Riley J. Pierce lives in Wisconsin with her family, and her growing collection of books. Always fascinated by horror and science fiction, she finds inspiration for the macabre everywhere. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge-watching the latest horror film alone in the dark.
1) How old were you when you first discovered horror?
In second grade, in our school library, we were each assigned a section to keep clean and organized. I was assigned the horror section. I spent hours in that section reading all about the paranormal, haunted civil war battlefields around me, and spooky folklore.
2) Who is your favorite author? Who has influenced you?
I’ve always loved to read, so I truly believe that my love of writing came from discovering the writing of Alvin Schwartz.
3) What inspired you to write your piece?
I love nautical folklore. I loved that sirens and mermaids were beautifully lethal in some legends, and I wanted to take that, but look at it a bit differently.
4) How much control do you exert over your characters? Do they have free will?
Yes and no. I’m a meticulous planner in my everyday life, so when it comes to a character, I tend to let them have free will only when it suits their chosen path. I would call it more of an implied free will.
5) What did you learn from participating in the contest?
Being challenged to write in so many different formats with various word limits and themes taught me to step out of the puzzlebox (hi, Hellraiser fans) a little bit more than I would have on my own.
6) Would you do it again? What would you do differently?
I would most definitely do it again. I believe next time around I would allow myself the time and space to brainstorm more before choosing the first or second idea.
7) What is your favorite horror novel?
Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
8) Favorite horror movie?
This is a tough one! I would probably say Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but that’s on a masterpiece classic level. For my favorite villain, Nightmare on Elm Street. For something that’s a fun watch, I’d choose Hereditary, Drag Me to Hell, or Hellraiser.
9) Favorite horror television show?
Masters of Horror.
10) What does the future hold for you? What do we have to look forward to?
I’m still working on a few projects, but to share my love of writing with others, I’ve been leading workshops at my local library on creative writing, novel outlining, and blogging.