June 27, 2014

The Stuff That Makes Us: a guest post by Hunter Shea, author of "The Montauk Monster"

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster is published by Kensington/Pinnacle.
He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled HellHole, is set to come out in August 2014 and is his first western horror.
His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.
He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter@HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13channel on YouTube.

The Stuff That Makes Us
by Hunter Shea

Like most people, I accumulate stuff. The longer I live, the more stuff that surrounds me, sometimes penning me into corners I can’t escape from without knocking half a dozen things to the floor.

People like stuff. The definition of stuff depends on the person. For some, that stuff could be vintage Smurfs figures, for others, anything with a frog or cow on it, and for some, Christmas paraphernalia that’s on display alllll year long. Ho ho ho. Ugh.

What’s my stuff?

Being a horror writer who often refers to himself as a Monster Man, you can safely bet that it’s all horror related. And for this special moment, I’m going to let you in on the stuff that surrounds me while I write, devising devious deaths to my characters night in and night out.

Right now, I have a ton of my books everywhere because I’m preparing to go to the Scares that Cares con in Virginia at the end of the month. Stacks of The Montauk Monster, Hell Hole, Sinister Entity, Forest of Shadows and Evil Eternal are crammed into shelves and leaning precariously in un-cemented towers. Right now, they’re covering my research and inspiration books on monsters, ghosts, myths and cryptids.

Now for the real stuff. I have a zombie Seahawks fan staring at me, as well as a zombie bank (empty, of course) from The Walking Dead, and a gargoyle atop a sarcophagus (where I keep my lighter and Swiss Army knife). Sitting with his legs crossed next to the gargoyle is a Mummy action figure (a replica of Mego figures I had in the 1970s). Somewhere along the way, the Mummy lost his hand, but not his critical eye as he scrutinizes my work.

Above them is a shelf that has a Gort robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still, an in-the-box Bigfoot from the Six Million Dollar Man, plastic skull where I keep my baseball caps and mini Creature from the Black Lagoon. The most precious, and disturbing thing on that shelf is a severed dolls head with bizarre face paint and a Mohawk. My kids bought it for me at a horror con a few years ago. Yes, I’m saving up for therapy. Just recently, I brought back an actual bobcat skull for one of my daughters. Now that’s love.

Oh, I have another decorated skull brought to me from Mexico by a friend, a handmade Frankenstein, Robbie the Robot bobble head and a palm sized gargoyle that was my first ‘horror’ purchase at a Boston shop in the early 90s. I think I got it on Boylston Street. Hard to remember. We drank a lot on that trip.

On my walls are signed photographs of Elvira, Julie Adams (the best looking woman ever on film in The Creature from the Black Lagoon) and Meg Foster. Meg and I had a wonderful bonding moment one day that I’ll never forget. What a nice woman. I gave her a copy of one of my books that day to read on the plane ride home. I wonder if it’s now part of her stuff.

There’s original artwork from folks local and not so local depicting all kinds of craziness. Love my Vampirella calendar from 2012, signed by famed artist Ken Kelly. Oh, and a signed page of The Crow by J. O’Barr. I almost tattooed the Crow on my arm. Not sure why I didn’t go through with it. It’s never too late!

And that’s just some of my stuff. When I see my stuff, I know I’m home. My stuff makes me want to write, in the hopes that someone will create new stuff from my books. Even if I’m writing someplace else, I picture all of my stuff around me, inspiring me, bringing me comfort. Can’t wait to see what new stuff I find to add to the collection.

"Shea combines ancient evil, old school horror, and modern style." --Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author
It Kills. . .
On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable. . .
It Breeds. . .
In another part of town, a woman's backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What's clear is that they're hostile--and they're ravenous. . .
It Spreads. . .
With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can't help them;FEMA can't save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.
"Hunter Shea is the real deal.. . .intense." --Gord Rollo, author of Valley of the Scarecrow and Crimson
"Shea delves deep into the unknown. A thrill-ride of a read!" --Alexandra Holzer, author of Growing Up Haunted
Publisher’s Weekly named the upcoming thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, one of the best summer books of 2014! Not only that, they gave it an awesome review. Here’s a snippet:
The urban mythologies of the Montauk Monster and the government labs on Plum Island unite to cause staggering levels of mayhem when mutant animals with toxic blood descend on a Long Island town. 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. — PW

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