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Friday
Jun032016

Nerding Out with Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea knows a thing or two about monsters. He has written some wickedly awesome monster-cryptid horror titles, including Swamp Monster Massacre, The Montauk Monster, and The Dover Demon. Hunter has the realm of the supernatural covered in novels like Forest of Shadows and Sinister Entity.

In his newest novella, I Kill In Piece, Hunter explores a more human monster.

Hunter Shea has been a consistent favorite of mine over the last half-decade when it comes to horror fiction. I purchase his titles when they are released.  

Hunter is also a very funny and insightful guy. Enjoy this Nerding Out session.

Duane:  In your latest novella, I Kill In Piece, you present a normal man driven to kill by mysterious circumstances, and in the process, he dispatches some unsavory individuals. Murder is always softened when the deaths are perceived to be warranted. The concept of murderous vigilantism has captured our culture’s attention for the better part of the last decade. From Dexter, to the actions of characters on The Walking Dead, DIY vengeance has seeped its way into our collective psyche as the end-all solution. Experiencing vicarious violence has never been more popular, harkening back to the days of gritty films like Death Wish and Vigilante. Do you think it’s just general human frustration and a sign of the times, or simply, a coincidental, shared plot device?

Hunter:  I think it’s a definite sign of the times. I grew up in the Bronx in the 70s, and Death Wish was something we were all wishing would happen just to give the scumbags that made our lives miserable a taste of their own medicine. Those were dark days, not just in New York, which is why 70s cinema, even beyond horror, is so damn bleak and depressing. On a side note, it’s also my favorite decade for film, which should come as no surprise.

Fast forward to present day, and yeah, crime is at an all time low. Times Square is so sanitized and commercialized I wanna puke. But, there is this tremendous feeling of unrest in the country. We’re sick of being screwed by Wall Street, Main Street, politicians, terrorists, big banks, you name it. And it feels like we have no recourse. No one in power gives a frog’s fart about the little man. No one speaks up for us, fights for us, gets things done for us. As a society, we’re fed up. The current presidential election process makes that very apparent. We know we’ve been lulled into bleating sheep, but deep down, we want to be the big bad wolf. So we live through our fantasies, which are being broadcast in movies, TV, books and comics.

Duane:  I’m a huge fan of the Jessica Backman series. In Forest of Shadows, you introduced future heroine/paranormal investigator with the character of Jessica Backman, but as a young child. Was your plan always to continue the adventures of the adult Jessica in later novels Sinister Entity and Island of the Forbidden?

Hunter:  Oh, you give me too much credit for advance planning. I actually meant for Forest of Shadows to be a one and done novel. However, so many people came to me asking for more (like, almost 5 people who weren’t relatives!), I couldn’t resist. Besides, it took me five years to write it, so I felt very much at home in that world. As you know, I couldn’t carry on with the adventures of her father (Brian Lumley did something like that brilliantly with his Necroscope series and I’ve been told I’m not fit to shine or so much as look at his shoes). So I started to ask myself, what would happen to a girl who lived to tell the tale of something that horrific? My own girls were teens at the time, so it made perfect sense to fast forward to Jessica the potty mouthed, badass 19 year old carrying on the family tradition of tracking down restless spirits.

I gave birth to Sinister Entity, and knew I couldn’t quit Jessica and Eddie. Island of the Forbidden takes places a few years later, with her and her psychic friend in pretty rough shape. See, to me, if this stuff is truly real, you’re not coming out the other side the same as you went in. I love those characters, yet I keep doing horrible things to them. It’s not about the ghosts in this series. It’s about the mental, spiritual, and physical toll living in the world of the dead takes on these two rather unfortunate but determined people. Living in a haunted house doesn’t hurt, especially when it comes to nightly inspiration.

Those books were published through Samhain, and even though Samhain is in the process of shutting its doors, there are plans for more misadventures.

Duane:  Horror Hypotheticals Presents: “Shit Happens in the Woods” – It is the middle of the night and you are stranded deep in a remote wooded area. The only useful tools in your possession are a flashlight and a large hunting knife. Danger is imminent; it is lurking in the darkness. It’s not a matter of when; it’s a matter of what. Would you rather stumble across a frightened, yet aggressively defensive family of Sasquatch? Or the real-life Jason Voorhees? Two adult Bigfoots and a powerful juvenile, or…  Crystal Lake’s favorite son, machete in hand and murder on the mind. Choose your own horror misadventure.

Hunter:  Jason scares the shit out of me. No way do I want to get stuck on the tracks with that meat train barreling down on me. I’ll take my chances with the squatches. My only hope is that I’m hairy enough to pass as one of the family. Fear sweat should get me nice and funky, too. I don’t think I’d try any of those squatch hollers and calls you see nut bars do on TV. That would just piss them off. I do have an added advantage – I’ve been working in corporate America, dealing with executive for 2 decades. I really know how to speak to lower life forms.

Duane:  Most life experiences and general themes can be filtered through the lens of a horror novel, short story, etc. The creative versatility that can be utilized within the horror genre is one of its main appeals. Do you have aspirations to dabble into other literary genres?

Hunter:  Before I hang up my laptop, I’d love to have written in every genre, including romance. I’m a voracious reader, so if I’ve read a genre, I feel I could write in it. I’ve turned into my father lately, buying textbooks to read casually. Now, I do it with a goal in mind. I do plan to commit myself to full time archaeology some day, so I’ve been studying up.

My first 2 Pinnacle books, The Montauk Monster and Tortures of the Damned are labeled as thrillers, but each beats with the black heart of horror. I have done a children’s picture book (under a different name) and I’ve been trying to do middle grade fiction as well. My wife is disabled, and we’ve been through hell together. I keep talking about writing that story as well. The very first book I wrote was a romantic comedy. I kind of dared myself to do it. It’s actually quite funny. Too twisted for your typical rom-com lover. Look, life is too short to go through it with tunnel vision. I want to do it all.

Duane:  If you could play around in someone else’s yard, i.e. write fiction for an already established franchise, which fictional property would you pick and why?

Hunter:  I’d gladly step into R.L. Stine’s skin and take over the Goosebumps series. To be able to spend my days writing horror for kids, just being gross and funny and knowing there are legions of young minds devouring every word, man, what a trip that would be. I met him at a convention once. He gave a hilarious speech (he used to be a comedy writer) and when I got face time with him later, he couldn’t be more down to earth. He signed my book “Thank you for paying for my son’s college education. Bob”  I don’t think there’s been a more successful franchise other than Harry Potter. Oh yeah, plus I’d get the added benefit of being rich as hell. Oh, the things I’d do with all that dough.

Duane:  You are given the awesome task of programming a weekend of horror double-features at a local theater. Which films do you choose for your double-bills on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night?

Hunter:  I’m hoping it’s a drive-in! Here goes:

Friday : Motel Hell and Psycho

Saturday : The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Funhouse (Tobe Hooper night)

Sunday : The Descent and The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Duane:  Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick? 

Hunter:  Now this is a tough one. I guess I’d want to surround myself with some eclectic folks to make my time left on this green and blue blob a little fun. So I guess it would be Yossarian from Catch 22 so I could feel better about my own neurosis, Catherine Bourne from Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden because she seemed down for anything (but I’d skip the wine bottle stuff), and Jesse Ventura’s character from Predator because who really has time to bleed?

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Follow along this tour with the hashtags: #IKillinPeace #HunterShea #evilancientswords

Synopsis for I Kill In Peace

  • Publication Date: April 12, 2016
  • Publisher: Samhain
  • Publication Length: 104 pages

Killing gets easier…with practice. 

Peter Blades is, in every sense of the word, an ordinary man. Hard worker, father, husband, a man content with small-town life. Except for one small fact—he’s slowly being turned into a ruthless killer.

Compelled by mysterious texts to murder, he’s provided a fiery red Mustang and an ancient sword to carry out an ever-growing hit list. His jerkoff boss is victim number one. You always remember your first.

By the time his sword sings through the air to dispatch a would-be school shooter, taking lives is as easy as breathing. And if the world is going to hell around him, all the better. No one wants to burn alone.

Biography

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.

Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel, Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”

Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.

He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise for Hunter Shea

This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster

“Bloody good read!  This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast

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Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

Want to Feature Hunter Shea?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Hunter Shea, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: hookofabook@hotmail.com