AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT | Interview with Hailey Piper

Hailey Piper grew up in a patch of creepy northeastern American woods where ghouls and monsters filled her imagination. Today she draws on those childhood nightmares as an editor of official documents and as a writer of primarily horror who can't shake her love for sci-fi and fantasy. Her short fiction has appeared in esteemed publications such as Blood Bath Literary Zine and Black Rainbow, Volume 1, and she's a proud two-time Planet Scumm contributor (“Scarlet Hide Molly” in Issue 6, “Reptile” in Issue 7). Her debut novella, The Haunting of Natalie Glasgow, can be found on Amazon.


PLANET SCUMM: What's the earliest story you remember writing?
I wrote little illustrated books in second grade, but they're lost in a haze, so it would have to be my Jurassic Park homage/ripoff, "Cretaceous Park." I was eight, had just finished Michael Crichton's novel, and felt it needed a more diverse array of dinosaurs. Of course, mine was derivative, terrible, and only probably 4,000 words, but you have to start somewhere!

PS: Who's big in your pantheon of artistic influences?
Neil Gaiman opened imaginative doorways when I was younger, Ramsey Campbell showed me that things will step through those doorways that both are and aren't, and Christa Carmen taught me that the doorways are coming from inside yourself; get out while you still can.

PS: If robots take over tomorrow, are you with us or with humanity?
Years ago I might've been with you, but the more I see algorithms at work, the less I trust machines.

PS: "Reptile" takes a hard look at the logical ends of one-way time travel. What imagined era would you seek out if you could go forward in time but not back?

HP: My outlook is more optimistic than in the story, but I wouldn't mind seeing what a post-human Earth looks like. There was a show years back called The Future is Wild that was a fictional documentary on how life on our world might evolve if humans migrated elsewhere. I'm always fascinated by the development of creatures.

PS: What keeps your ass in the chair when you need to finish a story?

HP: To be honest, if I'm struggling, leaving the chair for a few minutes can be the best medicine. I'll shower, cook, clean, pretend I'm the handmaid to an eternal, unfathomable entity, and usually I'll be back at my notebook in minutes because the brief mental break offers clarity.

PS: Who else might Hailey Piper fans want to read?

HP: I guess I'd hope my fans like what I like, so if you're into horror, check out Sara Tantlinger, Joanna Koch, L'Erin Ogle, Gwendolyn Kiste ... I could go on forever.

PS: Anything coming up you'd like to tell the world about?
Too many, but to keep it brief: My Gothic romance/horror novelette, An Invitation to Darkness, will be released by Demain Publishing at the end of September 2019. October, I'm in Little Girl Lost, Macabre Museum, The Bronzeville Bee, and more, plus there will be an announcement for something big and cool coming in 2020, so people should follow on Twitter @HaileyPiperSays if they want to keep an eye out.

And then I'll be back in Planet Scumm, both in this timeline's future and possibly others!