Author Spotlight: Josh Matthews and Hell Gate

By Josh Matthews

I admit it. I’m a horror and science fiction junkie. Zombies, vampires, kaiju, giant insects, sharknadoes, big monsters… I enjoy it all. My wife jokes that I’ll watch anything, which is true. However, if I was forced to pick my favorite subgenre, the one I enjoy reading and writing the most, it would be apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction.

I’m not snobbish about my apocalyptic fiction. It doesn’t matter how society is destroyed or what becomes of it as long as it’s the end of days. Of course, I enjoy a good zombie apocalypse or a world ravaged by natural disasters, and I’m fascinated by the cautionary tales of nuclear war from On the Beach to The Day After. The stark realism of The Road is just as intriguing as the barbaric, action-packed landscapes of The Road Warrior or Mad Max: Fury Road or the post-apocalyptic dystopian societies of The Hunger Games and Snowpiercer. Sure, in almost every case the genre is dark and depressing. Yet in most works in the genre, I always see a glimmer of light in the gloom because there are survivors, and as long as some of us are alive we can rebuild society. Apocalyptic fiction appeals to me because it represents a reset button. In one massive, destructive, world-encompassing event everyone on Earth is now equal. We’re not divided by wealth, status, or national origin. Race, religion, and sexual orientation become irrelevant. All that matters is surviving the holocaust and the type of society that emerges from the ashes.

That’s the world I strive to create in the Hell Gate series. Sixteen-year-old Jason McCreary is trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by demons from Hell, demons that are here because his mother opened gates into the underworld during a scientific experiment that went wrong. Through the course of the series, Jason and a small group of adventurers travel the world attempting to close these portals. Once on the road, they discover an environment more frightening than anything they could have imagined and demons more terrifying than they had encountered before. Through it all, Jason struggles to keep his humanity and his sense of what is right as he battles all sorts of monsters from Hell, knowing that the decisions he makes now will affect the outcome of the world’s future.

If you’re a fan of end of the world fiction, or if you just enjoy seeing the world overrun by all sorts of demons and monsters, then please check out the Hell Gate saga. I’ll see you at the apocalypse.


Josh Matthews is a former New Englander who now lives in north Florida with his wife, teenage daughter, and four lovable but exasperating pets. Josh used to work for the U.S. Government where he had the opportunity to travel around the world and be exposed to numerous cultures, many of which will appear in the Hell Gate saga. He has always been a fan of horror novels and monster movies, and sees the Hell Gate saga as his way to share that love with a new generation of fans.


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Michael Schutz

Michael Schutz was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, where the macabre tales of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King kept him warm at night. He’s seen way too many horror movies to be healthy and blogs and podcasts about them on Darkness Dwells. Watch for his new novel, Edging, from Burning Willow Press in spring 2017. He is the author of the novel Blood Vengeance and the novella Uninoch. His short fiction has been featured most recently in Dark Moon Digest, Sanitarium, and the anthologies Beasts: Revelations, Beyond the Nightlight, and Cranial Leakage: Tales from the Grinning Skull. He lives with his three naughty cat-children in northern California.