To quote Monty Python, "And now, for something completely different..." Presenting an interview with an author... An author who... um... doesn't write children's books (young adult books, maybe). Hey, the blog is called Book 'Em Bob, and this guy writes books. I had the opportunity to interview him, I like his books, and I thought it would be fun. So, I did it. I DO ask him what his favorite children's book is (and his answer is a classic book that many of us love). His name is Jeff Strand, and he is best known for his Humorous Horror novels and short stories, but he has dabbled in other arenas of writing too. He tends to keep his tongue firmly in his cheek and other places... so I played with that a bit. So without further explanation:
Welcome to "Totally Un-Dweller Related Questions Asked of Horror Author Extraordinaire, Mr. Jeff Strand" on the Book 'Em Bob blog (*insert applause here*). I am your host, Robert Brouhard, and we are now welcoming to this webpage the author of such classics as Mandibles, Dweller, Kutter, Benjamin's Parasite, Pressure, How to Rescue a Dead Princess, Out of Whack, Elrod McBugle on the Loose, The Severed Nose, The Sinister Mr. Corpse, Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary), Single White Psychopath Seeks Same, Casket for Sale (Only Used Once), Suckers (with J. A. Konrath), The Haunted Forest Tour (with James A. Moore), and more: Mr. Jeff Strand (*insert standing ovation, women fainting, dogs howling, etc... here*).
BOOK 'EM BOB (BMB): Thank you Mr. Strand for offering up your precious and valuable time for a quick question and answer session with us today. We have 10 questions chosen at random that probably have nothing to do with most of your writing abilities... but who knows, they may have a deep psychological meaning for some person somewhere and might make them want to read more of what you have to say... or not.
Now, in random order, the questions:
Question 1: If you were a bird, what goals would you have for yourself (daily and lifetime)?
JEFF STRAND: On a daily basis, I'd probably try to find at least one squirrel and peck its eyes out. No particular reason, except that if you have a beak, it seems like kind of a waste not to use it to peck out the eyes of squirrels. My lifetime goal would be to not get overconfident and put myself in a situation where several squirrels could attack me at once, creating an ironic and tragic death.
BMB: (*Note to self: Oh boy... this interview may go downhill quick... um... moving on...*)
Question 2: What was your favorite moment of the last 24 hours and why?
JEFF: I had a really good burger at Five Guys, after at least two weeks of thinking about how much I'd enjoy a Five Guys burger. Mustard, onions, pickles, jalapenos, and Cajun-seasoned fries. Oooooooh yeah.
BMB: Nice. Excuse me a second while I wipe the drool of my lapel…
Question 3: If your nose ran away, how would you smell and why?
JEFF: I guess I would, uh, smell through the hole in my face where my nose used to be. Is that how it works? Are the smelling parts actually in your nose, or deeper inside? I guess I should know that, having written a book called The Severed Nose. Let me do some research...
(*four hours later*) Ah, okay. If my nose ran away, it would be more difficult to breathe but I could still smell. So I'd smell fine!
BMB: And you do smell quite nice today I might add... just the right combo of mustard, onions, and pickles...
Question 4: What is your favorite color and why?
JEFF: I guess orange; even though I don't own much in the way of orange clothing or have any orange-color motifs anywhere in my life or really ever think about it except in the very rare occasions when somebody asks me my favorite color. Maybe I just like pumpkins.
BMB: Hmm, illuminating...
Question 5: What is your mostest favoritest website on the whole interwebz and why?
JEFF: Wow. Tough one. I make daily visits to The Horror Mall, Dread Central, Rotten Tomatoes, LiveJournal, Twitter, and a few others, but despite the vast amount of lameness present on the site, I think it would cause me the most pain to lose Facebook. I ignore all of the games and the gifts and the other annoying crap, but I love it as a way to keep in touch with fans & friends.
BMB: Ah yes, Facebook, the addicting website of millions… (note to self: stop sending Farmville "neighbor requests" to Mr. Strand).
Question 6: What kind of name is "Strand" (*sheesh*)?
JEFF: It's an AWESOME name that strikes fear into the hearts of millions, and strikes love into the hearts of millions more. Learn that name well. Respect it.
BMB: Okie dokie…
Question 7: What is the funniest thing you have ever read or seen and why?
JEFF: The single funniest thing is the scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off where Ed Rooney (the principal) is on the phone thinking he's talking to Ferris posing as his girlfriend's father, and Ed is being really obnoxious about the whole "dead grandmother" thing, and his secretary (Edie McClurg) comes in and says, "Ferris Bueller is on line two!" and there's a huge musical sting and the camera zooms in on Ed Rooney's face as he realizes the enormity of his mistake.
BMB: Ferris Bueller's Day Off is definitely a favorite in our household too (well, just for the adults so far, but when the kids grow up... they will love it too)...
Question 8: Because the entire world demands to know: Which is it: Boxers, Briefs, Boxer-Briefs, Depends, Commando, Underoos, etc (I don't know if I want to ask why)?
JEFF: Boxers. If you'd asked why, I probably would've offered up some wacky joke about them, but since you didn't I will merely say "boxers."
BMB: We can live with that.
Question 9: Growing up, what was your favorite children's picture book, and why?
JEFF: The Monster at the End of This Book by Sesame Street's Grover, a masterpiece of hilarious comedy mixed with unbearable dread (*Book 'Em Bob's note: It is by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin*).
BMB: Ah, yes, a classic book that teaches children to not listen to elders or at least monsters like Lovable Furry Old Grover! Just kidding. I loved it as a child, and my son loves it too. I close the book after reading the first page because Grover told us to. That sends my son over the edge... and then I mess with him every page after that ("Grover glued the pages together... Now I can't turn the page." "DADDY!"). It never gets old to him. They even did a cash-in sequel Another Monster at the End of This Book which features that other red monster, Elmo (and Grover). There is also an interactive DVD version of the original book.
Okay, Random Word Association Bonus Speed Round:
*tick tick tick* GO:
JEFF: Monkey cage
JEFF: Author of the upcoming novel Dweller
JEFF: Cold Medina
BMB: *cocks eyebrow* hmm, "Sputnik?"...
JEFF: Those d*mn commies!
JEFF: Drew Barrymore
JEFF: 5th place finish on Survivor: Cook Islands
BMB: And time… Interesting, Mr. Strand… (*scribbles 25 pages of notes and recommendations for further psychological evaluation*). One last question before we bid adieu…
Question 10: As of March, 2010, what are we going to see next from you?
JEFF: This book called Dweller. It follows a guy named Toby and his best friend Owen for their entire lives, from youth to old age. But Owen is a MONSTER! One who lives in the woods! With claws and teeth! How can this be healthy? What happens if Owen starts, like, killing people? Won't that negatively impact their relationship? Find out the answer to these questions and five or six more in...Dweller!
BMB: Fascinating! Thank you, Mr. Strand. It has been an utmost pleasure having you here with us today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, and goodbye.
PS: Incidentally, the cheap trade paperback edition of Dweller from Leisure Books, Jeff Strand's second "serious" novel, is available March 30, 2010 (on Amazon or possibly even at your local book retailer if they’re still open). Go get it, or get the nice and crunchy expensive Limited Edition or Lettered Edition hardcover from Dark Regions Press (http://www.darkregions.com).
PPS: Remember, Jeff Strand’s books are not for kids. Do not read Dweller to them. It may mess them up for life... as with any Jeff Strand book. You have been warned.
PPPS: If you are an author and would enjoy being uniquely interviewed by Book 'Em Bob, feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this page.
PPPPS: Mr. Strand, you are forgiven for not knowing what a "Zipperump-a-Zoo" is... and for saying "WTF" (which means "Well That's Funny" kids) on my family friendly blog. Ha ha.
And with that, "Good night, sleep tight, and don't let the Zipperump-a-Zoos bite."