Interview with Michael Phillip Cash, author of 'The History Major'

Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning and best-selling novelist of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels.  He's written ten books including the best-selling “Brood X”, “Stillwell”, “The Flip”, “The After House”, “The Hanging Tree”, “Witches Protection Program”, “Pokergeist”, "Monsterland", "The History Major", and “Battle for Darracia” series. Michael’s books are on the Amazon best-seller list and have also won numerous awards. Additionally, he is a screenwriter with 14 specs under his belt. Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island.

Michael’s latest book is The History Major.

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About the Book:

Title: The History Major
Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Publisher: Chelshire, Inc.
Pages: 130
Genre: Thriller

After a vicious fight with her boyfriend followed by a night of heavy partying, college freshman Amanda Greene wakes up in her dorm room to find things are not the same as they were yesterday. She can't quite put her finger on it. She's sharing her room with a peculiar stranger. Amanda discovers she's registered for classes she would never choose with people that are oddly familiar. An ominous shadow is stalking her. Uncomfortable memories are bubbling dangerously close to her fracturing world, propelling her to an inevitable collision between fantasy and reality. Is this the mother of all hangovers or is something bigger happening?

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we'd love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?

Where did you come up with the idea to write your book? Most of my ideas come when you least expect it, from  an off-hand comment someone makes, a magazine cover, an idle thought. The History Major came to me when my brother and I took DNA tests. We wanted to know where we came from. I mean, I knew where my family originated in Europe, but I wanted to know if we had genes indicating where our real roots were born. It was an illuminating experience. Once it was established we had thousands for fourth and fifth cousins we didn't know existed, I wondered if we had similar traits, common illnesses, the same interests, that sort of thing. This led to a discussion of are we the sum of all who came before us. Do we carry cosmic similarities? Is trauma inherited? Are we the product of history and does the lives before us create our destiny?

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you  would pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

This book dealt with sensitive subjects and I wanted to honor the people reading them by keeping their feelings in tact.  There were trigger subject that were integral to the plot and I tried to incorporate them without beating people over the head with it. Many times I had to walk away to rethink how I would convey the messages in Amanda's story.

 As far as my best advice- just write.  Don't judge yourself- there are plenty of others who will do it for you. Take you time with the process. Don't get crazy about about the story, let it flow and it will fall into place the way it should. Listen to what people are telling you.Take their comments to heart, but know that all books are subjective to the reader. If too many comments are the same, then you may rethink your plot and see it from another perspective.   I always have fun writing and building stories. If it stops being enjoyable I think I will stop doing it.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published all fourteen of my novels. However, I have subsequently been taken on by an agent and now he is shopping my next few books around. It was almost easier to self-publish. I have three books ready to go.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published? 

I was surprised by how easy the whole process was. I was staggered by the response and astounded by all the awards my books have gotten. Everytime I go to the land of self-doubt, I think about all the terrific reviews, and the many people who write and ask for more. It's exciting. When the books started bringing home awards it boosted my confidence to keep doing this. 

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I finished Dragged Down Deep, which is a story about a mysterious creature in the waters of  East End of Long Island.  I am in the thick of the final battle in Monsterland. I have the plot worked out in Witches Protection Program 2 and lastly I have a book started about a modern man traveling back to cave times.  Again, I am waiting for the final word of my agent and who will be taking them.

Q: What's one fact about your book that will surprise people?

They are a wide variety of genres- I like to move from paranormal, to horror, to humor, I don't care as long as I have fun with the characters. I love to incorporate an unexpected twist and it tickles me when people are totally flabbergasted with the unexpected outcome. I love when they are so sure the book is going one way, and then I take them where they never expected to go.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your books?

Each book has different messages. Brood X was about taking our dependency on electronics for granted, Stillwell examined the extent of what we do for love, The Flip explored what we leave behind when we do pass on, The After House looked at guilt, Pokergeist was redemption. The HIstory Major was about self discovery and awareness of what we do and why. Each book is a doorway to talk and learn about oneself. 

Q: Thank you again for the interview! Do you have any final words?

Thanks to all those readers and reviewer who gave my books a chance and took the time to read and write about them. Without your support, we writers would never be known. Know that even if you don't like the book, it means a lot that you took time from your lives to read it and whatever the outcome, I am grateful.

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