Author Interview: Michaelbrent Collings on "The Haunted"

Content Note: Ghosts, Pregnancy, Infanticide

Ana: Today we have Michaelbrent introducing their book, The Haunted. I haven't read this book myself, but Michaelbrent was kind enough to agree to guest blog about their book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. Michaelbrent, how would you describe your book to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your book about?

Michaelbrent: In broad terms, THE HAUNTED is a haunted house story. It's intentionally something of an homage to Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, but it also diverges from the kind of tropes that she used in that work. I have noted that in a lot of haunted house stories, the ghosts stay confined to darkened basements or the corners of the protagonists' eyes. They wail and scream, but other than that no harm is really done. I wanted to do something different, so my ghosts are more than capable of doing violent harm to the newest owners of the home: a pregnant woman and her husband.

Ana: What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your book will mean to a reader?

Michaelbrent: On some levels, this is a story that talks about who BELONGS. Is it the ghosts? The new owners? Some other force? The book also treats with issues of family and with how we as humans deal with tragedy.

Ana: What prompted you to write this book and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book? 

Michaelbrent: It was inspired by the haunted house/supernatural genre in general. I have read many haunted house books, and seen just as many haunted house movies. I set out to write a book where the ghosts would be scarier, the location would be even more claustrophobic, and the characters actions would be utterly sensible... yet also have the possible effect of dooming them in a world that has stopped making sense. I wanted to make the first haunted house story that would scare ME. I don't know if I managed that, but I've certainly managed to scare quite a few other people, with the book becoming an Horror Bestseller for over a month, and doing well in several overseas outlets as well. Reviewers have been almost uniformly thrilled with the story, the characters, the setting, and the surprises that ultimately come their way.

Ana: If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your book is their cup of tea?

Michaelbrent: If you like... uhhh... this is a tough one, because I've literally never read a haunted house book like this one. Again, I wanted to do something different, something where people will finish reading it and realize that, though some of the elements may be familiar, they've never been put together in quite that way before. So the best I can do here is say that if you like truly scary paranormal fiction, THE HAUNTED is probably for you.

Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other books? If you have published other books, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more books planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different book or genre?

Michaelbrent: I've published numerous other books. My first book, RUN, was a sci-fi/horror/thriller and was a top 100 OVERALL seller on Kindle (meaning out of their millions of books, stories, blogs, magazines, etc., RUN was one of the top 100 sellers). It was the #1 horror and #1 sci-fi title for a while. Since then I've published numerous other bestsellers, including THE LOON, RISING FEARS, THE MERIDIANS, and my YA fantasy BILLY: MESSENGER OF POWERS. All of them are quite different, but certainly most of my books (with the exception of BILLY) tend toward the scary.

As for follow-ups, I'm hard at work right now on a book (tentatively) entitled APPARITION, which deals with why parents kill their children. It's a truly disturbing concept and it's shaping up to be a scary book.

Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your book for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next book comes available?

Michaelbrent: My books are available on and through my website. They can also contact me through my website, and if they view my blog (I ramble somethin' awful sometimes!), they can sign up to be notified of updates. They can also join my Facebook fanpage or follow @mbcollings on Twitter to get the most up-to-the-minute info.

Ana: Thank you. I understand you have the first chapter of your book available as an excerpt for interested readers? Is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?

Michaelbrent: The beginning of the book can be viewed here.

Just click the "Look Inside" button over the picture of the book and you'll be able to look at the opening pages. You can also send a free sample to try on your Kindle if you wish to do so.

As for final thoughts: I hope you enjoy THE HAUNTED. Tell your friends about it, and please drop me a line through my website. I answer all emails I receive (though it does take a while sometimes).

Happy reading!

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