It seems like we were just launching this anthology, but here we are with the last piece in the book. Mike Sullivan’s “The Bugs Come Out at Night” is a novella-length piece of horror fiction set in a remote cabin in the woods. If you love hiking and vacationing in remote cabins, this story might make you think twice about your hobbies…
Q (Crone Girls Press): What do you write? How long have you been writing? What are your preferred genres and why?
A (Mike Sullivan): I write Dark Fiction. I’ve been telling stories all my life, but have only begun seriously writing recently. I enjoy writing weird and strange tales about real people.
Q: What inspired your story in this anthology? Tell us the “story behind the story.”
A: A visual inspired this story. I was on vacation on Cape Cod and was sitting outside in the backyard of the rental home enjoying a beverage after a day at the beach. I can’t say why this image came to me, but I was looking up at the house and wondered, “What if a giant bug suddenly climbed up onto the roof of this house?” The story came from that one visual idea. The funny part is, that image ended up being cut from the story after a few drafts. There’s one small reference that eagle-eyed readers may see in the story.
Q: What draws you to the genre of horror/dark fiction? What do you find there that you don’t find anywhere else?
A: I think horror/dark fiction is fun for a few reasons. First, it allows audiences to feel fright and terror in a safe environment. It also shows off great imaginary creatures/events/places that can never exist in reality. As a reader, I like to feel like I’m part of a larger, fantastic world full of danger and adventure and I think many others feel the same.
Q: There are a number of subgenres/tropes/flavors of horror. Where does your story fit? What drew you to this particular category?
A: I guess this fits into the “nature run amok” sub-genre. I wasn’t drawn to that genre beforehand. That’s just how the story went.
Q: Why horror?
A: I just think it’s fun.
Q: Of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite, and why?
A: I written a few stories with younger children in them. I like to write them because their view of the world is still innocent and full of wonder. They have not been jaded by life’s experiences and they always say what they’re thinking without any filter.
Q: What do you find the most challenging about the writing process, and how do you meet that challenge?
A: I find the most challenging part of writing actually sitting down to write. I seem to consistently find reasons not to write. That being said, once I have my butt in the chair, the hardest part, for me, is structure. I need to have at least some sense of what is logically and believably (within the story world I’m writing) going to happen to the character(s) as the story progresses.
Q: What was the worst writing advice you ever received? The best writing advice? Why, and how did it affect your writing?
A: Most of the writing advice I’ve received has been positive in some way. The best advice has been to keep writing. It’s like a muscle and it will wither if not used.
Q: If someone asked you to recommend books/stories similar to what you write, who/what titles would you be giving them? And, why?
A: Bypassing the obvious (Stephen King, etc.) I would recommend anything by James Moore and Christopher Golden. They are both incredible story-tellers. Also, Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, Stranded by Bracken MacLeod, and The Fireman by Joe Hill.
Q: What’s next in your writing journey?
A: I’ve recently finished another novella called “Dogs” and I’m working on my first full length novel.
Q: Anything to add?
A: I’m having so much fun, I wish I had started sooner. I hope people like my story.
Mike Sullivan has always loved telling stories. He started writing short scripts for a film class and turned that love of film into a profession. After years of editing documentary films, reading works of others, and raising a family, Mike started writing stories. They were dark and twisted, luckily his wife and daughter found them entertaining. His menagerie of dogs and cats were much more severe critics. When Mike isn’t writing or working or editing films, he is chasing down the plot for his next new story.
Learn more about Mike at his website, sullivanedit.com.
To read “The Bugs Come Out at Night” by Mike Sullivan, pick up a copy of Stories We Tell After Midnight 2. And, once you are finished, please think about leaving us a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews make our cold, dark little heart so happy…