Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for your latest book, The Sadist’s Bible. What can you tell us about the premise of the story?
Nicole Cushing: The Sadist's Bible is a story of two women. One (named Lori) is sexual traumatized and the other (named Ellie) is sexually repressed. It's about what happens when the two get to know each other online and become entangled in each other. It's about their plans to meet in person for the first time, have sex, and then kill themselves. It's about Lori's secret tie to a hideous supernatural force that might be God or might be the devil. It's about the journey these women take to the home of this force (a Palace of Abominations where sex and death boil in the same black cauldron).
BD: What inspired you tell to this story, and what do you hope that readers will take away from it?
NC: A few years ago I was sitting by the side of a rooftop pool in New Orleans, and I had a nightmarish daydream about a hideous supernatural realm. (A place of great ugliness and fury, but also a place of transcendence.) When I arrived home in southern Indiana, I knew I had to write about that place.
As far as what I want readers to take away from it? Well, I think I want them to be fully immersed in the book; immersed to the point where they experience it as a waking nightmare. Along the way, I also want them to think about the broken aspects of sexuality and spirituality.
BD: Do you feel that The Sadist’s Bible will appeal tonally to both your returning fans as well as new readers?
NC: Obviously, I can’t be objective in answering that question. I think it will appeal to both audiences. The returning fans will find a tone quite similar to my Stoker Award-winning novel, Mr. Suicide. New readers will, I think, be attracted to the book, because it’s not the same cookie-cutter story we’ve seen a thousand times. This isn’t a book that was born in a corporate committee. The Sadist’s Bible was born in my fever dreams, and I think the difference shows.
BD: Although the book will be released digitally, the print version will be unique in its format and compilation. What can readers anticipate from the printed version of the book?
NC: The printed version will include illustrations. I’m quite excited about that. I’ve also been told that it will include scene-specific typographic design. (If I understand this correctly, this means that when the two women are chatting online in the story, the text will be presented to look like a chat window.)
In general, I’m just excited about the production values. The folks at 01 Publishing are putting this book through a print run from an actual printer. (In other words, they won’t be going the print-on-demand route.) So, it will have a look and feel that will be quite distinctive.
BD: Are there any upcoming conventions or other outlets where our readers will be able to find your work?
NC: On Monday, November 14, from 6:00-7:30 p.m., I’ll be appearing at the main branch of the Louisville (Kentucky) Free Public Library for a reading and book signing. (Here’s a link for more information about that event.)
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
NC: I’m about one-half (or two-thirds?) of the way through my next novel. (Tentatively titled Knife and Wound.)
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about The Sadist’s Bible?
NC: A good place to find out more is the one-minute video book trailer. Another good place is Amazon or the 01 Publishing website (where the eBook is already on sale).