When Eric started his writing career, an outsider would never have guessed he would eventually write about witches, serial killers and zombies. His first actual book release was Out of the Darkness: The Story of Mary Ellen Wilson, co-authored by Dr. Stephen Lazoritz. It is about the first successful rescue of an abused child in America. Little Mary Ellen was a 9-year-old who was rescued in 1874 by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA.
His writing career began in the late 1980s in a very low-key way; writing short horror story after short horror story with really no idea how to go about it. He had poor character development, minimal plot lines and probably every other bad habit of inexperienced authors.
After deciding he should write a book, he discovered a little blurb on Mary Ellen Wilson in a book of "Amazing But True!" stories. He knew he had to write Mary Ellen's story. Result? He was a guest at the Museum of the City of New York. He was on CSPAN-2's Book TV. Alliance Atlantis approached him about optioning the story for film. (That did not pan out.)
So ... how did he get back to what he loved? Facebook, plain and simple. After Mary Ellen came out in 1999, he wrote a book called A Reason To Kill. Serial killer stuff. After completing it, he shelved it and began a book about witches and reincarnation. That confused the hell out of him, so he eventually stopped after 53,000 words. No idea where to go or how to finish it. He did not write again for 12 years.
Enter 2011 and Facebook. Tons of zombie people began to emerge, and he kept hearing about all these zombie books and how much people loved them. Mark Tufo, Rhiannon Frater, etc. etc. He thought, "I could write a zombie novel."
And so he did. Dead Hunger was born and released in 2011. From there, you know where it went if you're a reader of the series. And while there were some hints, nobody could have guessed where the series would go. Talk about evolution! Whoa.
The Dead Hunger series will likely go anywhere from eight to ten books, including prequels Eric intends to write. In his "other" spare time, he sings and sometimes paints. He owns several cool microphones, so if you've considered a gift for him (c'mon, you know you have!) that would be a good item to put on your list. ;-)
Check him out on YouTube. Just punch in "Eric Shelman Brown Eyed Girl." That video is approaching 4,000,000 hits.
So check out his writing. Download a sample for Kindle if you like. He thinks you'll like his style, because he writes very conversationally - he's not interested in creating prose that dances around your head before dropping into your ears. He gets to the point, but does it with some skill.
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The Eric A. Shelman Interview
So, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Name: Eric A. Shelman – but don’t judge me by my name. That’s just something that two people who had already had three kids before me came up with at the spur of the moment. In my baby book it asked why you named your kid what you did, and my mom wrote, “Because we think Eric is a pretty name.” Holy crap, mom. Is that all ya got? Kidding. My name is actually Fred.
What do you do when you’re not writing about the end of days?
As you might have figured out, I love to sing, so I put up a ton of videos on YouTube. If you search for Eric Shelman on YouTube, I hope you have a few days to watch over 300+ videos of me singing!
BUT, since you’re likely not into me for that, I also write other horror novels. I have a straight serial killer novel called A Reason to Kill, a time travel/serial killer novel called Shifting Fears, and a witch novel called Generation Evil. I’ve just completed my newest work, a reanimated dead jobbie called The Camera: Bloodthirst. It’s an intense ride that doesn’t let up. Other than that, I spend the time with my wife of 28 years (this year!) Linda. We met back in 1980 and it’s been a destiny thing ever since.
All of my books – yes, all of them – have been optioned for film, and a few of the screenplays are already done and the marketing is underway, with my very first book, Out of the Darkness: The Story of Mary Ellen Wilson, leading the charge for the first movie to be made. Be watching for this true story to hit the screen – hopefully as a major motion picture release.
Tell us about your latest book?
Title: The Camera: Bloodthirst
Brief run down in your own words:
When a Pentax K1000 soaks up the blood of a brutal serial killer, it changes. The horror that is Gil Bellows, and countless killers before him, changes how the camera operates; what it does. If only Jack Hunger knew this before he purchased it in that thrift store. He finds out soon enough when he photographs a brutal crime scene involving a Russian mafia member named Sergei Veselov.
With the help of his friend, Lee County Sheriff Wayne Olsen, they pursue Veselov … but the killer is quickly becoming far more than human, and it will take the abandonment of all traditional law enforcement techniques to stop him.
Early October, 2014.
Anything in particular that you want to say about it? Where did you get the inspiration from? Favourite characters? Tell us something unusual.
This idea was born as all of my ideas are; it just came to me. People who know me don’t understand how I can think the way I do. They don’t get where the darkness comes from because I am so NOT that way. If writing to my personality, I’d be writing comedies or farces – not horror. But somehow, I’ve found I have a knack for storytelling – I’ve been told I do, anyway – and this is just the latest installation of what seeps from the twisted mind of Eric A. Shelman.
What are you working on next and when can we expect to get our greedy little mitts on it?
After The Camera: Bloodthirst, I will begin working on Dead Hunger VIII. After that? Who knows! Something will strike me –that I can guarantee. Hang with me and see.
EXCERPT from Dead Hunger: The Flex Sheridan Chronicle
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