It’s an honor to welcome fellow Samhainer Hunter Shea back to the blog. Hunter blazed a trail onto the horror fiction scene with his Samhain debut Forest of Shadows, and his new release Evil Eternal is out now from Samhain Horror. So crack open a bottle of awesome sauce, kick back and read on to learn more about Hunter’s new release, his thoughts on ‘evil’ and news on his new projects – take it away Hunter!
So your new novel EVIL ETERNAL just released with Samhain Publishing, congrats! Pray tell what it is about?
It’s a complete departure from my first novel with Samhain, Forest of Shadows. Evil Eternal is about an undead priest who is called from his home in the Vatican catacombs to fly to America to battle the recently resurrected demon, Cain (he of the Cain and Abel story). Cain has a penchant for violence and demon-making and has taken on the flesh of the mayor of New York City. It’s Father Michael’s job to stop Armageddon, if he can. Along the way, he comes across a homeless guy named Shane who has special abilities he was never even aware of, and he’s reluctantly recruited in the ultimate battle. Poor guy is an atheist and now he’s fighting alongside God’s most treasured monster. It’s very over-the-top with sweeping scenes of carnage, but it also has a heart and a bit of an untraditional love story. There have been many attempts at the angels vs. demons storyline, and I wanted mine to add a little more depth while maintaining a non-stop action pace.
How did the story of EVIL ETERNAL unfold and become your second Samhain Horror book?
I originally wrote it as a short story to test out my new computer! I liked it, wrote another, then asked a friend who is an artist if he would be interested in making a go at building this into a graphic comic. He did some preliminary artwork that was awesome, but we both got distracted by other things. I couldn’t give up on the story, though, so in time it became an e-serial on a horror website, then a novella, and finally a full length novel. As soon as the ink was dry on the Forest of Shadows agreement, our editor, Don D’Auria, asked me what else I might have in the old manuscript drawer. I was thrilled that he wanted to give life to Father Michael and company.
I read on your blog that you wrote this novel in a different style to your debut FOREST OF SHADOWS?
You couldn’t get any different. This is my ode to comic books and the way action moves from one panel to the next. These are larger than life characters, and it was fun coming up with dialogue for them all. I threw subtlety out the door when I wrote Evil Eternal. Forest of Shadows was a deeper examination of the human condition and how very real people reacted to an environment that was out to get them. Evil Eternal takes readers to a world that I hope never, ever exists.
What is the true evil in Hunter Shea’s world?
If I ever faced a fraction of the true evil in Evil Eternal, I’d probably drop dead from heart failure before I had time to piss my pants. Being raised a good Catholic, a lot of the themes came from the fear that was hammered in to me by the priests and nuns that taught me. The very concepts of the devil, hell, exorcisms and possession still make me uneasy. I was an altar boy for years and have always been fascinated by the history and lore of the church. For a believer, these things are very real, more so than the boogeyman or a vampire.
What’s coming up next, any new projects you’d like to tell us about?
Oh, so much. I’m busy at work at the moment on a novella for Samhain. Fingers crossed, we hope it sees the light of day later this year. This one is very different from both novels and has been a ton of fun to write. I’m mashing up crime noir with a monster tale. There is also a sequel to Forest of Shadows, though I’m not at liberty yet to say when it will be out. It can be read as a standalone novel, but takes a few of the characters from FOS and moves them to a new time and place. I think fans of FOS will be stoked to see what I’ve done. I also have a story that will be out in Cemetery Dance’s Shockline: New Voices in Terror. I’ve been a fan of CD for almost 2 decades, so it’s a thrill and an honor to publish anything with them! And then it’s on to writing the next book, which I plan to start this summer. And of course, there will be new episodes of the Monster Men podcast every month. We hope to add author and director interviews over the next few months. The few minutes of downtime I have will be spent with my amazingly supportive family and watching the Mets struggle to have a winning season.
I certainly wish you all the best with all of that, Hunter! Great to welcome you back to the blog, thanks for stopping by as part of your busy blog tour.
For all things Hunter Shea, and to purchase his amazing horror fiction, check out these links…
Official Author Page: www.huntershea.com
Monster Men (vlog): http://www.youtube.com/user/MonsterMen13?feature=grec_index
BUY ‘EVIL ETERNAL’