Well, looks like I survived another #Horrortober. I finished the month having watched 41 horror movies. I think I tied my 2012 record. I have to go check the old files to be sure. The sad thing is, I didn’t even get to about 10 movies I had set aside to watch. I’ll have to save them for December when I’ll need some counter-programming to the slew of sappy Christmas specials.
I also managed to finish the first draft of my next cryptid novel. Rewrite process starts tomorrow. I’ll reveal the beastie the book is about in the coming months.
Now, on to something that just elevated my day. As you all know, my weird western, HELL HOLE, came out this past July. Because it was out a month after THE MONTAUK MONSTER, it kinda got lost in the shuffle, though I’m making up for it with mini blog tour this month.
Matt over at HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS sent me an email and link to their review of HELL HOLE a couple of days ago. You literally couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Here are some snippets from the review :
There’s a fine line that separates a very good writer and a truly great writer. Very good writers get it right sometimes, great writers rarely, if ever, let us down, releasing nothing but riveting piece after riveting piece. Stephen King is a great writer. Joe Lansdale is a great writer. Jack Ketchum, Jonathan Maberry, Clive Barker, those are great writers. Today, Hunter Shea – in this mind – completes the transition from very good writer to great writer. This man will not let you down, and he’ll just about always give you a taste of his personal trademarks, like the presence of monsters and key heroic ensembles. It’s what he does. It’s part of what makes him great.
The five (main characters) make for one of the greatest ensembles I’ve had the fortune of discovering in any novel, ever.
Shea is one of the absolute best in the business in 2014, and I’m going to go ahead and say it, Hell Hole is the best horror novel of the year.
To read the entire review, click here. While you’re there, poke around the site. It’s the best place for a horror lover to spend a day.
I’ve always been reluctant to mention reviews, knowing it’s part of the business, but also leery of tooting my own horn. This review is the stuff you dream of when you decide that you want to be a writer. To even be mentioned alongside my heroes – King, Barker, Ketchum and Lansdale – is more thrilling and humbling than you can imagine. It’s always a little scary, sharing a very personal labor of love with the world so it can be scrutinized. At the very least, I always hope my books give people a little escape from an insane world. And Hell Hole was a labor of love. I wrote it for my dad, who loved westerns and showed me the horror ropes. Hey may have passed before I had a chance to give it to him to read, but I know he’s enjoying it, and this review, at this very moment.
In other good news, my next Samhain novel, ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, the sequel to 2013′s SINISTER ENTITY, is now listed on Samhain’s site and can be pre-ordered on December 7th (which is both Pearl Harbor Day and the day I got engaged to my wife back in 1990). In this one, I put Jessica Backman in a very, very bad place. Why am I so mean to her?
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?
ISLAND comes out the first week in January, along with a slew of other books by great authors like Jonathan Janz, Russell James and Glenn Rolfe. This isn’t an island you want to be stranded on, even if Maryanne and Ginger are there.
What better day to kick off a mini-blog tour for my weird western, HELL HOLE, than on Halloween? There’s guaranteed to be something in that twisted yarn to make you say your prayers before turning out the light. To follow the tour (with guest posts, interviews and reviews), all you need to do is click the banner below. Big thanks, as always, to Erin at Hook of a Book for putting it all together.
And check this out. My main monster man, Jack Campisi, just released an official Monster Men music video. It’s going to be displayed on our YouTube channel, Monster Men 13. Tired of ‘All About That Bass’ playing in circles in your brain? Let the Monster Men take over! Perfect background music while you put on your Halloween costume today!
We expect to get no fewer than 300 trick or treaters tonight as we rock our annual house party. Hope I’ll have enough brain cells left this weekend to finish my next cryptid novel.
What are you all doing for Halloween? Please tell me my neighborhood isn’t the last bastion for balls to the wall trick or treating.
I’m writing this from deep in the abandoned copper mines in Hecla, Wyoming. It’s kinda dark in here but the internet access is surprisingly good. I just spotted a pair of rough hombres skulking around. They have the spirits all riled up. Hope they know what they’re doing.
As you may or may not know, my most recent novel, HELL HOLE, takes place right here in these mysterious hills. A pair of former Rough Riders plumb the very depths of these mines on the orders of none other than Teddy Roosevelt. What they encounter, well, let’s just say none of it’s good. Unless being harrassed by ghosts, black eyes kids, squatches and a whole host of craziness is your idea of a fun time.
HELL HOLE was written with the Halloween season in mind. I want people to read horror as much as they watch it, especially this month of #Horrortober! So, here’s what I aim to do. I’m going to give a free ebook to everyone who does one of the following:
- Go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Samhain’s website and post a review/rating for Hell Hole. Once you do, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your review or rating.
- Purchase a copy of Hell Hole. Again, send a screen print or other proof of purchase to email@example.com
One book per customer. This incredible offer lasts until October 31, 2014.
This is all part of my plan to win the lottery and buy the most tricked out RV in history, convert it into a book mobile and travel the country handing out books and spreading the love of reading. So come on, show your love for HELL HOLE and Halloween. I’ll make it worth your while.
Over the years listening to Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast and becoming a subscriber to his Plus club where I can feed my paranomral addiciton daily, I’ve become a bit of a fanboy. I told him recently that’s he’s become the Leonard Nimoy (ala In Search of…) of the modern day.
A few years ago, I was on his Campfire Tales podcast, talking about the strange haunting I’ve been experiencing over the years. Well, you can imagine how thrilled I was when Jim emailed me saying he’d like to include it in his latest book, TRUE GHOST STORIES : JIM HAROLD’S CAMPFIRE 3.
You can get a copy of Campfire 3 on your e-reader for just $2.99 – that’s less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks. In it, you’ll get 70 chilling tales of ghosts and high strangeness, as told by the people who experienced the unknown. You can also get it in paperback. Guess what I’m giving out to the trick or treaters this year!
And while you’re at it, check out his FREE Paranormal Podcast. And if you’ve had a ghostly encounter, send him an email and be part of his Campfire Tales show. You just may end up in a future edition.
I just got the cover art for my January release, ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, this weekend and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. This is the much anticipated sequel to SINISTER ENTITY, and like the previous 2 books in the series, it can be read as a standalone story. I have to say, this is the best cover I’ve gotten so far and it perfectly captures the nature of the book. Whaddya think?
Here’s a little tease about the book itself :
Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.
Three painful years after her terrifying encounter with a doppelganger, Jessica Backman is 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. The mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home.
But something far more insidious is living on the island. Dozens of phantoms walk the halls and roam the surrounding forest. What sort of evil lives and seethes on Ormsby Island? And why was Jessica chosen as the only one who could plumb its dark depths? Reunited with uber-psychic Eddie Home, whose own abilities have been shattered, Jessica must face crimes so taboo, no one will ever be the same.
More to come!
Great news. I was just informed that Forest of Shadows, the book that started it all, will be made into an audiobook! It will be available in 2015 – no definite date set yet. For you ghost fanatics out there, this is where the legend of ghost hunter Jessica Backman begins – a tale about her father staring into the abyss, searching for truths better left unsaid. This led to Sinister Entity and next year’s Island of the Forbidden.
I wish I could be the one to select who does the narration. Here are my top choices :
- Christopher Walken
- William Shatner
- Jef Bridges
- The Aflac duck
Who would you like to hear narrate the book?
If audio’s not your thing but you want to stock up on some spooky reading for Halloween, here’s what Forest of Shadows has in store for you -
The dead still hate!
John Backman specializes in inexplicable phenomena. The weirder the better. So when he gets a letter from a terrified man describing an old log home with odd whisperings, shadows that come alive, and rooms that disappear, he can’t resist the call. But the violence only escalates as soon as John arrives in the remote Alaskan village of Shida. Something dreadful happened there. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood.
Let this post be a lesson to you – always listen to your kids.
My beautiful daughter, Ivy, is a full blown teenage metalhead with her father’s bizarre tastes and view of the world. She’s been a huge fan of the band Motionless in White. These dudes are hardcore with music that’ll pound a railroad spike into the center of your skull – and I mean this in the best way possible. When it comes to metal, skull splitting is the goal. I recently saw them at Warped Tour and was blown away.
Ivy told me that one of the band’s members, Josh Balz (along with his girlfriend, Ryan Malarky, an incredible tattoo artist), owned his own oddities parlor, a place called The Strange and Unusual. If you don’t know what the name refers to, I command thee to go watch Beetlejuice. I’ve always said that my Ivy is little Lydia, only far less morose.
She’s been dying to go to The Strange and Unusual, and as a fan of the show, Oddities, I can’t say I wasn’t happy to take her. We made the drive out to Kingston, Pennsylvania and found the small yet oddly spacious parlor. Best of all, with Motionless in White in between tours, Josh was there. Really nice guy with a fabulous store of some of the quirkiest antiques, taxidermied beasts, mounted insects and polished skulls you’ll ever find. I walked around the parlor a half dozen times and my eyes kept catching things I’d missed on the previous circuit. It really is a feast for the senses (and head and shoulders above Obscura in NY – the place featured on the show, Oddities). It’s not cluttered or cramped, which made our stay even better. What made my day as the keeper of the books, the merchandise is reasonably priced, too.
Needless to say, the Shea family plunked down some cash so we could take a piece of the parlor home with us. Josh was happy to sign some autographs for Ivy and her friend and he liked my Samhain bloody syringe pen so much that we let him keep it. Next time I’ll bring some books as well.
As I always like to do when I visit cool places, I present the below gallery to entice you to hop in your car and check it out for yourself. Bring your wallet. You won’t want to go home empty handed. We’re already planning our next visit.