Confessions of my Past, Present and Future
I think it’s safe to say that my past is a little different than other writers, because I’m a little different than most writers. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which puts me on the Autism spectrum. This probably led to me being more of an introvert and spending a lot of time in my room. I didn’t have many friends growing up. I always wanted more, but at the same time, I felt fine being on my own.
But what exactly went on in that room? No… We’re not talking about my teenage years just yet. Filthy perverts. I usually could be found with my nose in a book such as the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series or the Goosebumps series. I also had a great love for comic books. If people asked me if I preferred Marvel or DC, I didn’t really have an answer. I liked them all. I read Superman to Spider-man to Image’s Spawn. Much like Jack Rollins mentioned in his confession, I was drawn to character re-imaginings such as the Death of Superman/Reign of Supermen, Knightfall (Batman was replaced after having his back broken), The Spider-man Clone Saga, and Marvel’s 2099 future setting series. My favorite, however, were DC’s Elseworld series and Marvel’s What If series. They took established characters/plots and asked what would happen if they had gone differently. I always found myself thinking/plotting those same things so those books spoke to me.
Besides reading, I spent my time daydreaming. Seriously, daydreaming. I did play for the lack of a better word ‘normally’, but I don’t think anyone could quite do what I could do with my imagination. I didn’t question it back then, but I knew it was different. Most days I spent my time staring at an object. It could be a toy or ball. It didn’t matter. Inside my head, adventures were taking place as if I was watching television while the object never moved. Sometimes things would get so intense I would be covered in sweat, and I would put holes in the knees of my jeans from rubbing on the floor. Yeah, I was a weird kid.
Besides the horror stories I read, TV has influenced me as well. I loved horror movies. I would stay up late to watch episodes of Tales from the Crypt, Twilight Zone, Monsters, Outer Limits, and Tales from the Darkside. I loved their style and twist endings.
I really didn’t start reading horror novels until I was out of high school. Before that, I really didn’t read too much other than short story collections. Maybe that’s why I tend to gravitate to them. I loved Stephen King movies and his novels were in my home, but I didn’t see them as something for me. It’s one of my regrets in life that I didn’t get started with reading more adult novels sooner.
Right now, I consider myself in a building phase. I’m writing and publishing. I’m connecting with other authors and with fans. I’m learning and using that knowledge for myself and for others. When it’s needed, I will always help out another author or fan in need. And, for the most part, the horror community responds with what you put in. Self-publishing has really changed the landscape.
People tend to think that horror authors are dark and deranged. It’s usually not true at all. I could point in the direction of several guys like Iain Rob Wright and Tim Miller that are, surprisingly, all too human with wives and kids. I remember one of the first guys I interacted with was Terry M. West. He scared the crap out of me. I was promoting my first story, and he was promoting one of his books. His profile pic at the time was dark and scary. His book was about monsters and heroin. Never judge a book by its cover because he proved to be one of the nicest guys I’ve met and I went on to work with him.
I want people to see me as a nice, funny guy, but my writing will scare the hell out of them. That seems to work for a lot of guys and gals, and it’s pretty much the real me. Well, the real me on the internet. I try to be outgoing, but for the most part, I’m still that quiet little kid. I’m not going to put up a scary, serious front just because my writing is. I’m me, and I want everyone to know they can talk to me.
Right now, with my writing, I’ve been submitting more to the small presses to expand my reach and connections. Usually, I’m invited to anthologies, based on those relationships I’ve established being such a great guy (wink, wink), but I’m trying open calls now. I’m currently waiting for some rejection letters. I still write my short stories, but you’ll see something longer from me soon. That project is very hush, hush, though. I’d wink more, but then, you people might think I have a tick.
For current influences, I find myself looking to the indy guys. I still read the legends like King, Barker, Laymon, Keene, etc., but now I look to others like Matt Shaw, Andrew Lennon, Matt Hickman, Stuart Keane, Michael Bray, Ian Woodhead and way, way many more than I could ever mention. I’m going to feel bad when this is published, and I wake up from my bed yelling out, “Shit! Kyle M. Scott!” These are my friends, colleagues, and inspirations.
As for my everyday life, I’m a father of three now. It’s always a struggle to keep the kiddos happy and fed while I try to find time to write. I enjoy spending time with them, so I don’t want to miss out on their childhoods while I chase my dreams. I have a day job so it’s not like I have a lot of free time. It’s a give-and-take…. And they, along with the writing and job, are also a drain on my sleep.
I’m not going to bore you with the standard ‘I want to be rich and famous’ jazz. I want for myself and my family to be comfortable. I’d love to get a major book deal. I’d love all that other stuff like movie/TV deals. I really just like to not worry about money like I need to write this short story to get the money to pay for the editing of this other story or the cover art. Money might not buy happiness, but it certainly helps.
Output is another big thing what I want for the future. I want lots of fans that I can satisfy with longer pieces of work. I still want to put out my shorts in between, because it’s more my style. I want more paperbacks and audiobooks as well.
There're other goals as well. I’d like to experiment with different genres. I’d like to work with more authors with collaborations. I’d like to get into an anthology with one of my idols.
And one of the biggest goals I have is to pay it forward. Not to sound corny, but I’d like to help any beginning author I can. People helped me out when I was just starting out, and it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t respect those before me and those yet to come. Again, I’m all about creating connections and helping keep the horror community a great place to be whether you’re a reader or a writer.
You can buy The Shaun Hupp Collection Vol 1 here:
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Shaun Hupp is a horror author that specializes in short stories that will tug at your heartstrings one moment and the next, shake you 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, three 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.
And for more about Shaun, visit his site or find him on social media: