Biting Dog Press hardcover 400-copy limited edition sold out. Try eBay, maybe?
Included in Gleefully Macabre Tales.
Disposal. A mean-spirited, foul-mouthed, gruesome dark comedy novella.
This one was a lot of fun to write, partly because I enjoy “one damn thing after another” plotting, and partly because it’s written from the first-person perspective of Frank, who’s a total piece of crap, and he knows it. He has no illusions that he doesn’t suck. I wouldn’t want to meet him, but I loved being in his head.
Will this book turn out to be the first of mine to be adapted into a feature film? Stalking You Now was adapted into Mindy Has To Die, but though it screened at the Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival, it was only half-finished, and it’s not looking as if it’ll ever be completed. Disposal is currently in pre-production in Buffalo, New York, to be directed by Mick Thomas. I think it’ll make a really entertaining, nasty flick.
To add some bonus content to the hardcover limited edition, I thought it would be funny (and keeping with the tone) to get a bunch of different authors to write forewords that said either a) this book sucks, b) I suck, or c) both. I reached out to ten different authors. All ten of them accepted the assignment without hesitation. That’s a 100% acceptance rate for a non-paying writing assignment. And so the book opened with cheerfully unpleasant introductions by Michael A. Arnzen, MaryJanice Davidson, Christopher Golden, Rick Hautala, Brian Keene, JA Konrath, Gregory Lamberson, Mark McLaughlin, James A. Moore, and James Newman. A couple of them actually wounded me. (Sorry, there are no plans to reprint these forewords in any other editions.)
It was originally commissioned to be part of a three-novella hardcover limited edition collection, with the other two written by the lovely and talented Kealan Patrick Burke and the lovely and talented John Paul Allen. But the publisher was dissuaded from that idea by another publisher who suggested that he’d be much better off splitting them into three separate books. This is because people tend to focus on the element they’re not interested in. So a collector might see the multi-author collection and say, “I’m a big fan of Kealan Patrick Burke but Jeff Strand’s work totally bites, so why would I pay $40 for the book when I’m only interested in one of the novellas?” That same collector might see the solo version and say, “Ooooh! A new Kealan Patrick Burke novella! Here’s my $40!”
That part made sense from a “psychological profile of potential customers” standpoint. But we were strongly encouraged to promote it as a three-book set.
I love Keith Minnion’s cover. Look at it up there. Pretty cool, huh? But the fatal flaw was that the same cover was used for all three books, with the only change that a different eye was highlighted on each one. So I had to promote a book on message boards filled with people saying “They recycled the same cover for all three books? And we’re supposed to pay $120 for the set? WTF?” It inspired at least one think piece about “Has the limited edition market gotten out of hand?”
So, yeah, that was a bummer. Though each of the books did have several full-page Keith Minnion illustrations to call their own and individually they’re all top-notch productions.
When it came time for a paperback and e-book edition, I decided not to try to publish it on its own, but instead added it to Gleefully Macabre Tales as the closing story.
I asked director Mick Thomas if the movie version will have the “melting” scene. He says that it will. You’re in for a………..treat?
Here’s the blurb:
Meet Frank, a truly reprehensible human being. An egotistical sexist morally vacant scumbag who gets off on committing armed robbery. The kind of creep whose smirk you want to rub off with razor blade-laced sandpaper.
But when he robs Gretchen at gunpoint, he’ll get a lot more than the twelve bucks in her cash register. She makes him an offer he can’t refuse: Kill her husband in exchange for sex. The problem is that her husband is hard to kill. Really hard to kill. Like, the bastard just won’t frickin’ DIE!!!
Lots of bad and occasionally disgusting things happen.
So get ready to spend some quality time with an absolute sleazebucket. Disposal. It could very well be the finest tale you’ll read all year. If not, you’ll get over it.
“Quickly spirals into the sort of frenzied chaos that marks Strand at his best. The events unfold with the same sort of insane speed that you get from watching Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD movies.”
–The Dark Library
“A dark comedy so smartly funny that laughing through bodily mutilation is your only option. The author knows how to work the reader, never jolting you out of your suspension of disbelief, no matter how outrageous and over the top the plot gets.”
“Disposal is sure to please with Strand’s trademark unsettling brand of humor. His writing is rough and disturbing and this book is unquestionably a no-holds-barred roller-coaster ride that is sure to cross a few lines, but I’m here to tell you that it is well worth the price of admission
“The prose flows with ease and the plot takes many twists, reinventing itself every few pages. The overwhelming strength of the book is Strand’s creativity and playfulness with the story. If this book does not thrill you or make you laugh at least once, you have no business reading horror fiction.”
–Literary Strange Digest
“In Disposal, Jeff Strand proves once again why he’s the king of comedic horror, with a story so unrelentingly surprising and unflinchingly nasty that there’s something entertaining to be found on every single page. This is a funny — painfully funny — read, dripping with pitch black humor and lots of light literary wit.”
— Michael Arnzen, author of LICKER and PLAY DEAD