They are the first line of defense against the things that go bump in the night.They are the keepers of a centuries-old legacy of The Church defending the world against the forces of darkness.They are a bunch of highly armed rednecks, internet video celebrities, soccer moms, and assorted broken nutjobs.They are the new Templars, and things are about to get weird.
From the pages of Bubba the Monster Hunter comes a new series featuring the Hunters from around the United States hunting down monsters, fighting off supernatural baddies, and making life really, really bad for the things that hunt people.He’s Mason Dixon, and he’s a bona fide internet celebrity. He has his own video series, a pistol that deserves its own area code, and a high definition video camera, and he’s not afraid to use any of them.In this introductory urban fantasy novella, we meet Mason, his right hand Emma, his “handler” Noah, his anime-styled hacker friend Himari, and more monsters than you can shake a stick at. Unless it’s a really big stick.With Mason, it’s always a big stick. This first novella in the series follows Mason through the wilds of Missouri as he hunts down monsters that hunt men, monsters that eat chewing tobacco, and monsters that make pancakes. And there’s moonshine.And then Bubba the Monster Hunter shows up.The New Templars novella series is a new series of short novels, similar to BookShots. Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter is the first in the series by popular urban fantasy and steampunk author Eric R. Asher.
We both froze. I don’t care how many times you’ve encountered something in the wild, you still freeze for a split second.
“Move!” I hissed, backpedaling while keeping my tranquilizer aimed around Emma. She was almost out. We could get back on the ATVs and come back with bigger guns. 10cc darts? I should have brought the 50cc cannon. This was a mistake. The old man wasn’t crazy at all.
Boom. Boom. Boom. BoomBoomBoom.
The gowrow erupted from its lair like it had been spit forth by an angry god. Its stubby, bulbous body might have been humorous paired with its long scaly neck if not for the tusks fit for a mammoth gleaming in the dying sun. It would take that creature zero effort to kill us in one charge.
Its movements seemed awkward, but its attacks were practiced. The gowrow swiped at Emma with a four-toed webbed foot, a lethal claw extending from each digit. She fell backwards and rolled away, barely avoiding the attack.
Any doubt this gowrow was a maneater fled in a heartbeat.
I cranked the air pressure as high as it would go on the tranquilizer gun and fired. The dart rose slightly in a wind disturbance created by the massive creature and pinged harmlessly off the field of spiky scales lining its back. I cursed, flipped the butt of the rifle open, and loaded another dart.
What inspired you to write your first book?I’ve loved reading since I was very young. Filling out those little maps the library used to hand out as a “reading challenge” was one of my favorite summer activities between school years. At some point in time, I’m not sure when exactly, I would to wonder as I read ‘Wouldn’t it have been neat if they’d done this, or a character had this ability, or if the rules of the world were just a little bit different?’ It eventually led me to write stories and that led me to write my own books.If you could be best friends with one of your Mason Dixon characters, who would it be?Foster. Larry, clearly, haha. Who wouldn’t want to visit a giant farm full of cryptids?How would you describe your new Mason Dixon series?Mason is an animal lover at heart, even when said animals want to eat him, and that provides a dynamic I really enjoy writing. He does everything he can to save the cryptids he’s hunting, and relocates them whenever possible. Sometimes they’re too far gone, or too immediate a threat, but he takes no pleasure in putting anything, or anyone, down.Who or what inspired you to be a writer?I’ve always enjoyed making up stories. I had some fantastic teachers in high school that always urged me to pursue writing. I wasn’t really into the idea at the time, as I was still convinced I’d be a rock star. Let me tell you how well that worked out … ;) It wasn’t until about 2005 when I realized I really wanted to sit down and write an entire novel.What books have most influenced your life?I will always owe thanks to Robert Asprin for his Myth Adventures series. They are such a wonderful blend of humor and adventure that I loved when I was a kid. Northworld by David Drake single handedly turned me into a huge fan of military science fiction.Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?Right now, at this moment, my favorite author is Neil Gaiman. What has always struck me about his work, ever since The Sandman, is the flow of the story and the flow of the prose. Everything is clean and the visuals are stunning.What book are you reading now?I recently finished Refuge of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn. It’s the long-awaited sequel to Voices of Dragons (one of my favorite books ever) and is a wonderful sequel. Sometimes when you have to wait several years for a follow-up, there’s just no way it can live up to the original. Not the case here. Refuge is a masterful sequel that should not be missed.What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks?Yes! That’s probably my collector mentality coming through a bit. :) I love the wonderful convenience and portability of ebooks. Of course, I also buy the hardcover releases of all my favorite authors, or paperbacks if they aren’t available in hardcover.Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?I would like them to know how much I appreciate them taking the time to read these books. Being able to share these stories with other people who enjoy them has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?I’m allergic to just about every kind of animal imaginable, so instead I have a Worrible. And I occasionally give Worribles away when they multiply too fast.What was your playlist while you were writing Mason Dixon: Monster Hunter?Sometimes when I’m writing the Vesik urban fantasy series, I really enjoy writing to heavy music with vocals. It’s great for that undercurrent of violence and mayhem, but I wanted something more subtle with Mason Dixon: Monster Hunter. My main listens were primarily instrumental and soundtracks.
* James Newton Howard: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them* Audiomachine: Decimus* Audiomachine: Magnus* Zack Hemsey: The Way
Eric is a former bookseller, cellist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.
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