January 21, 2016

Why Chimaera, Why?: a guest post + giveaway by Hunter Shea, author of "They Rise"

About Hunter Shea's THEY RISE: Some call them ghost sharks, the oldest and strangest looking creatures in the sea. Marine biologist Brad Whitley has studied chimaera fish all his life. He thought he knew everything about them. He was wrong.

Warming ocean temperatures free legions of prehistoric chimaera fish from their methane ice suspended animation. Now, in a corner of the Bermuda Triangle, the ocean waters run red.

The 400 million year old massive killing machines know no mercy, destroying everything in their path. It will take Whitley, his climatologist ex-wife and the entire US Navy to stop them in the bloodiest battle ever seen on the high seas.

Why Chimaera, Why?
by Hunter Shea

Of all the fish in the sea – and my momma told me there were plenty out there back when I was dating – why did I choose the lowly chimaera fish as the antagonist in THEY RISE?

First of all, I didn’t want to tread upon killer shark or whale territory. Plenty of other writers butter their bread with those kings and queens of the sea. No, I wanted to be different (which is something I’ve always been and is probably why I got the ‘there’s plenty of other fish in the sea’ speech from the parentals).

So, I headed for ye olde interweb in search of the strangest fish I could find. No matter how small or innocuous it would be, I’d find a way to make it dangerous as all get out. I Googled ‘bizarre fish’, ‘strangest sea creatures’, ‘scary fish’, ‘ocean predators’. I’d find a fish, then look for images. Whatever I chose, it had to be as ugly as a Republican presidential debate. Or Hilary Clinton’s pant suit.

And then came this picture of a chimaera fish…

I thought it had to be Photoshopped to look that downright nasty. To my surprise, that’s exactly what chimaera look like! Ok, we’re off to a good start. I love the word chimaera. It means ‘a horrible or unreal creature of the imagination.’ Oh, this is looking good.

Reading up on chimaera fish, I immediately stumbled upon their nicknames – ghost shark, spookfish or rat fish. Score. They had me at ghost shark, which I believe is also a head scratching SyFy movie. Of course, my chimaera fish would need to be a tad less ethereal, but the name was good for a few shivers. I found out they were distant relations to sharks and have been around for over 400 million years. That’s almost as long as a Quentin Tarantino movie!

These bottom dwellers even have these spiny protrusions that are filled with venom. I mean, how could I pass that up?

Sure, I considered other fish, but when I added up the score, the chimaera fish kicked the omega 3’s out of the competition.

Best part is, chimaera fish are found in oceans all over the world. So the next time you’re doing some Scuba diving, remember THEY RISE, and keep telling yourself ‘it’s all in Hunter’s demented imagination.’

Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card for joining this tour! Get extra entries for social media follows, but get extra extra entries for signing up for his newsletter and five extra entries if you review They Rise and send the link to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com!

Good luck!

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 in on Facebook and Twitter.

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