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A Whole Slew of Monsters

Meet author and Arkansas native Shaun Hamill, as we discuss his book, A Cosmology of Monsters published by Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House.

The Turner family operate a haunted house "The Wandering Dark" as a business. But the haunting is not just pretend.

They are literally and figuratively haunted by monsters: monsters of mental illness, disease, horrific dreams, and a dark creature with orange eyes who stalks several of the family members. But it is seven-year old Noah, the youngest, who eventually invites the creature in...

Author Shaun Hamill
Author Shaun Hamill

"Before Margaret could ask what was wrong, a figure stepped into the doorway behind them and stopped any further intelligent thought. Tall and hunched, wrapped in a crimson cloak, the figure had a long, furry face and a snoutful of giant fangs. Instead of hands it had paws with long, curved claws. Its eyes glowed a bright orange. The creature pointed at Margaret with one talon and bellowed an inhuman, animal noise."

Born in Little Rock, Shaun Hamill grew up in Arlington, Texas, "surviving mainly on a steady diet of genre fiction and comic books." He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2016. His fiction has appeared in Carve and Tor Nightfire's "Come Join Us By the Fire 2," and his nonfiction has appeared in Crimereads and Tor Nightfire.

He also co-hosts two podcasts: Team Hurricane Returns with Darrel Smith, Jr., and Fandom University with Sergio Hernandez. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama. A Cosmology of Monsters is his debut novel.

A special thank you to the voice actors Adam Simon, Ginny Mitchell, Sherry Simon, Paige Wells, Arden Jones, Remy Miller, and Henry Vandiver as Noah.

V Wirges and Chris Long of the indie pop due, Monsterboy Lives
Brian Chilson
V Wirges and Chris Long of the indie pop due, Monsterboy Lives

The lead song, score and soundscape for the episode were created by Chris Long and V. Wirges of Monsterboy Lives— an indie pop duo from Central Arkansas. Additional music was provided by Michael Shackelford of the band Future Elevators.

Thank you to Adam Simon, Beth Wells, Laurie Pierce and Nathan Vandiver for recording the actors.

Thank you to Stickyz Rock ‘N’ Roll Chicken Shack for keeping music alive and well in Arkansas.

Generous funding for Arts & Letters Radio was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Contact Arts & Letters Radio at artsletters@kuar.org or via phone at 501-916-6400. Our mailing address is: Arts & Letters Radio | KUAR 89.1 | 5820 Asher Avenue, Suite 400 | Little Rock, AR 72204.

Executive Producer and Host: J. Bradley Minnick
Producer: Mary Ellen Kubit
Sound Mastering: Simon Sound Services

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