Meghan: Hi, Michael. Welcome to Meghan’s House of Books. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Mr. Michael Squid: I’m a visual artist and an avid horror reader and writer. I’ve been travelling a lot and was most recently in Bulgaria.
Meghan: What are five things most people don’t know about you?
Mr. Michael Squid:
- I sleep using my arm as a pillow.
- I don’t believe in the supernatural.
- I’m terrified of death.
- I have a very bizarre sense of humor.
- I hate nothing more than mosquitoes.
Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?
Meghan: What are you reading now?
Meghan: What’s a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn’t expect you to have liked?
Meghan: What made you decide you want to write? When did you begin writing?
Mr. Michael Squid: I discovered Stephen King at the age of 10 and soon after H.P. Lovecraft. I think I was inspired to write after getting into Lovecraft, but King sparked my initial interest in reading horror.
Meghan: Do you have a special place you like to write?
Mr. Michael Squid: A desk whenever possible. I need to be sitting in one place and forced to write otherwise I get distracted.
Meghan: Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?
Mr. Michael Squid: I often play ominous ambient songs and sip coffee, but nothing aisde from getting it down and editing.
Meghan: Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Mr. Michael Squid: Editing. I have serious ADD so reading something I already know the plot to is hard. I also struggle with repeating adjectives and thinking of new ways to word things.
Meghan: What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve written so far?
Mr. Michael Squid: I found a Secret Lab from the 70’s, it was extremely fun to create the underground scenes of horrors in this online series.
Meghan: What books have most inspired you? Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?
Mr. Michael Squid: Lovecraft‘s At The Mountains of Madness, Clive Barker‘s The Great & Secret Show, and Stephen King‘s The Stand were all inspiring in terms of the world-building and horror with adventuresome elements. It’s something I aspire to do more of. In terms of writing style, I can’t say, but reading a lot of Philip K. Dick‘s workin my formative years had some influence.
Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?
Mr. Michael Squid: Sweeping the reader away from their current location and transporting them in the situation and location they are reading about. They can smell the crisp fall, feel the rain on their skin and reel from a deep-cutting insult just as much as the protagonist they are reading. That’s the magic of a good story.
Meghan: What does it take for you to love a character? How do you utilize that when creating your characters?
Mr. Michael Squid: A lovable character needs quirks and flaws, but they still need to be receptive and aware. They need a sore tooth or some sympathetic situation in order to root for them. In very short fiction, They just need to be relatable and likable. Any time I write a loathsome protagonist I lose the reader.
Meghan: Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
Mr. Michael Squid: Tough one, I rarely write characters like myself, but possibly Jeremy, the cousin in A Beginner’s Guide to Blood Portals.
Meghan: Are you turned off by a bad cover? To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?
Mr. Michael Squid: Yes, I am always turned off by covers with poor design or an ineffective image. I’m an illustrator and designer by trade, so I may be more sensitive to them than most. I do my own covers, but spend far more time crafting covers for other authors than working on my own.
Meghan: What have you learned creating your books?
Mr. Michael Squid: Edit first, then publish. I published a collection only to realize later just how many typos there were I hadn’t caught due to a few negative reviews. I fixed them after hiring an editor, but those reviews pulled my book’s rating down. They are fixed now.
Meghan: What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?
Mr. Michael Squid: I worked on a collaborative story with a few fellow authors and had some extremely specific and outlandish constraints, writing a behind-the-scenes explanation for a stranger’s story. It was a learning experience, but very difficult.
Meghan: What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
Mr. Michael Squid: I hope to keep them varied enough in terms of subject and style to keep the stories interesting. I do a ton of research in order to mention actual science, places and venues to keep the realism there as well. Most of all, 98% of the time I’m aiming to scare the wits out of the reader, and I often get feedback to reflect that.
Meghan: How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?
Mr. Michael Squid: I think something that stands out and gives a hint to the book’s contents is the best. I chose mine partly inspired by Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, I always thought it sounded profound and horrific, so I tried to touch on that but a much more sinister direction.
Meghan: What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?
Mr. Michael Squid: I’ve started two novels and finished neither, so I have to say a short story. I do hope to finish the novels someday when time allows it, however.
Meghan: Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.
Mr. Michael Squid: They are collections of serious horror stories, and I want to leave you with some resounding nightmare fuel you can’t quite ever shake.
Meghan: Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?
Mr. Michael Squid: I had a few stories that were a bit too abstract to be effective, and maybe they will resurface in a more appropriate collection.
Meghan: What’s in your “trunk”?
Mr. Michael Squid: I’m actually starting to get ready to film some horror tales, and hope to have some big things to show next Halloween.
Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?
Mr. Michael Squid: More horror, both in story format and on the screen. I’ve also co-written a screenplay, and hope to begin the next steps on that in the upcoming months.
Meghan: Where can we find you?
Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview?
Mr. Michael Squid: I want to first say thank you so much for the interview, it was a pleasure and an honor! To my readers, you give me life by reading my stories and I hope to bring you what you crave. Feel free at any time to ask me questions or requests through my Facebook page. Thank you!
Mr. Michael Squid will drag you deep into a well of unfiltered nightmares. Horror without seatbelts or breaks that will make you think and make you terrified.
A breakthrough in cryonics unfolds in a horrific tale of unexpected chaos. A discovery of unaired television shows reveals an sinister plot to cover up the existence of dangerous artifacts. This is a collection of chilling tales of nightmarish worlds hidden just below the surface.
A collection of 50 creeping horror stories that dig deep into your mind and won’t let go. 50 unconnected tales that will unsettle and horrify, reaching beyond common tropes as different narrators pull you into their nightmarish situations and malevolent minds.