BooksandAuthor.com: Why do you write?
MPC: Writing is a release. When I write, I don’t think about anything for those several hours that my fingers are typing away. I’ve been writing for over 20 years. However, with the advent of on demand self-publishing, it’s easier to get my work around the world. It’s beyond easy, and anyone can do this.
BooksandAuthor.com: Who are your literary influences?
MPC: I follow storytellers. If I can pick two people who have influenced the way I write stories, it would be Quentin Tarantino and Blake Snyder. The way Tarantino writes a story was my inspiration to write…everything you want to happen in his stories, do not happen, and everything you do not want to happen, happens. He is the sole reason why I write my stories the way I do today. Nothing is as it seems. Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat taught me how to structure a story. If it weren’t for Blake’s book, I would ramble on and on and on, without hitting certain beats to move the plot forward. For anyone who reads my book, there is a formula to them. Formula works.
BooksandAuthor.com: Tell us a little about your epic fantasy series Schism Darracia Trilogy.
MPC: The Darracia Trilogy is my ode to my favorite fantasy series of all time – Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda, and The Lord of the Rings. I grew up watching, playing and reading these coming of age stories and it was my life’s mission to write something like them. I don’t compare myself to these masterworks, but ultimately The Darracia series is about a young boy trying to find himself in a world of political upheaval. It was a BLAST to create my own world. In some sense, I now know how George Lucas felt when he was creating his Star Wars universe.
BooksandAuthor.com: Risen is the conclusion to the Darracia series. You have said, This book is really a microcosm of our own culture." Explain.
MPC: Go to google, type in News and look at the upheaval in the world today. Ebola, ISIS, war, political infighting. This is the basis for my book. It would have been brutally boring if I wrote a fantasy book with no substance. Everything in the Darracia series is based on the current climate of the world today.
BooksandAuthor.com: What is it about the science fiction and fantasy genre you enjoy and why?
MPC: Being creative is fun. It allows you to explore your subconscious to see how far you can go. For me, fantasy took my creativity to a whole new level. Creating your own universe in fantasy/science fiction was the most thrilling time for me to write. Every word in the world I created means something. Nothing was arbitrary. For instance, Darracia, is really Arcadia – which is a region of simple pleasure or quiet. The Battle for Darracia shows an epic battle for a peaceful planet. Things could only get worse before they got better. Another example is V’sair, the protagonist. V’sair is a derivative of Saviour. He must save his land and lead his people to freedom. This was SO MUCH FUN to think up.
BooksandAuthor.com: Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island and The Flip are two of your novels in horror. What makes your books perspective of the afterlife different from other novels in the same genre?
MPC: I firmly believe in an afterlife. But I don’t think God is some person sitting on a throne pointing his finger at the good and the unjust. The afterlife, I believe, is energy. I feel the other novels in my genre are too much about angels in white robes. And demons from hell that torture other beings. I don’t believe in this. I believe there are spirits and ghosts all around us in a different form, and we have to use our subconscious to really communicate and understand what they are trying to tell us.
BooksandAuthor.com: In BROOD X you pen a cicada invasion. Where did the concept come from and why do you think real nature is just as scary as zombies and ghosts?
MPC: The idea of Brood X began when I was watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I thought, wouldn’t it be great to see a movie about a bug invasion with the same ramifications as The Birds? The marketplace was saturated with zombie stories, but wouldn’t it be fun to focus on an actual bug invasion as opposed to a completely fictional zombie? I wrote the script of Brood X, entered it into a contest, and came in 4th place out of 4500 scripts. Its now being circulated in the entertainment industry as a possible vehicle for a new horror movie. As I was waiting, I wrote Brood X the novel which has gotten excellent reviews. Real bugs are SO much more scarier than zombies, werewolves and vampires for one reason. The latter is completely fake. Bugs are real, and cicadas can pose a dangerous threat to a civilization if nature decides.
BooksandAuthor.com: If Hollywood called and asked you to cast ONE book - Which book and Who would you cast and why?
MPC: Without a doubt, Stillwell. I had Bradley Cooper in mind the entire time I was writing for the main protagonist Paul. Allison was the actress Jennifer Connolly. Bradley and Jennifer are a gorgeous couple and I can see their worlds torn apart with the death of Allison. I was recently approached by a major production company. They wanted to know if the film rights were available for my book Stillwell. I said ABSOLUTELY…so let’s see if this question becomes a reality.
BooksandAuthor.com: You are a full-time writer. How does an author stay on top of the ever changing game of publishing in this digital era? Do you think the physical book will be dead 10 years from now.
MPC: Being a writer in this digital age is quite interesting. Amazon has a link on their page called Self-Publish with us. This link takes you to CreateSpace which is going to change the way people publish and receive their books. I sell thousands of e-books, but I sell hundreds of paperbacks every month. I don’t think the physical book will be dead in 10 years, but I think they will be very hard to find. In the same regard that there are still CD stores, namely vintage ones, I think this is the path of the book. They will become collector’s items and very few stores in major metropolitan areas will carry them. It’s sad to see, but this is the future.
BooksandAuthor.com: What do you hope to achieve with your novels?
MPC: I want to reach out to people’s souls and shake them, I want the readers to feel emotions. I want them to laugh, cry, be scared, be happy…I want to touch the masses, and hopefully, HOPEFULLY get a movie deal.
BooksandAuthor.com: What was the last book you read?
MPC: I’m in the middle of Joseph Campbell’s 'The Man with a 1000 Faces'. It discusses the mythology of heroes. This work influenced George Lucas to create Star Wars and Francis Ford Coppola to direct The Godfather. It should be required reading to all storytellers.
BooksandAuthor.com: What's next?
MPC: Well, after I put the kids to sleep tonight, I’m in the middle of another story about a woman trying to help her dysfunctional family from the afterlife. I just completed a script called Pokergeist about a ghost who helps a down on his luck loser win the world series of poker. I would like to tackle another fantasy novel, possibly another space opera. The sky is the limit and I’m just taking off. I literally feel I just got started writing, even though I’ve been writing for 20 years.