What’s cookin’ monster dudes and monsterettes? Hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as I am and catching up on some quality reading time. August is the month I rest up so I’m ready for my favorite month, #Horrortober! Already putting together my list of horror flicks to watch and books to read.
When I’m not lounging around searching for my lost shaker or salt, I’ve been visiting bookstores, libraries and horror cons, talking about The Montauk Monster. And not just the book, but the real story behind the myth and how I tied fact and fiction together and injected it with a human growth hormone/speed cocktail.
Fellow Monster Man Jack and I recorded one of our get togethers where we talked all about the Long Island beasts and how the book deal came about. For those of you who can’t get to one of my talks, I present it here for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure).
What monster do you think is under-appreciated and needs its own book? You may be the person to inspire my next monster novel! If you live in the US and give a suggestion in the comments here, you’re eligible to win a signed copy of The Montauk Monster. Let your monster freak flags fly!
Like the Blob, the tour for The Montauk Monster is loose and will keep on growing, terrorizing the citizens of our fine country and beyond all through the summer. And this time, there’s no young Steve McQueen to stop it!
I’ve been working hard getting posts and interviews together between binge watching the latest seasons of Game of Thrones (Khaleesi!!!) and Orange is the New Black (and now season 3 of my favorite show on TV, Longmire). I’m not a big TV guy but this time of year, they seem to cram all of my favorite shows on at the same time. Don’t they realize I have writing to do???
The Montauk Monster had a monster week in sales for week 1, and I hope we can make week 2 even bigger, thanks to the awesome peeps who have agreed to be gracious hosts for my tour.
Here are the 5 to kick things off. If all goes according to my evil plan, we may have dozens more taking us through the dog days of summer. Stop by all of the stops and discover some great writers and bloggers along the way!
June 12 – Keith Rommel (author of The Cursed Man, soon to be a major motion picture!)
June 16 – Brian Moreland (author of The Vagrants and The Devil’s Woods)
June 18 – Jonathan Janz (author of Dust Devils and Castle of Sorrows)
June 20 – Aniko Carmean (one of the most eloquent bloggers in the world & author of Stolen Climates)
June 24 – Back in Jack (you know him, my man from Amsterdam and co-host of the Monster Men podcast!)
That’s right lasses and lads, my very first thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, is finally here. Available everywhere in paperback and ebook through Pinnacle, this non-stop monster-thon is breaching the Montauk shores and spreading like a contagion across the globe. It’s always been my dream to have one of my books in paperback. I don’t know, there’s just something special about them, and this story is very special to me.
When I wrote this one, the original title I had in mind was Night of the Montauk Monster because my little pets like to do their dirty work when the moon is high and the skies are dark. Somewhere along the line my editor chopped it down a tad – maybe because it fits better on the cover.
Just last month it was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. The early reviews have blown this monster lover away.
“Hunter lets it all fly, and as horrific as it may be, it’s absolutely glorious.” — Horror Novel Reviews
“I suspect you’ll be seeing copies all over the beach this summer.” — Beauty in Ruins Reviews
“One of the most anticipated summer reads of 2014!” — The Horror Bookshelf
It being release day and all, I figured I’d start thing out with a little excerpt from the first third of the book.
Margie plucked a pack of Kools and a lighter from the table and went out the kitchen door. Their house had central cooling, and it felt good to get some fresh air, even if it was slightly warmer and about to be laced with cigarette smoke.
The first cigarette disappeared like it was a prop in a magic act. She lit another with the dying stub of the first and took a long drag. Insomnia and chain smoking weren’t ingredients for a long, healthy life, but they were her crosses to bear. On nights like this, three or four coffin nails put her in the frame of mind to get a few more hours sleep.
A blazing white moon hung large and heavy in the sky. The soft, steady night wind carried the smell of mint from the patch she’d planted in the back of the yard.
“I have to make mojitos tomorrow when Les comes home,” she said, tapping her ashes into the dented tray they got from a long ago trip to the Catskills. It was sad knowing the ashtray outlived the resort.
She walked around the yard, enjoying the quiet of the night, eventually finding herself in the front yard. Every house along both sides of the street was dark. More than one of her neighbors had told her they slept better knowing she had an eye on the block. Her inability to sleep made her the unofficial neighborhood watch. In no small way, it made her embrace her condition. Everything happened for a reason.
Margie jumped when something crashed in the backyard. Flicking her cigarette into the street, she dashed along the side of the house. She pulled up short when she entered the yard.
“What the – ”
Her patio table was turned over on its side. The folded umbrella had snapped in half from the fall.
It would have taken a hell of a breeze to knock that over. She sighed with relief when she got close enough to see that the glass top hadn’t cracked. Les would have a fit when she told him they needed to buy a new umbrella.
She thought about waking him up to help her right the table. It was lighter than she thought and she was able to do it on her own.
“Unbelievable,” she said, inspecting the break in the umbrella stand.
Margie whipped her head around to see what had made the noise. It had come from the impenetrably dark strip under their dogwood tree.
Stupid kids, she thought. Late night pool hopping was common in July, and her yard was part of the route between the above-ground pools to the left and right of her house.
“You’re going to pay for a new umbrella,” she called out. “I know you’re there. Swimming’s over for tonight.”
Something moved in the dark. There was no muffled teen laughter. She felt whoever was under the dogwood tree was watching her, waiting to see what she would do next.
Margie’s chest turned to ice.
She stood motionless, her hands atop the table. Try as she might, she couldn’t see a thing back there.
It was the sound of something sharp dragging across the bark of the tree.
There was more movement than ever now; the sound of shuffling feet amidst her rhododendrons.
She slowly reached into her pocket. Running her thumb over the wheel of her lighter, Margie hoped the flame would discourage any strange, stray animals from getting any closer.
Whatever was in her yard brought a palpable weight of menace.
The night breeze shifted, blowing from the dogwood’s direction. A sharp, terrible odor bit into her. She recoiled, and the light went out.
A large paw emerged from the shadows, followed by another.
Margie’s heart thudded into overdrive when its hideous face emerged.
And it was not happy.
Oh, poor Margie. The surgeon general never thought of maniancal monsters when they came up with the warning on packs of cigarettes.
If you like what you’ve read, take the plunge and pick up a copy. I believe right now, Amazon gives the best deal. Or stop by your local book store or Walmart or anyplace that sells books. If it’s not there, ask for it and it shall come! Then pack it in your beach bag next to your sunscreen and towels. You may just eye the water in front of you a little differently.
I was a little numb when my editor recently sent me a link to Publisher’s Weekly. They named my upcoming thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, one of the best summer books of 2014! Not only that, they gave it a hell of a review. Here’s a snippet :
The urban mythologies of the Montauk Monster and the government labs on Plum Island unite to cause staggering levels of mayhem when mutant animals with toxic blood descend on a Long Island town. This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley. — PW
Saul, Koontz and Benchley? That’s crazy. I’m just a guy who likes writing about monsters. 🙂
The buzz on the book has been fantastic. The Horror Bookshelf also named it one of the most anticipated reads of the summer, right next to Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes. Here’s what they had to say :
In The Montauk Monster, Shea utilizes the failed genetic experiment angle to craft a story that seems absolutely terrifying. I mean, this book has it all! Creepy monsters?
Check. Shadowy, top-secret projects from the government? Check. One thing is for certain after reading the synopsis of this book. Seeing how there is not just one but MANY of these creatures terrorizing the residents of Montauk, I will probably be afraid to ever step foot in the water again, fictitious story or not!
THE MONTAUK MONSTER hits shelves as a Pinnacle paperback on June 3rd. For those of you who have been following me these past 3 years, I promise you, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for.
Anyone who has ever hung around my blog and chain knows I’m a cryptid fanatic. Just check out Swamp Monster Massacre if you don’t believe me. Or my upcoming book, The Montauk Monster. Or the one after that, Hell Hole. I recently had my fortune read by a traveling gypsy, and for the price of one silver coin, a lock of my hair and two drops of blood, she said I was once the leader of a clan of Bigfoots and that one day I would return to the wild. That explains everything.
I was an enormous fan of Lyle Blackburn’s debut book, The Beast of Boggy Creek. Here was a man I could tell loved Sasquatch as much as me. His book was one of the best researched and well written in the vast cryptid library (no offense to Loren Coleman, who is the king of the field).
When I heard Blackburn’s follow up book would be about the Lizard Man of Bishopville, South Carolina, I chomped at the bit to get my hands on it. I snatched up a copy when it came out in October, but with writing deadlines, I had to wait until now to read it – or to put it more accurately, plow through it.
I have a confession to make. With all my fascination with monsters and beasties, and having half my family live in South Carolina, I’d actually never heard of the Lizard Man. I intentionally avoided looking anything up before reading the book. I trusted Lyle to give me all I’d need, and I was right.
Back in 1988, when hair metal was in full swing and I was playing cards in the cafeteria more than going to classes in college, there was a series of encounters with a large creature that walked on two legs, attacked cars and people and generally scared the bejeesus out of an entire town. That town was Bishopville, SC, which, like the ol’ beast of Boggy Creek, was home to the Scape Ore Swamp, prime living quarters for the strange beast.
Descriptions of the cryptid varied, and in truth, after reading the book, it didn’t seem to be at all like an actual Lizard Man. I get the feeling that what folks were seeing was more in line with a Bigfoot, and I feel Blackburn leans in the same direction. No matter what it was, the town was gripped with Lizard Man fever for a long, hot summer.
Blackburn went down to Bishopville and interviewed the man who had been sheriff at the time, as well as some of the people who had come in contact with the unknown. The man does his homework. He even explored stories of reptiles and lizard men in other areas, pop culture and movies. In fact, he mentioned a few I haven’t seen and will seek out when I go to Horrorhound in Cincinnati next week.
I totally dug Lizard Man and it’s now sitting proudly on my special shelf of prized cryptid and ghost books. I don’t want to spill the beans on the whole book, so I highly suggest you pick up a copy. I did get the feeling that with the flap being so brief and reports not jiving with one another, Blackburn had to pad the book a little to give it some weight. No matter. The padding was just as good as the underpinnings of the story itself.
Let me finish with a personal request for Lyle. Come on up to New York and knock on my door. There’s a place in Orange County I can take you to that will give you enough fodder for three books. I’ll do the driving and buy the first round. Hell, I’ll even break out my cowboy hat.