In this day and age of online communications, waiting excitedly for the mailman doesn’t happen very often. Well, this is one of those days. My Fedex dude just dropped off a box of my new bookmarks. I splurged for the super high gloss and heavier card stock so they would stand out and last more than a week. I gotta say, they’re pretty sweet. A lot of that is thanks to my friend and designer, Jerry Mulcahy. He did an awesome job and also designed our Monster Men logos.
If you live in the US and you’d like some signed bookmarks and a Swamp Monster Massacre promo card (gearing up for a 3 month blog tour with that bad boy), just send me an email at email@example.com with your name and address and I’ll get them right out to you. This is my way of saying thanks for all of your support and encouragement. And no, you will not be added to any mailing lists. Come get some!
I’m back from the Horrorhound weekend in Indy and the air is already getting crisper, the night coming sooner. October is coming. That means Halloween is near. It also means I’m ready to begin my month-long immersion in all things horror.
To get the season going, I have a couple of things. First is The Monster Men’s new podcast on The Bermuda Triangle. Terror on the high seas!
Second, since a picture can say a thousand words, here are 14,000 words on Horrorhound and Halloween. Thank you to everyone who came to the Samhain table and especially those who picked up some signed copies. You all made our day.
I think the best way to talk about this past Horrorfind Weekend is to roll with the random thoughts and pictures. So, here’s what’s dripping out of the old brain pan, 24 hours after we departed our little horror shangri-la.
Attendance wasn’t as, shall we say, robust as it has been in the past. However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot going on. This was my first time at Horrorfind as a guest. I was at the Samhain horror table with 7 other talented authors. All of them were as nice as can be (not evil, devil worshipping sex maniacs like people think horror writers are) and it made me realize I’m in some stellar company. Big time twisted love to Brian Moreland, Ron Malfi, Mick Ridgewell, John Everson, Damien Walters Grintalis, David Bernstein and Russell James. You don’t need to be a psychic to know the future of horror is right here at Samhain.
And I can’t forget the Samhain staff, including Don (our amazing editor), Dawn and Jacob, he of the mighty kilt (though he is wearing jeans in this pic)!
As the fates would have it, my hotel room was right next to actress Meg Foster’s (the actress with the amazing crystal blue eyes of They Live fame, not to mention about 100 other movies and TV shows). We got to talking about ghosts and meditation, hugged, and even exchanged a copy of Forest of Shadows for a signed picture. She’s a fascinating, caring woman. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and tell the teenage me that I would one day meet her and hand her my book that she said would be her plane read. Teen Hunter would have said, “Yeah right, hammer. Keep dreaming.”
I was in the bar with author Norman Prentiss and saw an old dude walk by. I said, “That guy looks like Rob Halford.” Norman corrected me. “That’s Pinhead!”
I watched Dee Wallace hold court one night, sitting with a few other celebs while a ring of onlookers gaped at them. Dee and the gang were just having some drinks, but it was like they were on a little stage. Not wanting to be part of the rubberneckers, I trained my attention on the scraggly guy singing karaoke tunes from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Disturbing.
Actress Kim Darby (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, True Grit) was also near my room and I happily led her down to show her where the celebrity room was. She’s a kind and seemingly fragile woman. For some reason, I kept checking on her to make sure she was having a good time.
We met the cast of Pet Sematary, with the exception of Fred Gwynne, of course.
My favorite attendee was this little guy who walked around in dress pants and dress shirt, wearing a lucha libre mask and sometimes carrying a brain on a stick. Over 3 days, he never once took that mask off.
I also met a pretty cool guy who hand crafted an entire Ghost Busters costume. It was impressive to say the least.
I rode the elevtor with Count Gore De Vol and we talked about what we had for dinner the previous night. The Count had yogurt for those keeping track. Wonder if it was blood flavored?
During my slot in the author reading room, I showed a Monster Men best -of episode and talked about ghosts. That was fun and I kept people awake, which is always a good sign.
For lunch one day, I had a hot dog that looked like a cooked baby arm. Not by intention. As someone said to me, a hot dog that big had to be filled with lots of snouts and assholes.
My wife bought me a skull for my writing area. Here I am showing my appreciation.
On the last night, all of the Samhainers went out to dinner in Gettysburg. It’s amazing to see how all of the history has been put aside so they can stress the paranormal. The sidewalks were even painted with little ghosts. Ghosts sell. We did see a bunch of Civil War re-enactors having dinner outside an old tent. Keeping to tradition, they munched on McDonald’s.
I’m packing up the Shea-mobile tonight so I can head out first thing tomorrow to the Horrorfind Weekend in Gettysburg, PA. I’ve been going there for years as a fan. This is the first time I get to go as a guest, and I’m thrilled. I’ll be joined by six other Samhain Horror authors and will be signing books, doing readings and causing mayhem all weekend long. There will also be a film festival, costume contest, supernatural seminars, a horror themed car show and lots more. The cast of Pet Sematary will even be there, along with a ton of horror screen legends. To learn more, click here. Trust me when I say, Horrorfind is the most fun a horror fan will have all year. Come on down and have a drink with me. I promise, I’ll buy a pitcher or two, or three, or four.
First let me kick things off by having a little giveaway this week. Evil Eternal, my little ode to demon slaying, is going to be in print on September 2nd. Thank you to everyone who bought the e-book. Now, as an author, my hot little hands get advance print copies of my books.
I’d like to give a signed copy away to one of you out there in blogger land. Entering the contest is muy simple. All you have to do is click on the book cover right here. That will take you to the Amazon page. Once you’re there, all I ask is that you give it a Like, then share it either through Twitter, FB, on Pinterest. If you hover on the Like button, icons to share through any of those will appear.
Once you’re done, just throw a comment here that you did it and you’re eligible. I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday, August 29th. It will be shipped out the next day. Scout’s honor.
This coming Friday, I’ll be heading to Gettysburg, PA to attend the Horrorffind Weekend. I’ll be with a crazy group of Samhain authors signing books, doing readings and having a ton of fun. Horrorfind weekend is my favorite weekend of the year. Hope you can attend! Then, the following Friday, I’m off to Indianapolis, home of cafeteria style food, to represent Samhain and meet the cast of Aliens at the Horrorhound Weekend Convention. It will be my first Horrorhound and I hear it’s enormous.
I was fortunate enough to do something super cool this week. I was invited to be a member of a paranormal panel for the NY Spotlight on Success show down at Chelsea Manor in NYC. Big thanks to Diana and Joe for letting me and my Monster Men brother Jack talk about all things ghostly. We had a blast, got to check out the ‘haunted’ spots in the club, and met a ton of great peeps, including paranormal researchers Dan Sturges, Laurence Hewett, and psychics Michelle Dauria and Krystin Reilly.
Aside from finishing what I hope is the final round of edits on my kids horror story, and getting ready to write another novella and novel, I’ve been recharging my brain by watching movies. What keeps little Hunter going? Here’s a sample along with my 3 word review. So, what are you watching?
Fantastic, creepy story!
Decent psychological thriller.
Lost slasher gem.
Oddly scary indy.
For those of you interested in my ramblings, I’ll be co-hosting the Working Things Out radio show tonight with Tony Ventarola, one of my oldest friends in this scary world. The show goes from 6-7pm ET. You can listen live by clicking the Listen Live link or come back another day and check out the archive. Lord knows what we’ll talk about, but knowing us, UFOs, ghosts, baseball and politics will probably rear their heads.
If you missed it live, you can access the archive here on YouTube. A big thank you to Diana Navarro for lending us her air time.
Just a quickie this time around after hitting you all with the heavy stuff last post. This Saturday, I’ll be at the Books Without Borders event in Yonkers, NY. The weather is going to be wonderful and they’re expecting well over 1,00o attendees. I’ll be there to meet folks and sign and sell my books, of course, but you can also meet with agents, editors and publishers. Plus, there will be tons of entertainment for the kids. Really great stuff. Click here to learn more.
Also on Saturday, at 11am ET, I’ll be interviewed on A Book and a Chat radio show. Barry, the host, is one of my favorite interviewers. We had a great time last go around when Forest of Shadows came out.
So, if you can’t make it to the event (and I hope many of you do so we can meet!), you can still hear me on the radio show.
Have a bitchin’ weekend and thank you all for your support and kind words.
P.S. : For a teaser, I just went to the famed Whaley House in San Diego. Very interesting. Lots of pics to share next time!
Before I get to the main course, I wanted to share a little appetizer with you. A few days ago, I signed an audio book deal for Evil Eternal! This will be my first audio book, and I’m very anxious to hear the final product. Wonder if I can request Christopher Walken to do the reading?
OK, on to more important things. The past year has been simply amazing, with releasing 2 books, signing a deal for a third, and lots of writing and other projects on the horizon. It’s literally been more than I dreamed of when I started tapping away on my word processor in the spare bedroom, back before I had kids or a direction in life.
Through all of this, my wife has been struggling with her health. For a time there, she was dying and her doctors did nothing but conduct tests and scratch their heads. Between the end of September and now, she has literally been bedridden. I can’t tell you how hard it is to see the person you love most suffer.
Luckily, a few months ago, we found an amazing doctor at NY Presbyterian Hospital who diagnosed my wife’s problems. Even though we’ve been able to put a name to her daunting issues, things have not been easy and sometimes the treatments are worse than the cure. We’re still far from being out of the woods and always a second away from a life threatening situation. It’s like living atop a mine field.
But through all of this, there’s still a life to be lived. The kids have to be taken care of and go to school and do their homework. My day job requires an inordinate amount of time and attention. And there’s always writing and promoting and moving forward with my dream. Every minute of the day has to be compartmentalized and we all do our best to keep our emotions at as even a keel as possible. It’s not always easy, and there are plenty of times I know we’ve each wanted to just throw in the towel and escape to some magical place that will lift every burden and allow us time to heal.
So even though my recent successes have been exciting beyond measure, they’ve always been tempered by the priorities in my crazy life. In fact, out of everything, the moment that gave me the greatest sense of joy happened just a week ago when, after getting the OK from our doctor, I took my wife on a weekend getaway. We had a very small window of opportunity where the stars would align for us and she would physcially be able to do it. The smile on her face when we walked on that plane, and again at the resort, made me happier than any book deal, job promotion or lottery win could ever do.
Family is my number one priority. Their health and happiness is what matters most. Everything else, though sometimes joyful, is a distant second. Remember that next time you get hung up on something that in the end, doesn’t really mean much at all. Think of it this way. What will you remember the most fondly on your death bed? What will you wish you could go back and do again? I’ll guarantee you, it will involve the ones you love, and not the pursuit of money, recognition or material things. We’re only alive for a very brief time. Don’t waste a moment.