Up Close and Personal with 'Monsterland' Michael Okon #michaelokon #upcloseandpersonal





Up Close & Personal is one of The Writer's Life newest features. Here we feature authors who don't mind spilling the beans and telling us what it's really like to write, get published and sell that book. Today's guest is Michael Okon, author of MONSTERLAND. You can visit Michael's website at
http://www.michaelokon.com/.



On Writing…

I’ve been writing since 15 years old, albeit poorly. Honed my skills for years and started writing screenplays in college. I wrote tons of screenplays and really learned the craft. Got married and had kids. The scripts were going nowhere so I came up with this monikers, Michael Samuels & Michael Phillip Cash, and started self-publishing books. I became an indie sensation, and my books became best-sellers on Amazon. My book Just Ask the Universe is still in the Top 100 most read spiritual books on Amazon after 9 years. Long story short, I got noticed. Within months, I got a literary agent, a high-powered entertainment attorney, and a film manager, and a 3-book publishing deal. Right now, my manager is shopping my books around to the different studios. In 2020, I have two more published books coming out. Things have been looking up, so to speak.



On Being Published…

Surreal. I remember getting the email that Kevin J. Anderson from WordFire Press wanted to publish my books Monsterland and Monsterland Reanimated. I was literally screaming at the top of my lungs. Right now I have two manuscripts being sent out to different publishers – Dragged Down Deep and Monsterland Beneath (Book III). My agent is waiting on callbacks. Additionally, my manager is shopping around Monsterland, Monsterland Reanimated and Witches Protection Program to all the studios, so again, we’re just waiting.



On Publishing Industry…

Being a published author is cool but has its drawbacks. First you are the mercy of the publisher and your team. When I was self-published, I could come out with whatever book I wanted, whenever I wanted. Nothing was holding me back. Additionally, I was in charge of the editing, cover design and marketing, which was extremely time consuming. When you’re published, the publisher does all this for you, BUT…you have to wait…and wait…and wait some more for your team to move the ball forward, which can be quite frustrating. It has its drawbacks, but no one will truly take you seriously if you aren’t a published author.

On Marketing…

I’ve always been very good at selling, but I was never good at Marketing. My mom, who is my manager (momager), took over all marketing aspects of my books and promotes the hell out of them online. I’m active on LinkedIn and little bit on Twitter (don’t love social media, but I understand the importance of it). I always felt in order to sell, you can’t sell. You have to be personable to people so they connect with you.  If you’re out there and saying, read my book, read my book, people generally aren’t going to read your book. If you talk about your journey and how you’ve come as an author, and the trials and tribulations you’ve experienced along the way, then people will connect with you and want to read your works. This is how I sell it when I talk to people. I talk to them about everything but the actual books I’ve written.



On Goals and Dreams...

Movies, movies, movies. I got into the writing game because I absolutely love to write. Movies have been my inspiration from day one, and I have always believed that my works will get made into movies eventually. At this point in the game, I don’t really have a game plan – that’s the job of my team. I would love to shop my works around the entertainment industry, but that is what my manager is for. Same thing with my literary agent. His job to get my manuscripts published and so far, he’s done and incredible job. With the right team behind, me the sky is the limit. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that my works are going to get optioned and turned into film. The question is when, which is hopefully soon.



Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.Wyatt Baldwin’s senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker 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 interact with vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

Praise:

“Michael Okon crafts a fabulous novel with unique, unforgettable characters. …The world building was done fabulously. There were believable backgrounds that explain how it could be possible for there to be a world that had not only vampires, but also werewolves and zombies, excuse me, the vitality-challenged. It all comes together seamlessly as the plot lines converge to make for an explosive ending.” – Devouring Books 2017, blogspot

“I can assure you of this: you will not be disappointed. Nor will you sleep well at night for a while, either. But isn’t that the mark of a master storyteller! Hat’s off to Michael Okon” – Theodore Jerome Cohen, Author of “House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Martelli NYPD, #2)”

“As this book deserves not only top of the New York Times bestseller list but on the big screen as well. The moment I began to read my world was transformed and I was living through the novel.” – Carey Hurst, Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

“First rate YA fiction with a monsterous twist. Highly recommended.” – Richard Schwindt, author of “The Death in Sioux Lookout Trilogy”

“Okon does a fantastic job of creating distinct personalities for the different monsters. The vampires are sly and cunning while the werewolves are weary and brooding. Even the zombies have some personality, albeit it’s only shown through thoughts they struggle to string together.” – Alejandro Ramos, medium.com

“I enjoyed the beautiful prose, the great characters, and the exciting plot. It’s hard to read this novel without getting emotionally involved.” – Divine Zape, Readers’ Favortie (Five Star Review)

“I think MONSTERLAND provides something different for the YA category that really isn’t otherwise present, not only in type of story but in teen/adult relationships.” – litbites.com, Blog Tour

“This book has a charm often lost in supernatural stories. Michael Okon sets a brilliant scene where you can hear and see the world coming to life before your eyes. You don’t read this book, you live it. .. Monsterland makes for a fun yet harrowing horror read, with injections of comedy, and masterful execution.” – K.J. Simmill (5 Star Review)

Monsterland Awards

  • 2017 Readers’ Favorite Five Star Review
  • Feathered Quill Book Awards 2018 – Science Fiction/Fantasy – Second Place
  • Feathered Quill Book Awards 2018 – Teen Fiction, Graphic/Anime (13-18 years) – First Place
  • The Feathered Quill, The Write Companion Award for Best Overall Top Pick
  • 2018 Shelf Unbound – Notable
  • 2018 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the Young Adult – Horror genre
  • 2019 International Book Awards – Fiction: Fantasy – Finalist
  • 2020 Feathered Quill Book Awards – Gold/1st Place – Best of Backlist

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/31KQKFy

Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2SCCo5P



 

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