Hunter Shea recently conducted an interview with me, and you can read that right here! Hunter is another one of those rare authors who are more than willing to help others while on the rise to be something great. I admire that greatly about him. He's helped even me...with his realizing and without. A couple examples of that is back when Angel Board was about to be released at the end of last year, his agent Louise Fury saw the sample chapter he posted on his site, and that led to her interest in talking to me. However, at that very same time, I saw her link on his website, realized she represented him and contacted her on the same day she'd planned to contact me. Needless to say, the rest is history and we now share the same agent.
Another quick example comes from that same sample chapter. I had posted the link on my FB page. This was right around the release as well. Some folks left kind comments on there but the one that stands out was one from my friend Katie who wrote something along these lines: "You're that Kristopher Rufty! I read this on Hunter Shea's website a week ago and can't wait for the book!" She has continued to be one of my biggest supporters. And I will always continue to be one of his. Not just because he is so willing to look after me, but because he's a fine author that can deliver some incredible stories.
I hope you enjoy the interview.
KR: Do you have a dedicated time of the day for writing, or do you just write whenever you can? Any routines?
HS: I try to write any chance I get, but typically on weekdays I’ll sit down to write after dinner for as long as my brain cells can function. Being an early riser, on weekends, I like to get in a few hours in the early morning so I have the rest of the day to be with my family. Of course, if I’m deep in a project, I’ll write during lunch breaks and every other available moment I can find.
KR: Do you write with an outline? I make notes of my ideas and certain points, then incorporate them into the story. Do you do the same or do you approach from another process?
HS: I went to Catholic school and the nuns and brothers in all my classes stressed the importance of having an outline. So naturally, as an adult, I never outline a book or story. I’ll jot down notes here and there with things like character names and traits and plot points, but my method, if you could even call it that, is to sit my ass down and let the story flow straight from my head to my laptop. Of course, doing things this way means I sometimes write myself into a corner, but I like the challenge of figuring a way out of it. When I’m in a groove, the story writes itself and I’m just a conduit. And I get to be surprised at the twists and turns my subconscious conjures up.
KR: Forest of Shadows was your debut novel with Samhain Publishing, how different of a book is your second release, Evil Eternal?
HS: Talk about night and day. Forest of Shadows is a contemplative novel that slowly builds the suspense and scares until all hell breaks loose at the end. It’s really character driven. Evil Eternal starts out with hell breaking loose, literally, and goes on a tear from there. I was a huge comic book fan growing up and Evil Eternal is my ode to the breakneck pacing and over the top action that thrilled me as a kid. Not to say that Evil Eternal is for kids. It’s very, very dark and gory.
KR: Did horror movies play a big part in influencing you as you grew into the writer you are today?
HS: For sure. I was watching The Exorcist and Jaws when they were first out in theaters and my legs barely went over the edge of the seat. I’ve been devouring horror movies and books for as long as I can remember. For a book like Evil Eternal, I know I was channeling flicks like The Omen, Excalibur (not horror, but the way the characters spoke is very similar), Captain Kronos : Vampire Hunter (and any other Hammer classic) and a slew of others. To me, even a bad horror movie is more enjoyable than a good non-horror movie.
KR: What writers influenced you? And who are a few of the new guys you think will definitely put their own stamp in the field?
HS: Being a guy in his early 40’s, I was first drawn to Stephen King and Clive Barker, but I was also blown away by Brian Lumley and Robert McCammon. Lumley especially created a universe with his Necroscope series that is still unchallenged as the best of the best. His vampires definitely did not sparkle. I’m also a huge fan of Bentley Little and the way he unveils the horror in the everyday. There are so many fresh, exciting writers in the field today. Some of the best I’ve read so far are J.F. Gonzalez, Mary Sangiovanni, Gord Rollo and Scott Nicholson. And of course, you can’t go wrong with the folks at Samhain I’m proud to be alongside like yourself, Jonathan Janz, Ronald Malfi, Brian Moreland, Frazer Lee and all the rest. If people thought Dorchester/Leisure was the pinnacle of horror fiction, they ain’t seen nothing yet.
KR: With Evil Eternal just coming out, what’s next for Hunter Shea?
HS: I’m keeping inordinately busy. My follow up to Forest of Shadows is slated to be out next spring and I’m working on a novella that should see the light of day this fall. I also have a new novel that I can’t wait to get started on. Of course, I’m having a great time with the Monster Men podcast and I’m trying to get my horror convention schedule nailed down for the rest of the year so I can spread the Samhain love!