Spotlight: Michael Aronovitz Visits to Talk About Horror Book, PHANTOM EFFECT!

Today, fellow author Michael Aronovitz is stopping by to talk about his latest book!

Hello, Michael! Welcome back to the MLB blog! :) 


Hello! Thank you for having me here. 


My pleasure, of course! So, let me ask a few questions since you're here...

All right.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book? When did it come out and where can we get it?

Phantom Effect is a serial killer story that moves to the realm of the supernatural. It is the most frightening, risky, and daring piece I have written, and I might challenge it is the scariest novel since The Silence of the Lambs.

The novel came out February 2nd, 2016, and it is available on Amazon, through Barnes and Noble, and Powell’s.

That's great! Happy new release!

So, what inspired you to write your book? How did you get into writing horror?

I’ll answer the back part first. I got into writing horror because I always loved Stephen King’s books.  

Phantom Effect was inspired by the haunting and beautiful work of Indie film maker Ursula Dabrowsky.

I see.

So, tell us...what, do you feel, sets your book apart from other books in the genre?

Phantom Effect is different because of the structuring and points of view. Hopefully readers will have fun with the way I altered and played with both.


I'm sure they will! :)

So, give us a teaser or two of the book if you can.

A serial killer named Jonathan Deseronto is stuck at night in a rainstorm on Route 476 with the body of lovely coed Marissa Madison cut into seven pieces in his trunk. He is searching for a tire iron back there when a cop pulls up behind to see what is what. This is what happens right after Deseronto kills him.

Jonathan Martin Delaware Deseronto swung back toward the open trunk, and one of the dead cop’s heels struck the tail light, cracking it.  The jolt in the rhythm of the pass botched the balance points, and the body started slipping between Deseronto’s elbows, ass-first, arms and legs squeezing up like antennae.  He tried to save it with a bear hug and a waddle, but the officer slid through his arms to the street.

There was a wet thump, and the cruiser’s rotating lights washed over Deseronto’s hulking figure and the fallen corpse beneath him, the guy’s face hidden in the shadow of the fender, knees spooned down to the side, shirt pulled out, fish belly showing.  He’d been difficult, pure gristle, and he deserved better than to be left out on the asphalt under a rusted tailpipe.

Deseronto bent, took him by the collar and the belt, and dead-lifted him.  The guy’s head did a wonderful imitation of a trap-door on a hinge, and blood from the stringy vacancy his Adam’s Apple had left after the ripping threaded off into the swell of rain drumming out toward the highway.

Deseronto threw him in the trunk and got up-splash.  The ponding had advanced faster than he would have expected, and there were pretty things floating and settling at the edges of the clumsy new baggage.  It was Marissa Madison’s collar bone area, her severed head with its long dark hair matted and swirled across the face, her ankle sporting a lovely tattoo etched in a long chained floral design with matching irises.  Deseronto had cut that one off high up the calf to get all of the vine pattern. 

The radio in the cruiser barked intermittently, farting static and bursts of mechanical orations that sounded like they were delivered too close to a cheap microphone.  Deseronto didn’t have a feel for the coded language, and he had no intention of sticking around trying to interpret how long a non-response went unwarranted before they moved to a back-up scenario.   

He shut the trunk with a thud and stood there for a second, rain hammering down all around him.  Then he heard something join in with the rhythm of the storm, and he looked over his shoulder, eyes widening.  Someone was coming toward the deep bend in the highway back there with their brights on, ready to light up the world out here.

Deseronto scrambled for the driver’s side door and folded himself into the vehicle.  Of course he hadn’t gotten out his keys, so he had to do the push and stretch, feet pressed to the floorboards, head wedge-cocked against the ceiling.  The leather pants were like Saran Wrap so he had to grope and worm for a red hot moment, thinking that time was one slippery bitch. 

He fumbled out the keys, pawed up the one from the jangling mess, and shoved it into the ignition, gunning it twice, next slamming shut the door and snapping off the external sound to a haunt.  Then he threw it in drive, pedal to the floor, tires screeching in muted fury out there, back end swerving.  He fought like hell to prevent a 180, knuckles white on the wheel. There was a stink of burning rubber, and the more momentum he gained, the harder the back end shook, scraping the undercarriage, dragging the fender.

Working it up to a rough forty or so, Deseronto got to the concrete bridge going perpendicular above him, shadowy age-stains watermarked up the pitted underbelly, the Exit 6 sign out front jerking in the flash of his headlights.  There were still the remnants of flicker and glare in his rearview, but Deseronto didn’t have the opportunity to determine how much was cop and how much was newcomer.  He could only hope the motorist had made a careful approach on account of the storm, rounded the curve too late to have witnessed his exit, and then performed the function we all usually did when noticing old Johnny Law on the roadside.

Slowing down.

Deseronto made the turn at Exit 6, the Corolla cutting across the shoulder and bumping over a concrete drainage culvert with a shock and a bang.  There was a bed of gravel that peppered underneath like shot, and the sudden rise of a grassy slope out front filling the windshield with high fern and cattails.  Deseronto over compensated right and almost tipped it, lurching back to the blacktop and hitting a sharp downhill.  His stomach flip-flopped as the nose scraped and when the back end came down he lost power steering, stalled engine.  At the bottom of the exit ramp fifty feet ahead there was a slow merge left toward a secondary road with a funeral home on the corner and a gas station up a short rise, further than his momentum was going to bring him.

Dead right, there was a construction site, the dark skeletal ironworks and scaffolding rising from beyond the ridge of the hill that masked its ground area carved into the earth below.  Deseronto cut it as hard as he could starboard, almost tipping it again but barely saving it, hurtling between two sections of plastic orange construction fencing that had been pushed flat by prior trespassers. 

He was just thinking about how lucky he was that the pounding rain was already smoothing over the gouges his back end was cutting into the landscape, when he shot across the skirt of the slope and went airborne.


Let's try another question, okay?

I'm sure readers are curious about your next writing project. Can you tell us what you've got cooking up now or is that a secret?

My next novel, titled Dead Red, is ¾ finished. It is a story about an 18 year old who discovers he might be the “unholy.” He doesn’t want to be, and that is his peril. I also have been reviewing new hard rock bands for my series “Goblet of Shock,” and that might turn into a book by the end of the summer.

Fascinating! Well, we certainly look forward to your next book! 

Thanks so much for stopping by to tell us about Phantom Effect, Michael! 

Of course! Thank you for having me here.

You're welcome! It's always a pleasure!

Readers, you'll just have to pick up a copy of this riveting horror novel!

Here is the blurb for Phantom Effect.

Jonathan Martin Delaware Deseronto is a six-foot-five serial killer with a problem. He’s stuck out on I-476 in a heavy November rainstorm with two flat tires and the dead bodies of a cop and a co-ed named Marissa Madison in his trunk. Desperate to get off the highway, he drives his car on its back rims towards Exit 6. The car stalls on the ramp and Deseronto uses the last of its momentum to plunge over the crest of a steep slope and crash into a length of concrete pipe below. The car comes to rest on the edge of a construction site where machines are positioned to tear down an old Motel 6.

For Deseronto, the worst is yet to come. Marissa Madison had been a psychic of sorts while alive, using her ability to assist people in their personal journeys. Now, the ghost of Marissa will utilize her strange gift, trapping Deseronto in the abandoned motel, and forcing him to live the last, fatal week of her own life as a passive passenger in her body . . . Soon, Deseronto will experience something truly horrific: the mind-numbing terror of being stalked by himself.

What readers are saying about Phantom Effect:

"Johnny Deseronto makes Norman Bates look like a boy scout. Phantom Effect is ripe with beauty and terror - a thrill ride with the brakes gone out. You'll only open this book once." 

-Thorne and Cross, authors of The Ghosts of Ravencrest and The Cliffhouse Haunting

"A philosophically rich fearfest that's recommended for readers who prefer their titillation to include some complexity. A perverted parable." 
-Publishers Weekly

"One of the most powerful and gripping novels I've read in years. Phantom Effect establishes Aronovitz as a prominent voice in contemporary weird fiction."
-S.T. Joshi 

Purchase Links: 

Amazon Universal link:

Wow! Sounds like an interesting read! 

About the Author:

Michael Aronovitz is a published author of:

Horror fiction:

Seven Deadly Pleasures (collection) Hippocampus Press, 2009

Alice Walks (novel) Hard Cover - Centipede Press, 2013, Paperback / Dark Renaissance Press, 2014

The Voices in Our Heads (collection) Horrified Press, 2014

The Witch of the Wood (novel) Hippocampus Press, 2015

Phantom Effect (novel) Night Shade Books, released this past Feb 2nd

Multiple short stories that have appeared in the Searchers After Horror Anthology, Weird Tales, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror – Prime Books, and in many more magazines.


Critical reviews concerning the work of Tamara Thorne, Alistair Cross, Indie horror film makers Donna McRae and Ursula Dabrowsky, and the Goblet of Shock series featuring horror and new hard rock bands that matter.

Author Links: