I don’t do horror in any forms.
That’s what I thought prior to reading Mike Duran’s The Ghost Box for the first time. I was creeped out, paranoid at night, but yet greatly enjoyed it and thought, “Why not read book two?”
So enters me sharing an interview with the author of the Reagan Moon series.
His stories are not like anything I have read (Goosebumps doesn’t even come close)! They pulled me in and fortified the truth that God is stronger than any evil force. He has a grand purpose for each of our lives, even if seems our personalities collide with the calling in our hearts.
Yeah, his stories are pretty much epic.
Grab a blanket and a few pillows for my fun chat with Mike about writing, speculative fiction, and the Reagan Moon series.
Mike Duran is a novelist, blogger, and speaker, whose short stories, essays, and commentary have appeared in Relief Journal, Relevant Online, Bewildering Stories, Rue Morgue, Zombies magazine, Breakpoint, and other print and digital outlets. He is the author of The Ghost Box (Blue Crescent Press, 2014), which was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best indie novels of 2015 and first in a paranoir series that continues with Saint Death (2016), a Southern Gothic Horror short Wickers Bog (2016), a short story anthology Subterranea (Blue Crescent Press, 2013), the supernatural thrillers The Telling (Realms May 2012) and The Resurrection (Realms, 2011), an e-book fantasy novella entitled Winterland (Amazon digital, Oct. 2011), and a non-fiction exploration on the intersection between the horror genre and evangelical fiction entitled Christian Horror (Blue Crescent Press May 2015). Learn more about Mike Duran, his writing projects, cultural commentary, philosophical musings, and arcane interests, at www.mikeduran.com.
– Hi Mike! I am excited to have you on my blog! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?
Curious – The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know. The world is such a big place, but cultivating a sense of wonder seems like a waning art.
Overly-thinky – Is that one word? Either way, I tend to over-analyze things. Sometimes it leads to cerebral grumpiness and cynicism. But mostly it leads to a need to recreate.
Insomniac – I’m blessed with a constitution that requires only 5-6 hours sleep a night
– That must be awesome not having to get a lot of sleep! I know I wouldn’t mind. Haha! You mention in your author bio that you write “paranoir, urban fantasy, horror, dark fantasy.” Have you always been interested in these genres?
Well, I’ve always been interested in speculative fiction. I grew up in a dysfunctional household and part of my coping mechanism was to immerse myself in the world of fantasy. Comic books, Weird Tales, the Twilight Zone, and B-grade monster movies were my lifelines. They became a coping mechanism of sorts, and remain so to this day. Which is why I have a great fondness for that genre still. I thinks it’s the tether between the real and the surreal (or the unreal) that fascinates me, the normal and the impossible, the known and the unknown. And that our lives seem like this incredible balancing act between the two.
– I am coming to appreciate that “tether” as you mentioned with reading more diverse Christian books revolving around paranormal activities (so to speak). You also mentioned on your website that you grew up going to the weekend matinee. What are some of your favorite things to get for watching a movie? Popcorn? Candy? Soda?
I’m a slow and chewy guy (as opposed to a nervous, loud, and crunchy guy). So things like Milk Duds, Big Hunk, and Abba Zabba were my go-to fare.
– I have to admit that I haven’t had those three candies before. Will have to check it out! What inspired the Reagan Moon series?
A couple things. I’d been wanting to develop a series and a character that I could explore and stretch my creative legs with. Up to that point, I’d only written stand-alone stories. I tend to like to jump around from one interest to the next and get tired of same-old, same-old, rather easily. Also, as an indie author, we are told that series are the way to go. Around that time, I read a news story about a medium who was murdered in Los Angeles. I found that fascinating, and asked myself the question, “Why would someone murder a medium?” I thought it would be a great springboard into a story. Meanwhile, as a fan of urban legends, with a perennial interest in paranormal phenomenon, I thought it would be fun to explore those things through the eyes of a marginal skeptic. Reagan Moon was both steeped in the lore but enough of a cynic to prod me to develop the character.
– Fascinating! The Ghost Box was the first time I had read about any of the things you mentioned above. I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite character, BUT I am curious about who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with you? What would you guys do?
Heh. That’s a tough one. I think my characters would find me boring. Hanging out with the Imperia (a team of earth guardians who don’t show up until book two) would be fun. I realize that’s probably cheating, because it’s seven or more people, depending on peripheral characters who’ve joined the cause. But they’d have some cool stories and would probably be down for some r&r one weekend in Hollyweird.
– It would definitely make an unique visit with such a clash of personalities and ideas. If you had the chance to visit The Asylum, what would you be most interested to see and learn about?
The Asylum is still expanding in my mind. A lot still to explore! I’d love to see – spoiler alert – the death angel from Saint Death and her scythe. (Hint: The angelic scythe will likely make an appearance in a future novel.) Also, Mace’s crytid collection would be high on the list.
– Totally awesome! Can’t wait to see where you go with that! Lastly, I am SUPER curious. Will there be a book three?
Oh, yeah. It’s tentatively entitled “The Third Golem.” Here’s the working blurb:
With the help of Ki, the Wayward Guardian, the Summu Nura seek to empower a chaos magician in his quest to create an artificial intelligence which can bridge all dimensions. As the Imperia continue to unravel, Reagan Moon must find the fabled Golem Prison in time to stop the creation of an android demigod who can control the Crossroads of Time.
Thanks for the interview, Laura! It’s been fun.
– Ooooo! Thanks for sharing that little sneak peek of book three! Definitely looking forward to reading it. 🙂 Also, I appreciate you stopping by today and sharing with us, Mike.
Connect with Mike
About Saint Death
Reagan Moon didn’t plan on being an earth guardian.
He was your average paranormal reporter…until 1,000 volts of raw electricity fused an ancient relic into his sternum. It left him with Powers and lets him do things most humans can’t. There are others like him, six of them to be exact. They call themselves the Imperia and are charged with keeping earth from going down the toilet. This usually involves fighting monsters, tweaking the laws of physics, and keeping lots of booze and bandages on hand.
But when Saint Death comes knocking, no amount of holy water and hand grenades can slow her roll.
She’s the queenpin of the Santa Muerte pantheon. The folk religion’s central deity often appeared as a Virgin or a bride. Some called her the Grim Reapress. But mostly she was known as Saint Death. Now she’s got a companion. With the help of the Summu Nura, a Neuro priestess has rediscovered the Grimoire of Azrael, the Archangel of Death. And the Tenth Plague is about to be unleashed upon Los Angeles. Apparently, only Moon and his weathered compatriots can prevent the angel’s arrival. Yet earth guardians aren’t indestructible…as Saint Death is about to prove.
Myth and history collide in the second installment of what Publishers Weekly called “one of the best indie novels of 2015.”