Guest Post: Hunter Shea on The Montauk Monster and Beach Reads

Posted: June 28, 2014 in Guest Posts, Uncategorized
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Today’s post on The Horror Bookshelf comes from author Hunter Shea, who recently released his excellent new novel The Montauk Monster through Kensington/Pinnacle. If you are like me and consider yourself a huge cryptid fan, trust me when I say this is one book you will absolutely want to add to your collection! I am a huge fan of Hunter’s work and excited to have him as a guest on the site. Check out his post below to learn more about The Montauk Monster and his thoughts on beach reads!

montauk monster

What, exactly is a beach read?

I was just at my local bookstore and saw a row of shelves under the banner: Great Beach Reads. Truth be told, most of them were geared towards female readers, with a lot of book club recommendation stickers on the covers. Do they think guys don’t read while soaking in the sun? Do we just check out the sports page in the newspaper, tuck it away, slip on our shades and watch the bikinis traipse on by?

Okay, plenty of guys do exactly that. But a great many others read actual books. So when it comes to deciding what to pack in the ol’ beach bag, how does one choose?

Beach reading to me is something light. When you have your toes in the sand and the surf is churning, you want an ice-cold Corona in your hand, not a pint of Guinness. When you’re hungry and you look into the picnic basket, some chilled fried chicken and fruit hits the spot, not a plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

The same goes with a summer beach read. Crime and Punishment is NOT a beach read (though by all means, read it – a classic that you can’t put down). The theme is too heavy, like that meatloaf and Guinness. Jurassic Park was a great beach read when it came out. It was fun and fascinating and fast as hell once the dinosaurs got loose. Any book by Tess Gerritsen is a great beach read – superbly written mysteries that will make you forget to turn before you burn. War and Peace was demonstrated not to be a good beach read in the Jimmy Stewart movie, Mr. Hobbes Takes a Vacation. Every time he sat in the sand to read it, there was a distraction, and you can’t keep track of all those Russian names unless the book has your undivided attention.

Heavy. Light. The weight of words and ideas. These are the things that form the boundaries of beach and non-beach reads.

When I sat down to write my latest book, The Montauk Monster, knowing it was going to come out in June, I had the words beach read in the forefront of my mind. I wanted to create something that provided chills and thrills, a trip on the rollercoaster by the boardwalk. And if it was going to be a beach read, why not set it in a beach town like Montauk? Throw in some monsters and government conspiracy and let the good times roll. It’s not Crime and Punishment, but that’s because it was never meant to be. It’s a beaded bottle of Modelo and a slice of watermelon, the scent of coconut heavy in the air. The Montauk Monster is best read under a beach umbrella, the gentle roll of the surf in the distance. Just be wary of what you see out of the corner of your eye.

Was that a dog coming out of the water? Or was it something else? Push your shades up the bridge of your nose and keep reading. Everyone knows monsters are allergic to sunscreen.


Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal and Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster is published by Kensington/Pinnacle.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled Hell Hole, is set to come out in August 2014 and is his first western horror.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming 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 is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

  1. hookofabook says:

    I don’t think I’ll ever sit on the beach again without looking over my shoulder or wondering what’s out there. I might not be able to read so attentively…LOL. Thanks for hosting this guest article!

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