This is a super special episode. Jeff Strand is back to talk about his novelization for the movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. This cult comedy horror movie is over 40 years old, and Jeff does an absolutely fantastic job with the writing.
You may notice something else of interest – there are 3 people on this episode. That’s because this is a big crossover with the Horror Lasagna podcast and that other person is my co-host, Rhys.
Stephen: So this is a special episode. It’s not even one of our bonus episodes, Reese. This is just a special episode. It’ll take the place, the highest place of honor amongst all our episodes. So it’s a crossover event. It is. We’re going to do this with Discovered Wordsmith also. So Jeff you get to be on my other podcast twice.
You’re one of the lucky handful. Before we get rolling, everybody knows. Me and Reese, all four people in Ram Motion that listen to us. Hello. So first of all, we’ve got a guest Jeff Strand. So Jeff tell everybody a little bit about who you are and then we can start making fun of you.
Jeff: I’m a writer. I have written a little over 50 books. My most recent one was demonic. Tomatoes, the novelization, which I assume will come up at some point during this discussion.
Stephen: Oh, we probably should have
Jeff: some young adult comedy pretty much all over the place, but mostly horror comedies where I’m at.
Stephen: And I know I’ve mentioned you to Reese and others a couple times that I just fell in love with your books.
And I texted you the other day, I said, oh my God, I’m reading the attack of the Killer Tomatoes and it’s your best one. I am l out loud laughing and I’m reading it to my son, just bits and pieces and he’s laughing, just listening to the little bits I put. We wanna talk a little bit about the movie and the novelization a bit My first question, Reese.
Oh, you had a couple questions. Background. I did
Rhys: actually Jeff, this is the first time I’ve met you. And aside from a friend of ours who we know who left a long time ago to go live in Alaska, Alaska is one of the three places that I’ve told my children I should never go because I probably never come home from.
So I’m gonna ask you to disuse me of my romantic notions of what Alaska’s so what was it like growing up in the great white North?
Jeff: I didn’t know any different, so I, I was born in Baltimore, but I grew up in Alaska from six months old till 15. So I, didn’t know any different.
So the fact that it is light, 24 7 during the summer. It was not weird to me. That’s just the way it is. The fact that it gets, I would get on the bus to go to school and be pitch black and then by the time I got on the bus to come home for school, pitch black. There are a little bit of daylight in the middle, so the long nights during the winter, the long.
Days during the summer, that was just the way things were. So people would visit in the summer and like, how can you sleep? It’s, four in the morning and it is bright out and, but that, none of that stuff was weird to me. What was, what I realized was the most weird and didn’t impact me at all growing up was in Fairbanks.
You were in Fairbanks. Like right now I’m in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I, think nothing of, I’ll drive to Nashville tomorrow, I’m gonna go to Atlanta. Knoxville, the whole, continental United States is at my disposal without it being that big of a trip. Whereas in Fairbanks, Fairbanks was the only place I was unless we took a vacationed anchorage, which was like six or eight hours.
So there were tiny little towns that were basically a, gas station and maybe a restaurant. But for the most part, I, if you were a resident of Fairbanks, that’s where you spent all your time because there weren’t other cities that you could just drive to on a casual basis. Nowhere else to go.
Stephen: I talked to a lot of Canadian authors and it’s the same thing. They’re like yeah, I got a favorite bookstore. It’s three and a half hours north of me. I’m like, do you have anything closer? No. That’s like the closest, and I thought it was bad here driving eight miles to get to the.
Grocery store. Yeah.
Jeff: Fairbanks had everything, it had a movie theater, it had bookstores, it had restaurant stuff, but you just, there was nothing beyond the boundaries of it. Yeah.
Stephen: So did I know we go a little south here into Amish country and there’s lots of places that have horse and buggy set ups.
So did they actually have like dog sleds set ups that people drive to the movie theaters to
Jeff: see the movies? No. You had dog sleds that were people training for the Iditarod race, but you didn’t have people who were dog sledding as a means of transportation.
Stephen: Oh, there you go. See my, my fantasies are gone.
They’re dashed on
Jeff: the rocks. Yeah. This was Fairbanks, which was the second biggest city. If you’re in Anchorage, it’s basically like any other big city Fairbanks. Quite a bit smaller, but yeah, you didn’t have the, mush.
Stephen: Let’s go to the movies type thing. The, Riker from Star Trek was from Fairbanks, so Good company.
Yeah. And he did live in Kemp for a while, which is one of the reasons I went when, after I read his, the one book Cyclops Road, I went, oh my God, this guy like was in Kent about the same time I was. Living in this area and we’re like two days apart. Reese, you call me old man cuz we’re like five months apart.
Jeff is actually two days older than me I’m not the oldest anymore.
Rhys: Look at that new senior man in the room. Yeah,
Stephen: Look at that. All right, so first of all, the movie itself now, I know a lot of people probably haven’t seen the movie which is good. That’s what we want. We want movies like that.
It is not your typical horror movie, especially for what Reese and I do, it’s comedy. Jeff, how would you describe the movie and what you enjoy it with? It.
Jeff: It’s just, it’s as silly as you would think from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It’s weird seeing stuff saying, it’s one of the worst movies ever made where they don’t acknowledge that it’s a comedy.
It’s not a straightforward movie about Killer Tomatoes. It wasn’t some guy saying, we’re gonna make the scariest movie ever about, killer Tomatoes. It’s a goofy comedy from beginning to end. It’s. Just joke. Not every joke lands, but a lot of them really do. Even, 45 years later, there’s lots of genuinely funny stuff in the movie. And, it, some of the jokes are overplayed, some of the, they’re, it’s not, A flawless masterpiece of cinematic comedy, but it really works. I think. I love the movie. I think it’s really entertaining and fun. A
Stephen: absolutely agree. And if you like airplane movies, there’s probably a lot in this you’ll like, but the funny thing is, I like attack at the Killer Tomatoes, but I’m not as big on airplane.
I, I never,
Jeff: I love airplane too. So Airplane, naked Gun, all those movies, they’re all in my wheelhouse.
Stephen: Yeah. I’m weird. I know. My son tells me I’m a weirdo for not liking him, and I’m like, I don’t know. I, when I saw him, I guess I didn’t find them funny, so I. It just stuck.
Jeff: But I agree with your son here.
Stephen: like you said, with Killer Tomatoes it’s got some things in it that are very subtle and you have to really pay attention sometimes to pick up on ’em. And there’s a few jokes that are little outdated, let’s say. Nowadays it probably would get people upset, but the stupid little things, like they go into that conference room and it’s so narrow they have to crawl across the table.
But they don’t make a big show of it other than if you think about it or when the Japanese guy hits the picture and it’s the Arizona and it falls in a fish tank. And the funniest part for that for me is there’s no fish tank in the room. So where did that fall into the fish tank? Yeah. That, it’s little things like that I think are great.
Jeff: Yeah, the conference room is great because it doesn’t overplay, it’s not like wacky music, like it’s just people trying to retain their dignity while they. Gets seated in a room that’s way too small for them.
Stephen: What’d you like, Reese?
Rhys: I mentioned to Steve just before we started, I liken it almost to a mad magazine.
Because it, it moves so quickly between one joke to the next and the scenes. So you are probably 30 to 40 minutes into the film before you actually have any recognizable recurring characters because everything is just happening so fast. And then they do the same kind of like Mad magazine used to do with, they’d have little.
Jokes that would be running across the bottom, like a ticker tape kind of thing. And you’re like where’d that come from? So that’s one of the things, airplane and those kind of movies are almost a genre unto themselves. But this feels like something that’s a little set outside because and I’ve mentioned it before with movies, they have a literary feel and this does feel like I’m opening a new issue of Cracked Magazine whenever I’m watching this.
Stephen: Yeah. Mad Magazine was superior though. It
Rhys: was. Just throw some love to the other stuff.
Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. So watching the movie, Jeff, and I’ve read the book, watched the movie now, I told Reese I owe him a copy of the book because it’s just pretty fantastic. He’ll love it. How did you come about and get this, okay, first of all, I, if anybody hasn’t read the book we’re trying not to get Jeff arrested so we won’t mention him killing Mr.
Tomato book writer, but that, that right there made me laugh. That was the prelude, and you just flowed right in with the feel of the whole movie. And then each scene you expanded on. So let’s back up. How did you get the gig and why did you wanna do it and what took so long? This is 40 year old movie.
Jeff: Part of it was just, it would be a really fun book to adapt, because the book is, the movie is just, all jokes. I’d love to do an adaptation of airplane too. They’ll never let me do it, but that would be, so what really happened was I was thinking of, what to tweet, what will amuse my Twitter followers?
And so I just said, how is it possible that no one is. Invited me to do a attack of the Killer Tomatoes Novelization, not, it was not meant to be a legitimate solicitation of work. It was just something funny to tweet. And then Mark Miller had Ency Apocalypse books sent me a private email and said, Hey, if you’re serious about that, I’ll see what I can make happen.
Yeah. And then within a few weeks I was on a Zoom call with the filmmakers. Who were all in, my resume is pretty good for someone to write an attack of the Killer Tomato. It’s not oh man, let’s take a shot on this guy who has no experience in that particular genre. It’s like when it was announced, they’re like, yeah, Jeff Strand, attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
Yeah, that makes sense. But it was Jeff Strand doing Casablanca. Wait, what? But Attack the Cold Tomatoes is something that I can pull off. Basically their, they, the only request they had was keep it as family friendly as the movies. The movie, it’s a, it’s pg but it’s 1978 pg, so it’d be a right.
Fairly strong PG 13. Now I check for that, which is what I would’ve done anyway, and I basically pitched it as I’m going to treat it like you guys had Marvel Cinematic Universe money to make the original movie, and so they were all in and. I was set free to write the attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
Rhys: Did they have any any.
Handcuffs as far as like lore goes or anything like that you had to follow or were you, because the movie’s very short on where they came from or anything like that? There’s not a lot of backstory to it. It just jumps right in. And they developed it more in the later films. But. Again, some of those weren’t the exact same people, so I wondered if they were like, Hey, you need to stick to this and you can move from there and go forward, but start here.
Jeff: No, there was nothing and I treated as a wow. Self-contained cause original. My original thought was, I’m gonna weave in elements of all the movies and the cartoon series and all that. I thought, no, cuz if this is successful, If someone else wants to do a return of the Killer tomatoes, I don’t wanna step on their toes.
So there are no George Clooney jokes. There are no, professor Gangrene isn’t in. I basically, I decided I would stick exclusively to the first movie and not mess with what other people might wanna do if, there is a future of more attack of the Killer Tomatoes novels. But yeah, they, there was no, you need, these characters need to be in it.
You need to stick to this. It wasn’t, I did a short story that never got published. For a major video game franchise and they were very strict. Yeah, these characters need to be handled this way. What happened ultimately was that the story went to their lore person who said, that’s not really the direction we wanna take with this character.
And I got paid info, but they didn’t use this. Story’s not like that. It was, have fun, we trust you. They read it, it wasn’t like they, they have read the book. They love it. Oh that’s good. No no, no handcuffs, no stick to this. Just
Stephen: have fun. Which is good because like I said, I read it and I was laughing and I love your books.
And this one just made me laugh even more than normal. So just. You had a structure, but you were able to do what you wanted with it. I think it worked really well. But the weird thing to me was why choose a movie Novelization now because they’re not that popular. They used to be way more popular, but nobody sees too much, especially for a low budget movie from 40 years ago.
It’s an super. Interesting choice cuz it fits us well. And the fact that we’re talking about this low budget movie that had sequels Reese, I mean that, that’s, oh yeah. So why? I know it was like, Hey, let’s make this happen. Why do you think they wanted to do it? And I’m moving novel. The
Jeff: psycho apocalypse has done some vintage novelizations, so they’ve brought back some that were written at the time, but they’ve also gone back and done, creature and stuff like that.
And they’re, they’ve announced a few more. They’re doing nail gun, massacre and Dead girl and redneck zombies. So they’re there’s a little bit of a niche market. We don’t know how big it is. It’s too early to gauge the success level of stuff like attack the killer tomatoes. But really it was just a fun thing.
It’s, I think you need to pick movies that people can see the novelization. Potential in like technical tomatoes. It’s, it’s going to be a really dumb book. It’s just easy, fun. It’s not meant to be a literal pa, it’s. It doesn’t follow the previous trend in novelizations, which were, you have seen the movie in the theater, you’re never gonna see it again unless it goes into a second run.
But you’ve got the novelization so you can relive the story of et the extraterrestrial, right? Whenever you want in book form. Whereas now it’s just you have to bring something more to it. So it, it’s not meant to just be a transcript of tackle the killer tomatoes. It’s basically all new jokes, unless I took their joke and used it to springboard to something else because the jokes in the movie are, Perfectly good.
My job was not to retell stuff that already works, the movie. My job was to take the framework of the movie and expand on it and do all new jokes.
Stephen: And even there though the two I thought of reading it, the one with the bad Japanese over dub with the guy’s lips movie. And then you hear a voice say, and then I said, and that cracked me up.
Cuz obviously the Godzilla movies and everything else. But then the musical number, I don’t know if I’ve ever read. Such a great retelling of a musical number in a novel format. And you did that great, expanded that scene. Wonderful. So I think you broke new grounds. You pioneered a new, modern modern novelization of a movie.
Cuz the stuff makes you laugh in the movie if you have twisted minds like some of us. But again, the book just expanded on all of that, making it even funnier, I think. Yeah,
Jeff: what I wanted it to be the best way to read the book. You could read it without any prior tomatoes experience. The best way to do it is to have freshly seen the movie, cuz a lot of it is callbacks to the film.
So the optimal way to experience it and you watch the movie and then you go right into the book and then I think it, there’s a lot of stuff that works even better in that context. But yeah, the point, again, it’s not to. You could watch Tackle of the Killer Tomatoes whenever you want. It’s on streaming, you can get the multiple DVDs.
There’s the big collector’s edition. It’s very easily accessible. So what I wanted to do was give the book its own identity. It works as a separate, but it’s completely linked to it. It’s not, I love Attack of the Killer Tomato. This wasn’t me being better than the movie. This was having fun with various aspects of it and trying to.
Very similar tone with a completely different experience with
Rhys: the frenetic pacing of the film. Was that at all of a challenge when you were writing it? I would think it would be hard to get into a groove and, pound a bunch of pages out because the movie
Jeff: shifts gears so quickly from scene to scene.
The scene, not really, because I’ve got experience in it, this, there’s a reason I was the right guy to write this book, so I’ve done my. Adult horror comedy novels. I try to treat the horror legitimately, but have lots of laughs. But I’ve done young adult books that are just joke.
So I’ve done, Oh, it’s not, if you read a Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and then you read my book, A Bad Day for Voodoo, there’s, you can see there’s still the meta element. And so I’ve, I have done books that are just pure comedies all the way through. So it wasn’t like, okay, how am I gonna tackle this?
I have that little experience. It’s hard. It’s not oh yeah, I could just easily knock this out. It’s a, it was a fun book to write. It is, when you are doing something that is just, joke after joke. And you’re not letting the characters or the story carry you through. Cuz I’m, I’ll be honest, kill the novelization.
You’re not going to get deeply invested in these characters. I don’t care if it’s funny or not, I’m just, I need to know what’s gonna happen to this guy. That’s not the experience you’re gonna get with it, and it’s, it’s not a scary book, it’s just. As funny as I could possibly make it.
So yeah, you do need to keep the pacing up. You it, yeah. Creates a scenario like, like the movie airplane, like the movie Naked Gun, like attacking the killer tomatoes. You can’t let up on the laughs because the book doesn’t. To have the framework to allow you to say, let’s just cool down for a couple pages.
No, it has to be nonstop throughout, which is not for everyone, but the people who love it.
Stephen: Which actually you, even you do a lot of fourth wall breaking in the book and you even reference that. It’s okay, Mr. Arthur, now maybe we should slow this chapter down and not put so many jokes.
So the joke was the not doing so many jokes which I thought was pretty, pretty brilliant. And, Every Reese, so we talk a lot about the special effects in movies, and the special effects in this one obviously is not computer graphics. They do it wonderfully though because they don’t try and make all these big, scary looking tomatoes.
They just take like garden tomatoes and put ’em on the ground, then overdub it with every Yeah. What what are thoughts on the special effects? I know a lot of people would say this movie sucks, like you said, because the special effects suck. But I think the special effects are part of the comedy.
Rhys: The movie starts off with one of arguably the greatest special effects in all of cinematography when they accidentally crashed the helicopter that they hired for the scene. Yes. Then they’re like, oh, hey, let’s just use that in the movie. You don’t get much more authentic than that. After that, the special effects they use ramp up because it starts with just tomatoes and then it progresses from just tomatoes.
There’s some stop animation at tomatoes. Yeah. In the grocery store. Towards the end of the film, they figured out how to make giant tomatoes out of foam and put them on wield carts. So you know, it slowly built up over time. But again, it’s not, you’ve referenced before Steve in movies where they try to show too much of the bad guy.
Yeah. And it ruins it. And in this case, even though they’re being silly, they’re still being very prudent with the usage of the giant tomatoes and things like that. So I think it works really well, especially for the film, the way it’s, the way it’s set up.
Stephen: Yes. Agreed. Jeff I know some of Reese’s favorite movies, like all 1200 of them.
What are some of your other favorite horror movies?
Jeff: Shawn of the Dead is my favorite horror movie and favorite movie, so it’s it works brilliantly as a comedy and brilliantly as a horror movie. So it’s not like attacking the killer tomatoes that in Shawn of the Dead. It’s really funny, but you’re also fully invested in the characters.
When things get serious, there are actual stakes. So that’s my, I’ll swing over to my. Poster and then return of the Living Dead. One of my all climb favorites that one. I think to me, that’s the eighties horror movie that holds up the best. I think it’s, it still plays just as well now, even though a lot of the stuff that they originated is now, zombie lore.
It’s got, the fast zombies, that Return of Living Dead, that wasn’t 28 days later that was living dead. The fact that, they. A hit to the brain won’t kill them, that you have to dismember them. The fact that they the meta aspect, the fact that this is based, neither Living Dead was just a movie, so the character’s referring to neither Living Dead.
So it’s got all kind, talking zombies. It’s got all kinds of stuff that was done later, but it does it all in one movie. So that’s one of my old time favorites. I love the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That’s probably my favorite, just. Straight horror movie, although that has lots of dark comedy tune, it’s got the funniest line of any movie of,
Stephen: look what your brother did to the
That one line is the most perfect comic relief line ever because it is completely logical in a. In a movie where suddenly logic shouldn’t apply, right? So it’s like you’ve got this guy wearing, human skin chain, sawing a door, and of course you’re gonna be upset that this guy chain saw your door.
But in the context of the movie, you don’t think they care about their door. So then to have, look what your brother did to the door just suddenly takes you back to the reality of the situation is. Absolutely brilliant. So original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And then there’s, as for more obscure stuff that maybe not a lot of people have seen, may one of my all-time favorites.
Yeah, that’s a good one. Lucky McKee with Angela Bees that I saw that at f Film Festival and it rocketed to the all-time favorites and there’s a Lower. Much, much, much lower budget we called found, which is just one of the darkest and most, I dunno, that one disturbing things. That’s something good you should cover.
Check it out.
Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. We’ll have to look it up. Yeah. Reese always makes notes of any he hasn’t seen. And then we’ll watch movies in reference, here’s 20 other similar ones. Jeff, have you seen Todd in the book of Pure
Jeff: Evil? I have not. I’ve heard it’s really good. It, oh. You
Rhys: would enjoy it?
Stephen: We enjoyed watching. We reviewed it enjoyed it. Another one that comes to mind PMA of the Paradise. Yes.
Jeff: I hadn’t, I. Family of Paradise is something I’d been wanting to see for a really long time. And back when I first saw the documentary Tear in the Aisles, they had a clip from it. It’s where he hits I think Garrett Graham in the mouth with the toilet plunger, and I’m like, I have to see this movie.
But I didn’t know what movie it was and they didn’t, the documentary didn’t identify the clips, so I would watch the end credits. They had the long list of all the clips, like I don’t know which one it is. I don’t know which one it is, cause I haven’t seen all these movies. So I finally discovered that it was Fent on the Paradise, but I could never find it on video.
I finally saw it about three years ago in. The actual movie theater. They Wow. The theater. Atlanta played it. So I went, so my first experience with fans of The Paradise was seeing it on the big screen with a big crowd. And it was wonderful. You looked as it was meant to be.
Stephen: Not in our basement, in the dark, race. Yeah. Like most of the bad horror movies we’ve watched through the years. Yeah. So re what else you got Reese? I know you had a whole list and I’ve jumped in. Oh no.
Rhys: You, we’ve covered a lot of it. I you had gone to Bowling Green for school. And while you were in Bowling Green, did you ever go see Mary B’s fingers?
Jeff: I did not. I’m not sure what that is.
Rhys: There is, there’s a small Museum, for lack of a better word. And they had a display of the last public execution in Bowling Green. And it was a farmer who in a mad rage butchered his wife basically. And when the sheriff showed up, he. Put three of her fingers into jar full of whiskey to use as evidence in the case.
And those fingers have lasted this entire time. They’re still in a jar on display in this museum along with the Hangman’s rope and the knife he used and tickets for the hanging. But it seemed to Cobb and bazaar and enough. I wondered if it was something that you had seen while you were there.
Jeff: No, I spent too much time in movie theaters and bookstores. I missed out on the fingers.
Stephen: And I did. Yeah.
Rhys: It I’m building it up, but it really is, you walk in and you’re like, yep, they’re there. And then you’re gone.
Stephen: But really, how many people can you go up to and say, have you seen Mary B’s fingers?
Oh yeah, I’ve been there. You get no. What’s that? Let me tell you. It’s all the presentation, it’s true of doing something that they haven’t done. I love doing that. Yeah.
Rhys: I also had noticed that your first publication was in a literary magazine, and my brother and my dad back in the seventies were big into getting, Isaac Azimov and astonishing tales delivered to the house, so they had subscriptions.
And I wonder if you think that society is at a loss now that. Literary magazines seem to be a thing of the past.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s not as much fun. I used, cemetery dance. It’s published very infrequently now. It’s still a print magazine. I got the latest issue a couple weeks ago.
But yeah, I used to get tons of them. I would go to the bookstore and there’d just be a whole rack of horror fiction magazines and I would. Read a lot of new stuff that way. Now I really don’t, now I either read anthologies or just novels. So yeah, it’s, it was more fun to, I wasn’t getting published regularly back in those days, so I would get lots of rejections.
So I have, I don’t have a big stack of literary magazines. I’ve been in, I have a big stack of rejection perspective magazines. Yeah. It’s still, it’s more fun to, see your story in an actual printed magazine. It’s like the.
Stephen: The fake money drop off. You take all your rejections, put ’em in between the two magazines you’ve been in, and so it looks like you have a huge pile of these literary magazines.
Oh, there goes Reese again. He’ll be back. I’m sure we’ll just keep going and we’ll pretend these ghost we’re doing so well. So Jeff, for people listening, we asked you a little bit about yourself. What books would you recommend that someone start with? I discovered Cyclops Road because I got a free copy.
I’ve told you that. Oh, look. A free horror movie. I’ll, or book, I’ll take it. So what books do you recommend
Jeff: of my own? Generally I would interrogate them. Okay. Do you want the goofier stuff or do you want the more serious stuff? In the absence of any information, I generally go with Wolf Hunt. Which is a super violent comedy horror crime werewolf book.
So that’s like my default. I also sometimes will say Autumn Bleeds into Winner, which is a coming of age thriller, or Alison, which is a telekinetic horror thriller. Lots of humor in all of those. So I don’t dweller is one of my most popular books, but it’s also. Sort of an outlier cause it’s very sad.
And I don’t generally do bummer books, but dweller is a bummer book. So that probably is my most, the most popular thing I’ve ever written with readers, but it’s not necessarily my starting place and stuff like pressure again, that was. One of my most popular ones, but it’s also very dark and intense and so on.
If you’re like, okay, what best exemplifies what a Jeff Strand book is, and I’m all over the place, but I generally would say, okay, Wolf Hunt Alison, or autumn Bleeds in the winter.
Stephen: I haven’t read Alison or Autumn Bleeds. I did pick up Allison when I saw you, but Wolf Hunt and Forbidden Forest and Blister.
I like those forbidden forest and wolf hunt. I’ve got those on audio and I’ve listened to ’em a couple times. Oh, cool. Because they’re good fun to listen to it. They crack me up still. And it’s. Also at the scares of that care, which you were recently at when I saw you, Armon, Shimerman was there and he wrote some, what I call fan fiction Alternative Shakespeare history.
And those are much heavier to read now. Even comment, I said, yeah. I liked reading the first one. I said, but it takes so much brain power to read it. I said, I need to get something. You know that a little more fun and easier to read and your stuff has fit that perfectly. Plus then I’ve gone back multiple times.
So for everybody listening, you got a favorite movie, horror movie that we’ve done, you watch. Great. Here’s some favorite horror books to add to that collection. Everything’s Got
Rhys: Teeth is the Jeff Strand book that I own.
Stephen: You actually have one? Yeah. I didn’t know
Rhys: that. Awesome. When you first brought him up this is what I was saying about literary magazines.
They’re so nice because you can read authors, several authors you’ve never heard of, all in one compilation. But you brought Jeff up to me and I was like, oh, I’ll check it out. And so I just picked that up and I enjoyed it a lot. I like anthologies in general,
Jeff: but Thank
Stephen: you. What’s.
You’ve got some other great titles like Dead Clown Barbecue, which I’ve got digitally you haven’t read yet. Was that one of the Mayhem books or not, or is that an
Jeff: Dead Clown Barbecue’s a short story collection. Okay. I’ve got. Five. Five of my books are just collections of short stories. It’s gleefully, macab tales, dead clown barbecue.
Everything has teeth candy coated madness and freaky briefs. Then the others are not novels. Okay, and then one non-fiction book, the Writing Life,
Stephen: which again, for all the writers, if I put this up on my write, everything I is. My, I have two writer books that are go-tos that I have both read both of them a couple times, and one was Stephen King’s on Writing.
Yeah, that’s a good one. I think his beginning autobiography part is just, Great read to listen to, it’s not dry or anything. And then the advice, yeah, that’s okay. But then the other one is your writing life because it’s so personal and down to earth and makes me laugh while also making me feel better.
It’s yeah, I had a really crappy day. I feel like the worst writer in the world. I’ll read some Jeff Strm because he’ll make me feel a little better about my life and it actually has. So you’ve,
Jeff: that’s what it’s supposed to be. It’s not a book about here’s how to write the perfect query letter, or here’s how to create characters that you know, come to life.
It’s meant to be, here’s what it’s like if you do a book signing and no one shows up and here’s how to cope with rejection. It’s kinda like the real stuff about being a working writer who is not making, a hundred million
Stephen: a year. Which I absolutely love because that’s why I started the podcast because I was tired of going into all those Facebook groups of people going, Hey, look at the a hundred thousand I made this month on the three books I’ve written and I’m going, I can’t relate to that.
And I’m looking around going, there’s 50,000 people here. You can’t tell me. 50,000 authors can relate to that. And that was the genesis of the podcast. All right. What you got? Anything else to add to this conversation, Reese, before we let Jeff go? Oh,
Rhys: just really quickly and if you can’t say anything it’s fine, but during some of our research for, I don’t remember which movie it was, one of the ones recently became across that somebody was working on a movie called Blister.
And at the time I think Steve had asked if I knew who that was by, and I said, I have no idea at all. And so we’re wondering if you had anything to do with a movie option.
Jeff: I do not. I have lots of movie stuff going on, like there’s actually really cool stuff happening, at this very moment that I’m not allowed to talk about.
But Blister is not one of them, so that was okay. Blist Blister is really, it’s one of my best selling novels, but the movie interest has been, Almost non-existent. So I’ve got lots of cool stuff going on. But yeah, if there’s a movie being made a blister, they’ve either done it without telling me or it’s someone else.
Stephen: Blisters is an interesting book of yours too, because it’s not super dark, but it’s also not super funny. But it definitely is that, just cuz someone doesn’t look like you, watch how you treat ’em.
Jeff: Yeah. Now you were leading up to the question I was ready to say yes, but I can confirm nothing, but sorry.
Rhys: No, it’s it’s funny because a lot of the movies that we review are either early in someone’s career or the people never really took off and became huge directors or anything like that. So a lot of times you’ll hear about projects they’re working on and they will never ever see the light of day.
And I thought it would be, if you could actually confirm that it was something you had work been involved with, maybe it had a better chance of
Jeff: being done. No, I can officially deny. Excellent. Hopefully this will be outdated and, blister have been this massive success. He was, no, I’m not involved in a b movie.
Stephen: As soon as a big one comes out we will review it and we’ll do a link between this one and then we’ll get you back on to tease you about it. All right, I’m ready. That’s why we work. All right, Jeff I appreciate you taking some time chatting with us today. Thanks for having me. Yeah.
Thanks so much. Yeah, thank you. We’ll let you know when the episode goes live. You can hear about all the background stuff that we discovered, and then tell us about the things we didn’t know. All right. Thanks, sir. Thank you guys.