Michael West is a friend who’s book Cinema of Shadows I have read and enjoyed. I’m so glad to finally have him on my blog. I think I’m down to one Seventh Star Press author who hasn’t must correct that soon. Michael adores horror he get’s giddy at Halloween the way most kids do at Christmas, same for coffee I swear he has an iv of the stuff hooked up to him at all times.
Today is the release day for his newest book Poseidon’s Children. Congratulations Michael and happy release day. Check it out as it looks fantastic and please say hi to Michael.
Glad to finally have you on Michael, please tell us about yourself –
Great to finally be here, Jessica! I wrote my first novel while still in high school (A work that will never, ever see the light of day. Awful. *shudder*) and have been writing ever since. All of my stories so far seem to have centered around relationships of one kind or another. My first novel, The Wide Game, was about first love, and my story “Goodnight” was about the love of a great-grandfather for his great-grandson. Most relationships are complicated, but, in my stories, some of those complications are supernatural.
Horror, you love the stuff, why and where did the passion for it come from? –
Well, Jess, I don’t really know where it originated from, but I’ve loved Horror for as long as I can remember. As a child, I used to trick babysitters into letting me stay up late to watch Night Gallery episodes and Hammer films. I subscribed to Fangoria and read every Stephen King novel or short story that came out. There is just something so wonderful, so primal, about fear, and that release you get when something scares you and you scream or jump out of your seat. It’s the same rush you get when you ride a really great rollercoaster. And, like any really great rollercoaster, as soon as you get off that ride, you want to get right back on it again.
Coffee, you love the stuff, why and where did the obsession for it come from 😉 ? –
My love of coffee didn’t start until much later, when I was in college for film and television production. I would be editing my student films at night because I could never schedule enough time on the editing equipment during the day, and so I needed something to keep me awake. At first, I didn’t like it at all, but then I discovered flavored creamers, discovered all the mochas and frappuccinos, and I could not get enough of it. Now, if you took it away from me…well, let’s just say that would be a real Horror story.
Did you always want to be a writer? –
No. I was a child of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I wanted to direct films. I wanted to be the next Steven Spielberg or James Cameron. Growing up, I would write screenplays for movies I would make with my friends and my parents’ video camera. When I saw the film Super 8, it really took me back, because that was me and my friends at that time. As I got older, and the stories that I wanted to tell outgrew my meager budgets, I turned them into short stories and novels. And now, I get to do these little cinematic book trailers for my stuff, so it really has come full circle.
What was your experience like getting published? –
Like most newbies, I knew nothing about the publishing world when I started out, and I made some very bad rookie mistakes–signing on with a less-than-reputable publisher right out of the box and then having to fight for years to get the rights back to my work. But I didn’t let it discourage me. I kept at it. I remember my first real professional sale, my story “Jiki” to a magazine called City Slab. And that led to my next sale, my story “To Know How to See” inAPEX: Science Fiction and Horror Digest, which led to my next one, and my next one. Finally, I had enough work to put together my own collection, Skull Full of Kisses (released through Graveside Tales Books), and that led to the publication of my first novel, The Wide Game (also through Graveside), which ultimately led to my multi-book deal with Seventh Star Press. So my advice to new writers is to research a publisher before submitting to them, and definitely before signing on any dotted lines, and to just believe in yourself and the merits of your own work and keep at it. You just need to find a publisher or editor who believes in your work as much as you do. And I consider myself very lucky to have that now with Seventh Star Press.
What’s it like being part of Seventh Star Press? –
Oh, it’s wonderful. Just wonderful. As I said before, I had a very bad experience with a publisher when I was starting out, so it is so incredible to find a home where everyone believes in your work and gives you all the tools they can to support it. The staff, the illustrators…everyone. And the final product they put out, the illustrated paperbacks and signed limited hardcovers, are just beautiful to behold. I can honestly say that this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my career as a writer.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone new to your work and why? –
I would have to say Cinema of Shadows. My friend Sara Larson, who has read everything I’ve ever written, always recommends people start with it, so I will defer to her judgement.
Favorite books and authors? –
The Stand and ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King tie for my favorite novels of all time. I also love Clive Barker’s The Books of Blood, Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, and Richard Matheson’sI Am Legend.
What are you reading now? –
I’m reading To Each Their Darkness by Gary Braunbeck, which is a wonderful exploration of what it’s like to be a Horror writer. Highly recommend it!
Poseidon’s Children is the first in a series how many will there be total and will there be short stories as well for this one? –
There are a total of four books planned. Poseidon’s Children is, as you said, the first. Hades’ Disciples will be next, followed by Zeus’ Warriors, and winding up with Olympus Returns. There may also be some Seventh Star Singles short stories set in this world. The mythology is pretty detailed, and there is a lot of history to explore.
Please tell us about Poseidon’s Children –
It is the first novel in my epic, dark Urban Fantasy series,The Legacy of the Gods. Here’s the synopsis:
“And that’s just the beginning.
“Vacationing artist Larry Neuhaus has just witnessed a gruesome shark attack, a young couple torn apart right before his eyes….at least, he thinks it was a shark. And when one of these victims turns out to be the only son of Roger Hays, the most powerful man in the country, things go from bad to worse. Now, to stop the carnage, Larry and his new-found friends must work together to unravel a mystery as old as time, and face an enemy as dark as the ocean depths.”
The Legacy of the Gods is a project I’ve been passionate about for many years now, and whenever I would talk about it with people, they would always ask me, “When is that coming out?” I’m so happy that it is finally available for all my faithful readers, and I hope they will enjoy these characters and their stories as much as I do.