Thanks, Shaun, for hanging out with us for a few minutes!
Your novel, THE GATE AT LAKE DRIVE, is a great monster story. (And the cover is super, too!) What's your recipe for a great monster?
Iíve been writing a lot more monster stories as of late, and part of that has to do with this new series Iíve started, "Dillon the Monster Dick;" THE GATE AT LAKE DRIVE is the first book in the series.
What makes a good monster? Really depends on what youíre going for. Making one scary--the stuff of nightmares--is just fun. To do that, I usually think of what frightens people. Deep-sea life, spiders, demons, the dark--these are things Iíll splice into a monster so that, on a deep level, the elements strike a chord of fear within the reader. I love the idea of monsters with slimy tentacles, coarse hairs, a multitude of eyes, and a nest of sharp, deformed teeth. The trick is making the reader imagine what itíd feel like to be face to face with the monster. The idea of feeling the repulsive skin touching your own, the overwhelming odor of rot that lingers on the thing's flesh. That's what I want readers to be thinking as they read.
But what about the monsters that truly hate or can't change what they are, the ones that you pity? I enjoy playing with that theme--the monster that is hunted and feared, yet proves to be the character with which the readers relate. The humans who shun or hunt the creature prove to be the real monsters. Having a reader relate to the monster isnít always easy, but itís great when it works! (more…)