Saturday, 25 November 2017

Monsterland by Michael Okon

Title: Monsterland
Author: Michael Okon
Genre: YA

Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.

The last couple years of high school have not been fun for Wyatt Baldwin. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An on-going debate with his best friends Howard Drucker and Melvin over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can rock out with vampires at Vampire Village, be chased by actual werewolves on the Werewolf River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

Author Bio:

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help.

He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance.

Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

Interview with Michael Okon:

Please tell me a little about yourself and your background
My name is Michael Okon. I’m 5’11. 200lbs. I live on the North Shore of Long Island and happily married with two beautiful children. I love watching movies with my kids (especially Disney and Marvel), I cook dinner every night for my family, I make playlists for every season of the year, and I’ve never been skydiving. I love gambling, namely craps and poker, and I only eat meat, eggs and cheese. I also lift heavy weights.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? (And was there a particular moment you thought, ‘I can do this!’?)
Absolutely. I’ve been writing since I’m 15 years old. There wasn’t one particular moment where I said “I can do this!” I just knew that I could…and I would.

Do you have a writing routine?
Yes. I do research and development all day. Google and Amazon are my best friends. I research my subjects and plot out my stories ad nauseum. After the kids and wife go to sleep, I write until my eyes go, generally until midnight every night. The TV has be on mute in the background – generally Travel Channel or Food Network. I’m up at 6am to start the same routine all over again.

Are there any particular places that help you get the creative cogs turning?
Driving is where I get all my ideas. I have been creating playlists since I was able to drive. I make a new playlist every season. That playlist is a reflection of what I’m writing at the time. I listen to my playlists while driving and the ideas are just filtered into my subconscious.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Monsterland 2 is coming out on my 40th birthday, May 26, 2018. I’m knee deep in Monsterland 3. I’ve already started beating out the stories for Monsterland 4 & 5. Its seem I’m going to be writing about monsters for the foreseeable future.

What is your biggest fear?
I hate flying. Like despise it. I just hate going 400 miles per hour at 35,000 feet with two dudes I’ve never met. I’ve flown for 39 years, but I dread it every time. I’m starting to finally tame that anxiety.

Your book is being made into a movie, what music would you use as a soundtrack?

  • Nude with Boots by Melvins
  • Welcome to This World by Primus
  • The Face by Clutch
  • Breathing Lightning by Anthrax
  • Sail On, Sailor by The Beach Boys
  • Holiday in Cambodia by Dead Kennedys
  • Where Eagles Dare by The Misfits
  • I Don’t Want to Grow Up by The Ramones
  • Born on the Bayou by Creedence Clearwater
  • Hero of the Day by Metallica
  • When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin
  • The ‘In’ Crowd by Dobie Gray
  • Civilized Worm by Melvins

What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?
The easiest part is creating your own universe that you’re going to invite the reader into. The hardest part is creating your own universe that your audience will want to be invited too.

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?
Besides the next 6 Monsterland books, I have a super hero high school manuscript ready for a publisher. I also have another manuscript called Dragged Down Deep. Think Indiana Jones meets Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Which, if any, of your personality traits did you write into you characters?
All of my characters have some trait from myself that I’ve had in the past 30 years. Wyatt wants to be a hero to the girl he likes. Melvin is an outcast who cannot stop acquiring useless information. Howard Drucker has a whip smart tongue and is not scared of anything.

What is your favourite scene that you’ve written? Can you give us a peek?
Chapter 14 in Monsterland. The Werewolf River Run.

Wyatt turned around. The animals were gone, but he felt his scalp tighten. He knew they were watching. Peering through the thick leaves, he searched the foliage but could see nothing. Sean looked back at him nervously.

“That was creepy. Right, Melvin? Mel?” Sean cried.

Melvin was gone.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a big movie buff. My kids are my movie partners – we especially love Disney and Marvel movies. I cook for my family every day. I love to read, I’m a sucker for self-help books. My family and I make a firepit every Saturday night and make s’mores (which I don’t eat).

If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?
The old west in the late 1800s. Well actually, the old west like at Disney World, specifically Frontierland. Not the old west from The Revenant.

Optimist or pessimist?
Optimist, always.

I wish I could tell my younger self…
Don’t eat sugar or carbs.

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three people who would they be?
Les Stroud, Bear Grylls, and Tom Hanks

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
There is something happening with Monsterland now that is beyond my wildest dreams. I’m not at liberty to say, but there is a lot of interest from certain parties on a certain coast. It is quite thrilling. If nothing happens, it will be an experience I will never forget. But if something does happen…well…we shall see.

What three words would others probably use to describe you?
Funny. Prolific. Bacon.

Thank you for your time, Michael.
Thank you

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