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Secrets of the Weird

welcome to sweetville

where nothing is what it seems

The fulfillment of your every desire… That’s the enticing yet dangerous promise of Sweet Candy, the new designer drug making the rounds through the community of club kids, neo-Nazis, drag queens, prostitutes and punks who populate the mean streets of Sweetville.

With its chewable hearts and candied lips threatening to forever transform the delicate social balance and the very lives of each and every member of the city’s underground, Sweet Candy is poised to ignite the tenuous powder keg that is life, love and lust in Sweetville.

But could the enigmatic back-alley surgeon Julius Kast and his partnership with a peculiar cult be the spark that lights the fuse once and for all? And how will their actions affect the life of a young woman named Trixie who is seeking salvation through transformation?

“Paints an erotic and dangerous picture of a city you only want to visit in the safety of a novel.”

“A highly unusual, admirably creative foray into a deeply, deeply disturbing world.”

“Unlike anything you’ve ever read before—a wildly inventive novel that is as sensitive as it is otherworldly.”

“Brilliant! Wondrous! Fantastic! Words that barely scratch the surface on how I feel about this book.”

secrets of the weird

Embark on a remarkable journey that’s equal parts irreverent social commentary, revisionist dystopia, dark fantasy and horrifying reality when you travel to the unforgettable world of Sweetville’s counterculture where a host of sometimes dangerous, often deviant and always dark secrets are waiting to be revealed.

Such secrets refuse to be confined to Sweetville. But instead will come home with you. Changing everything. Forever…

chad stroup

Chad Stroup’s dark short stories and poetry have been featured in various publications. Secrets of the Weird  is his first novel. Stroup received his MFA in Fiction from San Diego State University. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the San Diego Horror Professionals, and he dearly misses playing music.

grey matter press

Stroup’s Secrets of the Weird  becomes the first counterculture novel dealing with important LGBTQ themes to join the expanding catalog from the Chicago-based independent publisher Grey Matter Press. With a long line of critically acclaimed titles in its four-year history, the publisher continues to push the envelope on what defines genre fiction with a series of successful releases and Bram Stoker Award®-nominated titles.

"Secrets of the Weird is a harrowing walk through a landscape populated by modern horrors and lit only by failing neon, where the only saving graces are whatever bravery we can summon up from within and whatever kindness we can muster toward our fellow outcasts." -- Jeremy P. Bushnell, author of The Weirdness

"Sweetville was a setting written by a hardcore kid and is filled with Neo-nazis, punks, metal dudes, non-binary prostitutes and more. These characters are not marginalized like extras. They are all written with depth, even the characters who only briefly appear in the pages." -- David Agranoff, author of Screams from a Dying World

"Stroup fuses a kaleidoscopic embrace of the surreal and fantastical with a punk hardcore velocity and sensibility -- think Twin Peaks meets Damaged or David Cronenberg adapting I Against I." -- Decibel Magazine


at booksellers worldwide
Secrets of the Weird  is now available in trade paperback and all common digital formats wherever fine books are sold.