Interview – Essel Pratt – Sharkantula

Book Name and Description: SHARKANTULA

Shark. Tarantula. Sharkantula.

When a genetically modified tarantula finds itself loose in the Great White shark sharkantula-frontexhibit at Shark World, the feisty arachnid sinks its fangs into the main attraction. Without warning, the Great White mutates into Sharkantula and the opening day show turns deadly.

The mutated shark/tarantula hybrid is hungry and ready to feast upon the flesh of those that don’t run away fast enough to escape her webbing.

Desperate to stop the carnage, a group of Shark World employees join forces with the tarantula’s keeper in an effort to stop the devastation before Sharkantula can escape the confines of the aquatic theme park and spread her terror across the United States.

“With Roger Corman’s endless Sharktopus movies setting the tone for the endless Shark-whatever movies to come, birthing a strange sub-genre and crazed culture that peaked with the Sharknado series, it makes sense that the cult-lit world would take a bite out of the beast. And so, here we are with writer Essel Pratt (now THAT’s a name!) and his new novel Sharkantula. One would imagine that conjuring scenes of mutant shark monster carnage in the subjective mind would be far more vivid than the cheap CGI used in the films.”

~Chris Alexander, ComingSoon.Net


What gave you the idea for Sharkantula?

Sharkantula was born from a discussion between various authors.  We were all joking around claiming we ‘owned’ certain genres of writing.  All in all, it was sort of a brain storming exercise to inspire us to write something a bit outside of our norm. I think earlier in the conversation, we were talking about the newest Sharknado movie, so I blurted out that I owned Sharkantula.  I had no intention of writing it at the time. However, the more I thought if it, I decided to just go for it.

Your book is very close to the Sharknado movies (original story, but B-Movie style and, of course, has a shark). Are you a fan of those movies? Why do you think they are so successful?

I have to say, I never intended to be a fan of the cheesy B-movie monster animal movies.  However, my wife loves them, so I was forced into it.  But, after watching a couple of them, I was hooked.  Whether it is a natural disaster type movie or a genetically engineered animal, the cheesier the better.

I think the popularity of the movies is simple.  There is not much thought needed while watching them.  So, you can sit back, relax, and just enjoy the craziness.

Do you have any planned sequels for this book?

There is one planned sequel to the book.  However, in order to discover what that is, you’ll have to read it.

Other than standard horror, you also write children’s books. Tell us about them.

I have two children’s books currently published.  The first was published by J. Ellington Ashton Press and illustrated by catt dahman.  ABCs of Zombie Friendship is a short tale about how children are always willing to accept anyone, regardless of their situation.  It isn’t until adults intervene that acts of segregation and judgement are introduced.  My second children’s book is the first of a new series titled ‘Life Isn’t Fair’. The first book, titled Harambe and the Very Bad Day retells the story of Harambe’s death in a fictional manner. The lesson relates to the perception of a situation and how it may be different depending on where the knowledge of the information is obtained.  I have two more books planned for the series, as of now. One focuses on mashed potatoes and the other on poo.  Both are related to real life personal experiences.

What other books do you have in the works?

A lot.  Currently, I have two books complete and ready for edits.  Orleans Occult: Bourbon Street Lucifer, and Yeti, Yearning are their titles.  I am currently working on a short novella titled Lacrimation of the Leviathan, which features Detective Mansfield.  My next will be a collection titled Backwoods Bonfire, which will be a connected collection of shorts. There are more, as well, but they are yet to be written.

I noticed you have extensive list of short stories in published anthologies. Tell us more about that. How many have your written? Any favorites?

My short stories currently appear in about 80 anthologies.  Some of those anthologies have more than one story or poem inside. I only started writing seriously in 2012, having two short stories published by the end of that year.  I am not sure if I can pick a favorite.  Each has its own special place in my heart.  However, some, such as Bourbon Street Lucifer and Pubienne Tueur De Cheveux (Detective Mansfield’s first short story) stand out.


Essel Pratt is a master of horror and fantasy, conjuring tales that haunt souls and inspire imagination. As a student of psychology and teller of tales, Essel writes to share the complex nature of his imaginings with the world. His ever-expanding catalog of short stories spans multiple anthologies and collections, ranging from whimsical fantasy to bizarre horror, including everything in between. Dedicated fans have praised his creations, labeling his talents as prolific in substance.

Hailing from Mishawaka, Indiana, his passion for writing began in the early years as his imagination taunted from within, begging for a release. Dabbling in art at first, he found that the stories that pleaded to be told could not be imprisoned by ink and paint alone. His most notable and prevalent accomplishments include Final Reverie, Sharkantula, and the multiple short stories that have garnered a following of their own, such as the adventures of Detective Mansfield.

Inspired by C.S. Lewis, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Harper Lee, William Golding, and many more, Essel doesn’t restrain his writings to straight horror, instead exploring the blurred boundaries of horror within its competing genres, mixing the elements into a literary stew.