. I bet you killed him because he had a weird ear or a weird nose or a weird eyebrow or something.”

“Liar!” I shouted. “I did no such insane psychotic thing! Vacate my home at once!”

“Actually,” said the first officer, “now that you mention it, I did hear the sound of a heart beating before his outburst. I didn’t think much about it at the time.”

“Me too,” said the second officer. “I just figured he had a metronome.”

“I did hear a thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump,” said the third officer. “I assumed it was all in my head.”

Everybody looked at the spot underneath my chair.

“Oh, yeah,” said the first officer. “There’s totally a heartbeat coming from under there.”

“I admit the deed!” I shouted.

“We were totally making that up to see what you’d do,” said the first officer.

“Fudge!” I said.

The officers pried up the floorboards and removed the chunks of the old man. The first officer looked at his severed head and recoiled.

“Look at his eye! It’s a pale blue eye with a film over it—the eye of a vulture! It’s making my blood run cold!”

“That’s the worst eye I’ve ever seen,” said the second officer. “How could you stand to be around him with that thing looking at you all the time?”

The third officer choked back some bile before he spoke. “I would absolutely murder an old man who had an eye like that. That’s just plain wrong. It’s like it’s following me around.” He shuddered.

“I think we’re done here,” said the first officer. “It’s safe enough to say that you won’t claim any other victims, because nobody else’s eye could be that messed up.  Just try to keep the noise level down so we don’t have to come back, okay?”

“Okay,” I said.

The police officers left. That encounter would’ve gone better if I hadn’t confessed to murder, but still, it worked out okay in the end. So, dammit, stop saying that I am mad!


Copyright 2019 by Jeff Strand.


January 17

Woo-hoo! I can post on WordPress again! Which means I was able to update my Appearances page for 2020…

Scheduled 2020 Appearances…So Far…

February 7. Winter Park, Florida: Trinity Prep Author Festival34 authors will converge in the Trinity Prep library, causing all sorts of madness! Free and open to the public. 3:00 – 6:00 PM.

February 28. Houston, Texas. Alamo DrafthouseI’ll be doing a booksigning at this legendary movie theater, which is known for its incredible events AND for throwing your ass out if you talk or text during the movie! I got to choose the double feature, so it’s gonna be May and Tucker & Dale Vs. EvilTickets go on sale soon.

May 1-3. Indianapolis, Indiana. Mo*ConI’ll be a Special Guest (less than a Guest of Honor, but better than a Wretched Commoner) at this annual, intimate horror con run by Maurice Broaddus.

June 11-14. Kansas City, Missouri. HEAR Now FestivalHey, I’m emceeing the Independent Audiobook Awards for the third time! Did I use up all of my audiobook-themed jokes after year two? We’ll find out together!

July 16-19. Salem, Massachusetts. NeconWait, isn’t Necon in Rhode Island? Not anymore! It’s moved to a new venue for this, the 40th (!) anniversary. I’ll be emceeing the Infamous Necon Roast, and this year the victim could be….YOU!!!

July 30 – August 2. Williamsburg, Virginia. Scares That CareThis amazing charity horror convention returns for its 7th year. I’ll have a wide selection of books available for your purchasing ecstasy.

More to come…

Welcome to Gleefully Macabre!

WolfHunt3-2019Welcome to my website! Whether you were brought here by interest in my work or a Google search gone terribly wrong, I encourage you to hang around and start clicking away!

Wolf Hunt 3 is now available in a Kindle edition!

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My compilation Five Novellas is now available in a Kindle and paperback edition!

My novel My Pretties is available now in a Kindle and paperback edition!

My novel Ferocious is now available in a Kindle and paperback edition!

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The Movie Of The Book About The Movie!

I’ve been talking about writing a screenplay adaptation of one of my books. Now I can blab that the book was The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever, which was optioned by Scott Winlaw and Craig George (who will be producing and directing together) of Binge Bros. Productions!

There’s an official press release and four pieces of concept art on their website. Check it out HERE.

January 14th

I’m back! Actually, I’ve been back from the cabin since Thursday night, but I wasn’t able to get WordPress to work on my computer. In fact, I still can’t. After a few days of trying (by which I mean a few minutes a day for a few days, not a few solid days of effort) I discovered that it works on my Chromebook. The Chromebook was supposed to be my “Writing Only” device, but I guess I’ve added “website updates” to its functions.

I got quite a bit done on Secret Project #1 and Not-Secret Project: Hazel, my next novel. The drive home was supposed to be five and a half hours, and my wife and I ended up making the heroic sacrifice of skipping our trip to the alligator farm in favor of getting home early, getting fully unpacked, and getting a good night’s sleep so we could wake up early in the morning and back to work.

A car accident (not us) caused a half-hour delay. We had no idea how ironic “Well, that kind of sucked” would turn out to be, because we would end up being stopped in traffic (dead stop, engines off, desperately wishing there’d been a more recent pee break) for three and a half hours. Less than a mile ahead, there’d been an accident that involved a semi flipping over and then being struck by several of the cars that had been driving behind it.

At the time, we couldn’t whine about it too much, because we didn’t know if there’d been any fatalities, and you don’t want to complain about a long traffic delay and find out that there’d been, y’know, human lives lost. There weren’t (though we drove by the semi and that thing was TRASHED) so I guess now I can whine about it all I want, though I’m less inclined to do so now that I don’t desperately have to pee.

Anyway, I’ll back with regular blog updates now.

January 7th


Don’t be alarmed. I survived my encounter with the Moss Man. He ignites pretty easily.

I’m at a cabin in a Florida state park. There’s no wireless internet, but thanks to the magic of the year 2020 my computer is tethered to my cell phone’s data plan and I’m not required to live like a primate.

I’ve been taking an “I’m going to work on whatever the hell I want” approach for this week. Part of the time that has meant working on my novel Hazel, which is what I’m supposed to be working on. But I’ve also been working on a SECRET PROJECT that I have to admit may be of LIMITED INTEREST to many of you but others will be all like OH YEAH I’VE GOTTA READ THAT. I know when I want it to come out, but I’m not committing to a damn thing yet.

Heard back from the movie producers, who were “extremely pleased” with my screenplay. I am, of course, perfectly aware that in this biz it could be “We’re extremely pleased with your script…now change everything about it!!!” If you’re wondering which of my novels I’ve adapted, all will be revealed on Monday, January 13th.


January 2nd

The screenplay is officially off to the producers! Looking forward to some hot “addressing the feedback they give me” action in the upcoming weeks.

They’re ready to send out a press release…but I’m heading out of town tomorrow morning with potentially spotty internet access, so we’ve decided to hold off for a week so that I can click “Like” more quickly on the social media comments.

Yes, in what has become an annual tradition, my wife and I are heading down to a cabin in Florida to escape the “cold weather” (I put this in quotes in case somebody is reading this while gazing out at snow). It’s truthfully not going to be THAT much warmer down there than it is in Atlanta, but we didn’t know that when we booked the trip. I’ll take whatever extra warmth I can get.

I guess it’s a semi-vacation. I’ll still be writing, but I’ll be writing in a cabin in Florida. I’m bringing Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live to read and also Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling, which doesn’t come out until this summer but which I get to read early because I’m super famous and well-connected and sat across from Todd at Scares That Care.

I’ve got tentative writing plans for the first half of 2020. The definite one is a novel called Hazel (though the title itself may not be definite). Beyond that, know what I’ve got planned, yet I also know how often those plans change, so if I say too much too soon I’ll look like a damned liar. But there’s cool stuff ahead, kids!


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