We here at GLAHW have met so many amazing and talented people out in the big wide world (you know, OFF the internets) and thought it was high-time we introduced them to you. Who knows? You may end up discovering a favorite new artist, photographer, writer, or all-around awesome human. This time around, we will be talking to Michael K. Peach.
GLAHW: How long have you been writing?
Thirty-five or forty years. When did you get started? Soon after graduating from college I would write as time permitted. I got married, had kids, and worked full-time so time to write was scarce for many years.
GLAHW: Why did you choose the horror genre?
I’ve enjoyed reading horror since discovering HPL, Machen, M. R. James, etc. as a kid. Certain story ideas have to be written as horror pieces but I enjoy writing science fiction, fantasy, mainstream, essays, and poetry.
GLAHW: Were you inspired by a person or event to begin your writing career?
In 2013, two of my adult daughters challenged me to get serious about submitting my work for publication. Previously I would submit something, get rejected, and then not submit for a year or two or three because I hate rejection. They mentioned Ray Bradbury as a writer who had many rejections early in his career so I basically had to suck it up and get over myself. The deal was to keep submitting until I had at least 100 rejections. By then, if I still had no publications, I could quit submitting. It took six months and about a dozen submissions to get a paid gig for a humorous essay called The Open Road as Receptacle in a now defunct online market called Punchnel’s. It was only a token payment but when I got the acceptance email I literally wept with relief and joy.
GLAHW: Are you a Plotter or Pantser?
Pantser except when I write plays.
GLAHW: Have you ever had an encounter with the supernatural?
No,…well, maybe…when I was a child playing in a vacant lot across from our house. Perhaps I’ll make that encounter into a story someday…
GLAHW: Are you superstitious? Why or why not?
No. I was never able to make that particular leap of faith in terms of horseshoes, ladders, broken mirrors, the number 13, etc.
GLAHW: What do you do for a living, outside of writing?
Before retiring I was a bureaucrat with the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services for 18 years. Among many other jobs I’ve been a teacher, dishwasher, janitor, and workforce development professional.
GLAHW: Do you keep a journal every day?
GLAHW: What do you prefer to write – short stories, poetry, novels, scripts, etc.?
Lately I’ve been writing a lot of poetry but I also like writing short stories, essays, plays, and novels.
GLAHW: What truly scares you?
Scariest novel: Pet Cemetary by Stephen King; Scariest Movie: When a Stranger Calls.
GLAHW: What sort of hobbies are you into?
Baking. I’m making Egg Harbor Bread (Amish loaf) as I write this then later today, I will make Cheesecake Supreme. Hiking and camping, fishing and hunting. Reading and collecting books.
GLAHW: Do you read outside of the horror genre? If so, what else have you read?
Yes, I enjoy reading a wide variety of literature including novels, plays, poetry, anthologies of essays and short stories, and non-fiction (mostly History).
GLAHW: What’s your favorite genre to write?
GLAHW: Do you use a pseudonym?
Yes, M. Kelly Peach
GLAHW: What do you think makes a good story?
When an alchemy of character, dialogue, plot, ideas, emotions, and language results in something magical and memorable, something that touches your heart or wrenches your gut.
GLAHW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A baseball player. By high school it was apparent the Major Leagues (hell, not even the Minor Leagues) were in the cards and I turned towards being a writer.
GLAHW: Are you spiritual?
Yes, I am a Christian.
GLAHW: What are your influences?
It would be the writers I have collected and read. The writers I have most, if not all, of their work include: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edgar Allen Poe, Eugene O’Neill, Terry Pratchett, David Foster Wallace, George Orwell, James Branch Cabell, Cormac McCarthy, Anne McCaffery, Arthur Miller, Robert Frost, Jack Vance, Tennesee Williams, Jeffrey Farnol, e. e. cummings, Jim Harrison, H. Rider Haggard, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Robert E. Howard, Harlan Ellison, and Mark Twain
GLAHW: What are you reading right now?
Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte (translated by Cesare Foligno) and Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. VIII.
GLAHW: What else do you want your readers to know?
Consider here your likes and dislikes, your interests, your favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind. I love watching movies and documentaries. I am a rural person, not an urbanite. I like bicycling. Although I stay informed and vote in almost every local, state, and federal election, I’m finding with each passing year I’m more cynical and disliking most politics and politicians. I am introverted, a family man, and a homebody.
Nice to meet you, Michael! I have a ton of Poe’s work as well. I like to teach him to my students when I can. I hope that you will write the “vacant lot across from my house” story someday! 🙂
Hi Nicole, Thank you for the encouragement. Your comment got me to thinking and sparked an idea for how that story might work! Now I’ll have to run it by my muse who can be very temperamental at times. Also, are you an English teacher?