Thursday 22 March 2018

Monsters All Around Us - with Russell James

Horror author Russell James and I have shared a number of publishers and I love his work. His latest - Monsters in the Clouds - is no exception. Thrilling horror, with some truly terrifying creatures. He is my guest today and he's brught some of his friends with him...

I’ve written some sci-fi horror stories about giant monsters. Enormous scorpions, killer fish, giant bats, dinosaurs. I try to make these creatures as scary as possible. But in doing my research, I keep finding that I can’t touch Mother Nature and her passion for the macabre.

My latest release, Monsters in the Clouds from Severed Press has giant ants, pterosaurs, and an Ankylosaurus. In my research I found some creepies that put dinosaurs to shame.

The mind-controlling larvae I created in the book are based several real examples.

The emerald cockroach wasp is exceptionally creepy. It stings a cockroach into submission with venom, then steers it with the cockroach’s own antennae into its burrow. Then it bites a hole in the roach, inserts an egg, and buries them both. Junior munches on living roach for a few weeks, goes larval, and emerges as a wasp. Ah, circle of life.

Then there’s the Costa Rican wasp. The adult female wasp temporarily paralyzes a spider and lays an egg on its abdomen. The hatched larva sucks the spider's blood for the next two weeks. Then the larva injects a chemical into the spider which compels it to first build a unique web, and then to sit still in its center. The wasp larva then molts, kills the spider with a poison, and spins a cocoon in the middle of the web. Eventually a new wasp emerges and a new spider starts saying its prayers.

And don’t miss hairworms. They infect dry land crickets when the cricket swallows a larva. The larva then grows and lives inside the cricket. When it is time to emerge, the hairworm drives the cricket into water, where the cricket drowns. But the hairworm can emerge and live on to find a wife, raise a larva, and find a cricket the kid can call home.
Given all that real-life grossness, some fictional horror is just what you need to cleanse the mental pallet. I recommend Monsters in the Clouds, a fun B-movie romp through the Amazon jungle.

Paleontologist Grant Coleman and activist Janaina Silva are recruited by Thana Katsoros for a top secret expedition, one in search of a live Apatosaurus on a plateau deep in the Amazonian rain forest. But their plane crashes short of their destination, and the entire group faces a terrifying fight for survival. This isolated area hosts unknown animals more fearsome than they’d expected, including giant ants and flesh-eating pterosaurs. Even worse, Katsoros’ agenda has more to it than meets the eye, and Grant soon fears that it doesn’t include all of them getting back alive. Will any expedition members survive to be rescued, or will they be devoured by the creatures indigenous peoples call the monsters in the clouds?

 Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, Dreamwalker, Q Island, and Cavern of the Damned. He has four short story collections, Tales from Beyond, Outer Rim, Forever Out of Time, and Deeper into Darkness.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you." They live in Florida with two untrainable cats.

Visit his website at Russell James and read some free short stories.
Follow on Twitter @RRJames14, Facebook as Russell R. James, or drop a line complaining about his writing to