20 Questions, 7 Answers is an interview series for writers of genre fiction. Each author receives the same batch of 20 questions, but they may only answer 7.
This week's guest is Jeff Strand.
JS: It's called My Pretties. I try to mix up the tone of my books, so this an incredibly dark novel that follows Ferocious, which was a fun B-movie-style creature feature. My work always has a lot of humor, and My Pretties is no exception, but this is grim stuff about a serial killer who locks women in cages suspended from the ceiling of a basement, then watches them starve to death. My next book, Clowns Vs. Spiders, swings back to "fun" horror.
Do you have any creative endeavors other than writing fiction (art, music, knitting)?
JS: No. I'm bad at everything except writing. Music, to me, is like sorcery. I cannot imagine how one can arrange musical notes in a catchy order that hasn't already been done in the other trillion songs that have been written. As a kid I achieved mild competence at playing the piano and nightmarish ineptitude with the oboe, but these days I am a music consumer, not producer. I can't draw. Don't know how to knit. Can make decent macaroni and cheese from a box. All I have are my words!!!
What's the best movie, new or old, that you've seen for the first time in the past 3 months?
JS: I'm disappointed that I haven't been to a film festival for the past three months, because normally my answer would be way more interesting. In fact, some quick research shows that my answer is Avengers: Endgame. I don't want to say Avengers: Endgame. Can I go with my least favorite movie? The Dead Don't Die. Boy, did that ever suck. One of the worst movies I've ever seen.
JS: I feel like at some point I would say, "If I have to eat one more goddamn Buffalo wing I'm going to kill somebody!" so I'm going to go with sushi. Lots of variety with sushi. I'm assuming that this question also takes place in a magical world where sushi is free. I can't afford sushi every meal on a writer's income.
What are your 3 favorite comic books (standalone novels or ongoing series) of all time?
JS: My comic book collecting days were a brief but intense phase when I was a teenager. Ralph Snart and Blue Devil were my favorites from that era. I haven't read many comics as an adult, because I can't freaking believe how expensive they are now, but The Goon is fantastic.
What is your writing environment like? (Are you out in public or in seclusion? Is there noise? Is there coffee? Do you type on a laptop or write longhand on lined notebook paper?)
JS: It's remarkably non-fancy. If the weather is decent, I sit out in my back yard, writing on a laptop. I have a portable fan and this thing that keeps mosquitos away. If it's too hot, like it is now, I sit at the dining room table. There is coffee. Every once in a while, some author friends and I will gather at a coffee shop for a long afternoon of writing, just to get us out of the house so we don't lose our social skills.
What's the most disgusting thing about the human body?
JS: Your face! Hey-OOO!!! Oh, jeez, I'm sorry. That was a rude and inappropriate answer. You were kind enough to let me be interviewed and I behaved in a disrespectful manner. I feel like I should just delete this, but then I'd have to pick another question to answer, and I'm a busy guy. I hate that the interview ended on this note. I'm so very sorry.