Thursday 20 September 2018

The Birth of CREATURE - Hunter Shea

In his latest novel - CREATURE - Hunter Shea has created a masterpiece of horror. here, he gives us an insight into how the story was born.

 She was unconscious. She had been for days now. The only sounds in the room were the beeping of her monitors, the soft chatter of the television. Over the past few months, I’d learn to understand what the various numbers on the monitors meant. This day, none of them were good. With each passing hour, they worsened.

Acid roiled in my stomach while I held her cold hand. My wife and I were twins at that moment, both beyond words. I tried to talk to her, the nurses telling me she could hear me, but what could I say? I murmured that I loved her from time to time, my words trailing off, tumbling into tears.

Night had come. There was a knock on the door. He was here.

The priest, who had delivered pictures he’d drawn for my wife these past torturous months, always with a smile and words of encouragement, was somber and silent. He paused beside her bed, his hand on her forehead. His gaze flicked to me, as if asking for some sign of further reassurance. I had already agreed for him to perform last rites earlier. I couldn’t bear to give that permission again.

Instead, I concentrated on her face, so pale, eyes closed, mouth slack. I didn’t realize he’d begun, deaf to his somber prayers. He anointed her head with oil from a small jar.

A nurse stepped into the room, saw the awful thing that was taking place, turned and left us. People walking outside, laughing their stress away. The overhead speaker blared for a doctor to pick up a phone line. Outside the window, a bus belched diesel, rumbling along its last trip for the night. People out there carried on, not knowing that my wife was going to die.

I hated them. I hated the priest, this man who had always been welcome in her room. I hated God. I hated the doctors.

It seemed wrong to be bursting with hate. Not at this moment. Would my hate spill into my wife like an ink stain? We wanted her soul to ascend to heaven, free of pain and fear. Could my hate alter her course? There were rules. Priests and nuns and teachers had hammered them in my head all throughout school, but I couldn’t remember a single one now.

Fuck their rules. And fuck their heaven.

The priest spoke to me. I nodded, wordless, pleading with my eyes for him to just go.

The room was dark. We were alone again. The nurses, previously tending to her like bees in a hive, came less and less. Visiting hours were over. The rooms and halls and streets tip-toed into night silence.

I gripped her limp hand, her fingers like ice now.
I watched the monitors, the numbers descending.

The night wore on. Together, we waited.

People ask authors all the time where they find their inspiration. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a turn of a phrase or glimpsing something from the corner of your eye on a walk to the store. Sometimes, it comes from pain.

CREATURE was born from pain. And fear. And anger.

What you just read was real. It was the night the doctors had told me my wife was going to die, sooner rather than later. It was 1993. We had been married for a little over a year. I didn’t think life was unfair at the time. I just thought it was total shit.

My wife survived that night, and roughly 9,125 nights since then. But it hasn’t been easy. It’s never been easy.

Love gets you through it. Well, that and a stubborn streak that can stretch from Boston to Neptune.


The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal.

But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead.

Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night.

Critical praise for CREATURE:

“A heart-wrenching story with massive amounts of carnage. Dare I say there is something for everyone.” Cemetery Dance

“Creature is quite simply brilliant! It put me through the wringer, the final third of the book ramps things up to unbearable levels of emotional (and horrific) tension. It’s not very often I finish a horror novel with tears in my eyes.” Kendall Reviews

“CREATURE! It. Knocked. My. Socks. Off.” Char’s Horror Corner

 You can find CREATURE! here:

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