The Millions

Shaun Hamill Has a Scary Story to Tell You

Shaun Hamill’s debut novel, A Cosmology of Monsters, asks what makes a monster. “Is it based on body and appearance? Is it defined by actions, like those of a serial killer or a murderous despot? Or is it an aspect of all of us, our ugly, mean-spirited, spiteful side?” Hamill asked me, adding, “I think it’s all a matter of perspective…”

A Cosmology of Monsters follows the Turner family as they navigate illnesses and hardships. The heart of the family—and the novel—is young Noah Turner. Noah befriends a monster that appears outside his bedroom, and the two of them form a bond that transforms the Turners’ lives. Told with tenderness and brimming with darkness, Hamill’s debut is sure to please readers who have a special literary craving for monsters.

Hamill and I recently discussed the influence of other horror writers, haunted attractions, and, of course, monsters.

One thing I admire so much about is how it shows appreciation for the horror writers and works that , and . Do you mind talking about your decision to include so many references to other horror writers and works?

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