Jeremy C. Shipp:If you had to switch bodies with one of your characters for a day, who would you choose?
S. S. Michaels: I would choose my character, Caleb Exley. He is one bizarre dude. Psychotic, violent, stressed, a little OCD, but desperately in love. He’s got the whole spectrum of emotions going on, all at once. Oh, and he drills a hole in his own head – what must that feel like? I’d choose him, but I’d want out before the self-trepanation begins.
JCS: What can you tell us about your newest projects?
SSM: I’ve been trying to keep quiet about my newest projects, but, I like to talk about myself, so I’ll tell you. I’m working on a novel right now that centers around a growth-hormonally challenged teenager who lives in a Topanga Canyon cult that idolizes Hunter S. Thompson. All the kid wants to do is escape for a day, with a pretty girl, to see a hockey game. Well, he does, and what happens? One of the NHL’s best players winds up for a killer slap shot, and, BLAM! The kid gets smacked in the head with the puck. Some pretty dark paranormal stuff ensues, but you’ll just have to wait to find out what those things might be. Other things I’m working on: a “collections” themed dark fiction anthology with another author; an outline for yet another odd novel; reviews and interviews for my own blog; I just signed up for the “Bizarro Brigade,” and I’ve got two novels out on submission.
JCS: What superpower would you want the least?
SSM: I don’t think I’d really appreciate the ability to smell things from a great distance. I live on an island, and we can frequently smell that squelchy mucky marsh smell. In the summer, it can be pretty bad. Our city also has its own distinctive smell, which I’m told comes from some quarry or someplace I’ve never seen. I read in a guidebook that if someone asks you what that smell is, you’re supposed to reply: “Old money.” But, yeah, supersmelling would not be a great superpower.
JCS: What sport would you like to see in the Olympics that isn’t there already?
SSM: Figure skating with polar bears.
JCS: What’s your ultimate kryptonite?
SSM: You know this one–it’s candy corn! Just thinking of the sickly sweetness of those tri-colored mini-cones makes me sick to my stomach. Some days, the sight of those orange traffic cones can produce that same sickness if my brain makes that connection.
S. S. Michaels is represented by Mark McVeigh of The McVeigh Agency. She has written three novels, and has had several short pieces appear in on-line publications. She has worked for Scott Free, dick clark productions, inc., and CBS. Visit her on the web at http://slushpilehero.wordpress.com, and check out her story Road to Revival House.