The story of REMAINS has been a strange one. It was birthed in from the idea of creating a three-author collection of stories about–you guessed it–pets. Jeff Strand selected first and stole my first choice: a dog. I grudgingly accepted the idea of using a cat. The third author, Brian Knight, elected to use a bird. In the process of deciding what to write, along came Cargo Cult Press and the offer to release them as individual limited and lettered editions. Even better! So Jeff penned a story about a Boston terrier that became KUTTER. I wrote a story about a tabby–really a metaphorical story of coming to grips with my dad’s passing–that became REMAINS. And Brian’s idea blossomed into SEX, DEATH & HONEY. The books came out in hardcover and were not only instant sellouts, but critical successes, as well. But the books were limited editions and only so many people would ever read them. We still felt good about the stories and decided to find a way to reach more readers (in the days before the eBook explosion).
So, along came Dark Regions Press. Jeff was already working with them on another project and arranged to produce the collection we’d originally set out to write. Brian decided not to sign on; he was toying with the idea of turning SEX, DEATH & HONEY into a longer work. I was game, and our two-author project became THE MAD & THE MACABRE. (The name came from one of Jeff’s favorite lines in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.) The book was released in trade paperback initially and then later as an eBook. And then that was pretty much the end of it. We had no idea of how many copies sold (until recently) or how much it earned (again, until recently). We felt as though our stories, both of which we were exceptionally proud of, had fallen into a great dark hole.
Now, Jeff and I again hold the rights to our individual pet stories and the time has come, at long last, to release the stories far and wide. And so it is with great enthusiasm that I present to you the opportunity to read a darkly comedic story about a serial killer and his dog and a trapped-in-a-snowstorm thriller about the consequences of blind faith. May I present–drumroll please–KUTTER and REMAINS!
Available Monday at Amazon for $1.99 a piece!
Check Jeff Strand’s website for another fun-filled essay!