“Cash intermingles beauty and violence …It’s smartly ambiguous and open to interpretation, and some may delight in a second (or third) read.” – Kirkus Reviews
After a vicious fight with her boyfriend followed by a night of heavy partying, college freshman Amanda Greene wakes up in her dorm room to find things are not the same as they were yesterday. She can’t quite put her finger on it. She’s sharing her room with a peculiar stranger. Amanda discovers she’s registered for classes she would never choose with people that are oddly familiar. An ominous shadow is stalking her. Uncomfortable memories are bubbling dangerously close to her fracturing world, propelling her to an inevitable collision between fantasy and reality. Is this the mother of all hangovers or is something bigger happening?
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She perused the vaguely familiar room, her mouth so dry it was actually painful.
Getting clumsily to her knees, she pulled herself onto the bed, closing her eyes against the bright glare from the drapeless window.
“You’ll be late,” an irritatingly cheerful voice warned. “Come on, lazybones. Time to get up.”
Amanda put a flattened pillow over her head shutting out the voice. Someone was pulling it.
“Manda,” she sang. “You don’t want to miss the first day!”
Amanda rolled over, snatching the pillow to hold it protectively over her abdomen. She heard the familiar melody of a nursery rhyme, one of her least favorite, The Muffin Man.
“Stop!” she snapped. She looked up groggily. Two faces swam before her, they wavered, then settled into a single image. Amanda studied the unfamiliar girl. “Do I know you?” Her voice was a rusty scrape.
The girl kept singing the irritating nursery rhyme. Her nasal contralto drifted into every nook and cranny of Amanda’s abused head, until her teeth drummed in time to the ditty. Amanda squeezed her eyes shut, holding her hands over her ears, the music growing louder, until it sounded as though it filled her brain.
She jumped up, bile rising from her stomach to bath the back of her throat. She swayed, her eyes searching to find something solid to latch onto to stop the movement. A wastebasket appeared under her face, the booze from the night before made a horrifying return appearance. Kind hands held her long auburn hair from the mess, while Amanda puked, and puked, then puked some more.
Why did she drink so much, she thought bitterly. What was she trying to prove? Patrick’s disappointed face swam before her eyes. She blinked hard, erasing his hurt hazel eyes and thinned lips. It wasn’t her fault, it wasn’t her fault at all. He started the whole thing, forcing her to chose her friends over him. It didn’t have to end up the way it did. She cursed softly.
A cold wet rag efficiently made it’s way across her face, the kind thoughts that niggled their way towards her bitter mouth evaporated when Mary Sunshine piped, “Feeling better?”
Amanda took the washcloth from the capable hands, snarling, “Enough.”
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About the Author:
Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novels are best-sellers on Amazon under their genres – Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Ghost, Action Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror.
Michael writes full-time and lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wonderful wife and screaming children. You can follow him @michaelpcash.
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Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey? I STARTED WRITING SCREENPLAYS WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD, AND CONTINUED WRITING THEM FOR MANY YEARS. I WAS SUBMITTING MANY OF THEM TO DIFFERENT PRODUCTION COMPANIES AND HAD MEETINGS WITH SOME BIG PRODUCERS OVER THE YEARS. THEN I STARTED TURNING MY SCRIPTS TO NOVELS AND BEGAN SELF-PUBLISHING. 14 BEST-SELLERS LATER, I NOW HAVE AN AWESOME LITERARY AGENT AND ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY WHO ARE TRYING TO GET MY BOOK MONSTERLAND INTO A NATIONAL PUBLISHER. THEY HAVE AN AGENCY IN LA WAITING IN THE WINGS TO SELL THE FILM RIGHTS. WHAT A RIDE IT’S BEEN!
How many books do you currently have published? 14, BUT I HAVE ABOUT 5 MORE FINISHED, WAITING TO GET PICKED UP.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? IT’S LIKE CHOOSING CHILDREN, BUT IF I HAD TO PICK ONE, IT WAS MONSTERLAND. GOONIES AND JURASSIC PARK MEETS WEREWOLVES, VAMPIRES & ZOMBIES. WHAT WAS NOT TO LOVE. I REALLY ENJOYED BUILDING THE ENTIRE MONSTERLAND UNIVERSE.
Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release? I AM KNEE DEEP IN MONSTERLAND 2. I HAVE MONSTERLAND 3 AND 4 ALREADY BEAT OUT. I HAVE A COMPLETED BOOK CALLED DRAGGED DOWN DEEP – WHICH WILL PROBABLY BE MY NEXT RELEASE. THINK INDIANA JONES MEETS CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.
What do you enjoy most about writing? THE FREEDOM TO SCULPT THE WORLD MY CHARACTERS LIVE IN. MY FAVORITE ASPECT OF WRITING ALL MY BOOKS IS ALWAYS BUILDING THEIR UNIVERSE. I TOOK A HUGE PAGE FROM THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.
Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? ALWAYS. WHEN I BEAT OUT MY STORIES I AM PRETTY CERTAIN I KNOW WHERE THE CHARACTER IS GOING. BUT SOMETIMES, WHILE WRITING THE SCRIPT AND FIGURING OUT WHAT MY CHARACTERS WANT, IT ALMOST ALWAYS TAKE A TURN THAT I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD BE THERE.
Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? I LOVED WRITING ALASTAIR IN WITCHES PROTECTION PROGRAM. HE WAS ALWAYS COOL, CALM AND COLLECTED AND TRIED TO HAVE TREMENDOUS PATIENCE FOR HIS NEW RECRUIT WES ROCKVILLE. EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER I WRITE IS AN ACTOR – AND ALASTAIR HAPPENED TO BE CHRISTOPH WALTZ. MY LEAST? THAT’S A TOUGH ONE BECAUSE I LOVE ALL MY CHARACTERS. I REALLY DON’T HAVE ONE I DIDN’T LIKE WRITING ABOUT. I DON’T LIKE ROMANTIC VAMPIRES, SO I TRIED TO MAKE THE VAMPIRES IN MY BOOK MONSTERLAND TOTAL ROCK STARS – WITH A HINT OF ROMANTIC INTENTIONS.
So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? MY FAVORITE SCENE IS THE BRIDGE SCENE IN WITCHES PROTECTION PROGRAM, HANDS DOWN. OH, AND PAUL FINDING ALLISON IN STILLWELL. AH! TOO MANY TO EVEN THINK OF.
What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers? DON’T WRITE WHAT YOU THINK HOLLYWOOD WANTS. WRITE WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART. I WAS CHASING BIG BUDGET IDEAS THAT DIDN’T REALLY AMOUNT TO MUCH. GO AGAINST THE GRAIN AND DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS RIGHT.
If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? IF THEY WANT A MALE ROM-COM – POKERGEIST. IF THEY ARE A HISTORY BUFF – THE HISTORY MAJOR. IF THEY WANT A DELICIOUS POPCORN TREAT – WITCHES PROTECTION PROGRAM. IF THEY WANT YOUNG ADULT – MONSTERLAND.
Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? I HAVE A BOOK READY TO GO CALLED DRAGGED DOWN DEEP. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED BY CRYPTOZOOLOGY. ONE NIGHT I WAS WATCHING CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON – AND THE IDEA OF A MODERN-DAY INDIANA JONES WITH A TATTOO SLEEVE CHASING A CREATURE THAT IS KILLING PEOPLE IN THE HAMPTONS.
Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorites to read? I ACTUALLY LOVE TO READ SPIRITUAL AND SELF-HELP BOOKS. NOTHING GETS ME MORE MOTIVATED TO LEARN ABOUT THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS. I LOVE READING BIOGRAPHIES AND SCREENPLAYS. TONS AND TONS OF SCREENPLAYS. I LOVE TO LEARN DIFFERENT WAYS HOW TO STRUCTURE A GOOD STORY AND THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN IS FROM THE MASTERS LIKE QUENTIN TARANTINO, CHARLIE KAUFMANN, BRIAN KOPPELMAN, ETC…
What about television shows? Movies? I DON’T WATCH ANY TV, EXCEPT FOR AN INDULGENCE EVERY NOW AND THEN LIKE DINERS, DRIVE-INS, AND DIVES. I AM A HUGE MOVIE BUFF. I TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN MY MOVIE COLLECTION. TOP FIVE FAVORITE MOVIES: 1. THERE WILL BE BLOOD. 2. ROUNDERS. 3. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK & LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY (TIED) 4. SCARFACE 5. THE REVENANT & MAD MAX FURY ROAD (TIED; NEWLY ADDED)
If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? GOOGLE, WIKIPEDIA, AND THE INTERNET – MY ABSOLUTELY AMAZING BEST FRIENDS.