Monday, November 27, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 37: Among the Stacks with Shaun Hupp


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Shaun.  Welcome back to The Gal.  It's been awhile since we sat down together.  What's been going on since we last spoke?

Shaun Hupp:
Oh, my god. I was not aware there would be homework involved in this interview. I better go back and read what the hell I talked about a year ago. Hell if I can remember. Let’s see… Still have the kids, just bigger and faster than before. I finally got that laptop I had been wanting. Yeah. I haven’t changed much. Still very immature.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Who are you outside of writing?

Shaun Hupp:
I’m a weirdo. I’m a father. I’m gym rat. I’m a man of many hats…literally and figuratively. I like to make people laugh whether it’s online or in person. I’m a guy who will put other people’s happiness ahead of my own. Ask anyone. They will tell you I’m one of a kind and that’s a good thing.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Shaun Hupp:
Well... Kind of depends on what kind of story it is. Some things are just not going to be the topic of conversation. I mean, I’m not going to be like, “Hey, sis. Did you enjoy the three-way sex scene with the corpse because I wrote another one? Let’s get some pizza and discuss it.” Yeah. They can read them, but let’s not talk specifics.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Shaun Hupp:
Neither. I didn’t unwrap the ability to become a writer on my birthday or Christmas, nor did an old gypsy woman make me this way after I denied her loan application or killed a relative.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Shaun Hupp:
I think after three kids I have the parent mentality down for a character. I should also be able to create believable children. Growing up being a nerd and getting picked on, I certainly can relate to the underdog. I think some of these things come through with the characters I created.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Shaun Hupp:
I’m sure I’m in some sort of FBI database. I look up all sorts of killing methods, including poisons. I’ve looked up how to chop up and dispose of bodies, too. I’m just waiting for the knock on my door…

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Shaun Hupp:
I have a ton of beginnings. I think all writers have too many ideas and not enough time. I think my stories have great beginnings because I’m a strong believer in catching people’s attention right away. It’s the middle stuff that is the hardest. I usually know how I want to end a story. Just need to get from point A to Z and keep it entertaining.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you outline?  Do you start with characters or plot?  Do you just sit down and start writing?  What works best for you?

Shaun Hupp:
I outline. I start with the plot, but characters are always major factors. I want them to affect the plot and not be just along for the ride. Sometimes I have a character already created with no story, and they perfectly fit into a new plot.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you do when characters don't follow the outline/plan?

Shaun Hupp:
Either change the outline or kill them. Depends on whether or not I like them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Shaun Hupp:
These days? Self-hate. I really need to get on a schedule.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you an avid reader?

Shaun Hupp:
I used to be. I want to be. Finding time is hard. Short stories tend to be my go-to read lately.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Shaun Hupp:
I like horror, especially extreme horror. I also always try to read the works of my author friends, but every now and again, I’ll read something more mainstream like Stephen King, Joe Hill, etc.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you feel about movies based on books?

Shaun Hupp:
It really depends on the book. Some can work. Some can’t. Depends on the director, too. I didn’t think Gerald’s Game would be watchable, but I was wrong. I really liked it. It’s hard to take books that are like 600+ pages and have it turn out well without losing something. Still, Hollywood needs to take books, short stories, whatever and put them on the screen. We don’t need the 20th reboot of Friday the 13th.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Have you ever killed a main character?

Shaun Hupp:
Well… Yeah. I’ve done it at the end of a story. I’ve done it at the beginning of a story and worked around the corpse. Not a problem for me. Don’t get too close to any of my characters.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Shaun Hupp:
OF COURSE! We horror guys and gals love it! I dare anyone to say otherwise. It adds to their character development…you know…if they survive. Can’t have a story full of lollipops and rainbows. And if I know if I’m torturing a character, I’m probably also torturing the reader... or the sickies are loving it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the weirdest character concept that you've ever come up with?

Shaun Hupp:
Valentine Rodgers Private Dick/Umbrella Salesman… Don’t ask. Don’t search for it on Amazon. Don’t buy it. My detective comedy is quite… unique.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the best piece of feedback you've ever received?  What's the worst?

Shaun Hupp:
Well... For Beta feedback, I’m not sure if it was the best, but recently I had one where the reader didn’t understand something in the beginning, and the end was totally not at all what I expected. This type of feedback allows me to see past my own authorship of the story and fix problems so all readers can understand my vision.
            Worst feedback? I liked it.
            Okay… Doesn’t help me at all.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do your fans mean to you?

Shaun Hupp:
My fans are more like friends to me than someone who just buys my work. I like to get to know them and entertain them outside my books as well. They mean everything to me. All two of them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?

Shaun Hupp:
This is a hard question. I’d rather steal like a situation and reinvent it. Like, do a story in the world of Stephen King’s The Mist or Pet Sematary. For a character, I’d probably like to steal a villain rather than a hero. They are always more interesting. Of course, they usually die a lot of the time too, ruining any plans for me to use them. There’s one place where they never die though: comic books. That’s literature, right? I read comic books all the time growing up. I could probably do an awesome Joker story… Probably too dark for DC to publish…

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could write the next book in a series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?

Shaun Hupp:
Man… series… series… I’m trying to think of a series, I’ve read. I’d be horrible writing A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones). Fantasy isn’t really my thing, but I could kill a lot of people. I don’t know. I think I’m going to cheat again and say Stephen King’s The Long Walk needs a sequel and I’m the guy to do it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?

Shaun Hupp:
I would dig up Richard Laymon’s corpse and write an amazing horror novel with him. His parts would probably be way better than mine, though a little stiff. Get it? Stiff. Corpse. I’ll show myself out….

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Shaun Hupp:
I’m trying to put out longer novella-length work. I still have Maniacs with Knives 2 to put out, but after that, I’ll be moving away from extreme horror. I’ll never leave horror behind, but I’ll do more mainstream stuff. Sorry. Don’t like it? Email Amazon and ask them why they are censoring guys like me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (STaLKeR links.)

Shaun Hupp:
My personal Facebook page - Send me a request, I don't bite.
Facebook author page - Like me... please.
Amazon Author Page - Buy something!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview or the last?

Shaun Hupp:
Well, first things first, Mean Meghan, I’ve got to say that Huppamania is running wild all over Facebook. It can’t be stopped. It won’t be stopped until we take over Amazon, brother. When I’m on the computer, I mean business and I don’t mean no flower shop, brother. I’m typing and taking names. You know something, Mean Meghan. These 15-inch pythons are gonna sit in front of my laptop and bust out something for all the Huppamaniacs out there, brother. They need it. They love it. They’ll devour everything I throw at them and demand more. Let me tell you, Mean Meghan. I’m gonna give it to them. So to all my Huppamaniacs out there, make sure you say your prayers, take your vitamins, and read your horror. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Shaun... you are brilliant.


 

About the author:
Shaun Hupp is a horror author that specializes in short stories that will tug at your heartstrings one moment and the next, shake you up to your very core, sending you on an emotional rollercoaster into the darkest corners of your imagination.  He loves to make his readers feel safe before jamming a rusty knife into their ribcage.  Surprisingly enough, people seem to like it.
            Between his wife, children, dog, and all the characters created in his head, he's in a losing battle for his sanity and doesn't mind one bit.  Growing up, Shaun was a product of watching too much Twilight Zone, Monsters, and Tales from the Darkside while reading Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series over and over again, sometimes back-to-back.  Later in life, he moved on to mainstream horror authors such as Richard Matheson, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.  Everything changed when he found Richard Laymon.  Now, as his favorite author, Shaun asks himself whenever he writes WWRLD.

About the books:
To a regular person, they're just tools...
A chef uses them to prepare a meal.
A surgeon uses them to save lives.
To the maniacs in this story, however...
Theirs is a much darker purpose.
For them, the first cut is NOT the deepest.
It's just the beginning...

This is Book 1 in the Maniacs with Knives series.  This story is from Shaun Hupp's Unapologetic Horror Line.  The author is NOT sorry this book contains: Gore, violence, dismemberment, rape, swearing, and a dozen other things you wouldn't want your grandmother to talk about at her Sunday church group.  If you're a sensitive reader, this book is probably NOT for you.

Life's not fair for Matt.  Being overweight and bullied all his life has turned him into a loner.  Rather than venturing out into the world, he'd rather stay up in his room watching porn and eating fast food.
            But his world is about to change.  One Saturday afternoon while he's home alone, the doorbell rings.  Matt meets the girl of his dreams.  However, this is NOT a simple love story... This is NOT a tale of love at first sight... This is NOT going to end well for anybody...
            Who will survive... POUND.

Word of Warning: This is an extreme horror tale.  There is plenty of blood, gore, sexual content, and explicit language to offend those who are easily offended.
            You have been warned.  Do you proceed?

Helen is a struggling, single mother going through the normal routine of getting her Autistic daughter with special needs ready for school.
            I TRY MY BEST is the story of one woman reliving her past failures and dealing with the guilt she faces daily.

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