What would Hunter Shea May be without a guest post! So I hope you enjoy learning more about this horror author.
WHY AM I LIKE THIS???
By Hunter Shea
It’s the kind of question that fills the couches of therapists all over the world. Nine times out of ten, unfairly or not, mom and dad get the blame. It only takes years of head shrinking and tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to get there. Which begs the question, why don’t therapists just ask, “So, what the fuck did mommy and daddy do to you?” right from the jump.
Now, I’ve been to therapy, but for very different reasons. At least I thought at first. But it essentially boiled down to ‘why am I like this’? I was a rare case in that the root of my issue at the time didn’t come from the parentals.
However, when most people meet me and learn that not only am I obsessed with horror, but I also write ‘scary books’, they inevitably ask, “Why?” That’s shorthand for ‘what the hell went so wrong that you’ve dedicated your life to such trash’? Well, horror ain’t trash you uptight mother effer! But wait, let’s not go there.
Guess what? I can say with confidence and without paying a dime to Freud Jr. that my parents are to blame – I mean, thank. First, dad gets top billing for being a horror fan himself, though not to my geeky degree. The man took me to see a ton of horror and sci fi movies when I was just starting to walk. We sat side by side on the couch watching Chiller Theatre, Creature Feature, Kolchak The Night Stalker, Universal Monsters when they appeared on PBS and The Twilight Zone on our black and white console TV. When he came home from NYC, he’d pick me up comic books like Eerie and Conan the Barbarian, or the latest copy of Famous Monsters. We listened to reruns of horror radio plays and put together glow in the dark Aurora monster model kits. When I was big enough to read adult books, Stephen King’s Night Shift was placed before me. And then there were boxes of paperbacks of Lovecraft, Poe, Koontz and other lesser known and one-and-done horror authors. I especially loved his Doc Savage books, which is why I tend to add a lot of action and adventure in my monster novels.
So, aside from veal cutlet TV dinners and corn on the cob, that was my steady diet. I mean, did I even have a chance? As I got older, Fangoria was added to my reading list. Of the four walls in my room, two were dedicated to posters and cut outs of hot babes, and the other two to horrific, bloody stills carefully excised from the pages of Fangoria. My father used to sit on my bed and stare in wide wonder at Morgan Fairchild in her leopard bathing suit just inches away from the Nazi werewolves in An American Werewolf in London. Or Victoria Principle giving some side-eye to a blood-soaked Ash in Evil Dead. (On a side note, I had to give away a TON of comic books to Jimmy across the street in trade for three nude pics he’d gotten of Victoria. Nowadays, it’s all free and right there on the Internet. You horny kids don’t know how good you have it.)
My favorite double feature of all time was when we walked three blocks to the movie theater in our neighborhood to see The Kentucky Fried Movie and Dawn of the Dead. My ten-year old mind was blown and forever rewired. Comedy, sex and gore! I desperately wanted there to be a zombie invasion so I could take over a mall and live the life of Riley. That is, until the bikers came and ruined it all.
Mom is also at fault here – for being complicit! She allowed this sensory overload into an impressionable young mind. Never said no. Never asked if it was too much for me. And I love her for it. She saw how much I dug it all, and when you have a hyper boy in the house, you’ll grasp for anything that will keep him quiet for hours on end. When I started writing and publishing horror, mom and dad were my biggest fans. I’m sure they would occasionally look to one another and say, “Yep, we did this.” Dad has been gone six years now, but mom is still here, reading my madness, and proud as hell.
I’m glad as all get out that I’m like this. Thank you mom and dad. Who knew that loving parents could lead to this? Huh, I guess they did.