Welcome back! Once again your Indie Huntress is here to keep you in the loop on all things wonderful in the independent community! Today I bring you an interview with the most talented, Kasey Pierce. This woman stops at nothing and has boundless goals. I met Kasey through some mutual friends, and was even lucky enough to obtain her for an evening. After picking up her book, "Pieces of Madness," I had to have her for an interview. This book literally gave me the chills. For someone that is a horror buff, that is no small accomplishment. Along with this interview, she joined up with my partner and I for a podcast on, "The Mistresses of Mayhem and Chaos." Without further delay, may you thirst no longer.
"Is it "madness" to misjudge a trusted peer's intentions...or to guess incorrectly when confronted by the devil...or even to skin someone alive and carry their separated flesh around like a trophy? I'd like to think I know the answers to these questions....but then I read a book like this and I started obsessing on the same question all over again: 'what is madness'?" - (excerpt from Dirk Manning's forward in, "Pieces of Madness".)
You've had an interesting journey culminating in writing this book, tell us more about how you ended up here:
Ya know.. It's one of those things where you get caught up in a storm, look back and wonder, "What the hell just happened?"
To be honest, it started in 2013. I was interviewed as a cosplayer for a podcast called "All Things Geeks", at Detroit Fanfare. After that, they offered me a position as co-host. While I was a regular con-goer, I didn't know the first thing about podcasting or blogging. However, I knew that writing/journalism had been a shelved passion of mine that I'd been naysay'd out of pursuing. However, I was able to take the dream back out and dust it off once I caught the writing bug again. To keep a long story short (after blogging for them for a short while) I respectfully parted ways with site proprietor Andrew Byrd, to strike out on my own with Kosmic Kasey . The blogs were mainly indie comic reviews, to exercise my passion for them and help out my friends. That evolved into snarky satirical pieces that related to geek culture and video convention coverage. THAT led to writing an original sci-fi called, "The Prophecy Effect". Tony Miello of Rocket Ink Studios became a fan of the grimness of the premise and felt I could write horror. To be quite honest, he's the one who told me I had the chops to write fiction in the first place. You could say he discovered me.
Who is Kosmic Kasey vs. Kasey Pierce?
Kosmic Kasey is a blogger. I fought that label for a while (I don't know why). But if the shoe fits, wear it I suppose. She's very much a cartoon version of myself. Adorned in fishnets, sneakers, big hair, and a bow: she set out to get indie writers/illustrators exposure. Sadly, I recently hung up something that had become a Kosmic Kasey staple.. I used to pass out glow bracelets to the kids at conventions, take pics of them and/or the families (with permission) and put them in a gallery called, "Kids and Kosplay". Due to the graphic nature of the anthology, I decided it was a responsible decision to put it to rest. This decision didn't come without a sense of profound loss and tears. I love children. Because of that, I didn't want anything in the book to reflect on them (or be seen as a reflection of how I feel about them). Necessary sacrifices.
Kasey Pierce is a personification of my transition to author. Although I've matured as a writer, I've kept the fishnets and sneakers. However, I feel that as a storyteller, it's my obligation to not only deliver a quality story, but to deliver a professional and quality image. I basically traded in my bows for chic black dresses.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
MOST of these are plays on MY biggest fears; loss, crazy people in groups etc. For example, a lot of readers have wanted to discuss, "His Majesty: Parts I and II" with me. It surprises a lot of people to hear that my knee-jerk reaction towards my mother's diagnosis of cancer was a catalyst. People in my everyday life became great influences, as well.
What is "Pieces of Madness" and why did you choose to write it?
Pieces of Madness is a 5-tale horror anthology of the insane, cultist, and paranormal. Think Clive Barker meets Twilight Zone; gore, macabre. The Clive Barker comparison is not my own. Rather it's that of several readers I've gotten feedback from. I'm overwhelmingly flattered by that.
My roots are in sci-fi. Being that there are thin lines between sci-fi and horror, I found the transition pretty easy. I feel at home in both genres. Tony Miello had approached me about writing this book. So I just went for it. "And the rest is history" as they say.
What writers and creators have influenced your writing?
I would have to say Heinlein and Bradbury overall. (There's the sci-fi again.) But when it comes to horror, film had more of a profound influence than anything. Films like The Exorcist and Silence of the Lambs are true works of art that really stained my brain.
I understand you are collaborating with other creators. What future projects can we expect to see?
Illustrator John Marroquin and I are working on bringing his baby for the past decade to life. I'm not at liberty to reveal the title just yet. However, I can tell you it's raw and savage. An "Aztec Conan the Barbarian sci-fi" is the best way I can describe it. We're also collaborating on a piece for Aaron Moore's horror anthology about nightmares (RIA Comics). Other than that, I'm currently breaking down "Pieces.." into scripts for a graphic novel while working on Vol 2.
What is next for you? What are your goals for the next year?
What's next for me is unforeseen at the moment. I will tell you my goal from here on out is "DON'T STOP".
Where can we find you during the summer con season?
May 15th-17th I'll be at Motor City in Novi, MI. I'll be signing with Rob Shelby (purehuman.info) on Friday and Source Point Press on Saturday and Sunday (sourcepointpress.blogspot.com). Summertime is slow time for cons usually. That being said, my next convention scheduled after that is Sept 26th at Michigan Comic Book Expo at Wayne County Community College in Taylor, MI.
As for my two cents, this book crushed me in several ways. I was able to personally relate to several of the stories in this book. Kasey has a knack for playing off of real human emotions at their fullest range. While they are short tales combined into one book, each packs a powerful punch. It makes you question your own mind and perceptions on what you previously considered to be, "madness".
You can find more from Kasey here: Kosmic Kasey
Listen to the Mistresses of Mayhem and Chaos podcast with Kasey here: Pieces of Madness Podcast
As always, follow me on Facebook here: The Indie Huntress
And the Mistresses here: Mistresses of Mayhem and Chaos