Dragon Soul Press took a moment to interview Michael Raff, an author in Haunt and Beautiful Darkness: Volume One.
1. What inspired you to start writing?
When I was in the seventh grade, an acquaintance of mine, shared a short story that
he wrote. I took it home, read it and thought, Hey that’s cool! I can do this, and
proceeded to write several short stories and a full-length western. I’ve never
2. What comes first, the plot or characters?
With me it’s the plot. An idea pops into my head and when I start working on the
details, the characters form.
3. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Other than marketing, sitting down and getting started, which takes me only a
minute or two, then the enjoyment kicks in and I’m off and running.
4. When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc.) scene, how
do you get in the mood?
The mood materializes as I work. It comes naturally. Since I’m primarily a horror
writer, I’m just about always in the mood. Getting out of the mood is another
matter. While writing Skeleton Man, my first horror novel, I worked quite a while
on the main villain’s death scene, my mind roaming in a dark and dangerous world.
After I quit for the day, it took me hours to get my mind back into reality.
5. Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
Occasionally, giving me compliments about my writing, but most of their feedback
are from reviews. Here are some samples:
“Author Michael Raff knows how to send chills up your spine. He is a talented writer with a wild
“Michael Raff has a sick mind, which is perfect for writing horror stories!!”
“Mr. Raff consistently develops strong characters that are totally believable yet continue to
surprise you with their actions. His plots are always multi-dimensional and full of twists and
turns you don’t see coming.”
6. What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing
My favorite part is receiving my completed book. It’s a tangible gratification that’s
beyond description. My second favorite part, is finishing the first draft. It’s also
satisfying, but I’m always eager to start tackling the second draft. The least
favorite? Has to be the rejection notices. I’ve had my share of them.
7. Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the
As of now, I haven’t written a book series. I have an idea for one, but it may be
years before I start.
8. Describe your perfect book hero or heroine.
For a hero, a published writer or a school teacher with more than a few quirks and
flaws and at least one skeleton in his closet. A person who despites his drawbacks,
embarks on a challenging and quite often, dangerous journey, all the while
struggling to redeem himself.
For a heroine, a strong, resourceful, and independent woman, who struggles against
mind-boggling odds stacked against her.
9. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your
I’m working on my third horror novel, The Seventh Stranger, a ghost story that
takes place in the nineties, about a family who move into a haunted house, thinking
they can utilize it as a bed and breakfast. Little do they know that one of the ghosts
is a homicidal manic. I initially wrote it back in the late eighties on an old writing
program that no longer exists, and incompatible with Word, (talk about ghosts!)
Fortunately, I kept a hardcopy. It’s a great story and by scanning it into my
computer, I’ve been able to convert it into Word. I hope to have it published on
amazon.com by June, 2023.
10. Who is your favorite author and why?
Stephen King. The first book I read of his was Salem’s Lot, back in 1976. I thought
I died and went to heaven. There was a scene where two guys were delivering a
crate containing a coffin in the middle of the night in a cellar. I was reading it at
night, in bed, hoping to relax and go to sleep. As things unfolded, my cat lying at
my feet, suddenly arched her back and began snarling and spitting at the hallway,
her way of telling me something was there. I found the incident quite unnerving and
it sent my heart into a tailspin. As it turned out, another cat had entered the house
through an opened window. It’s something I’ll never forget. But why is King my
favorite author? With his creativeness, his imagination, and his productivity, there’s
just no stopping him.
11. What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?
Since I’ve read King’s On Writing, which is a terrific read and extremely
informative, I consider him my honorary mentor.
12. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I read every day. To me, reading and writing go hand in hand. I also exercise but I
don’t actually care for it. I love movies, especially horror, comedy, action, and
adventure. Most of all, I love traveling, mainly to tropical locations where I can
snorkel and mingle with the denizens of the sea. My wife and I take cruises as often
as possible and I enjoy everything about the ocean. I adore animals. We own a small
ranch and have a family of five dogs, two cats, two goats, and a cantankerous horse
13. Where can readers learn more about you?