Thursday, October 10, 2013

Interview with author, Michael Phillip Cash

Recently I asked author Michael Phillip Cash to do an interview with me about his books. I wanted to do this as part of my Halloween review month. He was quite gracious. Here is the review in its entirety. ~Naila Moon

Welcome Michael Cash. Thank you for taking the time to do an interview with me and my blog, "Once Upon A Time." We are here to discuss about you and your books, Brood X  and  Stillwell.

Please tell me a little about yourself. 
My name is Michael Phillip Cash and I am a self published author, and screenwriter. I currently live on the North Shore of Long Island with my wife and children. In my lifetime I have been an entrepreneur, mechanic, marketing executive and a salesperson.

How did you get your start in the book industry?
I have screenplays since I’m 16. One particular screenplay I liked enough to turn into a novel for. I’ve read a book called Just Ask the Universe and it motivated me to self-publish. The book harnesses your ambition and dreams and drives you to follow your wishes. Armed with this new attitude, I self-published and followed up Brood X with Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island.

Is thriller books alway something that has interested you? Why?
I love the horror/thriller genre because it’s the most primal way to tell a story. People love to feel the thrill from the characters and I enjoy conveying that feeling to them.

Let’s talk first about your book Brood X.

Living on Long Island, did you experience the Brood first hand?
The sounds of cicada have always been prominent on Long Island during the summer months. Although I have actually never experienced a formidable infestion, I was once watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and it hit me, what would happen if nature decided to revolt against humanity. Living through SuperStorm Sandy, I had a first hand observation of how vulnerable we really are.

What kinds of preparations would someone really have been able to do in such an event?
 My event was completely catastrophic and the way it happened was not believable. It was a story. We all know the bugs could not replicate that fast. And if nature decided to attack us in this manner, we really wouldn’t have any hope. Brood X is not about cicada, its really about the fact that we are living our life blind folded and not thinking about anything beyond our own pleasure. But that doesn’t mean as parents or children, we shouldn’t be prepared for emergencies. People should have emergency plans with their families. This is so important. My family always had such plans and when 9/11 happened, even though my family was spread throughout Long Island, we knew what each person was doing without relying on communicating with each other. People should always speak with their important family members about what to do in any type of emergency. We rely too much on social media and technology to get us by, and when something disastrous happens, the last thing you want is pandemonium.

Which of your characters do you closely relate to and why?
I know each of the characters. I have gone to school with them, I worked with them and many of them I’m related too. They represent a microcosm of where society is right now. We are self-indulged. Narcissistic and totally not prepared for catastrophes. 
Now, let’s talk about Stillwell.

How is it that you got so interested in the paranormal?
I have always been interested in the paranormal since I was a young boy. It wasn’t until the television series Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel came about that I started writing about Ghosts and History. I find it fascinating.

Have you ever been haunted or lived in a place that was?
I don’t really believe in hauntings. I feel spirits visit us on this plane from the other side and they make their presence known to communicate with us. I certainly don’t believe in evil spirits or demons. Growing up, I lived in a ranch that was built over an old Revolutionary War campsite. Very often, when watching TV, my brother and I would see a figure out of the corner of our eyes roaming the hallways. We didn’t know if it was a figment of our imagination. Until one day, we had some friends over the house and they asked who was the guy walking the hallway. It was pretty validating to say the least.
What was your inspiration for the principal character in this book? 
Again, I know these people. They live in my neighborhood. Paul is the great guy who lives down the block. A devoted father and husband.

In Stillwell, your main character visits a psychic, Georgia Oaken. Would you like to elaborate on your thoughts about psychics and what they can do for those who are looking for loved ones?
 I can only speak from experience of going to a famous Long Island Medium who definitely contacted my relatives on the other side. Its not who you think it is, he is lesser known, but has an unbelievable track record. The things he told me were by far, the most astounding and illuminating in my experience.

Do you personally think we have a soul? If so, why do you think we get caught up here and don’t move on?
We are ghosts(souls) in the machine (body) and I feel we are all here by choice to learn a lesson. We absolutely have a soul that lives beyond the physical body. Our spirits are eternal and exist together in a special place. We pick the family and friends to interact with on this plan to teach our souls how to grow mentally and spiritually. I don’t feel we get caught up on this earthly plain. I really do believe we are here to learn things and teach other and I strongly feel everything happens for a reason.

I see that you have another book coming out soon? Can I get a hint
The Hanging Tree is a novella about an infamous tree on Long Island that is haunted with restless spirits. The theme is about fate and making the right choices. I’m also trying something new and working on a fantasy/dystopian novel of an otherworldly nature. I’m having a blast creating my own Universe.   

Do you have more in the works?
 I always have things in the works. I have a few other ghost stories I’m working researching. One is a true story about a ghost who testifies at her own murder trial. The other is a Victorian Ghost Romance.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Write, write, write. Don’t be afraid. Google is your friend. And is the single best invention for anyone who wants to get their works to the masses. 

Ok some fun questions:
What was your favorite costume growing up? Your worst?
Feddy Krueger, hands down (no pun intended). He was an icon when I was growing up and my parents bought me the hand blade, which I still have.
Worst costume – my mom dressed me as a handyman one year. I was the butt of many jokes. I carried around a paint can for the candy.
Did you ever play ‘ghost in the graveyard’?
No sorry, but I was obsessed with the movie The Goonies. My parents bought me a movie camera when I was 8 and I spent hours filming my friends acting out as the rambunctious, treasure seeking team.

What is your favorite spooky movie?
Poltergeist, definitely. It still brings shivers down my spine. It had the three elements needed for a perfect Monster in the House movie – The Ghost, The House, and the Sin of not respecting the dead (the town moved the graveyard and the bodies of the Indian tribe). Great stuff.
If you could be haunted by any famous person, who would it be and why?
Well, personally, I’d rather not be haunted by anyone, but if I could speak with any famous person that isn’t here anymore, I’d probably want to channel Chris Farley. Why not make your hauntings humorous and have some laughs.

Once again, thank you, Michael, so much for allowing me to interview you. I have found you to be quite an intriguing person.
THANK YOU so much! I had a blast!!

Michael Phillip Cash on Amazon
Michael Phillip Cash on Facebook

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~Naila Moon