Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

SpecMusicMuse—Interview With Michael West

MichaelWestAuthorPhotoAs part of the Hades’ Disciples virtual tour, I present to you an interview with the great Michael West. Enjoy!

 

Let the readers know who you are…and the mischief you’ve been up to since the last time you visited this blog.

Well, my name is Michael West, and I’m a writer.  I write mainly Horror and Dark, Urban Fantasy.  My novels include The Wide Game, Spook House, and Cinema of Shadows, which became my first #1 bestseller earlier this year.  I also write the critically-acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series, the second book of which, Hades’ Disciples, is out now.

 

What is Hades’ Disciples about?

Hades’ Disciples picks up about two years after the events of Book One: Poseidon’s Children.

Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight.  Ancient.  Deadly.  They gather in secret, Tiger_Smallconspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well.  After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be.  But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands.  At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow.  Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

 

spider_smallHow many of your novels are in the same world?

Well, as my faithful readers can attest, all my novels exist in the same, shared universe, but there are four novels planned for this series.  Five if you count Spook House, which was sort of a Legacy of the Gods Book 1.5.  It contained characters from Poseidon’s Children and introduced readers to people who play a vital role in Hades.

 

If you could make one of your novels into a feature film, which one would it be?

Final_Hades_Disciples-3Oh my…I think they are all very cinematic.  I have a background in film and television, so I try to write things in a very visual way.  I think Cinema of Shadows would make for one scary film, as would Wide Game and Spook House. But if I had to pick only one, it would probably be Poseidon’s Children.  I still see the events from that novel in my dreams, and I just think it is so large in scale, and the action so intense, the creatures so incredible, that it has to see life in some form of visual medium, whether it be a film, a cable TV series, or a video game.

 

What do you think of horror-based video games? And what would a video game based onelevator_small The Legacy of the Gods be like?

I don’t play a lot of video games.  I did enjoy one of the Evil Dead games that came out a few years ago, and I also played the ALIEN game that was out for Sega Saturn and Playstation back in the 90s. I had a Saturn.  I always pick the losing format.  LOL

I think a Legacy video game would be awesome. There are so many interesting set pieces and creatures in the series, and I think it would translate well into a game. I could see you playing as Earl Preston and Carol Miyagi, trying to complete your mission while fighting off werewolves, spider centaurs, and yeti.  I think it would be a lot of fun!

I could also see it as a role-playing game, similar to Vampire: The Masquerade, where you pick which of the clans you are a member of, and you have to act like you belong to that group. I think that would be amazing!

 

Last but not least: who would win in a fight between Cthulhu, Godzilla, and Princess Buttercup?

I’m a huge fan of both Cthulhu and Godzilla.  In fact, I just got a shirt that was Cthulhu vs. Godzilla.  I’d love to see that fight! I think they would be pretty evenly matched, so it would be a toss-up there.  But Buttercup…she’s goin’ down! LOL

 

Michael West
Featured Book Release:
Hades’ Disciples
July 7 to 13 , 2014

HadesDisciplesTourBadge

MichaelWestAuthorPhotoAbout the author: Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, The Wide Game, Spook House, and the critically acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

West avoids manhole covers and sidewalk grates whenever possible. He just doesn’t know what’s down there, and he’s not sure he wants to find out.

 

HadesDisciples_1200X800Book Synopsis for Hades’ Disciples: Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

Hades Disciples is Book Two in the Legacy of the Gods Series.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.bymichaelwest.com

Twitter: @bymichaelwest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bymichaelwestpage

Tour Schedule and Activities
7/7   Shells Interviews                          Guest Post
7/7   Come Selahway With Me            Interview
7/7 Beauty in Ruins                              Guest Post
7/7 Fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s ramblins and reviews          Review
7/8 Deal Sharing Aunt                             Top Tens List
7/8 Jess Resides Here                       Top Tens List
7/8 I Smell Sheep                                Guest Post
7/9 SpecMusicMuse                            Interview
7/10 Coffintree Hill                                Guest Post
7/10 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author   Guest Post
7/11 Bee’s Knees Reviews                      Review
7/12 A Haunted Head                            Top Tens List
7/12 Willow’s Author Love                      Interview
7/13 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void            Review

Tour Page URLhttp://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/michael-west-hades-disciples-tour/

Tour Badge URL: http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/HadesDisciplesTourBadge.jpg

Amazon Links for Hades’ Disciples

Print Version
http://www.amazon.com/Hades-Disciples-Legacy-Gods-Michael/dp/1941706002

Kindle Version
http://www.amazon.com/Hades-Disciples-Legacy-Gods-Michael-ebook/dp/B00KBIB6W2

July 9, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Michael West Hades’ Disciples Blog Tour July 7-13

Michael West
Featured Book Release:
Hades’ Disciples
July 7 to 13 , 2014

HadesDisciplesTourBadge

MichaelWestAuthorPhotoAbout the author: Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, The Wide Game, Spook House, and the critically acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

West avoids manhole covers and sidewalk grates whenever possible. He just doesn’t know what’s down there, and he’s not sure he wants to find out.

 

HadesDisciples_1200X800Book Synopsis for Hades’ Disciples: Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

Hades Disciples is Book Two in the Legacy of the Gods Series.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.bymichaelwest.com

Twitter: @bymichaelwest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bymichaelwestpage

Tour Schedule and Activities
7/7   Shells Interviews                          Guest Post
7/7   Come Selahway With Me            Interview
7/7 Beauty in Ruins                              Guest Post
7/7 Fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s ramblins and reviews          Review
7/8 Deal Sharing Aunt                             Top Tens List
7/8 Jess Resides Here                       Top Tens List
7/8 I Smell Sheep                                Guest Post
7/9 SpecMusicMuse                            Interview
7/10 Coffintree Hill                                Guest Post
7/10 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author   Guest Post
7/11 Bee’s Knees Reviews                      Review
7/12 A Haunted Head                            Top Tens List
7/12 Willow’s Author Love                      Interview
7/13 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void            Review

Tour Page URLhttp://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/michael-west-hades-disciples-tour/

Tour Badge URL: http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/HadesDisciplesTourBadge.jpg

Amazon Links for Hades’ Disciples

Print Version
http://www.amazon.com/Hades-Disciples-Legacy-Gods-Michael/dp/1941706002

Kindle Version
http://www.amazon.com/Hades-Disciples-Legacy-Gods-Michael-ebook/dp/B00KBIB6W2

July 6, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse: Interview with Michael West

I’ve been a fan of Michael West ever since I read Cinema of Shadows and have met and talked with him quite a few times at the conventions I usually attend. Of course, even at conventions, what amounts as “conversation” between two introverts is viewed by outsiders as long silent pauses followed by one or two short, terse sentences.

But if only those extroverts knew what we’re really plotting telepathically….

MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!!

And without further ado, the awe-inspiring interview with the Maestro of Terror. Enjoy!

****

What got you into writing?

I’ve always been a storyteller. Before I could write, I would draw pictures to illustrate the tales that were spinning around inside my head. At age seven, after watching Star Wars for the first time, I decided that I wanted to be a filmmaker. I would write screenplays and make movies in the back yard with my parents’ video camera. And, as the stories I wanted to tell outgrew my meager budgets, I eventually turned my attention to writing short stories and novels.

 

What fascinates you most about Horror?

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.

As a genre, what sets Horror apart from Dark Fantasy or Thriller?

Well, in my mind, Horror deals more with the supernatural, ghosts and demons, while Dark Fantasy is more monsters and mythology.  Thrillers can happen to you or the person next door; there is generally nothing supernatural about a thriller.

What is The Wide Game about? And what is Skull Full of Kisses?

In The Wide Game, Paul Rice, on the advice of his wife, is making plans to attend his 10th year High School reunion.  Returning to his boyhood home of Harmony, Indiana, he finds that he is still haunted by memories of that time–memories of Deidra, his first love, and memories of the Wide Game.  It was ten years ago that Paul and his friends watched their day of fun become a race for their lives, a fight for their very souls.

Now, as he meets the survivors of that day once more, Paul makes a chilling discovery: the incomprehensible forces that toyed with them have yet to finish playing their own game.

Skull Full of Kisses is a collection of my short fiction.  It is ten stories, each one different from the next.  There is some Horror, some Dark Fantasy, even some horrific Sci-fi.  I like to think of it as a really good season of The Twilight Zone.

What are the differences between long fiction and short fiction, other than size?

They are entirely different skill sets.  You have a lot less real estate to work with in a short story, so you have to develop your characters quickly, you have to get the action rolling and build up speed to the climax as fast as you can, like a plane running out of runway.  With a novel, you have much more room to explore character motivations and themes.  That said, it is far easier to kill off all your characters in a short story, because the reader has so much less time invested in them.  If you kill off the main character at the end of your three hundred page novel, you get hate mail.  Lots of hate mail.

 

What is similar?

Both novels and short stories need good, interesting characters.  For me, a good character has to be relatable.  You need to feel like they are someone you might know in real life: the neighbour, the classmate, the guy at work who keeps to themselves and lives with his mother by the old motel off…wait…  Anyway, they can’t be pure good or pure evil, because, in reality, nobody is like that.  The hero will have their negative qualities, their quirks and foibles, and the villains will have their charming qualities, their charismatic traits.  Everyone is the hero of their own story, even the most despicable villain.

What are the key things you feel aspiring writers need to know in order to “break in”?

You need to craft believable characters and dialogue.  It’s always been difficult for me to craft believable dialogue. I can write what a character is thinking, feeling, or doing all day long with no problem, but once they open their mouths…my progress slows to a crawl. That’s become easier over time, but it’s still something I struggle with. My advice to beginning writers is to read your work out loud. If you can’t say it without tripping over your own tongue, something needs to change.  Also, have people read your stuff who don’t even like the genre you right in.  Fans of a particular genre can be forgiving of certain cliches, where as someone who doesn’t normally read or watch stories in your genre may point out ways in which you can make the characters and their motivations seem more real.

Does music help you in your writing, either through providing inspiration or by just helping to set the mood?

Oh yes.  I can’t work when it’s totally quiet.  I will usually put on some kind of music, either film scores or something dark, like Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy, or good ol’ 80s Hair Metal.

And why do you think Horror and Metal work so well together?

I think it is very easy to convey horrific ideas and imagery with Metal, and likewise, I think good Metal can help inspire you to write a lot of Horrific imagery.

Last but not least: who do you think would win in a three-way fight? Dracula, the Wolf Man, or Tinkerbell?

Dracula, hands down.

****

Michael West is the critically-acclaimed author of The Wide Game, Cinema of Shadows, Spook House, Skull Full of Kisses, and the Legacy of the Gods series.  A graduate of Indiana University, with a degree in Telecommunications and Film Theory,  West has written a multitude of short stories, articles, and reviews for various on-line and print publications.  He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their bird, Rodan, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

His children are convinced that spirits move through the woods near their home.

September 30, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review: Cinema of Shadows—Michael West

Forget haunted houses, try a haunted theater! Michael West delivers a ghost story that both holds true to the traditional tropes but simultaneously provides his own unique spin, and delivers a plot twist leaves that your heart pounding.

Professor Geoffrey Burke and his team of Parapsychology students search for evidence to irrefutably prove that the Woodfield Theater is haunted. But they discover more than just ghosts as an ancient demon take notice of one of the professor’s students, Kim. Not only can she see and hear spirits, she also has a special ability that threatens the demon’s power over the souls in the theater.

West breathes depth and life into every character: living, dead, and demonic. You care for what happens to them, unlike in, oh say, the Saw films where you could care less if the heartless morons get torn into itsy bitsy pieces. In Cinema of Shadows, you even feel for some of the antagonists (well, except for the demon, obviously). But more importantly, the ending wasn’t predictable, and characters that I expected would die didn’t.

If you like ghost stories or even just horror stories in general, you’ll love Cinema of Shadows.

Best to read while listening to: anything from Midnight Syndicate, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Tiamat, or Marilyn Manson.

December 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment