Today we are so excited to introduce our second male author on Two Voices….One Thought, this one much different from the last, as his work is Fiction. Shaun Michael O’Neal.
Shaun just so happens to hail from the State that Inion & I have been in love with all our lives, Washington: The Magical Northwest Pacific with its Emerald Green Forests. We shall take a moment to rear our ugly head of jealousy!
Okay…all done, now onto the artist.
We first met Shaun Michael O’Neal on Facebook, which is why we love networking, as it opens so many doors to artists that we might’ve never known. What made us instantly like Shaun, was his incredible sweet spirit, love for the Artistic community and……….
Yes, we’re going to say it; because you know we love, love, love DARK THINGS! We just recently picked up Shaun’s book: The Evil In The Dark and it’s sitting in our kindle begging to be read.
Last time we caught up with Shaun, he was trying get his book publically banned by the Roman Catholic Church. ;) So, let’s give Shaun Michael O’Neal a big welcome!!
(INM) Hi Shaun, how are you doing? We’re so happy to have you here on Two Voices….One Thought!
(SMO) Thank you! It’s a pleasure to be here.
(INM) Let’s start this interview off with a little personal info. How long have you been writing and what made you want to become a writer?
(SMO) I would like to answer the second part first. I have been writing since High school. But even that was not the start. When I was 7 I was writing and preforming for the rest of the kids. I turned the garage into a stage. A rope with an old blanket draped over it was my curtain. It was so much fun.
(INM) Now that’s how to get that imagination in gear! Shaun you live in Washington, so ya know we got to hit you up about this! What’s it like writing in what we believe to be the most magical place on earth? And please be nice and try not to wreck our dream!!! Lmao
(SMO) I must first say I was raised in Southern California; Fountain Valley 5 miles from the water and Huntington Beach, to be exact. I have been here 10 years and still not used to the rain. But looking out every day and seeing a forest, I live right on the edge of one, is pure beauty.
(INM) Can you feel the mental darts we’re throwing at you? We’ll behave now!
Shaun, we recently purchased your book: The Evil In The Dark, tell us what to expect from this read without giving any spoilers away!
(SMO) In a nut shell, I have a couple doing what they are told to do by their church. They live their faith. They never stop to question it. That’s not allowed. Along the way an unusual and supernatural plot unfolds that cause them to question everything. Friends are dragged in as well. Where it goes, you have to read it to find out. I will say… it gets twisted!
(INM) Oh yeah….this sounds right up our demented alley! Shaun, is this book the genre you prefer to write or do you cross genres when writing?
(SMO) This is a classic horror story and genre I love. It allows me to say so much without sounding to weird. I hope.
(INM) Yep, we jumped into that same genre so as to appear normal as well! Lol ;)
Shaun, the main character(s) of your book, Mark & Jesse are these based on someone personal or are these strictly fictitious characters?
(SMO) Mark and Jesse are completely fictitious. I did put a lot of my myself in one character and I won’t say who, not yet! The name, Mark is from a friend of mine. I was the best man at his wedding. Jesse: I always type to music. The song Jessie’s girl from Rick Springfield was playing. The name Jesse just felt right. So I used it.
(INM) Yeah, we’re the same way, listening to music when writing. Now, the backdrop to this book seems to be religious. The ongoing battle of good vs evil (a favorite of Inion N. Mathair’s as you well know.)
Many readers find religious based books to be heavy reads, with content sometimes to dark or too intense to follow. What set’s your book apart from the other religious books out there?
(SMO) I have to admit. I did quote the old Catholic bible a few times. It’s key to the story. But it’s not done in the manner most people would think. The supernatural aspect keeps it from being as dark and heavy as it could be.
(INM) Nice balance our friend! Shaun, what was the initial spark that inspired this book and how long did it take you to write it?
(SMO) Back in the late 80’s one of the gentleman I was working for was one of the librarians for the OTO. ( Ordo Templi Orientis ) or in English, ‘Order of Oriental Templars. He himself a bishop in The Gnostic Catholic Church. He shared with me many very old Sacred text. I was hungry to learn. He was happy to teach. It was years after I got the idea for the book. I started outlining it in 2000. I tossed around many plots until I found one that worked and had my voice. I started writing it in 2009. I completed it on February 6 2010 and I was on real writers high. A few days later I was in an accident at work and was really hurt, so I put it away. From my bed with a laptop I started to search for an agent. 100 rejections, (no one would ever read it) and 4 major surgeries later and still no agent. I decided to publish it myself. It was not an easy decision; but it was the right one at the time.
(INM) Shaun, give us two writers that you admire and who have influenced your writing?
(SMO) Wow, only two? Well, J. R. R. Tolkien. The next Rod Serling, wrote more for the screen and theatre but I always loved what he did. Holding a mirror up to the world and showing its problems. I have to add Edger Alan Poe. With that said I have taken a lesson from many of the greats. H.G. Wells and Hemingway. I just couldn’t do two sorry about that.
(INM) Well, you know we’ll let that slide when you start throwing names around with that kinda weight! Lol ;) Shaun, this is such a silly question, but a favorite one of Inion N. Mathair as we believe that a truly great book, will have a flavorful villain that will keep your attention! So, who is your all- time favorite literary villain?
(SMO) That is a very tough question. I like my villains rich in character; the king that if just one thing was different in their lives, they might have been seen as the good guy. Of course pure evil without apologies is good as well. An example of this would be Cardinal Richelieu from, The Three Musketeers.
(INM) Shaun, another silly question: If you we’re stranded on a deserted Island and could only have ONE book….which one would you request?
(SMO) I would like a book on boat and raft building!
(INM) Well, we jumped into that one head first! :D Now, we have it on good authority, that you have a bit of a, Ahem (they clear their throats) how shall we put it…………dislike? Nope! Not strong enough. Ahem; uncomfortable? Nope wrong word! HATRED? Ahh yes, Hatred, that’ll work! Whoop there it is! So what about this hatred for clowns! Okay, just know that anything you say on Two Voices….One Thought, will strictly be between the interviewee and us! No one else will hear, you have our word!
(SMO) Clowns are Evil! Really, I have never liked clowns. They have always seemed dark and unnatural, John Wayne Gacy Jr. notwithstanding. My latest clown came courtesy of a nightmare. If a nightmare is bad enough to wake me up screaming, I write the nightmare down for further stories. Such is the case with my latest loathing of clowns.
(INM) Okay, one last question before we let you go. Shaun what can we expect from, that brilliant,dark mind of yours in the future?
(SMO) I have completed and have in edit now: 2 85k word stories. In these stories, I use supernatural creatures; some trying to maintain their humanity; others shunning it. It’s filled with magic, very old Gods from different times and places. Love, blood, passion, pain, death, resurrection and a lead character struggling to deal with it all. The working title is, “The Blood Spot” I have another in edit with a working title of, “Cross roads” one novella and two shorts, all dealing with change. Again all these are dreams. Of course Garden Of shadows is out now. Would you believe I have a book of poetry? It’s not horror. That one… I’ll tell you about later.
(SMO) In closing, I would like to once again thank the both of you. You have helped me, taught me and been a friend. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
(INM) We blush, smile and send lots of:
Garden of Shadows
Shaun’s book links:
THE EVIL IN THE DARK / AMAZON
GARDEN OF SHADOWS / AMAZON
Synopsis for: The Evil In The Dark: An ancient evil besets a young couple. Seeking help and spiritual guidance from the old Catholic priest they have grown up with and trust implicitly. Mark and Jesse are propelled into a world of secrets and truth. With the help of Father Pat, they enter a realm hidden in plain sight. One that will shake the very foundations of their faiths and lives. A world of truths, lies and obfuscation. The price they pay if they fail? Only their lives and souls.
Synopsis for: Garden of Shadows: A compilation of short stories from Horror Master Shaun Michael O’Neal author of “The Evil In The Dark” Now offers you 13 Tales of Terror sure to keep you up or give you nightmares!
SHAUN’S NETWORK PAGES: (get to know the man): http://www.shaunoneal.ocm
Shaun, we can’t tell you, what a pleasure it was to host you here on Two Voices….One Thought. You’ve been such a great friend to us! We wish you the greatest success with your books and we encourage all of you, our friends, when you have your “Must-Read” list down, to tag on Shaun’s book as he is a truly brilliant writer and wonderful human being!! We will also be leaving some links where you can friend Shaun on line and get to know him better!!
If you’d like to purchase “The Evil In The Dark” just head on over to Amazon and the link we’re leaving below and grab your copy of Shaun’s book. Also while you’re there, check out Shaun’s other book: