PIERCE THE VEIL by David Simms, Feature
PIERCE THE VEIL by David Simms, Feature
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The Big Thrill Discusses PIERCE THE VEIL with David Simms

Book Cover: PIERCE THE VEILOn the way home from a gig with his band, Derek Boone dies. Then, miraculously, doctors manage to revive him, using new cutting-edge technology. He’s alive, but in a coma.

Months later Boone wakes into a world of blurred visions and danger. The memories of that accident are incomplete. He experiences them in strange flashbacks he calls “bruised memories.” And he’s not the only one. A deranged cult made up of men and women who’ve had near death experiences begins to harass him, wanting to know what he experienced, and a dangerous agent from a religious organization wants him to tell his story… if that story is the one the church needs. Otherwise, they want him dead.

Finally, while on a talk show with others who have had similar experiences, a gunman opens fire on the entire panel. Escaping with his life, Boone is on the run from New Jersey to the Adirondack mountains, desperately seeking his own truth, even if it leads him into the hands of an enemy.

Author recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest genre, PIERCE THE VEIL.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?

David Simms

I visited a cult in Virginia (that denied that term) who used psychological warfare to recruit broken minds to join.
Soon afterwards, my son’s teacher (former, thankfully), sent her students home with frightening religious beliefs (left handers are evil – a throwback for me, dinosaurs aren’t real, and people who listen to music are damned).
These two events hit close together and reminded me of my own near death experience and the ball began to roll.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?

PIERCE THE VEIL is part of my DNA. I had so much unresolved trauma from my religious school upbringing that was cult-like in many ways. I teach psychology AND give ghost tours in my historic Virginia town that led me to discover the paranormal department at the University of Virginia (Division of Perceptual Studies in their medical school).
I realized that I could excise that old scar and hopefully help others.

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?

Yes! Frailty was a big one.
Cabin At The End of The World – Paul Tremblay
Revival – Stephen King (that ending!)
Dan Brown’s work
And our own David Morrell, who struck up a conversation with me years ago when he played keyboards in our band.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?

I saw Boone as so many of us who feel at a crossroads with the pressure from organized religion (I believe in God, but history shows the bigger the organization, the uglier things can get). As a musician and teacher, he was in touch with what touched him on a spiritual level but couldn’t shake his own doubt and the trauma it causes him.
When his world explodes and he finds the world is watching him, I saw it as part of so many of us who either embrace faith or have to defend misgivings, something I’ve dealt with.
I kept him in New Jersey as I grew up there and didn’t want to stereotype a region (I’m in Virginia now). His struggles fit so many of my college students so I felt it would be a good reach, but also a strong tie to my background but without my personality.

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

I hope they might read up on cults and the origins of religions.
I also hope they can think more about the science of near death experiences and what they might really be. The final answer is something we likely won’t know, not while alive, but it’s fascinating to ponder that scientists all over the world are attempting to solve this mystery right now.
I love to get people to think and question beyond the expected.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

I’m seeking an agent for my completed thriller about a married couple – who are serial killers.
Ala Dexter, Killing Eve, and You, both characters are not the typical killers. They ache for more humanity and only take out the worst in society.
For this entry, they seek to destroy the biggest human trafficking ring on the east coast but are blackmailed into working for a businessman who might be more a monster than they could ever be.


David Simms now lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his wife, son and furballs after escaping decades of New Jersey and Massachusetts. A psychology and special education teacher, college professor, counselor, music therapist, ghost tour guide, and book reviewer, he has survived a long tenure in the Slushpile band on lead guitar after co-founding the Killer Thriller Band with several best-selling ITW authors. He gives workshops in three states on using music to help students of all ages to learn and de-stress, getting teens to write, and combating burnout for teachers in schools.

FEAR THE REAPER is a thriller that accurately covers the horrors of the eugenics movement in America – basically, how we directly influenced Hitler and introduce a world of horrors right here in the states. Book events/talks are still happening years after its release.

Curse of the Barrens is his newest release, a middle-grade entry in the Ameri-Scares series, built by Stoker Lifetime Achievement winner, Elizabeth Massie, which has been optioned by Warner Brothers. This tale dives deep into the Jersey Devil mythology.

He co-founded the Killer Thriller Band back in 2006 with Bob Levinson and ITW authors Heather Graham, David Morrell, F. Paul Wilson, and others.

Finally, when he wishes to escape the world, he reads and reviews books for Cemetery Dance Magazine. Publishers Weekly, and Monster Librarian.

To learn more about the author, please visit his website.