I don’t really do book reviews on my blog anymore, but for Hunter Shea, I made an exception for his blog tour for Hell Hole. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite horror authors, and not just because he’s a genuinely nice person either. Although, yes, there is that, too. See, I was becoming frustrated with the books I’d read because the females in them were weak and vapid lumps. Then I read Hunter’s Sinister Entity about a kick-ass female ghost-hunter, and I was so thankful, I actually sent Hunter an email professing my gratefulness. And he wrote me back!
Anyway, Hunter agreed to answer some of my wacky questions for your reading enjoyment, and I promise you’ll actually enjoy reading his thoughtful and creative answers!
Here we go!
Me: The zombie apocalypse is here. You’re going to fight them off with the first thing you see on your left. What is it?
Hunter: That would be the water bottle I got at this year’s Warped Tour. It is pretty sturdy. I think I could knock a few brains out with it. And it’s handy to keep me hydrated while I make myself through the zombie horde.
Me: Did you learn anything today? If so, what?
Hunter: I learned that the cemetery I grew up across the street from in the Bronx, Woodlawn Cemetery, was involved in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case. I was listening to Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast and he had on someone that’s been investigating the case for years. Some pretty nefarious stuff went down in my so-called home cemetery. So glad I spent my childhood staring at those tombstones outside my window.
Me: Oh, cool! What’s something about yourself that really annoys you?
Hunter: No matter how hard I try, I just can’t pick the right numbers to win the damn lottery. It won’t take much to make me happy. I don’t need Power Ball returns. I wouldn’t say no to them, either. I can also be a sarcastic pain in the butt. Wait, I like that part about myself.
Me: What scares you?
Hunter: Oh Lord, how much time do you have? Illness. Without your health and the health of the people you love, life can be a misery. People breaking in to the house. Flying. The more flying I’ve done, the worse my fear gets. Our political system here in Amercia. It’s so fundamentally broken, I don’t think it can be fixed.
Me: Why do you write?
Hunter: I just love telling a good story. Even if I was writing for an audience of one, I’d still sit my butt down and write every day. I am not a numbers guy and pay little attention to them. Being able to weave a story that will entertain someone, and if I’m lucky, scare them, is what I feel I was born to do.
Me: And you do it so well! What’s the last song you listened to on purpose?
Hunter: I just listened to Prince’s Raspberry Beret on my iPod here at work. I think his musical genius – and that’s no exaggeration – is underappreciated because of all the strange things he’s said and done over the years. I used to be a Prince fanatic. Not so much now that I’m older with a thousand distractions. I got to see him once and it was the closest thing to a religious experience a person can have outside of church.
Me: I’ve had some musical religious experiences myself! What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Hunter: Easy. I stood watching a man have a shootout with a moving car as they went past me, bullets whizzing by. I didn’t even duck. I was mesmerized by the insanity unfolding right in front of my eyes. It wasn’t until they turned the corner that I fully realized what had happened and how I’d almost gotten shot.
Me: WOW! That’s crazy! You just walked in the door after a long day. What do you do first?
Hunter: Say hi to my wife and kids. Ask the girls how school went. From that point, nothing is ever the same twice.
Me: What’s the one physical object you can’t live without?
Hunter: It’s amazing how much my iPod Nano has become a part of my life. Aside from being a music lover, I’m a podcast junkie. That iPod is either plugged into headphones while I’m home, in my car or on the iHome in my office. I never cease to be amazed by how much I can store on something smaller then the palm of my hand.
Me: Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf? Why?
Hunter: I’ll go with the werewolf. I’m already a hairy dude, so I’m halfway there. Plus, I’d like to just let the animalistic side take over from time to time. No second thoughts, no regrets. Just see and do.
Me: Fair enough. What are you going to do right after you finish this interview?
Hunter: I’m heading to the dentist to get nice new pics of my teeth. Cool part is, the office is a few houses away from one of the most haunted houses in the county. I plan to go have a look-see. Hmmm, I wonder if the owners will let me inside?
Me: That sounds amazing! Not the dentist part, the haunted house part. Do you have any strange writing quirks?
Hunter: This is a really weird one. Every time I sit down to write, I’m hit with an overwhelming urge to pee. Before I’m finished booting up my computer, I’d heading for the bathroom. I guess its all part of ‘getting everything out there’ for the story.
Me: You got to do what you got to do! Would you consider yourself a pioneer or a settler? Why?
Hunter: I’m in the pioneer camp, solely because I hate going down easily trodden paths. Or better yet, I have to do everything the hard way. I could have had inside contacts help me with my early writing career, but I flatly refused, wanting to do it my way or no way at all. In college, I could have pledged a fraternity. But no, I had to start my own with a few guys and grow it into the biggest, and friendliest, frat on campus. I’m not a joiner. I either have to start things or just go it alone. I think I would have been very happy in the woods in a new continent, working all day to create a new life for myself and my family. Plus, I wouldn’t have to shave or cut my hair. Wild man of the untamed frontier!
Awesome! Now that you’ve seen the awesomeness that is Hunter Shea, here’s my review of Hell Hole!
Ever since I read Hunter Shea’s Sinister Entity, I’ve become a creepy fan girl and have vowed to read everything he ever writes. He already knows I’m stalking him, so it’s all good! *insert evil laugh*
As with all of Hunter’s books, one of Hell Hole‘s strengths is its characters. They’re living, breathing people with back stories that make them three dimensional. Nat and Teta’s personalities, as well as their unbreakable friendship, solidified both of them inside my head, even long after the story ended. Witnessing them deal with some of the horrific twists and turns in the book sped my heart rate since I’d come to care about them.
And speaking of the horrific twists and turns, there were plenty of WTF moments and bursts of speed-reading to quickly find out what happened next. The very beginning, however, plodded along for several chapters, and I while I understand the need to give the story a foundation to stand on, there were several instances where I wondered if this scene or that progressed the story and if it was really needed. But when Nat and Teta finally reach their destination, the book really got moving.
If you’re in the mood for a creepy story to put you in the Halloween mood (which should be celebrated all year long), this would be a good place to start. Then you can be a Hunter Shea creepy fan girl with me!
Rating – 4 stars
Find out more about Hunter and his books at his website!