Wednesday, November 1, 2017

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'Monsterland' Michael Okon

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

His latest book is Monsterland.



About the Book:

Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.

The last couple years of high school have not been fun for Wyatt Baldwin. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An on-going debate with his best friends Howard Drucker and Melvin over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can rock out with vampires at Vampire Village, be chased by actual werewolves on the Werewolf River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?



Welcome to PUYB Virtual Book Club! Authors choose different paths in getting their books published. You are published by Wordfire Press. Can you tell us what was your deciding factor in going with them?

My literary agent shopped my book Monsterland around to the big publishing houses and they, unsurprisingly, rejected it. He found this great publisher WordFire Press which is owned by Kevin J. Anderson, who wrote all the Star Wars and Dune canon books. Kevin was impressed with my book, he signed me to a two-book deal. I was thrilled to be a part of their publishing family.

Are you happy with the price they chose?

I trust my publisher implicitly to sell the book at a price they feel is appropriate. Monsterland is 220 pages and I feel they did an excellent job with pricing it.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I had a meeting with my publisher and agent and we all decided it would be prudent to release Monsterland in October. With Halloween being practically the entire month, it made sense to release a book about werewolves, vampires and zombies in a theme park during that time.

How did you choose your cover?

I owe my book cover design to my brother. I wanted all the main characters on the cover, the park gates, the monsters, the villain. It was too busy and made no sense. My brother designed a simple clean cover with the promise of the premise – werewolves, vampires and zombies. It captured the essence of Monsterland.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?
No, I write my book from start to finish. Then I go back and beef it up. If I begin writing and go back to the beginning, I will never finish.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book? 

My mom is my publicity manager. She, along with her assistant Brittney, has created a killer marketing plan. My brother also joined in and created Monsterland fidget spinners, a newspaper about the theme park, VIP Theme Park bracelets, and backpacks. They are also making a huge presence on all social media sites. I could not do any of this alone. I’m blessed to have them in my life.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

Oh yeah – again I owe it to my brother. My trailer is on

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

1.      Keep Calm – it’s a thrilled time when your book is about to be released (even when there is movie interest). But you have to keep a level head.
2.      Re-read your book, after not reading it for some time. No one on planet earth knows this book better than you. You built a universe. It’s your characters, your design. If you do interviews, it would be helpful if you remembered certain aspects of the book that could stand out.
3.      Pop a bottle of champagne, eat bacon, or throw a party. Do something that you don’t normally do to celebrate this incredible milestone in your life.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

1.      You should already be on book 2, or 3. Don’t wait until after the book is released.  I’m already on Monsterland 3, and Monsterland 2 comes out May 26, 2018. Part one isn’t even out yet.
2.      Think about your future career. Where do you want to be in the next two years. Make a list or a vision board to create the future you desire.
3.      Did I say write some more?

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

Well, there is heavy film interest for my book Monsterland. I am entering new territory that is beyond my wildest dreams.  I’m turning 40 in May, so if I have to spend the next five years writing a monster universe, you won’t hear me complain.  I have 8 books total planned in the series.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

If you like monsters and theme parks, then do I have a book for you…

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