Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Interview -- Michaelbrent Collings, independent horror writer

Hey everybody! I was lucky enough to snag an interview with one of Amazon's most popular horror writers, Michaelbrent Collings! Check out our awesome interview below!

RQOH:  Please introduce yourself to those who unfortunately do not know who you are and what you do!

MC: Hi! My name is Michaelbrent Collings and I’m a writer. I guess that was a likely answer, so a bit more: I’m one of the top indie horror writers in the US, a bestseller in 40+ countries, and one of Amazon’s bestselling horror writers for going on three straight years. I’m a produced screenwriter, too. I also make great chocolate-chip waffles.

RQOH:  What inspired you to become a writer?

MC: My inability to competently perform other tasks. 

RQOH: Out of all the books you have written, do you have favorite? And if so why?

MC: Hmmmm… Whichever one I’ve finished is always my favorite. There’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment, and I give myself a day off which is nice. That being said, I kind of like This Darkness Light. There are some fun themes, and I love the characters. They were fun to inhabit for a while, and hard to say goodbye to – even (maybe especially?) the villains.

RQOH: Tell us about The Colony series.

MC: It’s a zombie apocalypse series. But I didn’t want to do “just another zombie book,” so my series (it’s on book six now, with seven coming soon) has a few differences. First, fifty percent of THE ENTIRE WORLD is converted instantly. Ten minutes later, 99.9% of the world is either dead or changed. There’s no slow build, no spread of a disease. One minute the world is one way, the next it’s just… over. Also, you shoot these guys in the head and they just get angrier. The good guys STILL haven’t discovered a way to kill a single one of these bad boys yet. And finally: a lot of ZA books are populated by people who gradually become so awful you start to wonder if the zombies aren’t actually the nice guys. In mine, the good guys are actually good. People like my neighbors and friends, who I believe would actually help me out in a pinch.

RQOH: I'm a huge fan of horror, as I'm sure you already know! Out of all your books which one would you recommend for me to read and why?

MC: For hard-core horror fans, I usually recommend APPARITION, STRANGERS, or TWISTED, depending on if they like demons, serial killers, or ghosts, respectively. All of them are very scary, all of them take the “normal” out of normal life.

RQOH: To be a writer, I know that it takes a lot of commitment. Do you have a strict schedule? Do you write everyday?

MC: I do write everyday – though not necessarily by typing. Some days my writing is in the form of thinking of a new book, other days it’s in the form of watching a movie to reboot my creative juices. Typing is a subset of writing, but it isn’t the whole of it. Remembering that keeps me fresh, and keeps me coming up with four to eight books a year.

RQOH: How do you come up with your books? Is there a process that you do?

MC: It depends on the books. Sometimes I have an idea for an ending or a beginning or a scene I really want to see. Other times I sit down and meticulously come up with an idea that I think will be very commercial by going through lists of items that will be fun and effective together. I often start with a logline – a single sentence that tells the gist of the story – and a movie poster in my mind. 

RQOH: Why should people read your books? What makes you different from other Horror/Thriller/Mystery/Sci-Fi writers?

MC: One thing that differentiates them is that they exist to highlight grace. By that I mean that some horror novels exist to show the fallen state of humanity – basically to explain why we are all awful, and to even celebrate that fact in a grim and grimy way. Mine are the opposite. I think the best horror exists to knock us into the abyss in order to show that we are capable of climbing back to the light. That doesn’t mean that all my endings are happy – far from it! – but it does mean they all exist within a framework where Good and Evil (caps intended) actually mean something, and actually matter. I think the world is a mostly-good place, and can certainly be made better. I also think that it serves little purpose to kick people into the gutter, then try to show them why it’s a fun place to stay.

RQOH: Since this a horror blog, I have to ask: what's your favorite scary movie(s)?

MC: Gah! What a terrible question! I like The Shining, The Ring, Insidious, Night of the Living Dead, Nosferatu… my list is really endless, and encompasses movies from lots of different countries. It kinda depends on my mood. 

RQOH: What advice do you have for the other writers out there?

MC: WRITE. Don’t look for a silver bullet to success. Practice your craft, meet people, look for opportunity. The more you do all three of those things, the more likely your chances of achieving your goals.

RQOH: Are there any upcoming projects you'd like to share with us?

MC: I have a seventh Colony book, like I said. Other than that, my current project is still in the “super-secret” stage, so mum’s the word. Mwa-hahaha!

RQOH: And finally, where can we find you and your work?

MC: Easiest way to find me is by googling “Michaelbrent” Because I have a weird first name, I’m very easy to find on the interwebz. You can also look for me at, or key in “Michaelbrent Collings” on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, etc.

For more information on the down to earth, talented Michaelbrent Collings:

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