From the Author
The first is a snapshot of my mother as a little girl, with her older sister and a dog. My mother wears a cereal box on her head like a crown. This photo inspired the scene in the book where Alice crowns herself Queen of Bohemia. My family on my father's side came from Bohemia, so there's another family connection (and the explanation for my strangely vowel-impoverished last name).
The second photo shows my mother, probably about age five, with her two older sisters. The sisters stand behind her in their black dresses, looking very dour, while my mother in her light-colored dress plays with her fingers and smiles winsomely at the camera. That's the spirit I wanted to capture in my fictional Alice.
My first book, Risen, is a supernatural thriller about people coming back from the dead, not as zombies, but perfectly healthy. The idea was to explore the question: What is the value of life without death?
The Summer We Lost Alice (a more mainstream book, not a horror novel) is also about rebirth. I was able to play with differing viewpoints about the afterlife, from the skeptic's point of view (Ethan, in the story) to the spiritual believer's (Heather) with a touch of traditional faith (Flo). It's a story of loss and how it destroys a family, and how that family manages to come together to heal itself. All wrapped in the guise of a paranormal mystery/thriller.
And there's a dog, of course. Old Boo. Got to have a dog.
About the Author
Jan Strnad contracted the writing bug as an adolescent when he typed out the short story, "The Available Data on the Worp Reaction" by Lion Miller. Looking at the typewritten pages, he thought, "I can do this!" and determined that, when the time came, he would make his living as a writer.
He began his professional career by writing comics, then moved from his home town of Wichita, Kansas, to Los Angeles where he became a staff writer for Disney Television Animation. He worked for most of the Hollywood studios, including Sony/Columbia, Warner Bros., Universal, MGM and others before turning his attention to writing prose.
His first published novel was "Risen," a supernatural thriller, now out of print, which he has resurrected as an ebook. His second book, "The Summer We Lost Alice," takes a different look at life after death, and his third, "One Last Time," approaches the subject from yet another angle."There are so many ways to approach the subject," he says, "it's like a genre unto itself. 'Risen' is a horror novel. 'Alice' is a supernatural mystery. 'One Last Time' is very mainstream. It's hard to imagine growing bored with writing about the afterlife. Whatever one's personal beliefs, it's a grand thought experiment, a good way to examine life and put it into perspective."