Interview With D.A. Roberts, Author Of ‘Apex Predator: Horned Moon’

Who doesn’t love a good book about werewolves? Thankfully, author D.A. Roberts just released Apex Predator: Horned Moon as part of his Apex Predator series:

Struggling with the loss of friends and loved ones, [a group of Native American warriors called] the Hotamétaneo’o find themselves drawn back to the deep, mysterious woods of the Ozarks. Dark visions warn them that evil is once more stalking the unwary.

Two bodies are found floating in Lake Taneycomo near the small town of Rockaway Beach, both killed under mysterious circumstances. Following their visions, the Hotamétaneo’o fear that these deaths are somehow related to the death of one of their own. They soon discover that the creatures they are facing are like nothing they’ve ever seen before. An evil that is as old as recorded history. An evil that has no fear of them.

Seeking help to stop this new enemy, they encounter the Vatican’s Special Envoy. Will this shadowy group be their salvation or their undoing? Can they work together to defeat an ancient enemy as old as the sands of Egypt or fall prey to its insatiable hunger?

The answers lie beneath the Horned Moon.

According to his bio, our buddy D.A. is known for “horror/dystopian and science fiction genres.” He lives in Missouri with his wife and sons and is a former member of law enforcement. He is known for his Ragnarok Rising saga, where he blends the zombie genre with elements of Norse Mythology. The series has been called “a thinking man’s apocalyptic world.”

Back in March of 2020, he was elected first president of the Horror Author’s Guild (HAG).

PopHorror: Your books feature werewolves. Do you have a favorite style of Lycan, maybe from Underworld or The Howling movies or say the Lon Chaney Jr./Benicio Del Toro types?

The Wolf Man 1941
Still from The Wolf Man (1941)

D.A. Roberts: I’ve loved werewolves in horror since I was a kid. I suppose my favorite would be very much like the Underworld series or Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman. Or the movie Dog Soldiers. To me, that’s the most terrifying type of werewolf. Human enough to be familiar, but monstrous enough to be terrifying.

"Dog Soldiers, 2002, Centurion, Kismet Entertainment Group, The Noel Gay Motion Picture Company
Still from Dog Soldiers (2002)

PopHorror: Apex Predator: Horned Moon is book 4 of 4. Is this the end of the series?

D.A. Roberts: Definitely not. I plan to keep this series going for as long as people enjoy reading them. I have grown very fond of the company of some of these characters, so I plan to keep them around for a while.

PopHorror: You went into a great deal about American Indian lore. How do you research that? Do you talk with people a knowledge of Lakota traditions or read books on the subject?

D.A. Roberts: I love Native American lore. My uncle was Cherokee. He married my aunt, and I grew up in and around his house listening to his stories. He was an amazing man. In fact, the character of Jay Matoskah is based on him. I’ve read numerous books on Native Americans and have a few friends who help me with Lakota lore. I try to be as accurate as I can be.

PopHorror: What other research do you for your books?

D.A. Roberts: I’ve spent hours and hours researching details, firing off numerous emails to people including speaking to experts on wolf behavior from the National Parks Service. I will relentlessly pursue the details, because I believe that for the big details to be believable, they must rest on a foundation of truth. By building real world situations and places accurately, it makes the suspension of disbelief easier for the reader because the settings and situations feel real.

PopHorror: On average, how long does it take to write a book in a series like this?

D.A. Roberts: Since I started writing full time, I can do a full 70-to-80-thousand-word manuscript in about 30 to 40 days. Maybe less if the muse is really flowing.

PopHorror: Your other books—and even your FB posts—seem to have a focus on real cryptids like Bigfoot and Dogmen. Is there another cryptid you would like to write about?

D.A. Roberts: I love writing about cryptids. I have plans to explore numerous others in the coming books. Chupacabra, Mothman, the Ozarks Howler, the Ohio Grassman, the Skunkape of Florida and many others are not out of the question. I’m also letting fans of the books know that if they would like to see a particular cryptid to let me know. I love feedback from the fans of the series. Writing is a journey that we all take together.

PopHorror: Horror wise, who do you like to read?

D.A. Roberts: That’s a long list! I love to read, and my tastes run the gamut: Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, F. Paul Wilson, Bram Stoker, Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, Jack Ketcham, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Cormac McCarthy, Catt Dahman, and many others. I love to read a broad variety of authors.

D.A. Roberts listed many horror writers enjoys reading. He mentioned modern horror author & podcast host, Catt Dahman, as a favorite.

PopHorror: Do you publish your own stuff?

D.A. Roberts: I publish in association with J. Ellington Ashton Press, but for the most part, it’s my own effort. In addition to the writing, I do my own layouts and formatting. The editing and covers are done by JEA staff. Andrew Bell does edits, and Michael “Fish” Fisher does covers.

PopHorror: Do you think that, thanks to the internet, horror publishing is undergoing a new renaissance of sorts?

D.A. Roberts: I think that horror is having a big resurgence in popularity. With Covid-19 causing lockdowns and so many people having to stay home, more and more people are reading. Horror is a release for most people. I know it is for me. With the world facing such problems, now more than ever, horror is a refuge that we find reassuring. That no matter how bad things get, at least we’re not being eaten by monsters or having zombies chasing us down the street.

PopHorror: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us! Where can people find you?

D.A. Roberts: No problem! You can find me on my personal website, through Facebook, Twitter or on Amazon.

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