Posted on October 14, 2016 by Flames
Flames Rising is pleased to present a guest post from author Shawn Pryor, author of Kentucky Kaiju: A Field Guide to Kentucky Monsters from Apex Book Company.
Like most children, I wanted to stay up late and watch the “grown up” television shows and movies that my parents would watch. I would beg, plea, and attempt to make a deal in the hopes of having one night of being able to be just like them; watching a late-night syndicated Star Trek marathon, the comedy of Saturday Night Live and SCTV, or the sultry stylings of Benny Hill.
One evening I was sent to bed and was allowed to read some comic books and other stories before sleeping. One of those comics was an issue of Godzilla from my Dad’s collection. It was the first time I ever heard of it and I read it from cover to cover ten times straight before falling asleep. That same night, I woke up and heard strange, loud noises from the living room. It was the television. It was the sound of monsters and destruction! My curiosity was piqued, especially after hearing the name Godzilla a few times through the mono speaker of our antenna-driven RCA TV. I needed to see the Kaiju! I tried to sneak out of bed to get a peek of the movie, but the noisy floor in my bedroom gave me away as soon as I took my first step, so I hopped back in bed anticipating the day I could see this great monster.
On my fifth birthday, my wish was granted as I watched a generic Elvira-esque character host a late-night movie block which featured Destroy All Monsters, starring the king of Kaiju, Godzilla and a slew of other giant beasts of battle such as Rodan, Mothra, Kumonga, King Ghidorah and more. This movie expanded my imagination and after it was over, at 2am I asked my mom for a notebook and crayon as I spent the night creating mega-monsters and demons of destruction. My mom found me in my bed the next morning, notebook in one hand and a box of crayons in the other. For weeks, I kept creating monsters and on certain late Saturday nights I was afforded the right to watch other movies from the library of Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman and many others.
Now as an adult, I get to venture into the world of monster making alongside Justin Stewart and Tressina Bowling with Kentucky Kaiju. Instead of crayons, I use a computer and a word processing program to tap into my childhood to conjure up monsters for everyone to read. It’s a great feeling to be able to create and share what I enjoy and love with others. And it all started due to a green monster in a rubber suit.
Thanks for letting me stay up late, mom.
Kentucky Kaiju: A Field Guide to Kentucky Monsters is available in PDF format at DriveThruFiction.com or in print from publisher Apex Book Company.
Shawn Pryor is a writer and the creator of the all-ages graphic novel series, CASH & CARRIE, co-creator of MOTHERLESS CREATURES with Tressina Bowling, and one of the original co-founders of Action Lab Entertainment. His favorite Kaiju is Mothra. Don’t ask him why.