Author Casey Masterson
Author Casey Masterson, signed for us in December 2022 and her first horror short story collection is due to be published August/September 2023 in time for Halloween.
Which we are very excited about.
Casey is twenty-four years of age, and lives in New Jersey USA.
There follows a little Q&A just so you can get to know her a little better.
What or who inspired you to be a writer?
CM: I have always been writing, at least in some capacity. In elementary school, I would make little flip books, or write stupid little poems for my mom. I really started trying to write in earnest when my older sister wouldn’t play pretend with me anymore.
As for the who, I have to say Nan Marino. She has written some YA novels, and is a librarian within my library system. I attended one of her events, terrified of her, and left with a writing club established in the library for teens. She has been a huge supporter of both my writing and me ever since. I honestly can’t thank her enough or begin to describe how influential she was for me.
What do you like most about writing?
CM: This is the same as asking “what do you like about breathing?” in my opinion. It is just something I am compelled to do; I need to do it. I have so much in my head (and maybe even in my heart) that I want to share with the world.
What writing projects are you working on?
CM: I’m always working on some-or-other short story. I’m also researching for a novel, which will probably get into gear as soon as my graduate degree is done.
What other writers would you compare your style to?
CM: It might be easier to tell you about my influences, as I feel like I am the worst person to ask about my own style. I get self-conscious and I don’t think I give myself a fair shake as to who I could stack up against. One of my favourites is Rod Serling. A lot of the episodes of The Twilight Zone are short-stories as well. I just love his writing style. Another influence was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In third grade, we read “The Adventure of the Red Headed League,” and I was enamoured. I then read practically every Sherlock Holmes story I could get my hands on (even if some of it went over my head.) My first story was pretty much a rip off of “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons,” which obviously wasn’t good, but clearly Conan Doyle left his mark.
Of course, I can’t forget the greats like Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Neil Gaiman, but Serling and Conan Doyle are the biggest influences.
What is your writing process?
CM: I get made fun of for this a bit, but I always write in a notebook first. This is a very stream-of-conscious draft with no edits or flourish. I then copy it from my notebook onto Google Docs. Here, I will start playing with the words and images a bit but leave it more or less the same. I then call someone to read the story aloud, before giving it a break, printing it, and doing my own line/content edits. From there I have a bit of back and forth from print to type until I have something I am happy with.
What's your favourite book of all time?
CM: I have two answers to this. My favourite series of all time is The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I wish I could describe what I love about it so much, but I think it is frankly a type of awe.
The general answer I give, however, is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. His Legendarium is such an amazing contribution to literature, and The Hobbit, although one of his simpler stories, is just so much fun.
Who is your favourite writer and why?
CM: I want to say Neil Gaiman, because of how much I love his series The Sandman, but I think I have to go with either Alan Moore or Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Moore consistently writes things that I enjoy wholeheartedly. Heuvelt has two novels, Hex and Echo, both of which I could not put down if my house were on fire.
Where do you see your writing in five years’ time?
CM: I would love it if in five years time my stories are shared with people who love to read them. I would also love to have a nice writing-work balance (although ideally, maybe one day, writing can be my full-time gig.)
Tell us a little something about yourself?
CM: I’m twenty-four years old and I work at a library. I love animals! I have three dogs, a guinea pig, and a bearded dragon. I volunteer my time to the local animal rescue, as well as training in jiu-jitsu. When I have free time, I love to watch movies and YouTube commentary. I also love reading! I will listen to any music (but country), but my favourite bands are Ice Nine Kills and Queen.
If you weren’t a writer, what career would you have loved and why?
CM: I am in training to be a teen librarian, which I do love. This was inspired by how essential teen librarians were to me as a teen.
The real answer I give people is marine biologist or zoologist. I could watch nature
documentaries for hours on end, and I love learning about animals and fish. It’s too
bad that math is involved with most sciences, because I hate math.
What one, key writing tip would you share?
CM: Read. Read everything you can, and read some more. It’s essential to being a writer.
What would you say to educate and inspire new writers?
CM: There is a quote from Ratatouille that I love. “Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist can come from anywhere.” (Disney, please don’t sue me for using your quote.) People, I think, know when they want to be writers and when they don’t. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, all of that good stuff. What matters is your passion and your drive to do better.