Interview with Eric Butler

Author of The Pope Lick Massacre

I love horror, science fiction, action-adventure, mysteries, and historical fiction. My first novel, The Shadow Within is a horror based romance. You can find more of my work at where I will soon have a Victorian supernatural mystery serial.

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How would you describe The Pope Lick Massacre to a new reader?
  • It's fast, fun, and terrifying. It's based on a legend in Louisville, KY of a Goatman who preys on people near an old train trestle. The legend allows for all the great things in a horror novel: isolated location, terrifying monster, and the tension of a good chase.
What was the inspiration behind The Pope Lick Massacre?
  • I visit Kentucky quite a bit as my mother has retired to the area. I started to dig into their wonderful history and found a mountain of amazing urban legends and ghost stories. Kentucky is a hotbed of the unexplained. I decided it would be fun to write a trilogy and incorporate some of their bigger legends. The Pope Lick Monster was the first.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
  • Although I primarily write horror, I am a huge fan of many genres. Some of my favorite writers are Robert Jordan, C.S. Harris, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Richard Laymon, and Joe Hill. I think every writer picks up little bits of style here and there from everyone they read.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
  • The majority of this book takes place in and around some forest park areas in Louisville. I've also included some cave systems that add to the tension and isolation of the story. You can actually go and walk to the train trestle and through the forest where this story takes place.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
  • Keep at it. Write every day. Even if it's just a few hundred words. The hard part is getting started so just start and see where it takes you.
What's your writing process?
  • I like to write late at night. I will write during the day if I have a deadline, real or imagined, but for the most part I prefer the quiet of late nights. I try to focus on outlines, cover work, editing, and research during the day.
Which character in The Pope Lick Massacre has had the greatest impact on readers?
  • Many of the readers enjoy Lizzy. She's a friend of the main character and she has a fun rollercoaster ride throughout the book.
If The Pope Lick Massacre were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
  • I see Danielle Rose Russell, from Legacies, as the main character Sam. She can pull off the athleticism needed to play the part but also has the range to handle the emotional ups and downs the character has dealt with her entire life.
How have readers responded to The Pope Lick Massacre?
  • It's been well received. People enjoy a good monster story and the Pope Lick Monster is an amazing force of nature. If you are a fan of fast-paced monster horror, this is the book for you.
Where next? What are you working on now?
  • I'm working on a Victorian horror story that is heavy in the supernatural and mysticism. It is the first of a long-running series that will have a wide arching storyline that covers many years. I also have a monthly horror western on Amazon that can be read for free with Kindle Unlimited; that series is Irving Fontaine and the Horrors of the Old West. The first one is available now.
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There are two types of people in Jefferson County: those who know the legend of the Pope Lick Monster and those who believe it. Before the night is over, Sam will have no choice but to join the believers.

Since their mother’s death, Sam’s sole focus has been taking care of her younger brother, Kenny. Now Kenny’s Scout troop is missing, having never returned from the woods around Pope Lick. Sam gathers a group of friends to search for the boys and their Scoutmaster. With each step, they get closer to discovering the scouts aren’t the only ones in the woods this night.