Today’s interview is Kyle Toucher, whose book Live Wire will be released on April 14. Toucher (rhymes with voucher) was raised on a diet of Frankenstein and Godzilla, Black Sabbath and Black Flag, Lovecraft, Blatty, Barker and King. Through his twenties, he fronted the influential Nardcore crossover band Dr. Know, made records and hit the road.

Later, he moved into the Visual Effects field, where he bagged eight Emmy nominations and two awards for Firefly and Battlestar: Galactica. Recent credits include Top Gun: Maverick, The Orville, and defense industry clients. He lives with his wife, five cats, two dogs, and several guitars in a secure, undisclosed location. Visit him online at or find him on Twitter: @kyletoucher

Find Live Wire available for sale here.

Find his book Life Returns for free on Amazon here.

AYS: From your sordid past, what’s your favorite memory from touring with Dr. Know?

KT: There’s some doozies. Those stories are forty years old now, and most are pretty hilarious. Pro Tip: try not to get busted for weed in Missouri in 1986.

AYS: You have 4 prestigious wins and 9 nominations as a visual effects artist. Which project was the most challenging and why?

KT: Deadlines on Battlestar: Galactica were the worst enemy, but sometimes that is what pulled the best work out of the team. Those shows were not a one man effort.  But were were a small crew, tight and well oiled. TV vfx, even then, weren’t anywhere near the level they are now, but we had a great show, and a lot of freedom. At the time, no one could deliver shots of that scale and volume on a TV schedule like we did. We were proud of that.

Top Gun: Maverick was a great experience, and worth all nineteen months I spent on it. It’s an entire conversation on its own.

AYS: What attracts you to horror, especially writing horror? About writing in general?

KT: Open range. Wide open. The Louisiana Purchase, if you will.  Anything is possible.

AYS: If you could create a visual effects scene for any classic monster movie, which one would it be and what would the scene be?

KT: Tough one. The stuff I loved as a kid looks dated now, but to touch it would blaspheme the work. Also, look at the cinematography in The Bride of Frankenstein, for example. You can’t touch that. Learn from it instead.

I have one. I’d swap out that matte painting at the end of When Worlds Collide. Ouch.

AYS: Can you tell us about a funny or interesting experience you’ve had working with a defense industry client?

War is a racket.


AYS: What inspired you to write about the concept of summoning something Shadowless from the fabric of creation?

KT: The idea of a dreadful cabal operating in the plain sight while completely undermining humanity is a pretty dreadful concept. It’s not the newest idea, so few are, but we all have our own attack vectors, don’t we? It’s a pervasive theme in a great deal of my writing. When you think about it, isn’t any type of dark, occult practice just that-a summoning of powerful forces from an unseen realm?

AYS: How did you balance the high stakes and action-packed plot with the character development of your main characters?

KT: Well, it’s like music. If everything is on 10….there is no 10.

A well-paced movie is a perfect example: screeching high octane moments, and breathers where the story and characters move forward…but with the tension of the previous action and the action to come always there.

Pretty much why Death Metal doesn’t work. No dynamics.

AYS: The Signal is a dissonant machine language that subverts the human mind. What research did you conduct to create such a unique and eerie concept?

KT: No research. Doesn’t everyone squirm at the thought of bad memories surfacing? Self doubt? Guilt? Regret? Failed relationships? Smashed trust?

AYS: The story takes place over the course of one endless October night. Why did you choose to use this timeframe, and how did it affect the pacing and tension of the narrative?

KT: The ticking clock; it works every time. And honestly, the plot is so outrageous, it’s best delivered in a straight, 125 proof shot.

AYS: Were there any challenges or surprises you encountered while writing Live Wire, and how did you overcome them?

KT: The surprise was how effortlessly it flowed on the good days, and how horrendous it was on the bad days. 

Hendrix said Keep Pushing Ahead. He was right.

Watch today’s show here:

Angela Yuriko Smith

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), producer of the Exercise Your Writes YouTube podcast, two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She shares a weekly calendar of author opportunities at

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