Greeting and Salutations Everyone,
Today I’m pleased to welcome Hunter Shea to the blog to talk about the setting of his new horror novel Siniter Entity. This one sounds pretty creeptastic and I can’t wait to read it!
I may be a New Yorker, but my heart has belonged to New England for as long as I can remember. I love everything about the north east, except clam chowder and lobster, two things that will keep me from ever becoming a card carrying New Englander. When I first started writing, I stuck to the adage, write what you know. Hence, most of my early stories and books all took place in the lower half of New York State.
The day I decided it was time to write my first full length horror novel, I wanted to break out of the NY mode. With that book, Forest of Shadows, I started in Long Island, NY, but quickly moved everyone to the deep of Alaska. The sense of isolation worked perfectly for that novel, and even became a character all its own. I’d always wanted to travel to Alaska, so this was my chance to go there, even if it was a trip through the creative landscape of my own mind. It cost a lot less than a cruise and I didn’t gain any weight.
The sequel to that book and my latest release, Sinister Entity, gave me a chance to ‘live’ in one of my favorite New England states, New Hampshire. Now, I will tell you that I’ve been an adopted Mainer since I was a baby. But I figured Stephen King has that state pretty much locked up. In deference to the master, I set my sights a little south.
My family and I have been to New Hampshire quite a few times down by the Atlantic coast and have loved it. The folks there are hard working, practical and the living definition of everyday people. When I sent my young, brash ghost hunter Jessica Backman on a case, I wanted it to be with people who are grounded and not given to flights of fancy. When the Leigh family comes face to face with the doppelganger of their living daughter, the doubt and fear are real and honest. Jessica’s job is made all the more difficult trying to convince them all that what they are seeing is real and a possible portent of terrible things to come.
As I wrote Sinister Entity, from time to time I would close my eyes and recall fun family vacations, smell the briny ocean air and hear the splash of water and laughter of my kids when they were young and I was still relatively cool. When I opened my eyes, I got back to the business of injecting the New Hampshire family with mind-blowing terror. God, being a writer is fun!
“Kitchen drawer just closed so hard, the wood cracked. Time is two-forty-eight a.m. I dared the EB to be more demonstrative and it’s taking up the challenge. The air smells funky, like burning wires. No signs of smoke.” She stopped. Something started tapping on the walls around her.Tap-tap, pause, tap-tap-tap, pause, tap.Jessica continued, using meditative breathing exercises to calm herself, “I hope I caught that. It’s tapping out in a sequence.” Tap-tap. “Two taps, followed by three, then one. I’m not sure if it’s some form of Morse code or the beat to a song or what. It just keeps tapping, and the burning smell is getting stronger,” she whispered into the audio recorder. Then, much louder, “Are you trying to tell me something? If you speak into this recorder in my hand, I may be able to hear you. What does the tapping mean? Or are you just trying to scare me?”A heavy rumble shook the floor beneath her feet.Tap-tap-tap.Tap.Tap-tap.Jessica put the recorder close to her lips. “I’m going to have to check the outlets. The burning smell is getting intense. Something ˗ whoa!”The recorder was knocked from her hand and skidded across the linoleum floor. The hand that had been holding the recorder felt like it had been dipped in a tub of ice. She gave it a few sharp shakes to halt the pins and needles sensation that followed.The house was once again silent and the darkness seemed to intensify. Even though her eyes had acclimated to the night, she was finding it harder to make out the shapes of the furniture around her. It was as if a heavy, black gauze had oozed throughout the house like an obsidian blob.She took a few tentative steps towards where she assumed her digital recorder lay. The air itself was heavy and she knew she was far from alone. She fought hard to fight back the tingling dread that threatened to dance up her spine. A part of her was sure that something was very close behind her. Silently, it approached with arms wide open, edging closer with each deliberate step. If she were to turn around now, she would come face to face with all of her worst nightmares brought to life.If only she dared to take one simple peek.In the dark.So close she could feel the ripples of its intrusive essence caressing the back of her neck.Jessica stopped when she reached the threshold of the dining room and closed her eyes. She felt like a blind person in a crowded room of silent guests, no one daring to breathe lest they reveal their presence to the woman in their midst, yet eager to pounce if she gave the slightest inkling that she was aware of their proximity. Her heart skipped a beat as she breathed deep. The fight or flight instinct was battling for control. Her body was in the throes of the primal, physical ache to flee. It would be so easy to run now. The front door was only twenty feet away. Just turn a couple of locks and she could be outside.The floorboards creaked behind her, a slight groan of wood protesting the weight of a single, heavy footstep.Three more breaths. Her heart rate slowed to a steady rhythm.Another creak, this time to her right, near the breakfront.Jessica smiled and she felt the tension release its grip from her shoulders.Breathe in, hold, breathe out.Something hard and small smacked into the glass top of the coffee table.Breathe in, hold, breathe out.The sound of glass under stress, spider cracks crunching their way across the surface of the table.Now!Jessica turned quickly and shouted “Boo!”The coffee table top exploded in a shower of glass pebbles as she faced the empty darkness behind her. Bits of glass bounced harmlessly off her leather jacket. A picture frame flew from the fireplace mantle and crashed into the opposite wall. All of the kitchen chairs slid out from under the table at once, one of them falling completely backwards. Jessica turned back towards the living room in time to see the blinds on the front window part as if someone ran a finger from top to bottom. Upstairs, it sounded as if a brawl had broken out. The ceiling fan shook under the pounding of footsteps and falling objects.The house was alive and it was not happy.
Monster Massacre and Evil Eternal. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales and the Cemetery Dance anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on. He lives in New York with his family and vindictive cat. He waits with Biblical patience for the Mets to win a World Series.