Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Swamp Monster Massacre by Shea Hunter: Interview & Excerpt : RABT Tour Stop

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Title: Swamp Monster Massacre
Author - Hunter Shea
Date Published: 10/2/12


The swamp belongs to them. Humans are only prey.
Deep in the overgrown swamps of Florida, where humans rarely dare to enter, lives a race of creatures long thought to be only the stuff of legend. They walk upright but are stronger, taller and more brutal than any man. And when a small boat of tourists, held captive by a fleeing criminal, accidentally kills one of the swamp dwellers’ young, the creatures are filled with a terrifyingly human emotion—a merciless lust for vengeance that will paint the trees red with blood.

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Rooster had perfect eyesight, but he still couldn’t make out the tall, broad figure through the wall of rain and gloom. It had to be a man, and one hell of a big one at that. If Rooster was right, it was over seven feet tall, if not eight. It was hard to tell with it all hunched down, wrangling the kid.
“Noooo! Noooo! Noooo! Somebody help me!” the Italian kid bawled.
He was being lugged away from them by the ankle. He clawed at the sand in a futile attempt to halt his progress into the total darkness beyond the trees.
“Angelo!” his buddy shouted, running over to help.
Rooster was suddenly hit by an overwhelming odor that made the ball of mess in the water smell like potpourri. It was like a combination of gasoline, body odor, wet dog and the inside of a baby’s diaper. Everyone else must have smelled it, too, because he saw a lot of crinkled noses.
Suddenly, there was a loud roar, like what Rooster would imagine a tiger caught in a bear trap would sound like, that turned his blood to ice.
And it was coming from the thing carting the kid off.
The kid’s friend was almost on top of him, and there was another roar, followed by a hard slap and the kid went down like Tyson had given him an uppercut.
Rooster pulled the gun from his belt and cocked the hammer back.
A pair of red eyes cut through the murk, pausing for a moment on each one of them, taking them in, daring someone to make a move.
He took a few, slow steps forward, refusing to blink despite the irritating rivulets of water burning his eyes. The girl kept by his side.
That wasn’t no man holding the kid.
He couldn’t recall any man being over seven foot tall and covered with hair. Its hair was long and matted and he realized the awful stink was coming off of it in repulsive waves. There was a small, hairless patch of what looked to be rough, sun scorched skin just around the nose, eyes and mouth. But those eyes. Dear God, it was like looking into the eyes of Satan himself!
“Let me go!” the kid shouted, breaking the stare-down. He tried to kick the beast with his free leg, but it twisted his body with the ease of flicking a jump rope, causing him to miss badly. There was a loud crunch and the kid wailed so hard, Rooster thought his throat would burst.
“Was that his ankle?” the girl whispered.
Rooster nodded. He sure couldn’t think of any man that could crush another man’s bones like that.
“Shoot it,” the girl said.
He didn’t need to be told twice. Rooster raised the gun and squeezed the trigger. The gun went off at the exact same time as a flash of lightning lit up their world, temporarily blinding him. When he opened his eyes, the beast and the Italian kid were gone.
A swath of sawgrass waved from side to side, the fading sign of the monster’s quick escape. The only sound was the pounding of the rain on the water and the long, heavy leaves of the trees.
How did I miss it? There was no way it could have ducked his shot. Nothing on earth is that fast. Nothing.
He looked down at the girl. “Stay right here.”
Everyone else was huddled together by the wrecked boat. Rooster strode over to where the other kid lay, keeping his gun well out in front. His finger applied enough pressure on the trigger to make the gun go off with the slightest provocation. Bending down on one knee next to the kid, but keeping his eyes on the tree line where the monster had taken off, he gave him a soft slap on the cheek. The kid answered with a dull moan.
“You good enough to get up?” Rooster asked. His guts were pulled tight and his nose wanted to call it quits. The smell was even worse here.
“I…I think so.”
“Then do it quick. It ain’t safe here. I’ll help you.”
He lifted him with his free arm and walked backwards to the rest of the group.
The relentlessness of the rain eased up, signaling the beginning of the storm’s end. Less than a minute later, it had passed, leaving them soaked, confused and frightened. And true to Mick’s word, the heat came back with a vengeance, as did the mosquitoes.
“Anybody got a clue what the hell that was?” Rooster said. His head swiveled in every direction, waiting for it to reappear. His heart was beating so hard he thought it was going to turn his ribcage to dust.
All heads turned when the little guy stammered, “I think I do, but I sure do hope I’m wrong.”


Welcome, Hunter!  I'm excited that you are here and have agreed to answer a few of my questions.  I LOVE monster stories and stories set deep in the Everglades, and, of course, Bigfoot,  so this appeals to me on several levels. Tell us about your current release.

My crazy little novella, Swamp Monster Massacre, is my attempt at melding my love of Quentin Tarantino movies with my fascination with Bigfoot. In this case, I focus on Bigfoot’s Everglades cousin, the Skunk Ape, named because they are a particularly pungent branch of the Sasquatch family tree. It has gangsters, a tough guy named Rooster, airboats, gators and lots and lots of terror running through the swamps. I wanted to create something that was fast paced, fun and quirky. I think it’s safe to say, Mission Accomplished.  

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

My wife is my biggest cheerleader. When I’m finished with a book, she’s the first person I let read it and I wait with clenched stomach for her opinion. I can always expect an honest appraisal from her, and that’s more than any writer can ask for. I have to admit, even during the decade plus when I was toiling away with little or no success, she and my entire family were extremely supportive. I’m glad I finally have something to give back to them. They know how hard I worked for this dream, and I couldn’t have done it without their encouragement and affirmations that I wasn’t tilting at windmills.  

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

This has been the best part of being a writer. I hear from my readers all the time and have had a blast talking to them. I’ve been invited on ghost hunts, asked to write sequels, had my brain picked for movie and book suggestions and even had someone make a lager named after my first book. Forest of Shadows. They know that I’m not just a horror writer, I’m also an enormous horror fan, so we can shoot the breeze about any topic in the genre. Seeing how wonderful they’ve been to me makes me want to work that much harder to give them the best I can with every book I write. 

What book are you reading now?

I devote the entire month to all things horror. That means I only read horror books and stories and watch at least 1 horror movie every day. I call it Terrortober and if you follow me on Twitter, look for my #Terrortober tweets to see what I’ve been reading and watching. I just finished House of Skin by Jonathan Janz and was blown away. What a great, creepy book. I’m now reading Shadows in the Mist by Brian Moreland and I was hooked by page one! After that is Robert Stava’s At Van Eyckmann’s Request. Then I’m moving on to westerns to cleanse the palate. J

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

Names are always important. They can denote nationality, age, even personality. I actually spend a lot of time looking for the right name to fit each character. Plus, I like to pepper my books with my friends and family and even fans so they can look forward to seeing what diabolical things I’ve done to them.

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

I’ve turned into my grandfather! Definitely a morning person. I’m just useless at night. All I want to do by 8:00 is veg out until it’s time to flop into bed.  

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Without a doubt, Ireland. I’m Irish and would love to visit on someone else’s dime. I wonder if they would give me a Guinness allowance as well? 

Last Question.  Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.


Hunter Shea is the author of the novels Forest of Shadows and Evil Eternal, as well as the upcoming Swamp Monster Massacre and Sinister Entity. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on. He is also half of the Monster Men video podcast, a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

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