What inspired you to write this book?
I have always been a huge fan of fantasy since I was a young boy. Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda and Lord of the Rings have been an integral part of my life by their stories. I have always wanted to create my own fantasy realm with my own set of characters.
Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?
Everyone’s name in the book are inverted letters of a name that stands for who they are. For instance, the planet of Darracia is a form of Arcadia, a region offering rural simplicity and contentment.
How did you choose your title?
Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.
The first book Schism is all about division so I had a sword going through the planet of Darracia. The second book I wanted a big comet zipping through the sky that would be the portent of doom.
Did you self-publish or publish traditionally and why?
Self-publish. Always. I’m a control-freak. I want to be able to have total control over my books from inception to print to cover to pricing. The self-publishing revolution is just starting.
What is your writing process?
I like mapping out my stories before I begin, although some stories I dive head first. If you map it out and use certain beats (like from Blake Snyder’s classic – Save the Cat) you will have a direction you want your story to go.
How long have you been writing?
Since I’m 5, I’ve been writing stories. Started writing screenplays at 14. Started writing novels at 27.
What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?
Not being able to write fast enough. I have so many ideas rolling around my head I want to write 24/7, but I still need to sleep, eat and play with my wife and kids.
What kind of music do you like to listen to while you write?
I don’t listen to music but I generally leave the Food Network or Travel Channel on mute in the background. I’m a big Ghost Adventures fan and it gives me tons of inspiration.
Who is your favorite author?
Wallace Wattles and Napoleon Hill. I’m a self-help junkie.
Who is your favorite character from a book?
The young shepherd boy named Santiago from The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.
What is your favorite book?
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles.
Read anything good lately?
Writing Screenplays that Sell by Michael Hauge
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love hanging out with my wife and kids. We live in New York so on any given day we will go to the Bronx Zoo, Museum of Natural History or White Post Farms on Long Island. We are also big suckers for video games and play constantly at Dave & Busters. We also love to cook and shop at local Italian groceries and Whole Foods for fresh, local ingredients.
What advice would you give an author just starting out?
Read Save the Cat and learn how to map out your book
Have you had anything else published?
Yes! My other pen name is Michael Samuels and I have two best-selling self-help books called Just Ask the Universe and The Universe-ity. My other novels under the Michael Phillip Cash name is Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island, The Hanging Tree, Brood X: A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion and Schism: The Battle for Darracia (Book 1).
What's your next project?
I’m finishing up another ghost/paranormal novel under the “Haunting on Long Island” banner. There will be a few cameos in this story from characters in my other books. I just started mapping out Risen: The Battle for Darracia (Book 3). I also have a few other stories in the works. I’m also finishing up another self-help book.
All of my books can be purchased on Amazon.com, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble. My website is www.michaelphillipcash.com and I’m on Facebook and Twitter too! My blog is Blog.michaelphillipcash.com.