Brian Kirk

A Journey of the Imagination

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We Are Monsters Goes Hollywood

There has been a ton of work going on behind the scenes, and I am happy to make an exciting announcement.

I have accepted an offer to option the film rights to my debut novel, We Are Monsters. That’s right, We Are Monsters is in the process of being made into a movie! The production team that purchased the rights has an impressive list of film credentials, including The Messengers starring Kristen Stewart, Role Models starring Paul Rudd, and Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg.

 The MessengersRole ModelsLone_Survivor_poster

We are currently selecting screenwriters to help adapt the screenplay. Some exciting writers/directors have expressed interest, and I look forward to announcing names as soon as I’m able.

I continue to be amazed by the attention We Are Monsters has received, and am excited for the potential of it reaching new audiences through the big screen. I won’t lie, I’m also just a tad excited to see these words: Based on the novel written by Brian Kirk.

WeAreMonsters_Print Thank you to everyone who has helped keep the momentum going: readers, friends, and industry professionals. This is a nugget of proof that anything is possible. Stay tuned.

Best Horror Novels of 2015

2015 was a special year for me. It marked the release of my debut novel, We Are Monsters, which is something I’ve been dreaming about most of my life. What makes it even sweeter is the warm reception the book has received from readers and critics alike.

As the year ended, and reviewers began to create their “Best of the Year” lists, I was honored to find We Are Monsters on many of them. Here are links to several “Best Horror Novels of 2015” lists that included We Are Monsters alongside many of my favorite reads from the year as well.

I read 39 books in 2015, although most of them were published in year’s prior. I’m always playing catch up. Here are my top ten favorite reads from last year, listed alphabetically.

  1. A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli
  2. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (Read my essay on it HERE)
  3. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
  4. Close Reach by Jonathan Moore
  5. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  6. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
  7. Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
  8. Least of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones
  9. Slade House by David Mitchell
  10. The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

There are many exciting developments going on behind the scenes right now that should make 2016 another exciting year. Stay tuned.

A Recap of Reviews

I am humbled and immensely pleased with the amount of (mostly positive) press We Are Monsters has received so far. Here is a recap of some of the reviews that have been written about my debut novel, starting with my personal favorite – a short and sweet one from industry icon, Brian Keene.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 7.54.23 AM

Professional Reviews

  • “Not only is this one of the most impressive horror debuts I have ever read, I am confident in placing We Are Monsters firmly in the number one spot for the best horror novel of 2015. I was absolutely blown away.” – The Horror Bookshelf (Click for Review)
  • “It takes not a reviewer, critic or literary analyst to see this writer has a most brilliant future ahead of him. I encourage anyone who is a fan of horror that resonates within the psyche long after the fact to embark upon this gem of a read.” – Horror News (Click for Review)
  • “A complex telling with stories within stories, you’ll find that you can’t put it down. I can’t praise this book enough!” – Horror Novel Reviews (Click for Review)
  • “A tightly woven tale from an author who has a heart, and that makes me excited to see what else Kirk has in store for us. The whole story will have you examining the human race as never before.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror (Click for Review)
  • We Are Monsters is a knockout punch for Kirk and I think this is a book–and an author–that we’ll be hearing a lot more about in the future.” – Shotgun Logic (Click for Review)
  • “Cleverly told. Psychologically complex.” – Scarlet’s Web (Click for Review)

Reader Reviews

Reader reviews can be found at Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read and review the book. I’m happy to see how many of you have enjoyed it.


Talking Legendary Creatures with Author Hunter Shea

I’m thrilled that one of the most prolific and consistently excellent authors of horror fiction has chosen this site to talk about legends. Fitting, as Hunter Shea is quickly become a legend in my eyes. Let me explain.

I first became aware of Hunter’s work right before the release of his acclaimed thriller, The Montauk Monster, in June of 2014. That book was a huge hit, receiving tons of praise from critics and fans alike. Then, the very next month, he releases a new horror novel, Hell Hole, which again achieves critical praise, going so far as to be called “The Best Horror Novel of 2014” by Horror Novel Reviews. Not a bad year.

But then Hunter comes out with another book just four months later, Island of the Forbidden, which is almost instantly talked about as being a contender for best horror novel of the new year. WTF! Dude, care to slow down? Nope, out comes another powerful two-punch combo: a blockbuster apocalyptic novel, Tortures of the Damned, and his latest horror novel, The Dover Demon. Guess what? Both are being highly praised.

So this guy must do nothing but write. Sorry, but no. He happens to co-host a popular podcast, Monster Men, as well.

Welcome to my site, Mr. Shea. You are a rare breed. As mythological, perhaps, as the legendary creatures you write about. Please tell us a bit about the Dover Demon, sir. I’m all ears.


Tracking Down A Legend

By Hunter Shea, Author of The Dover Demon

When people see the cover of my latest book, The Dover Demon, they immediately think, “Look, a book about aliens.” Honestly, they have every right to think that. That bulbous head, penetrating black eyes and narrow mouth has become iconic, thanks to movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Fire in the Sky and Alien Abduction. Add to that a slew of books, all of it starting with Whitley Strieber’s Communion, that spawned a generation’s worth of alien and abduction exposes.

Here’s the real deal about the real Dover Demon. In cryptozoological circles, it’s really considered an unknown creature, as earthly in origin as Salma Hayek or Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. See how I fit my crush and football hero in there? (on a side note, the main female character in my novel, Hell Hole, was named Selma, a Mexican beauty with an iron will – I wonder who that could be?)

Unfortunately, there isn’t much known about the Dover Demon, a strange biped that was spotted by half a dozen teens over the course of 2 nights over 35 years ago. It came, it was seen, it disappeared into the mist of time. I’ve read all kinds of explanations for it, the most hysterical theory that it was a sick, young moose. That would be one hell of a strange moose. Never saw one without hair, walking on its hind legs with eyes as big as saucers and flesh the color of Fred Flintstone in the comics (the actual description of one of the witnesses).

The town of Dover is an affluent Massachusetts suburb. At points in its history, it had more horses than people. These were not yokels looking to make a splash in The National Enquirer. In fact, the witnesses didn’t want to make a fuss about it until one of them drew what he saw and it was posted in a local store. Then things took off for a few months before settling down. What he drew has become the standard image for the Dover Demon. He grew up to be an artist. Pretty good start to your career, sketching a creature that is still talked about decades later.

Dover Demon sketch (1)

I can only imagine the terror those kids felt, walking late at night down a country road, spotting a strange figure keeping pace with them before disappearing into the woods. Or driving along and capturing the impossible in the beam of their headlights.

Strange stuff. The stuff of nightmare. My kind of stuff.

For those interested in learning more about The Dover Demon, here’s a brief synopsis along with links to where it can be purchased.

The Dover Demon Synopsis

The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.

In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever.

Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?

Purchase Links

Connect With Hunter Shea

Learn more about Hunter’s work at his website and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Dover Demon tour logo

Interview With Blood and Rain Author, Glenn Rolfe

glenn bw profile

World, meet Glenn Rolfe. Glenn is a hard man to describe in a few snappy sentences; he simply does too much. Lives too large. He’s been a singer/songwriter and front man for the punk rock band, The Never Nudes. Now he’s a horror author with a fan base that’s growing as rapidly as his prolific writing pace. He’s a creator in the truest sense of the word, driven, it seems, to populate the world with the output of his feverish mind. And, in my humble opinion, the world is a better place for it. He’s also a hell of a nice guy – the result of offloading the festering darkness that resides within us all.

He’s currently making the rounds promoting his latest novel Blood and Rain, and took some time to discuss it with me here. I hope you enjoy the chat.

Continue reading

We Are Monsters Gets Endorsed by Brian Keene

Okay, it’s official. We’ve slipped into an alternate reality. And, no, I’m not talking about the Berenstain Bears conspiracy. I’m talking about an email I just received from Brian Keene with a blurb for We Are Monsters that I couldn’t be happier with had I wrote it myself. Here’s what the Grand Master of Horror had to say about my debut book.

Brian Keene

We Are Monsters is fantastic — a frightening and intense thriller and one hell of a debut novel. I was blown away. Brian Kirk is exactly what readers need — a talented new voice with original, awe-inspiring ideas that can push the genre forward.”
-Brian Keene, best-selling author of Ghoul and The Rising

There’s simply no way this happens on the same time line I was following five years ago. This is nuts.

I’m assuming most everyone reading this post is familiar with Mr. Keene, but for those who aren’t, Brian Keene is among the most renowned horror authors of the last decade. Dude does everything: writes novels, comic books, short fiction, non-fiction, and movie scripts. He’s won multiple Bram Stoker Awards and been on bestseller lists. His 2003 novel The Rising is often credited with inspiring the resurgent zombie craze that continues to this day.

The Rising

He’s one of just 25 authors to be honored with a Grand Master Award, ensuring his eternal place in the horror fiction hall of fame. He hosts one of the most popular and entertaining podcasts in the horror genre, The Horror Show with Brian Keene. And he is a renowned leader within the horror fiction community, fighting for the fair treatment of authors, selflessly offering guidance and advice to up-and-coming scribes.

Sorry if I’m gushing a bit here, I’m just a little overwhelmed and extremely grateful that he would take time out of his insane schedule to read a debut novel from a no-name like me.

I’ve read several of Brian Keene’s books. Hell, I bought a stack from him at the World Horror Convention where I pitched my book to Don D’Auria with Samhain. While I would recommend any one of them, I’ll go with the book Stephen King recently recommended for fans of THE MIST (one of my personal favorite’s from King’s canon), which is DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN.

Darkness on the edge of town

But don’t stop there. CLICK HERE to find the complete catalog of Brian Keene’s esteemed work. IWeAreMonsters_Print urge you to pick up another book or three.

I’m equally grateful to the other authors who have been kind enough to endorse We Are Monsters. Click on the following links to find out what Mercedes M. Yardley, Robert Ford, Jonathan Moore, and John F.D. Taff have had to say.

We Are Monsters Hits The Top Ten of 2015

I just learned that my debut novel, We Are Monsters, has been listed as one of the ten best horror novels of 2015. I’m flattered and, frankly, a bit surprised to see my work ranked alongside New York Times best selling authors whom I’ve long admired, and books that I would consider the best of the year as well.

Click here to see the full list. Here’s a snippet of what they had to say:

WeAreMonsters_PrintWhat Brian Kirk does wonderfully is fool readers into believing they’re safe. There’s no werewolf howling at the moon. There is no vampire resting in a coffin awaiting the moon’s call. There are no zombies here eager to devour brains so that they may continue to shamble on another day. No, We Are Monsters is all about the monsters within each of us. This is a gorgeous display of conceivable terror that resonates long after reading.

I have yet to read every book on this list, but I intend to. Of the ones I have read, my personal favorite is A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. In fact, I included this book in my Recommended Reading section, and you can read my essay here.

The Insanity of Mental Health Therapies

A fair amount of research went into the writing of my debut novel, We Are Monsters. In order to make it realistic (well, as realistic as a paranormal horror story can be), I needed to know as much about certain mental disorders and how we’ve historically treated them as I could.

What I learned was horrifying. In fact, I’d say the true story of how we’ve historically treated the mentally ill is far scarier than my fictional one. I showcase some of the more barbaric so-called therapies in a two part series, posted on the websites of esteemed authors, Catherine Cavendish and Brian Moreland.

Learn about the “Continuous Bath” and the “Tranquilizer Chair,” which are not nearly as delightful as they sound.

Click Here for Part I

Click Here for Part II

                       Continuous+Bath       Tranquilizer chair

The World’s Five Most Bizarre Diseases and Disorders

I have a morbidly curious mind (I can’t help it, I was born this way). For instance, I’m fascinated by incredibly rare diseases and disorders. It’s part of what inspired me to write a book about mental illness. So I spent some time going down the bizarre rabbit hole of radical disorders for an article that just went live on author, David Bernstein’s website.

Example 1: The Cotard Delusion: a rare, though real, neuropsychiatric disorder in which patients believe that they have died, do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their vital organs.

If this has piqued your interest, proceed to David’s site for more. Scroll past his acclaimed catalog of twisted horror titles to find the article below. Warning: hypochondriacs should avoid at all costs.

Appearance on The Round Table Podcast

RoundTable PodcastMy latest stop along the We Are Monsters publicity tour was The Round Table Podcast, where I had a fun and engaging conversation with host, Dave Robison and guest host, CW LaSart. This is separated into two parts.

Part I is an interview with me where we covered a bunch of topics mostly relating to the craft of writing, including: the work vs. the results, achieving the magical flow state, infusing terror into any scene, the distinction between “hero” and “protagonist”, and more.

Listen to Part I

In Part II we take on a story idea from an aspiring author and try to make it better. For instance, I recommend turning the pregnancy resulting from a love tryst into a strange immaculate conception and get wonderfully shot down. It’s glorious.

Listen to Part II

Lots of good info in both segments for aspiring and established writers alike. I hope you’ll check them out.

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