Monday, June 16, 2014

Montauk Monster: Guest Post from Author Hunter Shea


Today’s guest post is by Hunter Shea, one of the rising stars in the field of horror fiction. He’s written several great novels and novellas that every horror fan must read. If you like fun stories with scary monsters and creepy ghosts, I highly recommend you check out the books of Hunter Shea. Here, he’s talking about his latest thriller, The Montauk Monster, which just released in time for the summer.

  
Have you heard the one about the Everglades skunk apes who got a writer a two-book thriller deal?


Sounds insane, right? Even more so because it’s true.


My debut thriller, The Montauk Monster, came about as strangely as the cryptids that descend on a Long Island town in the book. It’s funny how one set of creatures led to a breakneck tale of another.


Here’s how it went down and how you just never know where life will take you. A couple of years ago, I was watching a marathon of the show Bar Rescue. My editor at Samhain, the legendary Don D’Auria, emailed me around midnight to ask if I had any novellas I’d like to publish. Of course, I didn’t, but in a flash I had this idea about a Bigfoot novel set in the Everglades. Yeah, Bar Rescue marathons and lack of sleep make for great creative inspiration. Don said to go for it, and I set to writing.


A month later, I turned in my manuscript, Swamp Monster Massacre, a love note to the B monster movies I loved and still adore. SMM is filled with a family of angry skunk apes intent on murdering a band of hapless humans who crashed their airboat in the deep of the Everglades. The book is a hell of a lot of twisted fun and has been my most popular to date.


Flash forward to the following year. I get an email from a guy who says he’s an editor. Apparently, he was trolling for ‘new talent’ and had loaded up his kindle with hundreds of ebooks. When all was said and done, he said SMM was the one that stood out and he wanted to know if I’d be interested in working with him.


Now, at first, I thought this was some kind of scam. So, I checked him and his company out. Oh, he was legit all right. I replied that I was interested, and we got to talking. The man made me laugh and we found out we shared the same love for Roger Corman, Irwin Allen and loads of other stuff. Again, I was asked if I had any ideas for a thriller.


I had recently been looking at pictures of supposed Montauk Monsters, strange animal carcasses that have been washing up on the shores of Long Island, NY. I quickly hashed a story concept together. To my amazement, he loved it and we were off to the races. To convince the senior editors in the project, he even printed pictures of the corpses and articles! And sure enough, I not only got the deal, but a two-book deal.


Right away, I started working on the book, powering through it, creating non-stop action with plausible backstories. It was a challenge and a thrill. Best of all, the whole thing was an unexpected gift from above.


Now here it is, already listed as Publisher Weekly’s top reads for summer and in a second printing before the first copy hit the shelves.


And it’s all because of those lovable, murderous skunk apes. Who knew? As R.L. Stine told me (along with the crowd of other writers who paid to hear him), never say no. That proposal you take on could be the one that changes your life.


Hunter Shea is the author of the pulse-pounding new thriller, The Montauk Monster, named as one of the Best Reads of Summer by Publishers Weekly.


His horror novels to date are: The Waiting, Sinister Entity, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal and Forest of Shadows. 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. Hunter is also the proud and slightly demented co-host of the Monster Men video podcast. A native New Yorker all his life, he waits with Biblical patience for the Mets to win a World Series. You can read about his latest travails, preview and purchase his books, watch Monster Men episodes and communicate with him without the need for a Ouija board at www.huntershea.com.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Danger, Wrong Way, Turn Back


Today’s guest post is from author Latashia Figueroa, who recently released a wonderful horror short story collection THIS WAY DARKNESS, that includes three tales of terror. I’ll let Latashia take it from here.


I was told not to go down that road many times, and the warning only heightened my curiosity.  The darkness that lurked behind the trees even at high noon seemed to beckon.  Today, I went just a little bit further than yesterday, beyond the trees. The hairs on my neck erected, my heart didn’t just beat, it pounded. And then I turned my car around and drove away. 

There is always a thrill when we do those things we know we’re not supposed to; a jolt of satisfaction.  Ignoring the voice that whispers “No” gives most of us a strange pleasure.

Do we act on those impulses or do we leave them where they stand?
You say you really don’t want to go out alone with the stranger you met on the Internet and yet deep down you do. 

“If I kill her, all my problems will go away,” you chuckle at the thought.  After all, you are not capable of such a violent act. Then, who planted the thought in your head?

I don’t really believe there are psycho cannibals living beyond the trees in the woods. Yet there’s a part of me that’s hoping there’s something out there.

These are the stories that intrigue me, that hold me captive. And they are the stories I like to write; leaving the reader to ponder on the consequences of making that wrong turn. 


I plan on driving past that TURN BACK sign tomorrow. I plan on seeing what’s behind the thick of the trees. Perhaps a monster lies in the obscurity. I will let you know what I find. And if I don’t, you’ll know that I did find danger, that it was indeed the wrong way. You’ll know that I am unable to turn back.

Latashia Figueroa, 
author of THIS WAY DARNESS.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Grandfather, a WWII Hero and D-Day Pilot, Inspired Historical Novel

In honor of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6th, 1944, I am updating an article that I wrote about my grandfather, a WWII veteran pilot of the U.S. Army. I am remembering what he helped do for our country during the Normandy invasion.

In April of 2013, my grandfather turned 95. My dad and I took a day off and traveled to West Texas to celebrate and honor another year. The man I grew up calling “Nandaddy” -- because we called my grandmother “Nana” -- is still a personal hero of mine. In his younger days, he stood six-two and was built strong and tough, like John Wayne. My grandfather, who passed away peacefully in February 2014, had a husky laugh, chewed tobacco and wore cowboy hats and boots. He had an incredible impact on my life and my writing. In my novel Shadows in the Mist, my main character, Colonel Jack Chambers, was modeled after my grandfather, Captain Henry “Dawson” Moreland. My grandfather was a war hero who never talked about the war. When I was a kid visiting my grandparents, I went down to the cellar and found an old Army trunk that was locked and gathering dust. I asked my grandfather what was inside. He said photos and mementos he had brought back from the war, but he wouldn’t open it. When I asked why, his eyes clouded over and he said the memories of what he experienced over in Europe were just too painful. He kept that war locked up inside him and that made me curious. What had my grandfather experienced during WWII? What secrets was he keeping?


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

THE VAGRANTS releases today

I'm happy to announce that my latest novella is now available as an eBook. While many of my books have been historical and set in the isolated wilderness, THE VAGRANTS takes place in modern-day Boston. This story is a mix of horror and urban fantasy, inspired by my love for reading Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft, both masters at blending the real world with parallel worlds.

Shorter than my novels, The Vagrants is another quick read, about the same length as my novella The Witching House. Scroll down and you'll find the synopsis, along with some cool videos of abandoned subway tunnels. Enjoy. 

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Beneath the city of Boston evil is gathering.

Journalist Daniel Finley is determined to save the impoverished of the world. But the abandoned part of humanity has a dark side too. While living under a bridge with the homeless for six months, Daniel witnessed something terrifying. Something that nearly cost him his sanity.

Now, two years later, he’s published a book that exposes a deadly underground cult and its charismatic leader. And Daniel fears the vagrants are after him because of it. At the same time, his father is being terrorized by vicious mobsters. As he desperately tries to help his father, Daniel gets caught up in the middle of a war between the Irish-American mafia and a deranged cult of homeless people who are preparing to shed blood on the streets of Boston.

"Brian Moreland writes a blend of survival horror and occult mystery that I find impossible to resist. His writing is clean, precise, and, best of all, compulsively readable. I know, when I've got one of his books in my hands, that I'm going to be lost to the world for hours on end. He's just that good." 

Joe McKinney, author of Dead City and Flesh Eaters 

"Brian Moreland writes horror on a level that soars above the usual fare, and THE VAGRANTS is no exception. Chocked full of scares and suspense, Moreland delivers a tale that will soon be a classic. This is the kind of story horror lovers need."

Kristopher Rufty, author of OAK HOLLOW and THE LURKERS

"I am in awe of Brian Moreland."

Ronald Malfi, author of Snow and Floating Staircase 

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Parts of my book take place in the abandoned tunnels that run beneath Boston and have been sealed off for decades. Here's an article about the Boston subway that I find fascinating. It has a great video of a tour through the abandoned Boston tunnels.

Below are 2 other videos that will give you a personal experience of exploring abandoned subway tunnels. The first one is an unnamed tunnel system that could be in any city, but it's what I imagined while writing THE VAGRANTS. 



The second video is a Red Line subway train running through one of Boston's abandoned subway tunnels. There's a scene in my book where I have a man standing next to the tracks when the train passes. 

Below is an example of what he would have seen. 



Vagrants_The cover

THE VAGRANTS is available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, direct from my publisher, and wherever eBooks are sold.