Michael Phillip Cash is an award winning and best selling author of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels. Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island, The Hanging Tree, and Schism: The Battle for Darracia have all been named to Foreward Reviews Book of the Year Awards. Cash currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.
Grab a cup of coffee and sit back and read what Michael has to say about his writing.
Was there a novel, movie or television show that inspired you to write horror, paranormal and science fiction?
Michael: It wasn’t one movie or TV show that inspired me to write. It was Quentin Tarantino who was my inspiration to write in general. I love his work and read all of his screenplays dozens of times. However, if there was one movie that inspired me it was the original Star Wars trilogy. That led me to reading Joseph Campbell and how to use hero archetypes in my work…and that lead me to “Save the Cat” which taught me how to tell ridiculously awesome stories.
Why do you delve into the supernatural? Have you ever gone in a haunted house, on a cemetery walk or accompanied an investigative team in Long Island?
Michael: I am a HUGE believer in the afterlife. I have had several encounters and signs from ghosts that prove there is something beyond our Universe. I feel the supernatural teaches us how to live life. It teaches us to transcend our own lives and push our limits, because the only thing that can ever stop is physical death. Of course I’ve done the normal “college days” drive-bys to the Amityville Horror house and The Hanging Tree on route 106, but I believe every house you visit is haunted. Don’t forget there are more dead people than living, so my belief is there have to be ghosts everywhere.
Before you ever wrote “The Flip” and “Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island” you wrote “Brood X” about an overwhelming cicada invasion. You delve into a science fiction battle of good vs. evil. Is it difficult to write multi-genres or more liberating?
Michael: I feel the greatest storytellers in the world genre skip. “Inglorious Bastards” and “Django Unchained” are two totally different genres – but they have the same writer/director, Quentin Tarantino. There are too many stories to tell to just stick with one genre. I feel there are formulas, and if you are good at what you do, you can tell a story in any genre. I just finished a paranormal comedy screenplay. I want to write another fantasy novel. It is so liberating not to be stuck with one specific genre.
Michael: The Flip is a novel about a couple who are trying to make a living flipping homes on the North Shore of Long Island. They encounter some visitors from a century ago that have a link to the house they are going to flip and it turns a bit ugly. The main question I wanted to ask is, when we move on from a home, a place, an environment, does our energy still stay there? Is there a past, present and future happening all at the same time?
What leads Brad and Julie Evans into believing that there is spiritual presence in the old Victorian Mansion? What do they begin to experience? Do they need to call for help?
Michael: I don’t want to give away too much. But its more about the spirits who are being disturbed than Brad and Julie. The main ghost, Tessa, is not your typical ghost that says BOO. She’s a horny old ghost who thinks she can seduce men, living or dead. There is tons of paranormal activity happening throughout that really sent chills up my spine when writing. And yes, they MUST call for help. And help comes from a few characters in my previous best-selling book, “Stillwell.” These characters became very real for me.
Why isn’t Hemmings House on Bedlam Street at peace?
Michael: What place is ever at peace? When someone loves something so much and doesn’t want to let it go, does that energy stay until that person leaves for good? You have to read to find out these questions.
Michael: Paul first sees his wife in a dream. But that dream suddenly turns into a nightmare when he learns his wife’s soul is being held hostage by an evil foul demon. That is the catalyst that starts the story for Paul to learn how to get her soul to cross to the other side.
Is he confronted by the being holding her captive? What does he or it demand?
Michael: Of course he confronts the demon, on several different occasions. The beast wants one thing and one thing only, Allison’s soul. And it will stop at nothing to ensure she doesn’t cross over. Paul has to figure out the best way to defeat this demon.
Can Paul set things right or is his own soul at risk?
Michael: Paul’s entire existence is at risk. His kids, his in-laws, his home, his business, his mental health. Everything is on the line if he doesn’t make things right for his soul and his wife’s.
What has been the most difficult part about writing these genres?
Michael: It can be very easy to come off as corny. I’m not trying to reinvent the paranormal wheel, but I’m trying to steer clear of being too cliché. And it can become very easy to be cliché when writing about things that go BOO. I want to add elements of history, love and spirituality (stuff that you don’t really read when reading a ghost story), than just write a hack ‘em up, gratuitously gory story. I’m not a fan of blood and gore and I think authors just put it in there to be different, when really, all they are doing is being cliché.
Who published your novels and how have they assisted in promoting them?
Michael: I owe all my success to the team at createspace.com. I self-publish all my own work, but the Create Space team really gets my book to the format I like. I have total control – from the cover, to the price, to the marketing. They are owned by Amazon, which has basically allowed a normal guy like me with a love for writing to have his novels around the world in 24 hours after hitting SUBMIT. If you or anyone has a dream of becoming a novelist, it has never been easier. Go to createspace.com and just do it!
What are you currently writing?
Michael: I just finished a paranormal comedy screenplay called Pokergeist. I’m debating whether or not I want to convert it to a novel. I just finished another paranormal novel called “The After House.” It takes place on the North Shore, has a haunted house, but this time it involves a whaling theme, which is synonymous with living on Long Island. I would also like to delve into a monster novel (without sounding too cliché) and I have a few more paranormal stories up my sleeve that I’m hoping my fans will enjoy.