Jeff Strand Der Autor
Geboren wurde Jeff Strand am 4. Dezember 1970 in Baltimore, US-Staat Maryland. 1989 schrieb Strand sich an der »Bowling Green State University« ein. Seinen Abschluss machte Strand im Fach Kreatives Schreiben. Schon in seiner Studienzeit schrieb Strand Theaterstücke und Drehbücher. Ab Mitte der 1990er Jahre versuchte er sich auch an Romanen, wobei er die Genres Phantastik und Krimi gleichermaßen bediente bzw. gern mischte und sie mit schrägem Humor abschmeckte. 2007 war er mit »Pressure« unter den Kandidaten für einen »Bram Stoker Award«; immerhin verlor er gegen Stephen King. Seit 2012 verfasst Strand auch Unterhaltung für Jugendliche. Mit seiner Ehefrau lebt und arbeitet er in Tampa, Florida. (Quelle: krimi-couch)
Introduce yourself to the readers
Hi, readers! I'm Jeff Strand, author of a bunch of weird books! Some are humor, some are horror, and some are both at the same time. I live in Florida, USA, where lots of very strange people live. I'm not one of them, though. I'm totally normal.
When do you have the best ideas?
Usually when I'm taking a walk around my neighborhood. Lately it's been too hot for long walks, but thankfully it's starting to cool down, so I can finally get more ideas. My dreams are usually boring, so I'm robbed of the chance to steal ideas from my subconscious mind.
What inspires you while writing a book?
Usually it's just talking it through (not out loud). "What if he did this? Okay, what if he did this instead? What would that guy do then? Oh, wait, what if he did this? Which word is funnier?" Overall, it's not a very interesting process. Just brainstorming.
Do people or incidents of your own life appear in your books?
Rarely. The only book where I pulled a few real-life anecdotes is "Kumquat." Aside from that, it's almost all entirely made up. Early on I did a book called "Out of Whack" that was about a guy becoming a comedy writer, and people said, "That must be the Jeff Strand life story!" but there was almost nothing in the book that came from reality.
What is your book "The Sinister Mr. Corpse" about?
It's about a guy named Stanley Dabernath, who dies in a freak accident involving a milk truck, and is brought back to life as part of a prime-time live television special. So he becomes the world's first zombie, and an international celebrity. But the people who resurrected him, Project Second Chance, may have some dark secrets. It's a comedy.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages in the life of an author?
Fan mail is a pretty big advantage, as is getting to do interviews like this and feel like a celebrity! There's a huge feeling of satisfaction when you type "The End" on a manuscript, and it's amazing to know that people are actually reading the stuff you wrote. The big disadvantage is that most authors still have a day job, and until you can become a full-time writer you have very little free time!
Do your books deliver a certain message?
Not on purpose. I never sit down and say, "Okay, here's the message I want to convey to my readers." And sometimes, because I often write grisly horror novels with unpleasant characters, the message that DOES come across isn't something that I really believe!
How much time passes between an idea and the completion of a book?
It varies a lot. I had the basic idea for my novel "Pressure" more than fifteen years before the book was finished. I had the idea for the fourth book in the Andrew Mayhem series for several years before I actually wrote it. But when I got the idea for "Mandibles," I went right to work on the book, and finished it in about three months. So there's no consistent answer.
Do you have a certain model? (Do you take somebody as an example?)
I take bits and pieces from various people, but there's no one person where I say, "Yes! That is who I want to emulate!" Though I could name a specific person, he's so egotistical already that he doesn't need to read something like that from me!
Which is your best book (or favourite) of all you have written?
Actually, if I answer both parts of that, I think "Dweller" is my best book, but "Benjamin's Parasite" is probably my favorite, at least today.
Are there moments where you have no more ideas?
No. There are definitely moments where I get stuck, and I have to sit there thinking, "How am I going to get my characters out of this mess???" But as far as being completely blank, where I have no more ideas to write about...nope. At least not so far.
Is there a certain object which always has to be present while you are writing?
A computer to write on! (I've completely lost the ability to write a book with a pencil and paper.) Aside from that, no, I don't have to have any certain objects, or write in any certain places, or write at any certain time of day.
How do you handle negative reviews or opinions?
I have an army of diseased red-eyed rats in my basement that do my bidding. When somebody gives me a one-star review on Amazon, I send the rats after them. I'm not saying that the rats EAT the reviewer--that would be wrong--but they devour a limb or two, and I rarely get a second bad review from that particular person.
Can you imagine publishing a book of a different genre?
"Kumquat" was a romantic comedy with no horror at all, and "I Have A Bad Feeling About This" was an action/comedy, also with no horror. I doubt I would ever write a book that had no humor at all, but, yeah, I'll probably keep playing around with other genres besides horror.
Will there be a reading in germany?
Sadly, nothing right now, although a kind reader did say, "You can stay with me, and I'll show you around!" Someday I hope to eat German gummi bears in Germany. Someday!!!
Describe yourself in 5 words
"Requires 6 words to describe himself."