As a lover of all things cryptid, I’m naturally fascinated by the strange and mysterious Chupacabra. Is it an unknown animal, alien, government experiment gone wrong?
Well, to help us all out, I’ve turned to one of my buds, Raegan Butcher, who has just written an excellent monster novel, FURY OF THE CHUPACABRAS. To write the book, he dove into the deep end of the chupacabra pool.I can’t think of anyone better to teach us a thing or two about the dreaded goat sucker! So lock your doors and windows, settle in to a comfy chair and read on if you dare…
What is it?
The name, coined by Puerto Rican comedian Silverio Perez, means “goatsucker” in Spanish, and comes from the animal’s reported habit of drinking the blood of livestock—especially goats. The first reports of this mysterious creature came from Puerto Rico in 1995 when eight sheep were discovered dead, with three puncture wounds in the chest, and completely drained of blood. At first, a Satanic cult was suspected, but soon the first eyewitness reports appeared, which described a creature – some sort of lizard-like beast, about the size of a small bear, with sharp, glowing quills on its back and large, round eyes. The beast was said to be able to hop like a kangaroo, suck blood like a bat, and was reported to emit a strange, piercing cry.
As a youngster growing up in the 1970s, I was enthralled by the numerous Bigfoot sightings that occurred in my home state of Washington and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. The idea that some unknown animal could be lurking on the edge of civilization tickled my imagination in all the right ways. Because of my love of horror and sci fi, I have always been fascinated by monsters, and the chupacabra sounded right up my alley. Doing a bit of research, I discovered some cases from the past that were eerily similar to the infamous goatsucker.
In New Orleans there is a popular lover’s lane known as “Grunch Road”, named as such after several reports of a lizard-like beast haunting the vicinity and frightening horny teenagers appeared in the local press in the 1940s and ‘50s. And then there is a case which sounds almost exactly like a chupacabra: the dreaded “Vampire of Moca”. This unknown fiend kicked off its killing spree in February 1975, in Barrio Rocha, a sector of the town of Moca, in Puerto Rico, where it took the lives of a number of animals in a grisly manner never seen before. Fifteen cows, three goats, two geese and a pig were found dead with bizarre perforations on their hides. Autopsies showed that the animals had been bled dry, as if consumed by some predator. After six months, and the deaths of over 150 farm animals, the mysterious “Vampire of Moca” vanished into history and obscurity.
Or did it?
Almost exactly twenty years later, the chupacabra appeared, and the Puerto Rican press once again began to report sightings of a strange beast that preyed upon livestock. Some people on the island believe that chupacabras are a genetic bio-experiment which escaped from a secret laboratory (The US military has had a large presence across Puerto Rico since the 1930’s, with bases on the island used as Research and Development facilities for a number of classified projects). Others speculate that the creature is an escaped pet of alien visitors that wandered off while its master was visiting Earth. How’s that for a far-out theory? The chupacabra does have a slight resemblance to the Grey aliens, which could mean that they are somehow genetically related, a wonderfully tantalizing theory.
For reasons too complicated to explain here (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21972578-stone-hotel ) I ended up in prison from June 1996 to March 2003 for armed robbery (yeah, I was a crazy sumbitch, back then). As you might imagine, I had a lot of time on my hands. I was already a writer when I went down, so I tried to use my excess of time wisely and write as much as I could during those seven years. I’d always wanted to write something about the chupacabra, as they seemed heaven sent, as far as “rule of cool” goes: some kind of lizard monster that drinks blood? As a creature-feature fan from earliest childhood, I was all over it.
But I couldn’t get a handle on how to shape the story. At first I thought of that great old British sci-fi movie Island Of Terror, and I remembered the first scene with the constable finding a body with its bones sucked out. Maybe I could set my chupacabra story on a small island off the coast of Mexico…first scene would be some guy finding his livestock drained of blood…and we go from there? Hmmm. I put the idea in the back of my mind and went on with my life, such as it was.
Years passed. Then, one day in 2002, while I was walking the yard with another inmate (who, for legal reasons, shall remain nameless) it all clicked into place. This nameless inmate was telling me a story of almost getting busted at the Mexican border with a car full of illegal weapons and the anecdote was told with such flair that I immediately saw it as a scene in my chupacabra book. Two brothers, Americans, one of them an ex-soldier (as was the nameless inmate) smuggling guns into Mexico, and they get attacked by chupacabras. Story starts out with the tense scene at the border and we go from there. I wrote it as a screenplay first and, like I always do, I finished it, put it away, forgot about it, and moved on to the next thing.
Flash forward ten years. I was now a free man, with a few poetry books under my belt, (http://www.amazon.com/Raegan-Butcher/e/B00BO6QI3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1) and I wanted to work on my prose skills. I rummaged around in my papers and found the chupacabra script. I had such fun turning it into the novella Attack of the Chupacabras (included in the book Fury of the Chupacabras) http://necropublications.com/collections/raegan-butcher/products/fury-of-the-chupacabras-by-raegan-butcher-trade-paperback that I ended up writing four novels and creating a whole series, which I’ve dubbed the Chupacabra Chronicles. The books started out as simple survival-horror situations but they quickly became a series of action-conspiracy-monster-mystery-adventure-sci-fi-horror books. The Chupacabra Chronicles were written purely for fun. My goal was to keep the reader turning the pages, surprise them, make them gasp; keep them entertained by the developing story. I tried to fill the series with everything I like: action, tension, suspense, dark humor, and all of the most outlandish sci fi and conspiracy tropes I could come up with during my many hours of research on the internet.
I am grateful that Necro is crazy enough to publish these chupacabra books, one volume in the continuing saga of the chupacabra chronicles every six months for the next two years, with perhaps more after that. I had an absolute blast writing them. Now the pleasure is all yours. Have fun.
The countdown to the release of my novella, I KILL IN PEACE, has begun! April 12th is the big day, and the early reviews are starting to come in. Now, I knew this book was going to get pretty strong reactions, both good and bad. It’s out there, kinda like me, dealing with some delicate subjects. In fact, there were times I wasn’t sure Samhain would even touch it with a ten-foot pole. Thank you to my former editor Don D’Auria for giving it this chance. A writer will be hard pressed to find an editor who champions their creativity and vision more than Don.
So, what are people saying?
From uber reviewer Michael Patrick Hicks : “Of the handful of titles I’ve read from Hunter Shea, I Kill In Peace easily stands at the top of the stack as my hands-down favorite. It’s bloody, it’s violent, it’s mysterious, and it’s wickedly entertaining from start to finish as Shea hurtles readers from one crazy kill to another.The way Shea strips back the layers of his big reveal is completely terrific, and I Kill In Peace may be his most masterful bit of writing to date.”
Or how about this one from The Examiner : “What started off to be an interesting story got a much stronger pay off than I had expected and shows just how good a storyteller Shea really is. I Kill in Peace is a rare treat that is sure to thrill not only Shea’s fans but also fans of horror in general and is further proof that Shea is a talent that deserves to be read by a much wider audience.”
Now, either the book isn’t as crazy as I think it is, or Michael and Josef from The Examiner are truly demented, in which case I welcome them to the asylum.
I KILL IN PEACE was written over the feverish course of 3 weeks just after Christmas in 2014. It starts in a small Maine town (the same one I call my home away from home) and ends up in a very, very bad place. I remember at the time pondering all of the evils in the world and wondering how we – meaning humanity – could ever get our heads extracted from our asses. What if there was a way to right all our wrongs? What would happen if someone dared to take that first step?
You can pre-order I KILL IN PEACE directly from Samhain for just $2.45 (the ebook is priced at $3.50). Or grab a copy at Amazon so it can be delivered as soon as the clock strikes midnight on April 12th.
Or you can answer this simple question to be eligible to win a signed copy. I’ll announce the winner on April April 4th. Here it goes – If you could change one thing in this world, albeit it violently but guaranteed you won’t be caught, what would it be? (I foresee a lot of Trump jokes) Just post and answer in the comments section and I’ll draw a winner from there. Good luck and dig out that kill list!
Greetings and salutations Hellions! Uncle Hunter here, alive and well and busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger. 2016 has been bat crap crazy, and we’re only two months and change in. Big changes are going on all around me. I’m a hamster on a wheel, just trying to keep up.
Let’s start with some of the hysterical artwork that Jim Herbert has been concocting for 2 of my books, THEY RISE and the upcoming, I KILL IN PEACE. I keep posting that Jaws has nothing on the ghost sharks in THEY RISE. Well, Jim put his artwork where my mouth is and came up with this hysterical variant cover…
Bye bye Brucie! You never stood a chance, big guy.
The title to my last Samhain novella, I KILL IN PEACE, inspired a little savage warrior cover with my face on a Frazetta bod. I think my wife wants this one framed.
Meeting people like Jim and seeing stuff like this is the reason why I write. When I’m worn out at the end of a long day, I only need to look at this to cheer me up. And wish I’d get off my ass and go to the gym. Thanks Jim.
You may not be aware of this, but one of the best ways to support an author, aside from buying our books, is to leave reviews. Seriously, reviews are like priceless Lucky Charms. Good, bad or ugly, they all count, especially on Amazon where more reviews get your book ranked higher and more sets of eyes. 50 reviews is a magic first milestone to hit.
Right now, THEY RISE, has 32 reviews. If you’ve read the book, I’d love it if you can post a quick review or rating on Amazon. Anyone who does, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your review and I’ll send something special to you. All you need to do is click the cover below and it will take you right there. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
OK, on to what’s next, now that Samhain is in a bit of potentially terminal turmoil. I’ve been contacted by several publishers over the past month and will be making an announcement about a new book deal very soon. I also have several short stories that will be included in anthologies. It’s been a long time since I worked on short stories, and it’s even better that I’m finding homes for them. There will be more Hunter tales of the demented and monstrous than ever.
And we’re getting close to official Hellions gear and giveaways. The artwork is amazing. I promise, you’re going to love it and want in on the devilish fun.
Keep on readin’, and I’ll keep on writin’.
First, thank you to everyone who has picked up a copy of my deep sea thriller, THEY RISE. Sales and reviews have been fantastic. You all make my monster heart grow 3 sizes.
Jack and I finally got an episode together to talk about THEY RISE and reveal what is real and what isn’t. You also get a little inside poop on how deeply personal the first chapter was for me. Plus, we give some shout outs to a few of our uber Monster Men fans!
But wait, there’s more! If you comment on the video, you’re eligible to win a free copy of They Rise. Winner will be announced on March 17th.
If our little gab fest has you in the mood for an entree of chimaera fish with a side of seaweed, hop on over to Amazon and snag a copy on your fishing line.
Right now, you can get last summer’s smash hit monster thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, on ebook for only $1.99. Load up your Kindles and Nooks and iPads for the beach, and don’t be afraid of the water…just what washes up on the shore!
And if monsters aren’t your bag, THE HAUNTED HALLS by Glenn Rolfe is free on Amazon aaaand Jonathan Janz’s THE NIGHTMARE GIRL is only 99 cents! You can get three great books for just under $3. I dare you to find a better dealio.