Casey Masterson’s Revelations of the Raven Master
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Casey. I’m 24-years-old and I currently work at a library as a YA librarian. My goal in life is to be able to write full-time. I love animals very much; I have three dogs, a guinea pig, and a bearded dragon. I have been doing jiu jitsu for two years. Stories of mine were featured in Dark Matter Magazine and Shortwave Publishing. My very first book, Revelations of the Raven Master, comes out on August 31st with Poe Boy Publishing!
Which one of your characters would you least like to meet in real life?
I would say that Luke Martin Daniels (“Cold Calling”) would probably be the most dangerous, technically, as he is a fledgling serial killer. I also wouldn’t want to be in a room with Melanie (“Rain”) or E.J. Sharpe (“Rest in Peace”) as they are both insufferable (in a less deadly way.)
Other than the horror genre, what else has been a major influence on your writing?
I started out writing fantasy, believe it or not. When I was a kid, I had this whole angel and demon novel. It was definitely written by a thirteen-year-old, but it gave me practice. Looking back on it, the only parts that were salvageable were the horrific bits; the Devil killing the Pope, the ripping out of angel’s wings, etc. Aside from that, some of my first reading loves were in the fantasy genre. This included The Immortal Secrets of Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott and The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. I generally cite The Hobbit as my favorite book of all time.
I must also shout out Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes as the first series I ever devoured.
The term horror, especially when applied to fiction, always carries such heavy connotations. What’s your feeling on the term “horror” and what do you think we can do to break past these assumptions?
Horror, to me, is emotion. This is often assumed to only relate to fear or disgust. Of course, I can’t deny that this is a part of horror, but that’s what it is; a part. The most moving and memorable horror, in my opinion, makes you feel a whole range of emotions. Think about movies like Army of Darkness or Creepshow. These titles are comedic. Then, think about The Train to Busan and Incantation. Both of these movies made me sob. Then, you get to the really intricate movies like Hereditary or Oculus that introduce feelings of grief and familial trauma. I think that we need to move away from the idea of horror as one note and embrace all that it can be.
A lot of good horror movements have arisen as a direct result of the socio/political climate, considering the current state of the world where do you see horror going in the next few years?
I have been very happy to see so many queer stories entering the horror line up. Eric LaRocca is one of my personal favorites. He introduced his own wild and unapologetically queer stories to the horror world. Horror has always had these tales: Think Carmilla, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Books of Blood. Now, with more safe spaces for LGBTQ+ authors, we are able to read more of these wonderful stories.
Given the dark, violent and at times grotesque nature of the horror genre why do you think so many people enjoy reading it?
Why not? Just kidding. Horror is really good for the soul. You can confront the horrors of reality in a consequence-free space, read about intricate emotional dilemmas that may help you in your own life, or just have a good time being spooked.
What, if anything, is currently missing from the horror genre?
Selfishly, I would LOVE some frozen horror. Think The Thing or The Terror. Also deep sea horror.
What new and upcoming authors do you think we should take notice off?
I am going to (jokingly) start the list off with myself. Hello.
In all seriousness: C.S. Humble, Eric LaRocca, Michael Wehunt, Ryan La Sala, L.R.J. Allen, Gavin Gardiner. My friend, E. Blaze Stark hasn’t breached the comic book scene yet, but when he does, look out! I also want to shout out Doug Murano over at Band Hand Books, because he does an amazing job.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative, that have stayed with you?
My beta readers all collectively made my day when they sent their reviews my way. I don’t think I could choose one in particular, as they all made me cry.
What aspects of writing do you find the most difficult?
Aside from finding the time, as a grad student with a full-time job, I would say writer’s block. I have a notebook of ideas that I can pick from. The problem is, if my mind doesn’t feel that it is ready, it shuts down as I try to write it. The best practice at this point is to let the story simmer for a while. That way, I can figure out exactly what I want to do with it, then attack it that way.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Never say never. With that being said, I can’t see myself writing about SA.
Writing is not a static process, how have you developed as a writer over the years?
I’ve been writing forever, at least since first grade. Aside from getting better at it (I hope I have anyways), I am much better at sitting down and writing. Said differently, I don’t necessarily wait for muse to strike anymore.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received with regards to your writing?
Shitty first drafts. That comes from Anne Lamott, although I think I like Neil Gaiman’s phrasing of it better. He said, “Write down everything that happens in the story, then in the second draft, make it look like you knew what you were doing all along.”
Which of your characters is your favorite?
My cop-out answer is Bruno from “Dog Days.” I based him off of my childhood dog, Chance, so what’s not to love?
My serious answer is the Narrator from “A Cannibal’s Guide to a Cheap Meal.” I never give them a name or gender in the story, but I affectionately refer to the Narrator as Wallace.
Which of your books best represents you?
I only have one book, so instead I will pick one of my short stories. I would say that Bea in “Decaytion” is the most like me. The relationship between Maggie and Jay in “Hayfield Wilder (feat. Carson Cash) is based on my relationship with a real-life friend. “Dog Days” is something I wrote to actually get over a personal trauma; losing a pet. With that being said, I do include a bit of myself in everything I write. Personal little Easter eggs, if you will.
Do you have a favorite line or passage from your work, and would you like to share it with us?
From “Dog Days,” “Patrons walked by with their spry pups and cat carriers. Why would they bring their pets near her, rub her nose in grief? As they passed by, many rubbernecked at the display. They would shake their heads and frown. They saw inevitability.”
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My last book is also my first book (which is incidentally what I am plugging here!) It’s entitled Revelations of the Raven Master. I’m getting this book out there through Poe Boy Publishing on August 31st, 2023. It is a collection of 18 stories. The frame narrative has the Raven Master, a Cryptkeeper-like character, who reads to the ravens of the Tower of London in atonement for clipping their wings and denying them flight. I’m very proud of this book and I can’t wait to release it out into the world!
My next project is twofold. I will be writing a novel, which will be Dracula-themed. Probably. I will also be working on stories for Revelations of the Raven Master Vol. 2!
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
This isn’t necessarily erasing, but I hate cheap jumpscares. I think a truly effective jumpscare should be earned with tension rather than thrown willy-nilly at the audience. The one I always cite is the camera jumpscare in the original Saw. I would get rid of the cheap ones (low-hanging fruit), and keep the well crafted ones.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica is absolutely phenomenal. I highly recommend it (if you think you can stomach all of the unsettling details in there!)
This is slightly harder, as if I don’t enjoy a book, I will simply not finish it. I don’t want to put the author on blast, but it was a YA book about H.H. Holmes that wasn’t really my taste.
What’s the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
I would love for someone to ask me if I’d like my student loans paid off. That would be wonderful.
Seriously, I don’t get asked a lot of questions. I’d love an opportunity at a podcast interview in order to show off my absolutely fabulous personality (over exaggerated, yes, but let’s fake it till we make it.)
Thank you so much to Jim here at Ginger Nuts of Horror for the opportunity of an interview! Believe it or not, he offered me my first ever interview, wherein I was stuck in a horror film. He does some wonderful work on the website and in the horror community. I’ll always be grateful to him.
I hope you will all check out Revelations of the Raven Master on August 31st! Pre-order is live on Amazon. Happy reading!
Casey Masterson’s Revelations of the Raven Master Volume One
Legend has it that if the six resident ravens leave the Tower of London, the Kingdom, and the tower itself will fall. It is the Raven Master’s calling to protect those regal but, at times, evil birds.
However, the Raven Master holds more secrets in the world’s darkest, dankest dungeon, for he is the master storyteller, older than time itself. Each tale of the macabre and depraved serves as an offering, satiating the birds, and enrapturing them and enticing them to stay. Just like they will you, dear reader…
In Casey Masterson’s debut book, The Raven Master shares eighteen tales from the ancient tome of horrors. You will join the ravens as they are regaled with tales of suffering, humanity, and the deepest fears ingrained within us all. Cannibals, murderers, mutilation, and even love, lie in wait to strike when you least expect.
The Raven Master is waiting for you. Do you dare join him and his unkindness for a spell or will you try to fly away?
Casey Masterson is a horror writer with short stories “Shock” and “Portrait of an Artist” published in Dark Matter Magazine and Shortwave Publishing respectively. Her first book, Revelations of the Raven Master, will debut on August 31st, 2023. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University in German with minors in creative writing and mythology. Currently, she is working on a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at Rutgers University.
Amazon Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Casey-Mastersons-Revelations-Raven-Master/dp/B0C9SBY3W3/ref=sr_1_1?crid=35AO8VKURGM9H&keywords=casey+masterson&qid=1692632270&s=books&sprefix=casey+masterson%2Cstripbooks%2C85&sr=1-1