Oh yes, the day is finally here. My latest foray into the world of cryptozoology horror – THE DOVER DEMON – takes one of the lesser known but strangest of all cryptids on a wild adventure that has thoroughly creeped out advance readers and reviewers. Having faced Bigfoot in SWAMP MONSTER MASSACRE and delved into the mystery of THE MONTAUK MONSTER, I wanted to tackle a cryptid that hasn’t had as much public recognition. A trip to the International Cryptozoology Museum 2 years ago sparked the idea for THE DOVER DEMON.
While I was there, I was lucky enough to meet famed cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman. We got to talking about creatures he’s personally investigated. Turns out, he was the man on the scene in Dover, MA in the late 70s when the uber strange biped was spotted by several people over the course of two nights in April. He also gave it its name, the Dover Demon. As a lover of monsters and aliens, I couldn’t resist. I mean, look at that mug!
Believe it or not, to this day, people still aren’t sure what they saw. Yes, today most people would see the image and think it’s an alien from a visiting UFO. But here’s where it gets interesting. The witness who drew the first image did it before the ‘gray alien’ became an internationally recognized icon! This was before the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind and years prior to Whitley Strieber’s Communion.
I was so fortunate to have an early release event at the I.C.M. in August. I got to spend some quality time with Loren Coleman and meet people just like myself who are fascinated by the wondrous creatures that have been spotted around the world. Cryptid fans from out of state made the drive to get some Dover Demon love!
At the time it was spotted, it was treated as a terrestrial creature, though the high strangeness of the event brought MUFON to the town as well. No one could figure out what came to visit Dover, and the story hasn’t been recanted by the witnesses even 30+ years later. So, the mystery continues.
My novel takes on several questions:
- What if other people saw the creature that night but never reported it because their run in with the creature was as terrifying as it was strange?
- What if the Dover Demon makes a return in 2015? What would it, or they, want?
- What if it isn’t anything that people have theorized it to be?
Here’s the official blurb for the book –
In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever.
Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?
I lovingly wrote this for all the monster/cryptid/horror lovers out there. So take my hand and let’s walk the moonlit paths of Dover. You never know what you’re going to find.
You can get THE DOVER DEMON in trade paperback and ebook. Click here to access my bookstore page!
And if you’re in the Portland, Maine area, check out the International Cryptozoology Museum, or visit the website and support Loren’s little gem, the only museum dedicated to cryptids in the world.
It’s been almost a month since I was at the second annual Scares That Care con and I’m just getting around to sharing the fun. Yeah, it’s been a bit hectic. Better late than never!
As with any con, I always let the pictures do the talking. This year, the pictures are better than ever thanks to awesome photog Tom Wolstencroft, who also happens to be my brother-in-law and world class book salesman. I loved his hook this year when people came by my table – “Do you like to read?” Sounds crazy, but it worked!
Before I share all the fun pics, I do want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by my table, bought a book, drank a beer, laughed at our shenanigans. I loved getting to hang out with my writing brothers (and sister!), especially the motley crew of Jonathan Janz, Ron Malfi, Kristopher Rufty, Russell James, David Bernstein, Tim Waggoner, Adam Cesare, Brian Keene. Kelli Owen, Armand Rosamilia, Bob Ford and so many others.
I’m already making plans for next year. By the way, the nicest people in the world attend horror cons. Some may look scary, but they’re all pussycats.
How special is this? We have two episodes of the Monster Men for the price of…well, zippo, actually. The things we do for love.
Since the first appearance of Frankenstein in print, the horror genre has been rife with tales of terror based on the concept of science gone wrong. When man meddles with Nature or oversteps his bounds, the repercussions are very, very nasty. That goes for science fiction, too, perhaps even more so. I love mad scientists. Their creativity and singleminded obsessions are enviable, and it’s always fun to see them get their comeuppance in the end.
On the latest episode of Monster Men, we tap into this genre defining vein (after tapping into a beer or two) by repeating #ScienceGoneWrong like chattering babboons. I promise you’ll get a kick out of this one. What are some of your favorite science gone wrong books and movies?
What legendary horror actors and characters would make your Mount Rushmore of horror? Jack and I went into this thinking it would be easy (especially with a few cocktails under our belts). Man, were we wrong. Trying to whittle 100 years of horror down to 4 ain’t easy. Here’s our attempt at tackling the impossible.
Who would make your Mount Rushmore?
The sordid rabble at Samhain are damned happy to call Brian Kirk our newest brother. His debut novel, WE ARE MONSTERS, has been the talk of the town. I’m saving it to read on my upcoming vacation so I can thoroughly lose myself within its pages. Brian and I are both monster lovers, but the monsters in his story are far more frightening than a pissed off Bigfoot or Chupacabra.
So let’s train that spotlight on Brian Kirk. The haunted stage is yours…
Hey, Hunter, thanks for having me on your site. I like the dark shadows and fresh scent of coagulated blood.
While your horror spans a wide spectrum, I know you have a special affinity for monsters, both real and supernatural. So that’s what I wanted to discuss here today if that’s okay with you.
Specifically, I wanted to talk about monsters of the human variety. I want to talk about us, and the worst of our kind.
Who are the most dangerous among us? The ones who commit the vilest and most barbaric acts?
Politicians, you say? Oh, you’re killing me!
Seriously, though. If I were to create a list (so saying as I proceed to create a list) of the most heinous of our kind, I’d include the following, in no particular order: pedophiles, serial killers, rapists, and cannibals.
These are the people you definitely don’t want living next door. But who are these people? How did they get this way? What turns an innocent toddler into a monster that feasts on human flesh?
It’s difficult to say. Some of it’s nature, some of it nurture. Some people are born with abnormal brains, while others have their minds altered through prolonged exposure to trauma or violent environments. One thing that may be safe to say is that no one grows up wanting to become one of these perverted, and violent predators. I don’t think anyone with a normal, healthy brain and upbringing consciously decides to begin engaging in these acts rather than, say… go to dental school.
It’s an innate calling, an urge. An irresistible compulsion that defiles our dream that we’re all basically good. That evil does not exist in this world. That we’re more than hairless monkeys born of violence and blood-thirst.
What do we think when we see violent and heinous acts? When deranged killers walk into elementary schools and gun down innocent children? Evil is what comes to mind, isn’t it? Insane.
But not insane like an illness. Insane like a demonic possession.
I wonder about that. Is insanity more like an evil possession, or more like a disease?
Some may say, “Who cares. What’s the difference? The acts are evil and should be punished.”
While I absolutely agree that people with irresistible pedophiliac urges cannot be allowed to roam freely in society, I wonder what should be done with them. What if, instead of being deviant predators, these people were otherwise normal human beings afflicted with a disease or deformity that could be corrected or cured? What if it was your brother who inexplicably had these urges, or your son?
Let’s say we could identify and diagnose the people with this disease before they ever acted upon its urge. Would we send them to prison? Would we kill them? Or would we quarantine them while we worked to develop a cure? The same way we would treat someone who inadvertently contracted small pox and was now a health hazard to the rest of humanity.
Heck if I know. I’m just intrigued by the question. I’ll tell you this, though. If the urge to harm others is, at times, caused by a “disease” or deformity of the brain, much like how the mutation of a cell can lead to cancer, it is by far one of the worst diseases that can afflict an individual. And its contagion is among the most damaging to society as a whole.
These are difficult questions involving an uncomfortable subject. They are questions that inspired the nature of my debut novel, We Are Monsters.
In We Are Monsters, a troubled, yet brilliant psychiatrist is working to develop a cure for schizophrenia. At first, the drug he creates shows great promise in alleviating his patient’s symptoms. It appears to return schizophrenics to their former selves. But (as you may imagine) something goes wrong. Unforeseen side effects begin to emerge, forcing prior traumas to the surface, setting inner demons free. His medicine may help heal the schizophrenic mind, but it also expands it, and the monsters it releases could be more dangerous than the disease.
This novel asks challenging questions. As the venerable review site, Ginger Nuts of Horror said, “Parts of the story are heartbreaking, parts will make you angry, and the whole story will have you examining the human race as never before.”
But I believe they are questions worth asking. I hope you’ll check it out.
Thanks for having me, Hunter! Here’s my contact info in case anyone is interested in forming a virtual friendship.
When I was a kid, I used to fantasize about what I would do in a post-apocalyptic world, thanks in large part to the movie, DAWN OF THE DEAD. I’m talking the original, not the remake that was kinda cool, but still can’t hold a candle to Ken Foree kicking undead ass. Everywhere I went, I would check out my surroundings and look for escape routes or places where I could burrow inside to ride out the worst. And the end of the world didn’t need to have zombies (like everyone thinks today). I wanted to be Charlton Heston in THE OMEGA MAN (version #2 of Richard Matheson’s classic, I AM LEGEND), tooling around in a sports car, watching movies in a theater all by myself, having all kinds of guns at my disposal and knocking back scotch like a real man.
All those years of wondering, what if, have finally come to fruition with my latest paperback out with Pinnacle books today, TORTURES OF THE DAMNED.
The more I read about the various weapons floating around on the black market for any crackpot with a grudge to buy and unleash on innocent people, the more I want to slip away to some out of the way place, honing my doomsday prepping skills. In TORTURES OF THE DAMNED, I was able to live out my darkest fears, pitting an average family against impossible odds. Imagine going about your day only to see the sky erupt with strange explosions. First, everything electronic stops working. Communications are lost, planes fall out of the sky, cars careen headlong into one another. Then come dark clouds roiling with chemicals that can kill on contact. What do you do? Where do you run? And what depths would you sink to in order to survive?
The world the Padilla family finds themselves in is stark, bewildering and terrifying. It’s amazing to think how little it would take to throw civilization into the stone age.
So take my hand and let’s face the apocalypse together. I promise I won’t let go.
Some very early reviews :
“Everybody ought to read TORTURES OF THE DAMNED. It’s all too realistic, and far too plausible. 5 stars” – Mallory Heart Reviews
“Resoundingly exciting, punchy, and more than a little brutal. 4 stars” – Michael Patrick Hicks
“I couldn’t turn the pages of TORTURES OF THE DAMNED fast enough! 4 stars” – ck2s Kwips and Kritiques