Interview with Patrick M Cunningham

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Getting the kids to school :-)
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite authors have got to be Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock and James Patterson. 'Salems Lot was one of the first Stephen King books I ever read when I was a kid and I was hooked on horror ever since. Simultaneous to that, my Mom gave a book set for my tenth birthday Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators and I absolutely loved them. Those books became the catalyst for my Awesome four series that I began writing soon after, when I suddenly felt an over whelming compulsion to write one evening. So the Awesome Four were created when I was ten years old, and by the time I reached sixteen I had written over seven hundred stories featuring these four characters.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mainly on amazon.com, I have a lot of interests and my purchases are usually either to do with martial arts, writing, or marketing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not busy writing, I am either reading, or practicing martial arts which I've been involved in for near twenty nine years now. I have studied Taekwondo, Aikido, kickboxing, and several different combative forms over the years.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Do I ever, it was a terrible effort but I guess you need to start somewhere. It was called the undertaker and it was a tale about an aging funeral director whose business was slowly going under when a rival funeral home opened near by and all but put him out of business. Then one night he decides that he was gong to commit arson and send his business along with his clients, into the ground and claim off his insurance policy. But he gets found out, and when the insurance man comes to visit, he tells Jerimiah Jacob's that the fire was started deliberately and that he was the prime suspect, and that on those grounds, the insurance company would not pay the $250,000. in a fit of rage ~Jerimiah cracks him over the skull with a candle stick, only knocking him out. When the insurance man comes too, he sees Jerimiah digging a grave in a deserted back road field. The man could not move because he was bound and gagged. So to cut along story short, Jerimiah drags him to the grave and rolls him in the buries him alive. Then he becomes a sociopath and using his hearse he cruises the highways and by ways looking for victims. The tag line was "He won't wait 'till you're dead to bury you" that story was my first attempt at writing fiction all those years ago :-)
What is your writing process?
I'm a seat of my pants writer. What I mean is, I don't outline or plot the stories I get an idea and just start writing. That's how most of my stories happened, it's like I get a sudden flash or vision of something that creates an urge to start writing. Once I begin the writing process, time doesn't exist. I could write for hours and know how much time has actually passed. I've been known to write for ten to twelve hours when I am in what I call the zone. You know, when nothing can distract you, the words just seem to write themselves, you can see the story like a movie on a big screen and your fingers are transcribing what you're seeing in your minds eye. I couldn't and wouldn't write any other way, I just can't. I tried outlini8ng before and found it incredibly tedious. I much prefer seat of the pants writing, that sudden burst of inspiration or a brief vision is all it takes to get my writing juices flowing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Salem's Lot was the first story I ever read, well adult story I ever read, and it blew me away. Stephen King's imagination is truly astounding and the way he knits the story together, every detail intricately woven into a killer tale and his vampire epic is no exception. I loved the dark sinister atmosphere and dark humour that the novel contained, and the characters were so believable you just couldn't put the book down. Then one night the movie version came on TV and I was glued to the screen. It was shown over two nights and when the movie ended I was a little disappointed because it was nothing like the way imagined it as I read the book. For me Stephen King has been a true inspiration, not just to me but to millions of others around the world, and to this very day #I still read his books and currently reading finders keepers the second of his Mr Mercedes Trilogy and so far it's a great story as only the master can tell.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a vision of how I want the cover to look, and I will describe as best I can that vision in words for my designer and nine times out of ten he delivers a first class job. For Awesome Four Volume 1 I just told him the characters face the dominions of Hell as Armageddon approaches, I give him the chapter titles and story lines and he just works off those. Volume two is currently under going editing but the cover he created is brilliant it really captures the essence of the book.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The Kindle definitely it's certainly the most popular choice.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on the final instalment of the Awesome Four trilogy and hope to have the first draft finished by the end of the year and then it's off for editing. I am hoping to have it ready for publication sometime in the new year hopefully March or end of April.
Published 2015-09-25.
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