Michael's short story "Lazarus' Respite" will be featured in our upcoming anthology "It Calls From The Forest"
Have you always written, or was there a catalyst that prompted you to begin this journey?
To some degree, I’ve always written. In my twenties and the first half of my thirties, I was focused on screenplays and mostly fell away from writing narrative fiction. Then I fell away from writing screenplays to focus on narrative fiction, but now I’m balancing both.
What is your favourite genre to read?
I try to read as many different genres as possible. As of this writing, I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, but I still mostly stick to horror. It’s been a lifelong love and I don’t see that changing.
Do you remember the first piece of writing shared publicly? What were people’s reactions, but more importantly how did you react getting it out there?
The first time I ever saw my name in print was in college when I did an album review for the school paper. As there were several reviews, I’m not sure mine really stood out to anyone, but it was still awesome seeing my name in print.
Do you have a piece of writing that you are most proud of? Why?
This is going to be a long answer, so bear with me. In 2015, I had hit rock bottom and was couch surfing around various friends’ places in L.A. My one glimmer of hope at that time was a script that was being reviewed at a production company at Paramount. The script had passed the first round, which was an intern reading it for college credit. They loved it, so it made it to the junior executive. Several weeks passed and the junior executive emailed me to tell me they were passing. It was a well-written script that made her laugh but ultimately lacked a good hook (to use her phrasing).
I was devastated and ready to call it quits, but didn’t have much going for me besides writing. I had one other script outlined and went through the motions and finished the 1st draft. After that, I decided I was done with screenwriting. As fate would have it, I was staying with my parents who had just retired to Arizona. It was Christmas time and I wanted to see the IMAX presentation of The Hateful Eight. The closest theater was twenty-five miles away and I knew nothing about Arizona. I went to the theater, which happened to right next to the University of Phoenix stadium and since it was a Sunday, the Cardinals were playing a game. I got out of the movie at the same time the game was ending and traffic was a nightmare. My GPS re-directed me away from the freeway and through some backwater roads that were, frankly, kind of terrifying. Inspiration struck and I got an idea for a short story. It had probably been seven years since I had written one and when I got back to my parent’s house, I immediately started writing it.
I finished it within a few days and published it on Amazon on a whim. I thought my mother would buy it and that would be the end of it, but it kind of took off and my focus became short stories.
The name of that story was Rerouted and I’m most proud of that one, not because I think it’s my best (I don’t), but because it proved I was a survivor. Regardless of how bad things got, I had managed to hang in there and forge a new path for myself, both creatively and professionally.
What is your workspace like? What kind of atmosphere do you need to write?
My workspace is a desk with a lot of toys on it. I can work with a movie or TV show on in the background, but for the most part, I need a space where I’m alone and can concentrate.
Your short story "Lazarus' Respite" is one of twenty-four dark stories themed around horror within the forest. Without giving too much away tell us a little bit about your story.
If you've ever been bullied or looked down on a homeless person, then I hope this story changes your perspective.
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Michael Subjack was born in a small town in Western New York. He enjoys good cigars and going on hikes with his dog Rosie.
He lives in Los Angeles but you can also find him on Twitter as @MSubjack.
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