In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at Shaun Horton and his story “Sunday School.”
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
I was on a bit of a H.P. Lovecraft tangent in my writing. It combined with the memory of a person I used to work with that was homeschooled by their parents that were so religious, that the only thing they taught them was stuff out of the bible.
Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?
No real research was required, just a good visual nightmare.
Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?
Terry is just a young boy, probably between eight and twelve, living with his ultra-religious mom. He has some misgivings about her focus, but he’s obedient and tries to do as she asks him.
Tell me about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.
The setting is one of suburban isolation. I didn’t envision a house out in the woods, or a farm with a large field, just a regular house in a regular community. In this world where we know more about the lives of people halfway across the country than we do about our neighbors, I felt like it was really something to resonate. It’s so easy to imagine something going so completely unnoticed, a religious woman praying in her backyard, a private chapel in her basement.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
A good shiver down the spine. But if there’s something deeper, it’s that there may be more out in the universe, as well as right next to us, than we want to imagine.
Which phrase are you most proud of in this story?
He was drifting through the stars, watching planets and galaxies drift past. Some were green, some red, and some were little balls of thunderclouds which lit up randomly in different spots like flashing Christmas lights.
If your story was front-page news, what would the headline be?
Visions of God? Or a New Drug on the Streets?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
If you had to put your name on someone else’s book/story, which would it be and why?
It would have to be Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, just based on my love of dinosaurs. I hope to write my own dinosaur novel one day, but only when the right plot blooms in my head.
When did you decide to take writing seriously?
I’ve always been writing, since I was four years old, but I only really decided to take it seriously while I was at a low point in 2012. I was tired of bouncing around from one bottom-of-the-barrel job to the next. Prior to that, I’d been writing, but it was mostly short stories for friends or just little random pieces that were more like vignettes than full stories.
If you could choose a single superpower, what would it be and why?
It would probably be true shapeshifting, like having a body that was made entirely of a fluid-like substance that was controlled by my mind to take on any shape I wanted, including spontaneous cellular generation and destruction, so that size wouldn’t be an issue regardless of the shapes I wanted to make or take on. It would just make everything convenient. Increasing muscle mass if I need some extra strength, extra arms if I needed to work on several things at once, or reaching a tendril into the kitchen to grab a fresh drink instead of having to get up and walk into the kitchen. Plus I would never need to buy clothes, or costumes for Halloween or parties.
Shaun Horton is the author of the sci-fi/horror novels Hannah and Class 5, as well as the cryptid horror Cenote. He writes from the beautiful pacific northwest, crammed between the city of Seattle and the woods of the Olympic National Forest.
He’s been a life-long fan of Horror, starting with seeing Gremlins at 4 years old. Years later, he discovered the work of Stephen King, keeping himself up at night reading the tome which is IT. Since then, he’s continued expanding the interest through authors such as Dean Koontz, movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and Alien, and the video game series of Dead Space and Resident Evil.
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