Thursday, August 14, 2014

Strangely Funny II Authors: Meet F.R. Michaels!

Today, we say 'hello' to F.R. Michaels, author of "Dead People, Seriously". He's a multitalented guy. His first short story, “Mrs. Edgecliff”, appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and received an honorable mention in The Year’s Finest Fantasy and Horror Sixth Annual Collection by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. Another short story, “Fluf”, appeared in Haunts magazine and was made into a short film that was shown at the Sundance film festival. He also does artwork and illustrations that have appeared in various fan publications and small press works.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
Ever since I found out that no one was writing the stories I wanted to read. I think I was 8.

How did you pick the genre/setting/era you (usually) write in?
Nothing gives a person the same thrill as a good scary story. As for the setting, I have a collection of fictional towns based on Long Island's north shore where I grew up; "Dead People, Seriously" takes place there.

How did you come up with the idea for your story in Strangely Funny II?
There are a lot of zombie stories out there where the undead are a plague of mindless relentless monsters... but what if a zombie was raised from the dead and was the same person he was during his life? Multiply that by a whole graveyard full of people, throw in a couple of college frat boys who should not be playing with black magic, shake vigorously, and "Dead People, Seriously" is what came out.

Do you think certain genres lend themselves to a humorous twist?
I think you can inject humor into any genre. What I like about humor in a horror setting is the horror can build such a storm head of tension and the humor can release it. Think American Werewolf in London.

Plotter or pantser?
Oh, I'm not nearly organized enough to be a plotter. Come to think, I'm not even organized enough to be a pantser. But closer to pantser than plotter, definitely.

Which author do you most admire, and why?
Mary Wollstonecraft "Scary Mary" Shelley. She wrote Frankenstein when she was 19, on a bet, published it anonymously, and wrote the very first science fiction novel and one of the scariest stories in existence even today, back in a time when women weren't even considered writers. That's hardcore.

Which place that you haven’t visited would you most like to go?
I'm not that much of a traveler. There are places in my own head I don't like to go.

Okay, so you're an author. What do you enjoy reading?
I love old school: Poe, Stoker, Shelley, LeFanu, Saki, Bierce, Machen, Blackwood, Lovecraft, Robert Louis Stevenson, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Arthur Conan Doyle, etc - and fall back to them periodically. That being said, I think there's a small renaissance going on right now in modern speculative fiction, with small press and e-book publishers leading the way. There is an entire roster of new and emergent authors who are breaking some exciting new ground. I'm gobbling up as much of that as I can, and liking what I find.

Thanks for your time!!!
You're welcome. Can you untie me now...?

Frank Raymond Michaels (F. R. Michaels) is actually a very nice, normal person who happens to like weird stories and scary artwork. No, seriously. He lives on Long Island with his wife, daughter, several cats, a small dog, a big dog, and whoever happens to be in his basement at the time. He writes horror and dark fantasy. He is currently working on several short horror fiction and artwork projects and a Swords and Sorcery novel.

Meanwhile, you can enjoy "Dead People, Seriously" in Strangely Funny II, now available on Amazon and Smashwords.

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