An interview with Mike Robinson

Our featured author for episode 117 of the Horror Addicts podcast is Mike Robinson. Mike has five books available and a blog where he talks about cryptozoology. Recently Mike answered some questions for us about his writing:

When did you start writing?

17839307My hand has been fused to The Quill (my generic name for any writing instrument, be it a pencil, pen or keyboard) since I was about 7 years old. I don’t remember any particular moment when I decided to write — I simply wanted to spin the kind of stories I was reading, or that were being read to me. It was my brain’s way of going to the bathroom. As my first Big Ambition was to be a baseball player, I naturally started writing about sports. Gradually, with the help of authors like Bruce Coville, Mark Twain, R.L. Stine, Gary Paulsen, Stephen King, Michael Crichton, etc., I started transitioning into the realm of the horrific and the fantastic. To this day, I remain lost in that delicious labyrinth.

What do you like to write about?

The horrific and fantastic. (*wink*) Like a lot of my shadow-dwelling peers, I’ve always been fascinated with humankind’s ongoing relationship to, and reconciliation with, the Unknown. The human reaction to a monster, or a strange phenomenon, interests me more than the monster or phenomenon itself (though of course I have Fortean love for those, too). So I often infuse my classifiably “speculative fiction” tales with more “literary fiction” hallmarks such psychological analysis, metaphysical exploration and introspection. Spaceships, vampires and elves are not really my thing. Contemporary people confronting something whose very21795163 existence their minds, and our world, has barely even begun to conceptualize — now, that’s my thing.

What interests you about cryptozoology?

More or less the same thing that interests me about speculative fiction (the umbrella term for all things science fiction, fantasy and horror): the search for and celebration of the Unknown. Whatever its spotty reputation, at its heart cryptozoology recognizes that we still live in a wide, weird cosmos. Globalization may be shrinking the human world, but I’m confident the greater world’s many nooks and crannies still await with untold wonders. I also appreciate cryptozoology’s inherent rejection that the natural sciences have virtually checked off everything “big”, an assertion that has always given off an unpleasant whiff of Ahab-ian arrogance.

What are some of the books you have out?

My first was Skunk Ape Semester, which I call “On the Road” meets “The X-Files”, and which touches on real-life phenomena such as Bigfoot (or, the titular Skunk Ape), Sedona vortices and UFOs, the Dover Demon, the lake monster Champ, etc.
17364665Next came The Green-Eyed Monster, a supernatural murder mystery with a strong philosophical bent, and which shares space with my surreal thriller Negative Space in a non-linear trilogy called The Enigma of Twilight Falls, the final of which,Waking Gods, will be released in January 2016 (I call it a ‘non-linear trilogy’ because the books can theoretically be read in any order).
There’s also The Prince of Earth, a metaphysical horror novel set alternately 20 years ago in the Scottish Highlands and in modern-day Los Angeles, and which I call a cross between H.P. Lovecraft and the films of David Lynch. Last but not least is the sampler platter Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray: A Collection of Weird Fiction, which is a pool of horror, metaphysics, sci-fi, and “other.”
What will you be reading for episode 117 of the podcast?
My short story “High Stakes” from the aforementioned collection, Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray. It’s a Twilight Zone-y meditation on fate and theology, tinged with dark humor and horror.
Where can you we find you online?

David’s Library: Thriller Horror Books

Finding a good thriller book isn’t hard. Most good horror books work as thrillers also. One of my favorite thriller books is Bad Moon Rising by John Mayberry. Each year in Pine Deep the locals throw a Halloween horror festival but this years festival will be host to a battle between good and evil as a small group of vigilantes with weapons, martial arts skills and a werewolf battle an army of vampires and ghouls and an evil ghost.

I picked up this book after I heard an interview with the author on a podcast. (Podcasting sells books and music and if I ever go bankrupt I’m blaming Horroraddicts.net) After the first 100 pages this book, it is non stop horror action. The whole town has been cut off from the rest of civilization and the townspeople and tourists are getting killed by the dozen. The evil does not stop there, the vampires are planning on going from town to town until they take over the world and only the citizens of Pine Deep can stop it.

This book has likeable characters and  great imagery. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that even though the author called it a stand alone novel in the interview I listened to, there are two books that came before it that included the same characters. The first 100 pages of this book refers to what happened in the two previous novels (Dead Man’s Song and Ghost Road Blues). Bad Moon Rising is definitely a must read and I look forward to reading other books by John Mayberry.

The next book I found was Blood Blade by Marcus Pelegrimas. Video game programmer Cole Warnecki while on vacation has an encounter with a large werewolf. He is saved by two members of the Skinners which  is a group of people dedicated to protecting humans from supernatural creatures. After the battle,  Cole is entrusted with a sword that has to be taken to the Skinner’s headquarters. When Cole reaches his destination, he learns that humans are not on top of the food chain and a war between werewolves and vampires is looming. It’s up to the Skinners to stop it.

I really enjoyed this book, it’s the first book in a series of novels and is a good combination of horror and action. I loved the way they described the mythology of the skinners and how they face their enemies. I also liked how the different locations of the book are described. I’ve already bought the second book in the series and look forward to reading it.

Another book is one by Michael Crichton called Prey. In this story about science gone wrong, a group of scientists working with nanotechnology have created a group of microscopic robots. Problem is, the robots have escaped and are carnivorous.

Michael Crichton is the author of one of my favorite novels called Timeline. Prey was not as good as Timeline but it was still a good read. Crichton does a great job of character building, even if your not into the action of the book  he makes you like the characters enough that you want to keep reading anyway. This book might fit more into the scifi genre then the horror genre but the idea of being eaten by microscopic robots is definitely scary.

The last book I want to look at is Creepers by David Morrell. This was a book that I had to buy because its on a subject matter that fascinates me. Creepers are urban explorers who like to go into abandoned buildings to investigate. In this book, a college professor and a group of graduate students break into an abandoned hotel that’s scheduled to be demolished. They quickly find out that they are not the only ones creeping around.

Creepers is a great read. Morrell is a master storyteller and has written a story that easily fits into both the horror and mystery genre. The idea of being stalked in an old hotel when you can’t find your way out is enough to give me nightmares.