Monday, January 12, 2015

When Characters Become a Family



Today’s guest author has visited my blog a number of times and I’m happy to have him back. Hunter Shea continues to write great horror novels at rapid-fire speed. His specialty is writing terrifying books about ghosts, ghost hunters, and haunted places. His latest book takes place on a mysterious island where spirits of the dead harbor dark secrets. Here, Hunter Shea gives us some background about his new book that continues his Jessica Backman Series. After the article be sure to check out Hunter’s giveaway for a chance to win one of his books.


Island of the Forbidden Synopsis

Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?

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When Characters Become a Family

I’ll admit it right here – for the past 10 years, I have been addicted to ghost hunting shows. It started with Ghost Hunters and spiraled out of control, feeding my addiction to night vision. As a person who lives in a house haunted by something I can’t rightly explain, these shows fed both my fascination with the unknown and yearning for answers. A decade later, I’m no closer to finding out what is living in my house (or is it un-living?), but my curiosity has never waned.

In fact, my fervor to discover the secrets behind our strange boarder led me to write about the passion for hunting ghosts in my first novel, Forest of Shadows. I wrote that book before all of the ghost hunting shows popped up on TV, so all I had to go on at the time was what I saw on In Search Of in the 70’s and the writings of people like Hans Holzer. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if your only job was searching for the mystery behind thousands of ghostly appearances? What would drive a person to make that his sole mission in life, and what would be the consequences of trying to peek behind death’s door, night after night?

That book gave me both the chance to live in that kind of world and my big break in publishing. One of the characters of that book, a 6 year old named Jessica Backman, came to feel like my third daughter. So much so, I wrote a book just for her called Sinister Entity, making her 19 and following in her father’s ghost hunting footsteps. No child that had lived through what she had would be what most people consider normal. But she was my child, just the same, warts and all. I exposed her to terrible things in that book, but in a way, only a person like her could face them without losing her mind.

And now I’ve done it to her again in Island of the Forbidden. It’s been fascinating, exploring the pathos of a young woman (now in her early 20s) who is drawn to the supernatural, facing things that would shatter a lesser person. I love writing from her perspective. In a genre dominated by males, Jessica Backman is all woman, yet tough enough to drink the boys under the table. Island of the Forbidden is a classic ghost story, set on a strange island, taken to a whole new level of mind bending madness. What would you do if you were on an island haunted by the active souls of over 100 dead children? Take the next boat to the mainland, I’m sure. Not so with Jessica. But there’s always a price to pay for getting too close to a hot stove.

What price is Jessica willing to pay? 



Island of the Forbidden by Hunter Shea continues the story of Jessica Backman, the ghost-hunting heroine who has appeared in Forest of Shadows, The Graveyard Speaks and Sinister Entity, all published by Samhain Horror.  
To read more about the series and Jessica Bockman, read Hunter’s recent article.

Giveaway

Enter to win one of five Hunter Shea books being given away! Two signed copies of Montauk Monster, one signed copy of Sinister Entity, and two e-books of choice of his titles are up for grabs! One book to each winner, given in order of random drawing. Enter to win at the Rafflecopter link. Must use valid email that winners can be contacted by. Print books are U.S. residents only. Contest ends Feb. 28, 2015. Any questions, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

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Purchase Links

GoodReads:

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Barnes and Noble:

Raves for Hunter Shea

Forest of Shadows

"A frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won't soon forget." --Night Owl Reviews

Sinister Entity

"This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don't get much better than this." --Literal Remains

". . .Culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!" --Horror Novel Reviews

Evil Eternal

"Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and elegant. . .a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare." --Jonathan Janz, author of The Sorrows

Swamp Monster Massacre

"If you're craving an old-school creature-feature that has excessive gore. . . B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea is here to bring you the ultimate tale of terror!" --Horror Novel Reviews



About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity,  HellHole and Island of the Forbidden, which are all published by Samhain Horror. 

The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle. His second Kensington novel, Tortures of the Damned, will be published later this year.

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 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 13 channel on YouTube.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview with Author Gair McDonald



Today I'd like to introduce you to a fresh new voice in the horror genre. Gair McDonald, a screenwriter who lives in Scotland, has written a wonderful haunted house short story called Blackwood Manor, now available as an ebook. I had the pleasure of editing Gair’s short story and designing the cover. We’ve also had some great conversations about soccer, horror movies, and the art of writing hair-raising tales of terror. Gair was nice enough to stop by my blog for a visit and chat about what inspired him to write a ghost story.



Synopsis: Welcome to Blackwood Manor, a three-story Scottish house steeped in ancient history and myth. For many years the manor has remained abandoned and left to rot, until now. The Marshall Family has arrived. Hank and Emily are hoping that moving out to the country will give them a fresh start with their daughter Amy. But evil lurks in the most unlikely of places, waiting for new victims to cross its threshold.

There are plenty of chilling moments in Blackwood Manor and some unexpected twists and turns. The fact that it’s located in Scotland made it an enjoyable read for me. I especially loved the relationship between Hank Marshall and his young daughter, Amy, and the tension between Amy and her mother. Gair, tell readers about where your idea for this ghost story originated from.


What I like about the whole haunted house theme is that you can do what you like with it, turn it into what you want. The concept for Blackwood Manor actually came from a short script which for years I thought about turning into a short story.


Interestingly, there are significant differences; the script simply had the main character going to the manor where two women reside. Suffice it to say, it's evident that when the character is there things “aren't right.” In the short story we have a family living in the manor hoping for a fresh start. There may be differences from the script and short story, however, a couple of themes stay the same: the manor is clearly steeped in myth and history. And the differences in the short story . . . well, you will have to read for yourself!

What compels you to write horror?


Like many others, writing for me is a form of escapism. Horror is a great seller for writing. I think the beauty of horror is that I don't think people ever get tired or fed up of horror one way. It does sell. Horror fans will always have their favourite character or theme.


When it comes to writing, whether it be a short story or screenplay, I have enjoyed writing horror. Each story that I have done is set in the same “world.” There are nods to my other stories; for instance, my current “creature feature” screenplay references Blackwood Manor.

I also write horror as a fun means of escapism and agree that the genre, whether it be books or movies, tends to stay popular. Gair, thanks so much for visiting and I look forward to reading more stories from the fictional world you’ve created.

For those interested in reading Blackwood Manor it’s available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and more.



Gair McDonald is based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and has been passionate about writing for over ten years. To date, he has written short stories, several screenplays, and two television pilots. In his spare time, he enjoys going to the cinema, gym, walking, and spending time with his children.