Mike has been writing fascinating articles on his blog for years, which was how I first heard of him and a urban fantasy/paranormal story he was working on, Ghost Box. If you want in-depth discussion on pop culture and theology, his website and Facebook are absolutely some of the best places to hang out. 🙂
*Tell us a little bit about yourself/your novel:
MIKE: Requiem 4 is a bit of a change of pace for me. It’s a military sci-fi with strong horror, dystopian elements. I’ve never written anything remotely military sci-fi. There were two story concepts that converged in Requiem 4 – one was the idea of a world that’s being indoctrinated into pure Materialism, so things like religion, metaphysics, and belief in spirits is passing away; the other was the idea of a defunct group of sciocists—scientific exorcists—who sweep graveyards of “latent soul energy,” or what used to be called “ghosts.” The twist is when this group bumps into an entity well beyond their pay grade. So it’s very much a story about colliding realities and one, I think, which contains some very cautionary religious themes.
*What’s the funniest/weirdest thing you’ve ever had to research for a story?
MIKE: Ha! Where do I begin? Researching Santa Muerte (translated as “Holy Death”) for my novel “Saint Death” was pretty weird. That included visiting a Santa Muerte church in Los Angeles. It’s an actual church with pews and multiple shrines built around life-sized skeletons dressed as the Virgin Mary. That was creepy. For “The Telling” I researched angelic languages. Occultists have developed an ‘angelic’ language that contains its own alphabet, grammar and syntax; it is called “Enochian” and allegedly allows a user to communicate with “the other side.” For that same book I also researched magnetic vortices, geological anomalies in which electromagnetic fields affect an actual area, causing strange phenomenon like balls rolling uphill and optical illusions. The fun thing about my Reagan Moon series is that, as a paranormal reporter, he’s privy to all kinds of random, strange trivia, which allows me to explore subjects as disparate as lycanthropy and “paradoxical undressing,” a hypothermic condition that confuses the nervous system, causing someone who’s freezing to feel like they’re burning up. Definitely the fun part of being a spec writer is being able to research such whacky stuff.
*Where do you usually write? Can you show us a picture/describe it?
MIKE: I’ve always aspired to have my workspaces inspire creativity. I’m a firm believer that aesthetics can stimulate right-braininess. So when I was finally able to have a writing office, I wanted to trick it out with all sorts of oddities. Which I have! Currently, in my writing space you can find wet specimens, animal skulls, action figures, movie posters, mermaid memorabilia, Mayan masks, and a glockenspiel.
*Do you have a strange quirk or habit while writing or preparing to write?
This isn’t all that strange, but I’m very fond of writing standing up. I purchased a stand-up desk last year and it’s been fantastic. One of the worst things we can do for creativity is to sit on our butt for long hours. Apart from simply getting fresh air and drinking lots of water, the next best thing a writer can do is to get their blood circulating. It sounds weird, but standing up often helps me
*What’s next on your plate?
MIKE: I’m diving back into my Reagan Moon series, the third book. Here’s the going blurb:
“With the help of Ki, the Wayward Guardian, the Summu Nura seek to empower a chaos magician in his quest to create an artificial intelligence which can bridge all dimensions. As the Imperia continue to unravel, Reagan Moon must find the fabled Golem Prison in time to stop the creation of an android demigod who can control the Crossroads of Time.”
Thanks for joining us, Mike! Here’s more information about Requiem 4:
Graviton Cemetery—the biggest, oldest, most haunted graveyard in the world.
And Requiem 4 is here to clean things up.
In a dystopian, war-torn future where a godless global network reprograms the masses for compliance, the Requiem units are a dying breed. Manned by sciocists—scientific exorcists—and armed with state-of-the-art technology, the units sweep cemeteries of ‘latent soul energy.’
However, there’s a lot more than just ghosts in Graviton.
Father Aguste Lax, military chaplain to Requiem 4, has his own doubts. The cross around his neck is a feeble reminder of his waning faith. Yet when they encounter a Type Six entity, no amount of quantum firepower can save them. Lax becomes their only hope for escaping Graviton alive. But can his faith prevail against an evil this ancient? Or will Graviton Cemetery become the final resting place for Requiem 4?
Requiem 4 releases on July 25th.