Michael Phillip Cash - A Haunting on Long Island
Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novels are best-sellers on Amazon under their genres – Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Ghost, Action Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his latest book, Stillwell.
Please give us a short introduction to what Stillwell is about
Stillwell is the story about a man who loses his soul mate. Paul Russon not only grow up with his best friend, but he also married her as well. When she dies unexpectedly from a brain tumor, his axis shifts and his world collapses around him. He is not sure he's imagining the strange things that are happening, weird events are taking place. HIs kids feel it too. He begins to worry his wife is being held captive by a monster preventing her from moving on.
Tell us more about Paul Russo. What makes him tick?
Paul Russo is all about family. His wife, his kids, his parents. He's the good guy your mom wanted you to marry. He's the fellow you want to hang out with. He's an all-around regular person whose life has just been shattered.
What inspired you to write about a guy who wants to free his dead wife's spirit?
The story came to me one night and I wanted it originally to be a struggle between him and a demon. It ended up being something very different. Most of the time the characters tell me what they want.
Why did you pick an old mansion in Long Island as a backdrop for your book?
That's my playground. I live on the Gold Coast and the area is filled with them. We love to visit and explore these old homes.
Your book also includes some historical and archaeological references. Why?
Interesting stuff. When we visit, it makes me run home and google a lot of interesting things.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I play a mean game of poker.
Some readers say this story reminds them of Henry James' Turn of the Screw. Which authors would you say have inspired you in your work?
I read mostly self-help, so I can't really think of an author that inspires me. I tend to watch movies and I love anything Quentin Tarantino does.
What are some things you do to give your characters depth?
I think about them as three-dimensional people. They are not characters on paper- they become very real.
Besides being a thriller, the book also addresses some heavy themes and readers also describes the book as a tear jerker. Why did you take this approach?
I didn't- the book went that way because it felt right. I may go in with ideas all plotted and figured out, sometimes it just doesn't work. Once you get to know your characters, you have to do what's right for them, not you.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I've always wanted to be a writer. I've been writing since I was eight.
How do you force yourself to finish what you're doing before starting the next project when the new idea is nagging at you?
I usually work on multiple projects at once. If an idea hits, I have to start, but I always finish everything.
Talk to us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
Busy with the family until they all go to sleep, then I write until about midnight.
What are you working on right now?
Three screenplays, another monster book, a pilot for a televison show.