Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your latest novel, Under a Raging Moon, by World Castle Publishing! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Mike Sherer: The premise is that when a pregnant single mother is attacked by demons intent on her destruction, a "guardian angel" comes to her rescue by possessing her 12-year-old son. What inspired me to write this story was that I wanted to explore the relationship between mother and possessed son. Early on, the son is mortally wounded, and the only thing keeping him alive is the spirit possessing him. This spirit is trying to protect the mother from the attacking demons while keeping the boy alive, while the mother is trying to deal with this adult spirit in her son while fleeing for her and her son’s lives.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing the horror novel to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
MS: My process is to loosely outline the plot points, then rush non-stop through the first draft, then go over and over and over the story until I am satisfied. But each revision has a specific purpose. The second draft will be to check for plot holes and inconsistencies. The next draft will be to develop character. The next draft will be to fill out scenes with richer descriptions. The final draft will be to check for grammar. There are usually many more drafts than these, but this is the way I work. Get it quickly down on paper, then go back to enrich the story. My creative influences: Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Bloch, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, and William P. Blatty.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavor to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Under a Raging Moon’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
MS: I hope to impact readers by setting my stories in the real world with real people. I try to avoid exotic settings and fantastic worlds. I believe grounding incredible stories in reality makes them more frightening. Are you more concerned with what goes on in Transylvania? Or in that run-down house at the end of your street? Are you more frightened of zombies eating your brains? Or of that not-quite-right neighbor roaming your streets at night? I tried to ground this story in the reality of a small-town suburban community and inhabit it with real people dealing with real problems even before the scary stuff starts. I want to show that real life can be much more frightening than monster mash-ups in abandoned castles or haunted Victorian mansions.
BD: Do you foresee expanding the novel into subsequent books or even into other entertainment mediums, if given the opportunity?
MS: There is definitely a sequel potential. Without giving away too much, the story ends at an interesting place that begs to be continued. I would love to see this filmed. I wrote a screenplay that was filmed by a producer in LA and released direct-to-DVD: Hamal_18. It is listed on the ImdB site. That was an amazing experience I would love to undertake once again. I worked closely with the producer on the screenplay, he involved me in the casting sessions, then invited me to the premier at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood. A fascinating process.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
MS: My MG paranormal adventure novel, Shadytown, was released by INtense Publications on January 27th of this year. The publisher provided great support. I am currently securing interviews for it. If any of your readers would be interested in reviewing it, I can send them a PDF file. Just be aware it was written for a young reader; it is nothing like Under a Raging Moon. That is definitely an adult story. Shadytown is available in digital and paperback formats at Amazon. Also, I have a horror short story, Campground Host, that will appear in the April issue of Scribe Magazine, which is published by Breaking Rules.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Under a Raging Moon and your other work?
MS: Email is the easiest most direct way to reach me: m.sherer (at) yahoo (dot) com. Links to all my published works, and my travel blog (American Locations), are posted at my Wordpress site. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter: @mikewsherer. I also have an author page on Amazon.