Interview with Douglas Tanner: Author of the Monster Hunters Series

Posted 20 March, 2014 by Paige in Interviews / 1 Comment



1.) Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview, Douglas! I really like the personality you put into Alec Kerley and the Wrath of the Vampire and the way you carefully weave your faith throughout. Although, this interview isn’t about me gushing about how much I enjoyed your book, it’s about learning more about you: the man behind the book. So, let’s start with a question you’ve probably been asked, oh, a few hundred times. How long have you known that you wanted to be an author?
First of all, thanks for having me, Paige, and for your kind review of my book. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I like how you described that – I weave faith into the stories. As I mentioned in your review, faith seems to always present itself when I write. Regarding how long I’ve wanted to be an author, I think it began when I was in fifth grade. I used to write stories and let my friends read them, and they were always clamoring to see the latest thing I’d written. It’s interesting to note that even back then I was writing spooky stories. I once had one published in the middle school newspaper about being chased around the school by some monster, then falling into the cafeteria cooking pot. I ended it by cautioning my fellow students that now they know what they’ve been eating in their school lunches.
2.) I am quite fascinated by how you’ve cited old horror movies with your grandfather as inspiration for your books. Which movies specifically have had a lasting impact on the(awesome) books you write?
Aw, thanks! My grandfather and I always used to watch old movies aired during Saturday night creature features. We’d make some popcorn and settle in while my grandmother went to bed (she wasn’t as much into scary movies). My favorites had to do with werewolves and vampires, like The Wolf Man, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Dracula, and also Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, the Invisible Man. I think of those movies when I talk and write about classic monsters. And there were many movies that varied on those themes and characters. My grandfather and I went to the theater to see a number of movies, as well. Good times.
3.) It’s really a great thing that you are writing horror-themed books on a level that’s approachable to middle grade readers, seeing as most I’ve seen these days is marketed more towards adults and teens. What made you decide to write for this age group?
I know, right? I think it was the memories of how much I loved monsters when I was young, and I thought it would be really cool to bring that back for kids today, with stories that, like the old horror movies, were safe for a general audience (nothing inappropriate). Yes, there are some gruesome aspects in my stories, but nothing more than what you would have seen in those old black and white movies. I thought it would be nice to revisit vampires and werewolves in the classic sense. One reviewer bemoaned that I was describing vampires traditionally – they don’t like sunlight and crosses, and they’re, you know, scary. But that was my intention, to revisit those old themes. I think monsters in the classic sense are best.
4.) Time for a question I’ve been dying to ask ever since reading your author bio on Goodreads. What made you think it would be a good idea ride a motorcycle all day in gym shorts? I cringe at the thought of sunburn myself, I don’t burn very easy so have only had one sunburn in my life and that is NOT something I’d want to repeat! 
Well, I was young, and I really enjoy summertime,  so I must have been caught up in the sheer joy of being out all day in the sun, riding. A friend of mine who also owned a bike rode with me all day, just around town and out on the highway for a while, but he was covered better, so wasn’t as adversely affected. I, on the other hand, developed a bad case of sun poisoning – had to visit a doctor, miss some work, etc. That’s one of those things you learn from and remember for the rest of your life!
5.) So, I must know, what are your plans for future books? What else is currently in the works?
The next Alec Kerley book will take him way below the surface of the earth to find a giant terrarium full of dinosaurs! I love Journey to the Center of the Earth, and I know kids love dinosaurs, so I had to do it. That book will be released in May. The following one is entitled Alec Kerley and the Revenge of the Werewolf. After that, I have a few adult novels I’m considering: a literary fiction book called Diamonds in the Rough, about how a large cast of characters deal with faith, or the lack of it, in their lives; a novel about the life of Christ; even a time travel romance. But I will return to the Alec Kerley books, as it is an on-going series, similar to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and Tarzan stories, which just kept going. I do everything in a very linear fashion, so I write one story at a time.
6.) After hearing about the first book in the Monster Hunters series I have to ask… Do you believe in Bigfoot?
Some people believe Bigfoot is supernatural or linked with extraterrestrials, but I don’t go that route in Alec Kerley and the Terror of Bigfoot. I present it as a biological creature that is capable of kindness but also great rage and horror. I do a lot of research for each book, believe it or not, and if a news story were to come out reporting a confirmed case of a bipedal simian living in North America, I wouldn’t be all that surprised.
7.) Okay, one more question. Since I’m obviously not the best at interviews, do you have anything else you’d like potential readers of your books to know about you?
I think you’re doing a great job with this interview! It’s good for them to know that I’m as big a fan of these monsters and creatures as they are, and also that I take these stories very seriously in my efforts to write them as well as I can. I decided not to try to “dumb down” the books simply because they are for youth. I respect my audience and I incorporate a lot of scares and drama and intelligence, as well as humor, into them. I think they appreciate that.
Paige, thanks so much for having me today. I’ve really enjoyed this interview and hope your readers have as well. Have a great day!
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About Douglas Tanner:

Douglas Tanner is the author of Alec Kerley and the Terror of Bigfoot (Book One of the Monster Hunters) and Alec Kerley and the Wrath of the Vampire (Book Two of the Monster Hunters), which are middle grade inspirational horror stories. He lives in rural Missouri with his wife, three children, and a wise old schnoodle named Snuffleupagus – Snuffy for short.

Douglas used to sing in rock bands and work as a disc jockey for various radio stations, and he once got a really bad sunburn from driving a motorcycle all day in only a pair of gym shorts (bad idea). His love of monsters began after watching old scary movies on TV with his grandfather on Saturday nights.

He loves reading old comics and snorkeling in the ocean, whenever he can find an ocean to swim in; which, as it turns out, doesn’t happen very often in Missouri. Though he’s still holding out hope.

Visit his Facebook author page at facebook.com/DouglasTannerAuthor.
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