Hello and happy almost Halloween season, Hellions! As I’ve been gathering all of the things to fill up my Horrortober, I wanted to pause for a moment and thank you all for everything you’ve done for me.
The process of writing is a lonely endeavor. You miss out on time spent with family and friends, hoping the words you’re putting down will entertain basic strangers out there in the insane world.
Over the past decade plus, so many of you have stepped out of the shadows of stranger and become friends, colleagues and supporters that are invaluable to me. I truly love horror, and am proud to share that love with all of you. In the end, we’re all just fans, jawing about the things that give us chills and make us sleep with the lights on.
So, thank you to everyone who has ever purchased one of my books, dropped a rating, left a review, connected with me on social media, promoted my work on said social media, watched or listened to my podcasts (Monster Men and Final Guys), appeared on my podcasts, signed up for Patreon, read my Video Visions column at Cemetery Dance, shared your ghost stories, made me aware of awesome new movies or UFO documentaries, alerted me to the latest cryptid news, came to a book signing or appearance at a convention or brewery, lent me a hand with things like marketing and design, gave me encouraging words to keep me going, and overall, just made me feel welcome. I know there can be a lot of drama in this genre, and I thank you for sticking with me in keeping that horse crap in the basement where it belongs.
Every single one of you is special to me, and I appreciate this community we’ve built. The future is known to no one, but I will always know that I have rock star Hellions in my life. We have a month and a half to go hog wild with this thing we love. I’m looking forward to sharing it all with you, like we do every year.
Stay scary, keep looking to the skies, and call me if you see a Bigfoot!
Releasing my latest foray into cryptid mania on Friday the 13th was no mere coincidence. What better time to give birth to a book that is chock full of Goat Man carnage, devil worshipping, revenge, and, well, love? Oh yeah, this has it all.
The ebook is available now and paperback will be quick to follow.
If that doesn’t have your horror motor running, here’s a quick preview of Chapter One!
SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS
The bleating of the terrified goat rode under the constant barrage of thunder. Lightning crackled against the starless sky, throwing up strange and twisted shadows in the woods. The first patters of rain plinked off the leaves. It sounded like a monsoon was barreling their way…fast.
“What about the fire?” one of the black-robed figures asked.
“It will burn for as long as it needs to burn,” replied the nude woman covered in blood and holding a heavy, leatherbound book. Her name was Lupita Saenz and she was the leader of their cult. Lupita had used a metal file to whittle her eye teeth into fangs the night before, and with the way the wind was whipping her jet-black hair, she was a vision of absolute terror.
Perhaps not for Chuck Bugna, who had had enough of an unrelenting crush on Lupita to willfully join the group of weekend Satanists on the night of their big sacrifice. He couldn’t stop staring at her crimson breasts. There had been promises of a wild bacchanal when they were done. Chuck had been in charge of procuring all of the alcohol and the suite at the Hampton Inn a few towns away. The word orgy had been bandied about and that was not something Chuck was going to miss, even if he had to watch a goat get its throat cut. Normally an animal lover, he clung to the memory of being chased by a goat at the petting zoo when he was eight. It had traumatized him.
Yeah, well fuck that goat. Chuck looked at the goat to his left as it strained against the rope, its eyes wide and terrified with each clap of thunder and flicker of lightning. Sorry you gotta take the fall for it, but at least you’ll be serving a higher purpose.
That higher purpose, Chuck was sure, was not the incarnation of the devil or satisfied Goat Man or some lesser demon. It would be him getting laid. With Lupita, if the fantasies in his head managed to play out.
He just wanted this whole part to be over and done with. With his luck, he’d get struck by lightning. A whole year of chanting HAIL SATAN for naught.
Think positive. And stop looking at the goat.
Lupita motioned for Sandra on her right to hand her the chalice. She took a huge gulp and promptly spat the cheap wine into the large campfire it had taken Chuck and Dan the better part of an hour to build.
Chuck thought the wine would make the flames roar. Instead, the bitter liquid sizzled and was quickly evaporated.
She threw her head back and looked into the roiling sky.
Dylan took the book from her, dropped to his knees and held it open so she could read from it. Chuck had wanted that job, if only to get closer to a naked Lupita. She had insisted Dylan be the book bearer. For that, Chuck hated Dylan just a little bit.
“Bow your heads and repeat after me,” Lupita commanded. “Amen. Everlasting life and body the of resurrection the sins of forgiveness.”
The group of six Satanists around the fire intoned as one. “Amen. Everlasting life and body the of resurrection the sins of forgiveness.”
When they finished, the rain started to fall in earnest. So many jagged spires of lightning sprang to life, it turned night into day for several seconds. Chuck felt his arm hairs start to rise.
The rain washed the blood (pig’s blood they got from the butcher) off of Lupita’s tan, taut body. Chuck licked his lips.
She continued. “The saints of communion the Church Catholic holy the Spirit Holy the in believe I!”
They responded. “The saints of communion the Church Catholic holy the Spirit Holy the in believe I!”
Saying the Apostle’s Creed backwards was no easy task. They had been rehearsing it for the better part of a month. Chuck couldn’t count how many times he’d said it forward in church growing up. The priests used to stop random students in the school halls to make them say it until they knew it like the backs of their dirty hands. If they could only see Chuck now.
When they finished the Apostle’s Creed, Lupita began chanting in a weird language that was so guttural, Chuck worried she might choke on her own tongue. His worry didn’t prevent him from ogling her.
“Get the sacrifice!” she wailed. Chuck forced his eyes to lock on Lupita’s face. Her eyes showed too much white. Crazy eyes. He quickly and happily went back to looking at her chest and below.
Rosie and Harold pulled the stake the goat was tied to out of the ground and led the skittish animal closer to the fire. Sandra passed the ceremonial dagger she had ordered from some seller on Etsy to Lupita. The fire hissed as the rain pounded down. Chuck could feel the thunder in his bones. This had better be quick.
One thing the pandemic did was lower the visible rat population. With so few people out and about littering and going to restaurants and stores, there was less and less for the furry bastards to eat. Gone were the days of rustling mounds of trash bags on city curbs.
You ever wonder what the rats were doing all that time?
Wonder no more! For those who enjoyed my ‘rats take Manhattan’ novella, RATTUS NEW YORKUS, comes a continuing saga of furry terror with…MANRATTAN!
If you dig the title, all credit goes to my daughter who came up with it when she was editing Rattus New Yorkus. It was too good a title to go to waste.
Manrattan finds exterminators Chris and Benny Jackson back in the big city battling it out with a new breed of vermin that might just be too much for the city to survive.
If you want to join the twitching, chittering carnage, you’ll need to head on over to my Patreon account at http://www.patreon.com/huntershea and become a patron.
And while you’re there, you’ll have access to the massive novel, Clash of the Cryptids, lost novella, I Kill In Peace, new Jessica Backman stories and so much more. Plus, you can join me with monthly live movie watch parties where the beer flows as freely as the comments on the horror turkeys and lost gems that we cultivate through careful thought and consideration. Sorta.
Let’s just hope you don’t end up like poor Charlie after reading Manrattan.
I have to say, I have the greatest readers in the world. So many of you have been posting pictures of my books (or yourselves with my books) that I just had to share. This is just a small sample of what’s happened in the past week or so. Please keep ’em coming. I may have to make this a monthly blog post going forward.
@JoshuaMarsella holding a copy of The Jersey Devil before he disappeared into the Pine Barrens, never to be seen again.
@kimberlyyerina6466 created a hellish display for her copy of Ghost Mine. I hear she’s heading out to Hecla, WY with a pick axe, shovel, and holy water.
You better not call @disneynine a Misfit. Though she does know how to rock the grunge look.
@wellwortharead knows how to set the mood. I wonder what a haunted mansion candle smells like. Cobwebs and fear?
@LouciferSpeaks went old school with this one. Looks like the tips of her fingers are about to be bitten off by one of those nasty beasts.
I just love this pic by @spookymermaids. Makes me want to head up to our place in Maine and…wait, maybe not!
It’s not often we get an interview with horror’s premier editor, so this is one not to miss. The wizard behind the curtain tells all. Well, maybe not all.
I am honoured to feature an absolute LEGEND on the blog today. This is the man who said yes to my own three most favourite writers – Glenn, Hunter and Mr Janz.
Welcome, Don D’Auria.
Thank you so very much for agreeing to be interviewed for my blog.
First off, please could you tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m always proud to say I was the classic example of a Monster Kid when I was growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey. I read Famous Monsters and watched Creature Features religiously. I still have the copies of Frankenstein and Dracula that I got from the Scholastic Book Club in grammar school, as well as my favourite Aurora monster models. So you can imagine what it’s like for me to work in the genre that I’ve been a fan of since childhood. It was a huge thrill for…
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Do ya like urban legends? Were you rocking your flannels during the grunge craze? Do you think people who believe high school are the glory days are clinically insane? Dream of retribution for a deed done dirty to you?
Well, my friend, you just may be a misfit. And believe me, in this day and age, that is an honor. Boy, do I have the book for you…
I’ve always wanted to write a book about the dreaded Melon Heads, and man, a fucked up book like Misfits is just perfect for a fucked up year like 2020. Oh wait, you never heard of the Melon Heads? Well, just think about a lost tribe of humanity with large heads and all kinds of deformities who are territorial and sometimes, cannibalistic living in the woods of Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio. Intrigued. Check out the below video that does a damn good job delving into the mystery of the Melon Heads.
Now, since this is a Hunter Shea book, I’ve taken some liberties with the urban legend and cranked it up to eleven in terms of murder and mayhem. Best part is that it’s all set in the early 90s against the backdrop of an economy in the tank with a killer soundtrack provided by the likes of Nirvana, Hole, Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and the rest.
Here’s the trusty ol’ synopsis:
During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures that shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.
Look, if you love horror, you were probably on the fringe as a kid like me, or still living comfortably ‘out there’, again like me. If you’ve ever felt like the world didn’t understand or want you, you’re going to love the five teens in this book – Mick, Chuck, Vent, Marnie and Heidi. Misfits, one and all, but also all for one.
MISFITS drops in the US on September 8th. Let’s just hope the coronavirus has slunk into a dark corner at that point.
Misfits will be available in hardcover, paperback, ebook and audio through Flame Tree Press.
Things are finally opening up and we’re all slowly going to crawl out of our houses over the next few weeks. After what the world has been through the past three months, I’m very concerned about the impact this will have on the horror genre. Will people want more scares after the coronavirus? I have a strong feeling that therapists won’t have a free hour in the day for years to come. This pandemic has given birth to a host of new fears for many, some still lurking under the surface and waiting to leap out the moment folks start to regain their equilibrium. I speak from experience, having grappled with a crippling anxiety disorder twenty years ago. If you’ve been sheltering in your house for months watching the news and worrying, it’s going to leave a scar.
So, what will the wave of the horror future be? I think what people need now more than ever is laughter. We’ve dwelled in the darkness for too long. We need the light. Luckily, if you’re a die hard horror fan like me in need of a chuckle, there are a lot of good movies out there to satisfy your craving while letting in the light. Here are 13 movies guaranteed to give you a break from your worries. What are some of your favorites?
EVIL DEAD 2
ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK
SHAUN OF THE DEAD
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
A HAUNTED HOUSE
KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER