As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.
Please enjoy this interview with author Jeff Gunhus.
On Jeff1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm the father of five with four boys and one very tough girl. I've loved to write since I was a youngster when I spent half of my time living in Tolkien's Middle Earth with hobbits, elves and orcs. For a day job, I'm the co-CEO of a national company with a few thousand employees. I write as a creative outlet because my singing voice hurts people's ears and I have trouble drawing stick figures.
2. What inspired you to venture into the world of published writing?
I wrote Jack Templar Monster Hunter as a way to get my 11 year old reluctant reader son excited about books. It worked and they started to share the book with their friends. Publishing it seemed easier than making printed copies to hand out. My earlier books were more oriented to my business interests. NO PARACHUTE REQUIRED (Hyperion-2001) and the CAREER SERIES BOOKS were fun to write, but fiction is where my real interests lie.
3. Describe your writing 'space'.
I have two main spaces. My home office where I have a gigantic Apple monitor and an ergonomic everything for long sessions. I love this because I can walk out the door for breaks to visit my wife and young kids and because my two Labs hang out with me. I also like to work in coffeeshops, especially City Dock Cafe in Annapolis. I also write with ear buds in and a music soundtrack playing.
4. Which writer(s), dead or alive, do you highly esteem?
I was a huge fan of both Tolkien and CS Lewis growing up and I love the fact that they knew each other an were friends. After reading a Mark Twain biography, I became even more of a fan than I already was. He had a complicated and often sad life which makes his humor and deep messages in his work all that more interesting.
On "Monster Hunter"
5. How did you come upon the idea for Jack Templar: Monster Hunter?I wanted something with a lot of action to hold a reluctant readers interest and I needed I ticking clock mechanism. I also enjoy stories where an unsuspecting young person turns out to be the "One". Whether it's Luke Skywalker in Star Wars or Neo in the Matrix, a hero must still choose to take action even if they are "the One." I wanted to have a main character who had to make tough choices so my kids could see my philosophy of how to make those decisions. Turns out, conveying that information through a battle scene with harpies is way more effective than a lecture during dinner.
6. What was your favorite aspect of writing this novel?
Writing in the first person. This was the first novel where I made that choice. At time I found it a burden as it's more difficult to dig into events where the main character isn't in the room (unless you're dealing with a second character telling a story in flashback.) But I enjoyed being in Jack's head and making him transparent about his fears and his uncertainty. Heroes who are always heroic aren't interesting to me. I prefer to see their humanity, even if they make bad decisions some times.
7. Considering the height of fantasy in your novel, how did you go about making it believable. ( I read the Warning excerpt, and it was definitely believable!)
Thank you for that. I think the warnings were helpful in setting the tone of the book. After that, I think the key to believability in all fantasy or scifi comes down to having real characters habit the world you create and having rules that govern the world that the reader can count on. In Middle Earth, hobbits can't fly, so you can't have a hobbit just start to fly to escape a battle on page 500. Establishing these rules early helps.
8. Describe Monster Hunter in a 7 word sentence.
Non-stop action, mind-bending twists, monsters are real.
9. What is your favorite mythological creature?While not a "creature" I like Sisyphus who was cursed by the Gods to push a boulder up a mountain only to have it roll back down the ocean once he reached the top. At which point, he had to repeat the task. For eternity. I like it because sometimes we can all feel like Sisyphus and sense the futility in our actions. It's a good reminder that no Gods cursed us and we can just change our behavior and do something more production. Oh, and I like Cerberus, the three-headed dog the guards the gates of Hell. He's cool.
10. If you could live in the world of any book, which would it be and why?
Middle Earth. It was my first love. I would hang out with the hobbits. The elves take themselves too seriously.
11. What is your favorite place to visit? Why?
I'm a huge history buff, so the old European capitals, London, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, always get me thinking about our place in history. Jack Templar will be visiting many of these places in upcoming books so I'm excited to give him a tour.
Yeah, you read it right. I’m a monster hunter. Back before I actually became one, I would have thought that sounded totally awesome. And don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways it is. But most of the time, I’m either running for my life or hiding in the shadows, praying the monster chasing me doesn’t pick up my scent. And I’m almost always scared to death. In a few pages, I think you’ll see why.
But there are a few things I need to warn you about before I tell you my story.
First, this isn’t a cartoon. These are bloodthirsty creatures who will stop at nothing to kill. They are scary. Very scary. Second, the only way to stop them is to kill them first…and that gets gross and messy. Third, this is all real.
You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I can almost see you smirking as you read this. But this isn’t a joke. Monsters are real and the story I’m about to tell you really happened. If you’d rather walk through life believing that monsters are only found in books or on the movie screen, then you should shut this book right now and go do something else.
I give you these warnings because the story I’m about to tell you isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can handle it. The blood. The gore. The monsters.
This life was thrust onto me. I had no choice but to take up a sword and fight. But you can still walk away and pretend this dark world doesn’t exist. Or you can walk through the door that I’m about to open and find out the truth about the world around you.
But I warn you (and this is a big warning), if you read this book, if you learn about the monsters that roam among us and the hunters who fight them, if you decide to learn the truth, then you will become fair game for the monsters to chase.
Make sure you understand what I’m saying.
If you read this book, you will be part of this world and the monsters will come after you too. You will start to see things that no other humans can see. The shadows will move when you walk near them. The creatures of the night will seek you out, testing the doors and windows of your house, looking for a way in.
And, at some point, they will find you, just like they found me, and you will be forced to defend yourself.
So, think carefully before you turn the page, because once you do, there’s no turning back.
Once a monster hunter, always a monster hunter.
See you on the other side.
If you’re brave enough.
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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash + Swag from author Jeff Gunhus
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