Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Monsterland by Michael Okon - Book Tour



We're thrilled to kick off the virtual book tour for MONSTERLAND by YA monster fiction author Michael Okon. If you would like to follow his tour, visit Pump Up Your Book!




MONSTERLAND

By Michael Okon

YA Monster Fiction


Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.Wyatt Baldwin’s
senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad
mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather,
Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin
and Howard Drucker 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 interact with vampires in
Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk
among the dead in Zombieville.With real werewolves, vampires and zombies
as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?


Praise:

“Michael Okon crafts a fabulous novel with unique, unforgettable
characters. …The world building was done fabulously. There were
believable backgrounds that explain how it could be possible for there
to be a world that had not only vampires, but also werewolves and
zombies, excuse me, the vitality-challenged. It all comes together
seamlessly as the plot lines converge to make for an explosive ending.” – Devouring Books 2017, blogspot

“I can assure you of this: you will not be disappointed. Nor will you
sleep well at night for a while, either. But isn’t that the mark of a
master storyteller! Hat’s off to Michael Okon” – Theodore Jerome Cohen, Author of “House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Martelli NYPD, #2)”

“As this book deserves not only top of the New York Times bestseller
list but on the big screen as well. The moment I began to read my world
was transformed and I was living through the novel.” – Carey Hurst, Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

“First rate YA fiction with a monsterous twist. Highly recommended.” – Richard Schwindt, author of “The Death in Sioux Lookout Trilogy”

“Okon does a fantastic job of creating distinct personalities for the
different monsters. The vampires are sly and cunning while the
werewolves are weary and brooding. Even the zombies have some
personality, albeit it’s only shown through thoughts they struggle to
string together.” – Alejandro Ramos, medium.com

“I enjoyed the beautiful prose, the great characters, and the
exciting plot. It’s hard to read this novel without getting emotionally
involved.” – Divine Zape, Readers’ Favortie (Five Star Review)

“I think MONSTERLAND provides something different for the YA
category that really isn’t otherwise present, not only in type of story
but in teen/adult relationships.” – litbites.com, Blog Tour

“This book has a charm often lost in supernatural stories. Michael
Okon sets a brilliant scene where you can hear and see the world coming
to life before your eyes. You don’t read this book, you live it. .. Monsterland makes for a fun yet harrowing horror read, with injections of comedy, and masterful execution.” – K.J. Simmill (5 Star Review)

Monsterland Awards

  • 2017 Readers’ Favorite Five Star Review
  • Feathered Quill Book Awards 2018 – Science Fiction/Fantasy – Second Place
  • Feathered Quill Book Awards 2018 – Teen Fiction, Graphic/Anime (13-18 years) – First Place
  • The Feathered Quill, The Write Companion Award for Best Overall Top Pick
  • 2018 Shelf Unbound – Notable
  • 2018 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the Young Adult – Horror genre
  • 2019 International Book Awards – Fiction: Fantasy – Finalist
  • 2020 Feathered Quill Book Awards – Gold/1st Place – Best of Backlist


Amazon → https://amzn.to/31KQKFy

Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2SCCo5P







Chapter 1

The Everglades



The sky was a sparkling, powder blue, mosquitoes droned lazily over the tepid water, frogs croaked messages while they sunbathed on waxy lily pads. The fire he created burned bright, rabbit roasting on a spit made from hickory, the juices dripping to hiss in the flames. Seven of them lay in scattered repose, enjoying the late afternoon lull—two napped, the others tossed a stuffed fur in the form of a ball around the clearing, hooting with amusement when it rolled into the brush. They traveled in a pack, his group, his makeshift family, foraging together, hiding in plain sight. It had been that way for generations. But the glades were getting smaller, the humans invasive.

The sun started its slow descent into the horizon, hot pink and lilac clouds rippling against the empty canvas of the sky. Their color deepened as the sky filled, the rosy hue morphing into a burnt orange as the sun hid behind the condensation. The air thickened, moisture causing the leaves to lie heavily against the branches. Here and there, fireflies lit the gloom, doing a placid ballet in the humid air. The men moved closer as the sun sank into the western treetops, the fading sky promising another clear day tomorrow in the Everglades despite the moving ceiling of clouds.

A lone hawk cried out, disturbing the peace of the glade. Huge birds answered, flapping their wings, creating a cacophony of swamp sounds. The area became a concerto of animals responding to the disruption of their home—wild screams, squeaks, and complaints of the invasion of their territory.

The lead male stood, his head tilted. He heard it again. It was music, the strange organization of sounds, predictable as well as dangerous. Where those rhythms originated meant only one thing—they were not alone. They all rose, tense and alert, searching the waterway. Billy pointed, his dirty hands silently parting an outcropping of trees to expose a flat-bottom boat with strangers floating slowly toward them. It was filled with people, excitedly searching the banks of the swamp, their expensive khaki bush clothes ringed with sweat. Many held huge cameras. It was obviously a film crew, invasive, nosy individuals looking for something, anything, to enhance their lives. Men’s voices drifted on the turgid air. Billy stood, sniffing, his mates following suit. He glanced at the sky, gauging the time, his eyes opening wide. It was late. The bald top of the moon peeked over the ridge in the south, the sky graying to twilight with each passing second. Night came fast and furious in the swamp, dropping a curtain of darkness, extinguishing all light except for the beacon of the full moon. That chalk-white orb floated upward, indifferent to the consequences of its innocent victims. A halo of lighter blue surrounded the globe, limning the trees silver, the cobwebs in the trees becoming chains of dripping diamonds in the coming night.

What were the interlopers doing here? Billy thought furiously. This was their territory. The humans didn’t belong in the swamp. The moon continued its trip to the heavens, the familiar agony beginning in his chest. Billy fought the demons churning within his body, feeling the pain of metamorphosis. He curled inward, hunching his shoulders, the curse of his nature making his spine pull until his tendons and muscles tore from their human positions to transform into something wicked. A howl erupted from his throat, followed by another, and then another. Grabbing handfuls of dirt, he tried to fight the awful change, but, as the sun dipped to its fiery death, the moon took control of his life, and the unnatural force tore through his unwilling body. Reason fled; his heart raced. Falling on his hands and knees, he let loose a keening cry as his face elongated, his body changing into a canine, fangs filling his mouth. He raced in a circle in a demented dance, knowing his fellow pack members did the same thing. Slowing, he regulated his labored breathing, forcing the icy calmness he needed to keep some semblance of reason. He peered through the dense brush. Lights from the search party bobbed in the distance. The odor, the stench of humanity, filled the clearing.

He turned, digging furiously on the ground, throwing dirt on the flames, hiding their existence. It was no good. Discovery would ruin everything. No one could live with their kind. Humans brought disease, humans brought anger, humans brought hatred. They were there; he could smell them, see their clumsy bodies invading his home. “They’ve found us,” he growled in the special language they used. “Run!” he barked as he turned to his pack, watching his friends’ naked skin transform until it was covered with the same silvered fur. They cried out in unison at the pain, howling with the injustice, and then ran in fear from the interlopers threatening their habitat.









Michael Okon on Writing, Marketing and Publishing

On Writing…

I’ve been writing since 15 years old, albeit poorly. Honed my skills for years and started writing screenplays in college. I wrote tons of screenplays and really learned the craft. Got married and had kids. The scripts were going nowhere so I came up with this monikers, Michael Samuels & Michael Phillip Cash, and started self-publishing books. I became an indie sensation, and my books became best-sellers on Amazon. My book Just Ask the Universe is still in the Top 100 most read spiritual books on Amazon after 9 years. Long story short, I got noticed. Within months, I got a literary agent, a high-powered entertainment attorney, and a film manager, and a 3-book publishing deal. Right now, my manager is shopping my books around to the different studios. In 2020, I have two more published books coming out. Things have been looking up, so to speak.


On Being Published…

Surreal. I remember getting the email that Kevin J. Anderson from WordFire Press wanted to publish my books Monsterland and Monsterland Reanimated. I was literally screaming at the top of my lungs. Right now I have two manuscripts being sent out to different publishers – Dragged Down Deep and Monsterland Beneath (Book III). My agent is waiting on callbacks. Additionally, my manager is shopping around Monsterland, Monsterland Reanimated and Witches Protection Program to all the studios, so again, we’re just waiting.



On Publishing Industry…

Being a published author is cool but has its drawbacks. First you are the mercy of the publisher and your team. When I was self-published, I could come out with whatever book I wanted, whenever I wanted. Nothing was holding me back. Additionally, I was in charge of the editing, cover design and marketing, which was extremely time consuming. When you’re published, the publisher does all this for you, BUT…you have to wait…and wait…and wait some more for your team to move the ball forward, which can be quite frustrating. It has its drawbacks, but no one will truly take you seriously if you aren’t a published author.



On Marketing…

I’ve always been very good at selling, but I was never good at Marketing. My mom, who is my manager (momager), took over all marketing aspects of my books and promotes the hell out of them online. I’m active on LinkedIn and little bit on Twitter (don’t love social media, but I understand the importance of it). I always felt in order to sell, you can’t sell. You have to be personable to people so they connect with you.  If you’re out there and saying, read my book, read my book, people generally aren’t going to read your book. If you talk about your journey and how you’ve come as an author, and the trials and tribulations you’ve experienced along the way, then people will connect with you and want to read your works. This is how I sell it when I talk to people. I talk to them about everything but the actual books I’ve written.


On Goals and Dreams…

Movies, movies, movies. I got into the writing game because I absolutely love to write. Movies have been my inspiration from day one, and I have always believed that my works will get made into movies eventually. At this point in the game, I don’t really have a game plan – that’s the job of my team. I would love to shop my works around the entertainment industry, but that is what my manager is for. Same thing with my literary agent. His job to get my manuscripts published and so far, he’s done and incredible job. With the right team behind, me the sky is the limit. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that my works are going to get optioned and turned into film. The question is when, which is hopefully soon.







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 in 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.


WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:


 


http://www.pumpupyourbook.com



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