by Jay Wilburn
Eric A. Shelman has a long writing career to his name. He is the author of the now completed nine volume series of Dead Hunger. He is the author of many other works ranging from serial killer stories to other takes on the apocalypse. There was a long pause in his writing before he began again and before he began the Dead Hunger series. He wasn’t sure at one point whether he was coming back to writing. Dead Hunger fans are certainly glad he did.
Shelman capped off the series with book nine because he felt like he had finished telling the story. He did not neglect any of the characters and he did not go beyond the story they had to tell. He finished the series in a satisfying place that he feels does justice to the characters and to the readers. If you are just starting the series, you can know that you have a complete arc ahead of you that takes you on a complete ride through the world and the unique style of zombie he created. If you are in the midst of Dead Hunger, you will find the end of the journey worth your time, in my opinion.
The first books in the series came easily to him. The story flowed for him in a way that made sense and drove the story forward. As he introduced one character in particular in the midst of the series, Shelman said it made sense for him to play out this character’s growth. This played a big role in the later books and helped define the ending of the series for him. I think he chose his ending well and did not take the story beyond where it needed to end. I know other fans have expressed their disappointment at not seeing a book ten or eleven in the future, but I think this is a case of a good thing coming to a satisfying ending. Readers can be confident that they have a beginning, middle, and end with Dead Hunger.
I don’t think I’m out of line in stating that I think Shelman is far from being a one trick pony. There are a few authors on the 2016 Summer of Zombie tour that branched into stories outside of the zombie sub genre. A few of them have done so particularly well and I think we can count Shelman in that number. Shelman is hoping his fans will trust him to find good stories to tell beyond his signature series.
I think he has gained insight and has grown as a writer over the years. He has an interesting journey that led him to this stage of his career. Even in that period where he had stopped writing for so long, I think he was still taking in the world around him and it benefited the later stages of his career now. His thoughts on life, death, love, and fear take his writing to a different level.
In the immediate future, he has quite a docket of work on the way. Scabs II: The Quantum Connection is on the way along with Camera II and an interesting title with President of Z United States. All of these will be worth picking up and, of course, you should grab the first book in each of those series so you are ready to take these journeys with him.
I hope I have made the case for Eric A. Shelman. Check out Dead Hunger, if you have not already. And take a chance on the rest of his work now and in the future.
Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Mainstreet, and Truth or Dare. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels Loose Ends and Time Eaters. He is one of the four authors behind the Hellmouth trilogy. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com