Meet 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.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat @IAmMichaelOkon #Monsterland!
**Double featured guest post by Michael Okon
I wrote a book called Monsterland. It’s about a teen that must save his date in a theme park, whose main attractions – real werewolves, vampires, and zombies – descend the place into chaos. The opening of the book is seen through the eyes by Billy, a human, well sort of human. Billy is a werewolf living in the Everglades with seven others like him. They hunt for food during the day and relax at night. The werewolves have a pretty decent life, they live away from society and don’t bother anyone. The Everglades are so remote, no person knows they actually live there. Until one day, Dr. Vincent Konrad and his cohorts invade Billy’s territory and hunt them down. You would think a werewolf would rip them to shreds. Not my werewolves. They hunters pursue them in a chase through the Everglades, picking off one werewolf after the next. The final werewolf to succumb to the humans is Billy, who will be put on lavish display at Vincent’s theme park Monsterland.
Vampires have lived among us for eons, but it wasn’t until their numbers dwindled that Congress passed a law to ensure they cannot recruit new members. In order to become a vampire, you have intercourse with one. A bite doesn’t do it, a bite simply keeps them satiated and you sedated while you follow them. Should vampires be allowed to live among humans? Again, Congress has to decided what is best for the safety of everyone.
Finally, we have the vitality-challenged, er, zombies. Poor zombies. The disease ravaged their brain so badly that all they want to do is eat meat. Doesn’t matter what type of meat, they just have to eat, eat, eat. What would you do with these poor creatures? Hunt them? Kill them? They should have rights too, don’t you think?
Should monster’s have the same rights as humans? If we hunt monsters, should we be allowed to carry a permit? Should there be designated areas of monster hunting allowed in the States? These questions should be answered before we actually talk about capturing a monster. The law is, there is no law to hunt a monster – and there should be. Monsters have rights. They’re human just like us, with a bit of a disadvantage.
My Journey to Opening Monsterland
In the summer of 2015, I was binge watching a classic movie marathon with my son, the good stuff like Back to the Future, Gremlins, Jaws, Jurassic Park. While watching these films it literally just popped into my head, why isn’t there a theme park with zombies. I called my brother and told him about my idea. He said I should have werewolves, vampires, AND zombies. I started beating out the story that night.
It’s a pretty incredible story that I have a hard time believing. I wrote Monsterland and self-published it in 2015. My mom is my publicity manager and she blitzed the bloggers with my book. That fall I was reading a book called Selling a Screenplay by Syd Field. In the book, there was an entertainment attorney named Susan Grode who seemed very knowledgeable about the publishing and film industry. I told myself, when I receive my first contract, I’m going to reach out to her to see if she could help me. About two months later, I received a post on Facebook from an agent in London who asked to represent me. I said sure and asked him to send me a contract. I emailed Susan and introduced myself and mentioned that I had someone who wanted to rep me and I was hoping she could read this contract. She told me before I sign with this London agent, why don’t I meet her friend in Brooklyn, an agent named Nick Mullendore with Vertical Ink Literary Agency. I met Nick for lunch and he signed me that day as his client. That evening, Susan brought me on as her client as well.
Nick began trying to sell my book Monsterland to the publishers and it was rejected. Throughout his attempts of selling, he had a call with a film agent and he was pitching her a romance novel. She said she wasn’t really into romance and was looking for something with monsters. He sent her my book Monsterland, she read it over a weekend, and we had a call that Monday. She told Nick and me if we get the book published, she will get it into a producer’s hands to make into a film. Nick found the publisher WordFire Press owned by Kevin J. Anderson, who has written all the Star Wars and Dune canon books. WordFire signed me to a two-book deal for Monsterland 1 & 2. After the deal was signed, my film agent did what she promised and got my book into the hands of a billion-dollar grossing producer who is now shopping my book to certain studios. It’s been a wild two years.