Tag Archive | Sinister Grin Press

The Real Watcher of Westfield

Sometimes, real life is far more frightening than fiction.

As a man who makes his bread and butter writing about cryptids gone wild, I don’t often get the chance to delve into the things that truly give me the willies. I’m talking about flesh and blood crazies. Like what’s going on right now in a quaint New Jersey suburb.

Back in the summer of 2015, a disturbing headline hit the news. A family (Derek and Maria Broaddus) had just moved into their million dollar home in Westfield, New Jersey. We’re talking dream house. Except the dream quickly degenerated into a nightmare. Not long after moving in, the family started finding cryptic and threatening notes from someone who called himself (or herself) The Watcher. Here’s an example of one of The Watcher’s letters :

“I am pleased to know your names now and the name of the young blood you have brought me.”

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The Watcher claimed to be part of a long line of Watchers, all of them keeping a close eye on the inhabitants of that particular house. In fact, today’s current Watcher is a self-proclaimed third generation stalker.

It got so strange, the family was forced to abandon their home. How could some strange notes make the Broadduses abandon their house within weeks? Consider if you found this in your home :

“Have they found what is in the walls yet? In time they will.”

“Will the young bloods play in the basement?

“Who has the bedrooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as  you move in. It will help me to know who is in which bedroom then I can plan better.”

This isn’t a questionable haunting like the Amityville Horror. The dread  is real. To this day, no one knows who is leaving the notes. Theories range from someone in the neighborhood, possibly an older person judging by their handwriting. A disgruntled former potential buyer who lost their bid to the Broadduses. Or the Broaddus family themselves, looking to make a fast buck.I don’t know. To me, if you can afford a million dollar home, you’re not desperate for money.

Derek and Maria Broaddus tried to get permission to raze the beautiful house and construct a new one but was turned down. They are too afraid to live in it.

It’s been rented out since earlier this year, and new, even more sinister notes have turned up for the tenants. It seems that no matter who lives within the house’s walls, the terror will continue.

Somewhere out there, The Watcher keeps on watching.


A movie has been made very loosely based on this true to life horror called The Watcher. It’s on Netflix if you want to give it a…well, watch.

My take on things is presented in WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, available from Sinister Grin Press. Only in my version, the family can’t run from the house, nor can they hide.

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New Release Day : WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING

I’m so excited to share this with all my Hellions. My first release of 2017, and premier book with Sinister Grin Press, WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, is available today! I know many of you ordered the limited edition hardcover, which will be delivered in April. But if you can’t wait that long, you can now grab an ebook or trade paperback.

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The early reviews have been fantastic.

Had me conjuring the spirit of McDowell’s classic, The Elementals… until it curved and curved again. I liked everything about this novel from cover to close. With climbing suspense, gut-wrenching twists, and a high-octane finish, We Are Always Watching is horror at its finest. With much of the year still to go, Shea’s novel will nevertheless place him among the best of 2017.” — Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil and What Hides Within

I’ve been a fan of Shea’s books for a short while now, but this one is easily his best. He digs a bit deeper here to generate some old-school chills. Hunter Shea is at the top of his game with this one.” — Michael Patrick Hicks, uber reviewer and author of Convergence and Emergence

Click here to order your copy!

Pre-order Extension for WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING

Today is a good day.

Because of popular demand, Sinister Grin Press has extended the pre-order phase for the limited edition hardcover of We Are Always Watching until the end of the month. They want to make sure everyone gets a copy, rather than stick to the hard cutoff of Feb 15th. So if you were on the fence and worried that you missed the boat (I know, what the heck does a fence have to do with a boat?), there’s still time! We’re limited to 150 copies, but let’s, as the Eagles once sang, ‘take it to the limit!’

Because I’m so over the moon about this, I’m also going to Skype folks who order the hardcover and personally thank them. So, if you’ve placed your order, email me at huntershea1@gmail.com and I’ll set up a day and time for us to shoot the bull. I always wanted to jump in an RV and visit my readers, so this is the next best thing. The RV may come next. 

Aaand, you can also now pre-order the ebook on that fledgling book site, Amazon. Click here to reserve your ebook.

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The signature sheets have been signed, sealed and delivered. Now they just need to be woven into the books themselves.

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Starting March 1st,  you’ll be able to order the trade paperback as well.

And stay tuned, because I’m going to have some exciting news about one of my most popular, best selling Samhain books. It’s coming back, better than ever! More on that very soon.

Big Announcement -New Deal With Sinister Grin Press!

I’m so happy to let the world know that I’ve joined the Sinister Grin Press family. My first novel with Sinister Grin,WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, will come out as a limited edition hardcover, followed by ebook and trade paperback in early, 2017. For those that remember, I started writing this book last fall for my editor Don D’Auria and Samhain. We all know how things went there. I couldn’t have found a better publisher to take on this unsettling mystery on a remote Pennsylvania farm.

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Here’s the official press release. I’ll share cover art and more as we get closer to the big date.

Hunter Shea Signs Deal for First Hardcover Limited Edition with Sinister Grin Press

Austin, Texas—Sinister Grin Press is pleased to announce it will partner with acclaimed horror author Hunter Shea for his first limited edition hard cover collector novel, We are Always Watching. It is categorized as horror with elements of paranormal mystery. It should be available in January of 2017 through order on the Sinister Grin website. After the order period for the collector edition, it will also be available in paperback and e-book.

“I’m thrilled to find a new home at Sinister Grin Press, which has a stellar reputation for publishing top quality horror,” Shea said. “They have an amazing team who are true fans of the genre. I can’t wait to see the finished product for my first limited edition hardcover. That’s one to tick off the bucket list. Get ready for a whole new chapter!”

The team at Sinister Grin Press is looking forward to launching 2017 with We are Always Watching. “We are very excited to work with an author of his caliber as we are always striving to publish some of the best horror available in today’s market,” said Matt Worthington, co-owner and operating officer of Sinister Grin Press.

Shea is a best-selling author of 15 novels and novellas and a few short stories across multiple publishers. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world.

Sinister Grin Press continually works to give horror readers books that they can proudly spend their money on. It’s horror that’ll carve a smile on your face. To learn more about Sinister Grin Press, and to receive updates on books available or upcoming, please join us at sinistergrinpress.com or sign up for the newsletter.

 

What the heck are BookShots

And no, they are not inoculations to prevent you from getting the dreaded book worms. BookShots are, in fact, the brainchild of James Patterson, the man who sells more books than there are zombies playing Pokemon Go. They made their debut last month and are literally popping up everywhere.

BookShots are a very clever bit of marketing targeted to today’s dwindling attention spans. They are, in every sense of the word, novellas. You know, not quite a short story, not quite a novel. For authors who think in word counts, novellas tend to settle between the 25-50k word range. Novels, on the other hand, are typically 90k words or more. Novellas have been around forever and a day and night. What’s new with BookShots is the branding and availability.

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They’re fast reads that pack a lot of punch in a little package. It’s usually hard to find novellas in print. They’ve become the darling of the ebook world. BookShots, on the other hand, are being  published in print with wide, and I mean WIDE, distribution. They’re designed for readers on the go who want to be thrilled or romanced in one or two sittings. According to Publishers Weekly, in the first week of sales, BookShots sold over 30,000 copies. Not too shabby.

The first BookShots were written by James Patterson – CROSS KILL (an Alex Cross thriller) and ZOO 2. These will be followed up with many more by a host of different authors, all geared to get your pulse pounding. I just found out that there’s also a romance line called BookShots Flames. I happened to stumble upon a copy of The McCullagh Inn in Maine by Jen McLaughlin in a supermarket. Jen and I share an agent, so even though it’s a romance (woven within a suspense story), I had to pick it up and I’ll be damned if I didn’t read it in two sittings, just like Patterson promised. And I dug it. I also downloaded Zoo 2 on my Kindle, even though I never read Zoo or watched the TV show. I had to see what all the hubub was about. It was fast paced, campy fun. Those are two sweet spots for me.

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I have to admit, I’m actually kind of excited about this. Anything that gets more people reading is a major win as far as I’m concerned. As an author, I prefer writing novellas. And I’m not alone. Most authors I talk to love novellas, both writing and reading them. There’s something about knowing there’s a limit but also having the space to explore characters deeper than you can in a short story or just go for broke and let the rollercoaster run free.

As a horror writer, I hope Patterson casts his gaze in the genre’s direction. Novellas have always been a huge part of horror. Even today there are great horror novellas being published weekly by the likes of Severed Press, Sinister Grin, Deadite and so many more. It would be nice to see them in print at the airport or supermarket or any bookstore you happen to find.Why do you think shows like Tales from the Crypt, The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Darkside and other half hour bites of terror were so successful? Because horror is best when it’s short, twisted and terrifying.

BookShots in print are a little wider than a mass market paperback. Kind of like a classic Goosebumps book. They feel so good in your hands. It’s book crack at its best.

I’m keeping a watchful eye on BookShots. Could it be a game changer? We can only hope. The success of BookShots means more readers and more good paying opportunities for writers.  Everybody’s happy, unless you’re Captain Beatty. (extra credit if you can name the book!)

And James Patterson, if you’re looking for a thriller writer who can send readers to dizzying heights within the warm confines of BookShots, give my agent a call. You already have her number.

An Interview With Kristopher Rufty On His Dog Gone Bad Novel – JAGGER

I love being a horror writer. Sometimes, it afford little perks, like not only getting to know an awesome writer (and human being) like Kristopher Rufty, but also getting a sneak peek at his latest book.

The book in question this time is JAGGER, a tale about an enormous dog who goes from cuddly to bat crap crazy. When I was done, I actually said, “Cujo who?” out loud. This is one you’ll want to devour in one sitting.


Let me start off by saying I loved your new book, Jagger. Why don’t you tell folks what this nail biter is about?

Thank you so much! I’m happy you enjoyed it. Coming from you, that means a lot. I’m a huge fan of your work as well. Jagger is about a scumbag named Clayton who takes Amy Snider’s mastiff to use in some dogfights. His showpiece pit was killed in a fight and cost some very bad people a lot money. He knows if he doesn’t come up with something quick, he’ll suffer the same fate as others before him. But the problem is Jagger is a domesticated canine, and his size wouldn’t be the only thing that could keep him alive in the fights. So Clayton enlists the help of an old friend named Stan, a medical school graduate who’s turned to developing meth and experimental drugs in his basement for help. Stan has whipped up a special kind of steroid that he sells to beef farmers and they try it out on Jagger. It works. But the side-effects are disastrous. Jagger can no longer feel pain, and he suffers from violent outbursts, rage, and insanity. Take that, and add in an abusive dog trainer, Jagger becomes the Jason Voorhees of dogs. Once he breaks loose from his captors, he goes on a bloody killing spree as he tries to find his way home.

I wrote the first draft of this book in less than six weeks. In the revision process, I changed very little. Though it got a little intense writing certain scenes, I had a good time with this one. It was one of those books I couldn’t stay away from. Being a lover of nature-gone-wrong books and movies, I tried to incorporate some of that with some classic exploitation-style characters and situations. Hopefully I succeeded.

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I know you’re a dog owner. Is there a particular dog you had that inspired Jagger?

I based a lot of Jagger’s traits and mannerisms before he goes mad on our dog, Thor. The personality, the huffing and puffing and sagging jowls that make propeller sounds, the unlimited supply of drool, the crawling into bed with you and nuzzling his wet nose into the nook of your neck—all of that came from Thor.

Jagger’s appearance was inspired by a dog I saw at the vet’s office one day. Sitting in the waiting area with Thor, I watched as he took pride in being the biggest dog around. Thor ways close to 135 pounds, so there aren’t many dogs bigger than him at any vet visit. On this day, that changed. A guy entered with this beast of a dog. He had thick brown and black fur, a scrunched up face that sort of resemble a Chow. Thor went to greet this dog and looked like a puppy standing next to its mother in this dog’s presence. I got to talking to with the owner and he told me his dog was a fuzzy mastiff, a form of bullmastiff but with longer hair. I found it slightly humorous how much the dog resembled Mick Jagger. On the way home that day, I kept thinking what would happen if that dog turned on its owner and the seeds for Jagger was planted.

I read up about mastiffs. They’re very gentle in nature, loving, and overly affectionate. So I had to work a bit at coming up with something that might make such a tender animal turn violent.

You’re not just a horror writer, you’re a director, too. Which hat is more difficult to wear? Do you have any future movie making plans?

They can be difficult in their own ways. In movies, I have to be a leader of a team and it’s my duty to make sure the movie is made with this team the best way it possibly can be. I have budgets to adhere to, actors to instruct and care for, and a certain number of scenes have to be filmed on a particular day or I’ll get behind schedule and risk throwing a wrench into all the aforementioned duties. But when it’s over and filming has wrapped, I get to take my footage and cut it together into my creation. That is the best part, seeing the fruit of everyone’s labors. The stress and bad moods of filming become a distant memory as I watch what we worked so hard to accomplish in a finished form. It’s a wonderful feeling that makes the entire process a wonderful experience.

Writing can bring its own stresses at times, but there is something therapeutic about writing stories that can’t be topped by film-making, at least not the kind of film-making I’m used to. Writing is magic, not only are you creating a world to play in, but there’s no budget sheets to worry about, nobody will throw a temper tantrum, nobody can get hurt (other than the characters) and you are completely limitless as to what you can do. It’s amazing. One of the greatest blessings I’ve been given is the chance to write stories.

For future movies, I wish I could say there are things lined up. I’ve been writing book after book, and haven’t had much time to pursue movies since we finished Rags (which will be released this year from Wild Eye Releasing). My dream was to be like Clive Barker—somebody who dabbles in both. And one day I hope that will happen again. But for now, I’m very happy with just writing fiction.

Some of my books have received interest from film-makers and producers. And I have a script that I wrote based on my novella Last One Alive. That movie might be my return to the director’s chair in the near future.

But nothing can take my love away from movies. The passion is still there, a burning sensation in my heart. I still watch all the movies I’ve loved since I was a kid on a regular basis. Roger Corman, H.G. Lewis, AIP classics, and the exploitation greats. Plus the splatter movies that set me on this path to begin with.

You’ve written quite a few books in just several years. How do you keep the writing wheels going?

I keep those wheels lubed! Seriously. There’s material all over that I can find influence in. Like with Jagger, the dog at the vet that day inspired an entire novel with the help of our dog Thor. My son inspired Proud Parents. My stepsister inspired Tracey in Oak Hollow. A close call at my old job inspired Angel Board. I’m sure this happens to you as well, something will just trigger your brain and these massive mortal shells start exploding ideas. Sometimes it can be a conversation you have with someone that just stays with you. My personal fears have inspired a good bit of my writing and still do. I just do a lot of people watching, read a lot of books, magazines, newspapers. I watch a lot of true crime and monster mysteries on TV. Material is everywhere. You know as well as I do that we never take a day off. Sure, we don’t sit down and write once in a while, but our gears are always cranking, always spinning possibilities for stories in our minds, even when we’re sleeping.

What’s one thing you’d like to check off your bucket list this year?

I want to finally read some of King’s The Dark Tower series. I know what you’re thinking, but please don’t beat me! I haven’t read any of those books yet.(We’re both in the same boat. They are some of the only King books I haven’t read!)

My wife swears they’re some of his best. I promised her I would read the first three this year. I’m actually about to start on The Gunslinger here soon and plan to read the following two this summer and fall. We have them all in both paperback and hardback, so they’re waiting on me and I’m excited to start.

I’m going to go opposite on this question – what’s your least favorite horror movie franchise and why?

Probably either the Paranormal Activity series or Zombie’s Halloween movies. I watched the first Paranormal and thought it was pretty well done, but the sequels were just mundane and repetitive. The fourth one was silly.

Zombie’s Halloween saga was just bad for all the wrong reasons. He did something you shouldn’t—tried to explain evil. It can’t be explained. That was what made Myers so scary in the first place. There was no method to his madness, no reason for it. Myers was just evil on two legs as Dr. Loomis stated in the original series. An unstoppable force that slaughtered anything in front of him without provocation, a wildfire that can’t be extinguished as it scorches everything in its wake. But I do give him credit for trying. He has a brass pair for tackling a classic character like Michael Myers and trying to make him his own.

Do you think you could beat Stephen King in an arm wrestling match?

Probably not. I’d be so distracted by being in his company that he’d use it to his advantage for the win. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed I’d lost until he’d left the room and I came down from my King-induced high.

Tell the world what’s coming next and where to find you and your books.

The Lurking Season just came out. It’s a sequel to The Lurkers. Jagger will be released in a couple weeks, with Bigfoot Beach following. The Vampire of Plainfield comes out this summer, and Desolation follows that. Thunderstorm Books are doing limited edition hardcovers of Bigfoot Beach and The Vampire of Plainfield, but they’ll also be available in e-book with a paperback following soon after.

My books can be found in a lot of the usual places, sometimes books stores too. I recently heard that some of my titles are in a few libraries, which I think is amazing. I love libraries and even now I get that same kind of nervous excitement whenever I’m scouring the shelves for something I haven’t read. It’s a feeling we should all get to experience as much as possible.

Thanks a lot, Hunter! I appreciate the chance to visit your blog. It’s always a fun time. Can’t wait to get together again and talk about writing, monsters, and horror movies.

You can follow Krist’s amazing journey at lastkristontheleft.blogspot.com . And if you crave some Jagger, click on the cover copy above.

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