Tag Archive | kristopher rufty

Kristopher Rufty’s Latest Thriller – DESOLATION

I’m a pretty lucky guy. Kristopher Rufty is not only my friend, he’s also one of my favorite authors. We share a publisher and an agent, so he can’t shake me even if he wants to. Last year, he floored me with Jagger and Bigfoot Beach. He’s already kicking off 2016 with a new book from Samhain, Desolation. The cover it flipping awesome, and I know the contents will be even better.

Today I hand the wheel over to Krist as he takes you on Desolation’s journey. Ever wondered where writers get their ideas? Well, Hellions, read on. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. He’s giving away the store. Man, I gotta up my giveaway game.


 

Highway to Desolation

Desolation has been around for ten years. That’s a long time for an idea to be brewing. But when it was first conceived, it was meant to be my first attempt at writing a novel, but then it was changed into a script that I thought could be shot for a very low budget during a very short shooting schedule. I still think so, actually.

The original idea came to me in a dream. Is that laughter I hear? I’m being serious! In this dream I had way back in 2006, I was watching a movie. The scene that was transpiring on my dream screen was the opening: a man trapped in a car, his injured wife bleeding profusely beside him. He kicks his way out of the car, wanting to find his son. A strange man appears, seemingly out of nowhere, to help him search. As they look, the DVD begins skipping. I didn’t get to see what happened, for the movie jumped ahead several scenes to show me an intruder invading somebody’s home, armed with a crowbar, and using the tool to bash heads. I tried to figure out who was in the home, who the intruder was, and was becoming increasingly frustrated because I had no idea what was going on.

Then I woke up.

desolation title

It was just after three in the morning, and I was now wide awake. I smoked cigarettes back then and snuck outside to have one. It was the middle of winter, and I was standing on our porch, shivering as I replayed those scenes over and over in my head. I wondered what had caused the accident at the beginning, and why, obviously later in the dream movie, was somebody invading someone’s home.

Before I had finished smoking the cigarette, the entire premise had come together: A man, horribly wronged by another man. This man who caused so much harm is not a bad man. He’s a good person at heart, though he’s made many mistakes and this wrong is something that is felt not only by him, or the other man, but by their families. I wanted it clear that Grant is not evil; he’s not vindictive, though he’s used to getting his way. He’s just a guy, somebody that messed up. But I also wanted it be clear that Dennis is also a good person, driven to deplorable actions by Grant’s mistake.

That premise has stuck with me for a long time. In the original script, I wrote it as a straightforward exploitation-style horror movie. At one point, David Hess (of Last House on the Left fame) had agreed to play Grant and possibly write the music, with Trent Haaga set to play Dennis. The script floated around for years, with many people being attached on as actors, producers, composers, and FX artists.

It came back to me in 2013 for the last time. I decided to just put it in the drawer and leave it be.

A year or so later, I told my agent about the idea. She liked it a lot and told me not to forget about it. I didn’t. With the idea fresh in my brain again, I reread the script, cringing a bit. I still really liked the premise, but not the execution. I thought, If I were to rewrite this, I think this needs to be changed, and this, and this…”

Then another idea hit. I remembered after my father passed away, somebody suggested I write him letters. Just take a blank notebook and write him a letter every day until I felt I didn’t need to do that anymore. They said it would help me in my grieving. I tried. I hated it. It seemed to make me hurt worse, knowing he’d never read them.

And I stopped writing them.

But the idea I had was this: What if Dennis is writing letters to his deceased wife and as we read them, we see his mental wall chipping away a piece at a time. While this is happening, Grant is off trying to take his already crumbled existence, and plaster it all back together. Then the two worlds collide and complete chaos happens.

I had to write the book.

Took ten years, but I finally wrote the novel that I had originally hoped would have been my debut. I’m glad I did not try to write this book all those years ago. And even with the years of disappointment from the movie not being made, I’m very relieved it wasn’t. Had it been, this book would have never been written.


desolation tour

Desolation, Synopsis

Samhain Horror
PAGES: 266
ISBN: 978-1-619233-09-6 Trade Paperback (List: $15.95)

There’s no escaping your past. Especially when it wants revenge.

Grant Marlowe hoped taking his family to their mountain cabin for Christmas would reunite them after his alcoholic past had torn them apart, but it only puts them into a life and death struggle. On Christmas Eve, a stranger from Grant’s past invades the vacation home and takes his wife and children hostage. His agenda is simple—make Grant suffer the same torment that Grant’s drunken antics have caused him. Now Grant must confront his demons head on and fight for his family’s lives. Because this man has nothing left to lose. The only thing keeping him alive is misery—Grant’s misery.

Biography, Kristopher Rufty

Kristopher Rufty lives in North Carolina with his wife, three children, and the zoo they call their pets. He’s written various books, including The Vampire of Plainfield, Jagger, The Lurkers, The Lurking Season, The Skin Show, Pillowface, Proud Parents, and more, plus a slew of horror screenplays. He has also written and directed the independent horror films Psycho Holocaust, Rags, and Wicked Wood. If he goes more than two days without writing, he becomes very irritable and hard to be around, which is why he’s sent to his desk without supper often.

krist-1

Praise for Kristopher Rufty

“Kristopher Rufty is the demented reincarnation of Richard Laymon!” –Jeff Strand

 

A Dark Autumn is a wild gender role reversal of ‘I Spit On Your Grave,’ with gonzo nods to Norman Bates and ‘Friday The 13th’ thrown in for good measure. Kristopher Rufty delivers the goods yet again.” –Bryan Smith, author of Kayla Undead and The Late Night Horror Show

 

“A creepy, gripping tale of horror. And it’s got one of the best death scenes I’ve read in a long time!” –Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Dweller

 

“A powerhouse debut novel. Rufty’s prose will suck you in and hold you prisoner!” –Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase and Snow

 

“An occult thriller with a new twist. Rufty juggles captivating characters, breakneck suspense, and insidious horror in a macabre story that will leave you feeling possessed by the end of it. Next time you think about taking that old Ouija board out…forget it!” –Edward Lee, author of Lucifer’s Lottery and City Infernal

Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Desolation-Kristopher-Rufty/dp/1619233096/

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/desolation-kristopher-rufty/1122582601?ean=9781619233096

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5684/desolation

Giveaway

We have a lot of books to giveaway from Krist! We have two audio books, Oak Hollow and Pillowface in one link. In the second link we have a signed print copy of The Lurking Season and two e-books, Vampire of Plainfield and Bigfoot Beach. Winners are chosen random via rafflecopter and are given choice of prize of order pulled. Any questions on raffle, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com

Link for audio book giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI5/?

Link for print/e-book giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjMw/?

Top 10 Horror Reads of 2015

Howdy there, Hunter’s Hellions! I figured I had to call you all something. I think Hellions fits.

Looking back, I managed to read over 80 books last year. Any time I can get in over 75 books, I’m happy. I’m envious of folks who can speed read books yet still retain everything. I’m no tortoise, but I’m no hare, either.

Coming up with a top 10 horror books list was no easy task because I read so many damn good books. I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting a clunker from a mile off, so if I sit down to read a book, it’s usually good.

Now, some of these books didn’t come out in 2015. All that matters is that I read them in 2015. I’m hoping this can help you discover some titles you might have missed over the past couple of years. So, without further ado, here are my 10 favorite horror reads of last year (in no particular order, because I was fracturing my brain trying to do it), plus some honorable mentions…


10. THE HAUNTED by Bentley Little

the hauntedLittle has always been one of my favorite authors. He takes all of the everyday insanity we’ve surrounded ourselves with in America and injects it with pure evil. The Haunted is one of the best he’s written in years.

The Perry family’s new house is perfect-except for the weird behavior of the neighbors, and that odd smell coming from a dark corner in the basement. Pity no one warned the family about the house. Now it’s too late. Because the darkness at the bottom of the basement stairs is rising.


9. VIDEO NIGHT by Adam Cesare

video nightOh man, this book reminded me of all the great horror flicks of the 80s. Adam is one of the best new writers out there, and Video Night is a great place to start!

Who knows more about fighting a monster invasion than a group of teenage horror fans?
Billy Rile is smart, adept at Nintendo and has a killer Hi-Fi setup. Life is good. But he has no idea that an alien life form has infected his town, a creature that overtakes and transforms its host.


 

 

8. DARKNESS RISING  by Brian Moreland

darkness risingHands down the best novella of 2015. Brian Moreland always kicks ass…and I mean always. This is now my favorite of his books. Tender yet terrifying.

t’s all fun and games until…Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him.


7. LITTLE GIRLS by Ron Malfi

Little GirlsThis is classic horror in the vein of Peter Straub and Stephen King at their best. This is sure to go down as a classic. I know it’s one I’ll read again and again. I was extra proud to be his Kensington Publishing brother in 2015.

When Laurie was a little girl, she was forbidden to enter the room at the top of the stairs. It was one of many rules imposed by her cold, distant father. Now, in a final act of desperation, her father has exorcised his demons. But when Laurie returns to claim the estate with her husband and ten-year-old daughter, it’s as if the past refuses to die.


6. THE BORDER by Robert McCammon

the borderThe master returns to the genre that he defined! It doesn’t get any better than that. I’ve long said McCammon is the best who ever scribbled a tale of terror. The man hasn’t lost a step.

World Fantasy award-winning, bestselling author Robert McCammon makes a triumphant return to the epic horror and apocalyptic tone reminiscent of his books Swan Song and Stinger in this gripping new novel, The Border, a saga of an Earth devastated by a war between two marauding alien civilizations.

But it is not just the living ships of the monstrous Gorgons or the motion-blurred shock troops of the armored Cyphers that endanger the holdouts in the human bastion of Panther Ridge. The world itself has turned against the handful of survivors, as one by one they succumb to despair and suicide or, even worse, are transformed by otherworldly pollution into hideous Gray Men, cannibalistic mutants driven by insatiable hunger.


5. MR. MERCEDES & FINDERS KEEPERS by Stephen King

mr mercedesI got up to Maine a week after King was signing copies of Finders Keepers. My timing sucks. The first 2 books of his trilogy are as different from one another as they are engaging. I can’t wait for book 3 to come out!

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.


4. PRISONER 489 by Joe R Lansdale

Cover designLansdale should be a household name. Every book he writes is gold. Prisoner 489 is a terrific novella that centers around one of my favorite horror tropes. I won’t spoil it for you. Get the book, now!

On an island with a prison for the most evil and powerful criminals in the world, a new prisoner is strapped to the electric chair for execution. After multiple surges of electricity and nearly knocking out power to the entire island, the prisoner is finally dead. The staff buries him in the prison graveyard with a simple marker baring three numbers: 489.

After the body is buried, a violent storm rocks the islands and a staff member goes missing. The crew rushes into the storm, searching for their lost comrade. They find that the burial site of prisoner 489 has been unearthed, and the body that was inside has gone missing.


3. LORDS OF TWILIGHT by Greg Gifune

Lords of TwilightYou all know I’m a sucker for anything that deals with aliens. In fact, another alien book is part of the honorable mention crew. This is one of the most terrifying ones I’ve read in a while. Loved it.

Strange things are happening in the small, isolated town of Edgar, Maine. Mysterious lights dot the night skies. A local farmer is found dead at the summit of a hill with no evidence as to how his body got there. Livestock is disappearing, only to be discovered later, dead and mutilated with precision-like wounds. And despite the coming of an enormous winter storm, odd men identifying themselves simply as ‘federal agents’ have converged on Edgar in government vehicles as if in anticipation of some greater event.


2. JAGGER by Kristopher Rufty

jaggerCujo on meth. That’s the best way I can describe this. Once again, Rufty populates his novel with sketchy characters doing terrible things. I couldn’t put it down.

Other than the trailer park left to her by her deceased daddy, Amy’s favorite treasure is Jagger, her 180-pound bull mastiff. One day while she is away, Clayton, her best friend’s scumbag boyfriend sneaks into her yard and takes the dog. His prize fighting pit bull was killed during its last match, costing a lot of bad people a lot of money. To make up for his dog’s losses, and to save his own life, Clayton enlists the help of a medical student dropout to turn Jagger into a killing machine by pumping him full of experimental drugs and muscle enhancers. Now Jagger is a monster, a beast that can’t feel pain, with an unquenchable thirst for blood. He quickly breaks out of his pen and starts making his way home, tearing apart anyone in his path on his way to the one he feels has betrayed him the most—Amy.


 

  1. THE HUNGER SERIES by Jason Brant

brantI ate this trilogy up like they were White Castle and I was fresh off a 2 day bender. This is a post apocalypse world bursting with beasties that would make the walkers in The Walking Dead shit themselves, if they had working colons. I highly recommend them. The books, not the shitting zombies.

Day One: A series of terrorist attacks spread a cloud of noxious gas over highly populated areas.

Day Two: Higher brain function erodes in those exposed to the gas. Their bodies begin to distort, faces distending, skin sallowing, teeth elongating.

Day Three: The infected disappear into the shadows, fleeing the harsh daylight which has begun to sear their flesh.

Day Four: The world is DEVOURED.


And now for the honorable mentions. All of them could easily have made my top 10. It was that close! Get these books as fast as you can.

Q ISLAND by Russell James (apocalyptic goodness!)

THE PENDLE CURSE by Catherine Caendish (witches & time travel – yes!)

BLOOD AND RAIN by Glenn Rolfe (restored my faith in werewolf tales)

BEHIND THE DARKNESS by Robert Dunn (aliens done right – scary)

GOBLINS by David Bernstein (cryptids – what more can I say?)


OK, there you have it, my top 10 (really 15) horror tales for 2015. I could had added so many more, but I have to get out of the house.

Have you read any of the books I listed? What would make your top 10? What do you think I should be reading in 2016?

Keep flying the horror flag, my Hellions!

 

 

 

 

The #Horrortober Reading List For 2015

As always, I start my Horrortober reading in mid September so I can get to as many dark delicacies as possible. For those of you new to my Horrortober, it’s essentially my total immersion in all things horror from now until Halloween. During this special time, I only read horror and watch at least one horror movie a day.

Yes, there are a lot of Samhain books on here or books by authors who have published with Samhain. What can I say, they’re putting out some of the best new horror around, just like the good old days at Leisure. And yes, I have two, count ’em, two books on the list called The Deep. It’s an ambitious list this time around, but I think I’m up to the task. And of course there will be short stories, mags like Horrorhound, Rue Morgue, Fangoria and more. I’m buckling in as I write.

So, if you’re looking for some great spooky reading, come along with me…

BIGFOOT BEACH by Kristopher Rufty

bf bechA bizarre, brutal murder. A missing woman. And a giant footprint in the sand. Now, the dying beach community known as Seashell Cove finally has a hook to attract the tourists—a Bigfoot on the beach! As the summer season winds down, the tourists go home and the town begins preparing for the colder months.

Soon, more strange footprints are found, other mysterious sightings are reported. Then the deaths begin. Could there really be a Bigfoot running loose in Seashell Cove?

A tracker with a personal agenda, the local sheriff, a hero whose fifteen minutes of fame expired a long time ago, and a female reporter looking for a scoop will team up to find out for sure.


DARKNESS RISING by Brian Moreland

d rising

It’s all fun and games until…

Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.


THE DEEP by Nick Cutter

deep cutterA strange plague called the ’Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys…then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily…and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Mariana Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as “ambrosia”’—a universal healer, from initial reports—has been discovered. It may just be the key to eradicating the ’Gets. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.

TRIBESMAN by Adam Cesare

tribesmanDON’T FUCK WITH THE NATIVES!

Thirty years ago, cynical sleazeball director Tito Bronze took a tiny cast and crew to a desolate island. His goal: to exploit the local tribes, spray some guts around, cash in on the gore-spattered 80s Italian cannibal craze.

But the pissed-off spirits of the island had other ideas. And before long, guts were squirting behind the scenes, as well. While the camera kept rolling…

TRIBESMEN is Adam Cesare’s blistering tribute to Cannibal Holocaust and Lucio Fulci: a no-bullshit glimpse into grindhouse filmmaking, stuffed inside a rocket of tropical non-stop mayhem.


WE ARE MONSTERS by Brian Kirk

we are mon

The Apocalypse has come to the Sugar Hill mental asylum.

He’s the hospital’s newest, and most notorious, patient—a paranoid schizophrenic who sees humanity’s dark side.

Luckily he’s in good hands. Dr. Eli Alpert has a talent for healing tortured souls. And his protégé is working on a cure for schizophrenia, a drug that returns patients to their former selves. But unforeseen side effects are starting to emerge. Forcing prior traumas to the surface. Setting inner demons free.

Monsters have been unleashed inside the Sugar Hill mental asylum. They don’t have fangs or claws. They look just like you or me.


BLOOD AND RAIN by Glenn Rolfe

Blood Rain

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen.

Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend?

One night can—and will—change everything.


DARK AVENGING ANGEL by Catherine Cavendish

avengin angel

Don’t hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.

Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection—a lady she calls her “angel”. But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.

When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full—one way or the other.


THE DEEP by Michaelbrent Collings

deep mbcThere are places we were never meant to go…
***
A woman searching for a sister lost at sea. A man bent on finding lost treasure. A mother who has lost all hope. A maniac who believes all life exists for his pleasure. The man who would keep them all safe.Together, they will all seek below the waves for treasures long buried, and riches beyond belief. But those treasures hide something. Something ancient, something dark. A creature that exists only to feed on those that would enter into its realm. A creature… of The Deep.

THE RED HIGHWAY by Robert E. Dunn

the red hwyIn 1992, as Los Angeles begins to simmer in the heat of racial injustices, one dark man appears everywhere, spreading his message of race war. At the same time, Paul Souther, a homeless drunk, joins a strange group of outsiders. Some black and some white, they all carry the weight of broken lives and lost faith. They are all drawn to LA, for the arrival of a child, impossibly carried by Mary Prince, a sterile porn star.
Through back roads and freeways everyone is pulled into LA and Mary’s side just as the baby is born. None of them have any idea that the city is a ticking bomb of anger. As riots explode, the mysterious man reveals himself to be an ancient, dark spirit using the rage of the people to stoke his own, literal, fires. He demands Mary’s child as sacrifice to keep the city, and perhaps the nation from burning. It falls to Paul, a faithless man, and a drunk with blood on his own hands, to make the impossible choice between the child and the city, and to save the people he has come to care about.

Authors Galore at Scares That Care Weekend

I used to go to the Horrorfind convention in Gettysburg, PA every year because it was the one con jam packed with authors. Most years, the number of authors outnumbered the celebrity guests, which was just fine by me. I’d load up with signed books and have my TBR pile set for months. And I wasn’t alone. Throngs of people came to see their favorite writers, year after year.

Then Horrorfind bit the dust.

But since this is the horror genre, it rose from the dead, only with a new name and location. I attended the Scares That Care Weekend last year in Williamsburg, VA and totally felt the Horrorfind vibe. I met a ton of people who actually like to read horror, not just watch it and collect signed headshots. So it was a no brainer to go again. The fun starts on July 24th and goes all through the weekend.

scares-that-care-weekend

Let me tell you, there are some great authors attending this year. So, for all you hardcore readers, here’s what I hope is the complete list, because not everyone is listed on the website :

Brian Keene

Tom Monteleone

Jonathan Janz

Carlton Mellick

Edward Lee

F Paul Wilson

Ron Malfi

Kelli Owen

Tim Waggoner

Russell James

Kristopher Rufty

David Bernstein

Armand Rosamilia

The Light Brothers

Laura James

Will Bozarth

Edward L. Jefferson

Christian Jensen

I mean, holy cow! Every taste is catered to this year.

I’ll be doing a reading (and if you know me, you know it will be very different from a reading) along with Armand Rosamilia on Saturday at 3:15, and an author Q&A on Sunday at 1:00.

So hop in that car or plane and head down to Virginny this summer. I’ll have copies of all my books on hand, as well as an advance release for my new Pinnacle paperback, Tortures of the Damned and, cross your fingers, The Dover Demon. And if you’ve ever met me at a con, you know I’ll have plenty of beer to share. Bottoms up!

Horrorhound 2014 Pictorial

I’m back from Horrorhound Weekend 2014. I survived the drive to Cincinnati and back, despite riding into a flash blizzard that caused 90% of the cars to slide off the road and having a piece of lumber fall off the back of a semi and nearly impale my car. Take that, fates!!

I heard that over 15,00o hardcore horror fans descended on the convention center. It made the news. Hell, I made the news. Yep, on Saturday morning I watched the Channel 5 news and saw the Samhain booth with me and author Russell James chatting up a potential reader.

And man, were there a lot of readers. You don’t alway get that at cons (don’t get me started on the state of readers today). The Samhain booth was loaded with authors this year. It was a blast hanging out and signing books alongside Mick Ridgewell, Russell James, Kristopher Rufty, Tim Waggoner, Jonathan Janz, David Searls and Quinn Langston in her full Steampunk gear.

My favorite part of any con is meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. Spoke to quite a few aspiring horror writers. The best part was that most of them were women. This genre needs more estrogen! I’m very grateful to everyone that came out and stopped by our booth to chat with all of us and buy our books. You’re what makes this whole writing thing worthwhile.

So, as usual, here is my Horrorhound pictorial. Get ready to do a lot of scrolling. If you think it looks awesome, because it was, get your tickets to their next con in Indianapolis in the fall! I’ll be there.

March 2014 148

March 2014 122March 2014 137March 2014 108March 2014 140March 2014 144March 2014 117March 2014 149March 2014 133March 2014 115March 2014 119March 2014 120March 2014 132March 2014 130March 2014 129March 2014 126March 2014 150March 2014 121March 2014 142March 2014 135March 2014 107March 2014 116

Revvin’ Up For Horrorhound

That’s right, I’m loading up the Monster Mobile and pointing it west, hitting the road like a demon on an unholy mission, armed with pepper beef jerky, liquid libations and a Brinks truck to pay for the gas. My destination : Horrorhound Weekend in Cincinnati. I wasn’t able to make any cons last year, so I need to make up for lost time. Hope you can join me and other great Samhain authors like Jonathan Janz, Russell James (I’m Russell James, bitch!), Mick Ridgewell, Kristopher Rufty, Tim Waggoner, David Searls and Quinn Langston.  The Samhain booth will be front and center in the main expo room.

The legendary Bruce Campbell will be there, as well as members of The Walking Dead and some of the cast from my favorite movie last year, You’re Next. Horrorhound is the Mardi Gras of terror, so get it in gear and come party with us!

I’ll be in the booth all throughout the weekend signing books and acting the fool, when I’m not shopping for horror gear. I’ll be previewing my upcoming book, The Waiting, as well as my moldy oldies like Sinister Entity and Forest of Shadows. Knowing Samhain, folks who come to the booth may even get a discount code to pick up a copy of The Waiting. My assigned signing times are below, but you can bet I’ll be there much more:

Friday : 7:00 – 10:00 (with Jonathan Janz and Mick Ridgewell)

Saturday : 3:00 – 7:00 (with David Searls and Tim Waggoner)

Sunday : 11:00 – 2:00 (with Kristopher Rufty, David Searls and Mick Ridgewell)

Stop on by, talk some horror, get some great books and have a drink with me!

Horrorhound

Horror Reading List for Halloween

It’s Terrortober and I have the books you should be reading right here. Now, those of you following me on Twitter know that every day I post what horror movie I’ve watched with a rating and the hashtag, Terrortober. To add to the fun, the Monster Men have put together an episode dedicated to a plethora of great books available at Samhain Horror.

Also, I’ve been posting chapters of a new gothic horror story called MERCY. You can read chapter one here and chapter two here. Chapter three will be posted on my blog on Halloween.

OK, grab a pen and paper and get ready for your mandatory reading list. This will count for 75% of your grade!

 

Slashers Have Heart : An Interview With Kristopher Rufty

I’m so glad I can finally take a break from talking about myself and shine the spotlight on a tremendous new talent, Kristopher Rufty. I’m proud to say that we’re Samhain Horror brothers (his first book, Angel Board is not to be missed), and was blown away by his latest novel, Pillowface. This dude is the goods and he has a ton in store for us. So strap yourself in, turn on the Halloween soundtrack, tuck your favorite butcher knife by your side and read on…

HS. I have to say, Pillowface grabbed me by the short hairs from teh get-go and never let up. Why don’t youtell folks a little about the book and why they absolutely must read it!

KR. The book is about Joel Olsen, a twelve year old horror fan and aspiring special effects artist who spends way too much time alone.  He is now being raised by his sister Haley, who is only twenty-three years old.  They lost their parents in a car accident a few months prior to where the story begins.  Joel has an active imagination and is so enthralled with horror movie scenarios that he doesn’t even flinch when he discovers a wounded slasher straight from the movies he loves in his backyard.  Joel becomes obsessed with Pillowface, and looks at this situation as a big game, or a movie he’s seen adozen times.  It isn’t long before Joel realizes this isn’t as much fun as he’d expected it to be.  Soon into the book people around him start being brutally murdered, and with Buddy and Carp on the hunt for Pillowface, their missing ally, even more blood is shed.

Anyone with a love for horror on any avenue will probably find something to enjoy in this book.  As dark and twisted as it turned out to be, it’s actually a good time. I had a blast writing about the launch of summer vacation.  It was fun tapping into that part of my own childhood and remembering how it felt knowing that after Sunday ended on that first weekend of summer vacation, there were still a couple months left beforeI had to go back to school.  The sky was the limit!  Much like Joel does in the book; I’d formulate a summer to-do list and make sure I completed every task on it.  Whether it was watching a certain number of movies, or finishing the Stephen King, Bentley Little, or John Saul book I had purchased for a summer read, or adventures I planned to have in the woods around my house, I did it all, because if summer was nearing its end andI hadn’t completed them, I would feel depressed.  As if I’d wasted my summer break.

HS. Being a Richard Laymon fan, I felt his presence throughout the book. Are you a big fan as well and how has he inspired you?

KR. Laymon is my favorite author.  Not just my favorite horror author, but my favorite period. Whenever someone learns I write horror fiction they usually say something along the lines of:  “Oh like Stephen King?”  And I’ll nod and say:  “Sort of.  More like Richard Laymon.”  Then I get a confused look because they obviously don’t know who I’m talking about and that’s a shame.

Trent Haaga (the writer of the movies Deadgirl and American Maniacs) recommended I read The Cellar by Richard Laymon one day while we were in a book store together. I had confided in him that I was growing tired of reading books by the same handful of authors and wanted to branch out.  He took me to the L’s and searched the selection until finding Leisure’s reprint of The Cellar.  He went on to tell me how great of an author Laymon is and how once I read this book, I wouldn’tbe able to stop.  And he was right.  Laymon’s books became a hunger that I neededto feed.  It was also what made me join the Leisure Horror Book Club; the possibilities of several authors I’d yet to discover were at my fingertips!  Trent’s suggestion morphed me into a completely different horror fan, reader, andwriter.

Laymon’swork has been heavily influential on my own. I never wanted to mimic his style or anything like that, but I wanted to incorporate into my own writing Laymon’s sense of sentence and paragraph structure and detail.  And also I wanted to freely use the word rump just as he had.  I started off writing screenplays and making indie horror movies, and in the scripts whenever a female had to fall down, I could never think of a delicate way of putting it.  So, I took my Dad’s term, rump, and used that.  When I read it in Laymon’s novels I smiled with glee.

Years later I learned Don D’Auria (the same who’d edited Laymon and countless other legends) would be my editor as well, and it was a dream come true.

HS. I don’t know who’s more twisted, Joel, the young boy in need of a father figure, or the murderous Pillowface with a soft spot for the boy. Which would you rather go camping withfor a week?

KR. Pillowface, easily.  I don’t trust Joel in the slightest.

HS. You managed to do what so many have tried and failed at, which is create a classic slasher/monster and make him genuinely sympathetic. I mean, I was actually rooting for Pillowface towards the end. How difficult a task was that for you?

KR. It wasn’t as difficult as making David (the main character from Angel Board) sympathetic.  Pillowface is a complex guy and underneath the mask and behind the chainsaw he’s human.  In an earlier draft I wrote him a bit differently and to me he just didn’t come across as a real person.  That was my mistake, not writing him realistically.  When I set out to do a fresh write on Pillowface, I delved more into his point of view instead of learning about him through Joel’s eyes, and instead I thought it would be neat if we learned who Joel was through Pillowface’s eyes.   But not just Joel, some of the other characters as well.  Especially Joel’s sister, Haley.  Pillowface crushes on her like any man would, but whenever a normal person thinks flowers, candy, and a night on the town, Pillowface thinks of swooning her by dismemberment, destruction, and pain.

HS.Which is harder to do, direct a movie or write a novel? What are the best and most difficult parts of each?

KR. They’re each their own obstacle.  I’d have to say that, personally, writing a novel is easier and sometimes more gratifying than making a movie.  There are a lot elements going into directing, especially low budget movies, which interfere with your vision, so to speak.  I learned early on in moviemaking that it’s best to leave what you pictured in your head while writing the script at the door because chances are you will have to improvise on the spot for a variety of reasons, which also means working away from the script, or changing something last minute or like I had to in PsychoHolocaust, and cut a character completely out of the movie two days before we started filming because the actor cast to play them dropped out.

Budget can be your best friend and worst enemy. When there’s plenty to give she’s wonderful to have on your side, a great go-to source that can solve almost any problem.  But when there’s not enough to give, the budget can be an evil she-bitch that constantly takes and takes and when you wantjust a little more to spend on your movie you realize that she’s dried up after spending herself on name actors, plane tickets, and food.  When writing a screenplay, you always have to be cognizant of the budget and write within its means which can make for some great creativity but can also kill it quickly. My favorite parts of the movie process are the writing and editing, usually after a year or so goes by I realize that I actually enjoyed aspects of the shooting.  Ha-Ha.  However, I do enjoy working with talented actors and crews and watching what I wrote come to life whether it was how I had originally imagined it or not.

When writing a novel there is no budget restriction, and you’re pretty much free todo whatever you want.  When the characters want to have sex, they can, and there are no worries on my part whether or not they will take off their clothes, because I’m pretty confident that they will!  Also, if something blows up in the story, I don’t have to go back and cut it because there is no way I can afford an explosives expert, or I can have a legion of demons pour out of someone’s rump and not fret over how we can do the effect (I’m not big on horror CGI). I can just write it and it is. That is amazing to me.  Writing is amazing to me.  Making movies is amazingto me. I love them both.  They are a partof who I am.

HS. You’re obviously a horror movie buff (not to mention director). What are your 5 favorite horror films.

KR. Wow, that’s a tough question.  I’ll name fiveI like a lot, in no particular order.

TexasChainsaw Massacre (original)

Nightof the Living Dead (b&w and the remake from the early nineties)

Fridaythe 13th (original)

Halloween(original)

EvilDead

Okay, so that was five of the more popular horror classics.  Here are five that aren’t so popular.

Motel Hell (HS. One of my all time faves!)

Mother’sDay (original)

BasketCase (anything really by Frank Hennenlotter)

SilverBullet (Busey at his finest)

Nightof the Creeps

HS. OK, in 25 words or less, describe your current work in progress.

KR. I’m working on a few things simultaneously. Finishing up a novel and doing a polish on one that’s already completed, completed a novella, and started another novel. The Lurkers is my next book through Samhain Publishing and will be out in August, which is about tiny goblin-like creatures invading a small town and the group of people driving through who get caught in the middle. We’re also doing a promotion with the release.  My short story The Night Everything Changed will be available for free soon and leading up to the release of The Lurkers. It takes place in The Lurkers universeand is definitely worth checking out, and for a price tag of zero, you can’tbeat it.    After that, I’m not sure what order the next few will follow.

But a current work in progress is PlainfieldGothic and here’s a 25 words or less rundown:

Robbing graves in the early 1950’s, Ed Gein inadvertentlyunearths a genuine vampire and sets it loose on the unsuspecting town of Plainfield, Wisconsin.

And there you have it. See, I told you there was a lot more awesomeness to come! You can check Kristopher and his work out at www.lastkristontheleft.blogspot.com

Dreadful Tales Samhain Celebration Wrap-Up

The wonderful folks at Dreadful Tales were nice enough to dedicate an entire week to Samhain Horror, with interviews, reviews and articles with authors (such as myself) and editor Don D’Auria. If you’re a fan of horror, this is a treasure trove of insight and hopefully a reason to add to your “to read” pile. You can catch up on everything right here! Dreadful Tales Samhain Celebration Wrap-Up.

Sample Chapter from Author Kristopher Rufty’s Book, Angel Board

Kristopher’s debut horror novel, Angel Board, is part of Samhain Publishing’s new horror lineup that unleashed on the world yesterday. Here’s a sample chapter from his book. Enjoy it…then pick up your copy!

Tonight David Barker planned to kill himself.
 As he stood in the bathroom, gawking into the fingerprint-smudged, toothpaste-dotted mirror, his reflection gazed back through eyes a vacant shell of white. He didn’t recognize this person. The haggard, soundless face inside the glass showed signs of a soul suffering, and not the wholesome thirty-year-old man he was—or used to be.
 That wasn’t David in there, not anymore.
 Who was that guy?
 The October wind gusted outside, causing the old apartment to creak and pop. He slowly exhaled through his nostrils, fogging up a small patch on the mirror. He wiped it away with a finger.
 A few months earlier, he couldn’t have been happier. Things changed drastically in a short span of time. He’d gone from being in love with life, and a special girl like Samantha Corben, to hating everything affiliated with all of it. Being stuck in the same miserable routine day in and day out, not doing anything about it, had only made his condition worse. Drained him. Put him in front of this mirror, giving himself once last look at the pathetic inflammation he’d become before cashing in his chips.
 David Barker is clocking out for the last time.
 He glanced up at the brown splotches sprinkled across the ceiling and shook his head. Sam had been right all along. The bathroom really was in desperate need of a makeover. The paint that hadn’t peeled was fading fast. The floor was warped; the boards were loose and springy and sunk under each step. He often imagined himself one day crashing through the rotting wood and landing somewhere in the apartment below.
 Sam had been after him for months to either fix up the place or move. She tried convincing him he could do much better. As she would sheepishly say—shack up with her, but when she’d discovered he wasn’t ready for that obligation just yet, she’d argued that if he was going to remain in that clammy apartment, he should at least make it livable. Sam had even gotten the landlord’s permission to do just that. The old man had agreed with all her grievances, going so far as to promise that if she kept the receipts he’d deduct it from the rent and also added an extra bit of news. He was planning to remodel the entire structure anyhow. So David had more than just his permission to revamp the apartment, he had his blessing.
 What had stopped him?
 Everything. And nothing. He’d never seen the point in fixing the place up because he hadn’t planned to be there long enough to enjoy the refashion. At the time, he was planning to move on to a better job, a bigger place, and a healthier life for the two of them. Now he realized it was a form of premonition, foreshadowing what he was meant to do.
 Die, he thought, and felt the misting in his eyes.
 David stepped away from the mirror and over to the bathtub. Much like the rest of the place, a cleaning was in order. Mildew lined the tile of the shower walls, and mold caked in the corners. It wasn’t quite an infestation yet, but was getting close. Leaning over the tub, he gripped the knob labeled Hot. It felt cold and clammy in his palm. He turned it. Water erupted from the faucet, the pipes groaning from inside the walls as they heated.
 Almost immediately, the water was scorching. He twisted the Cold dial to help adjust the temperature to his liking. Why he was taking these extra measures, he had no idea, but it felt like the right thing to do. Finding the right balance, he stoppered the drain. Briskly, the water began to rise.
 He stood up, flicking the excess water off his fingers. On his way back to the mirror, he removed his jacket and winced at the haggard appearance he saw in the reflective glass.
 “That is the mug of a looker, ladies and gentlemen,” he muttered.
 Dangling his jacket in front of him, he searched the pockets for his cigarettes. He found them in the left pocket, then tossed the jacket on the toilet. It slid across the lid, falling on the floor between the commode and wall. He cringed. His favorite jacket, a black, zippered hood, had landed in the dreaded pee spot. The area his streams would wildly spray while he tried to find the bowl in his groggy, middle of the night bathroom trips.
 Not like he’d ever wear it again.
 Hope to God I’m not buried in it, he thought. Buried in a jacket that smells like old piss.
 Someone would wash it first, they’d have to. Then he realized how ridiculous it was to consider he could actually be buried in that old jacket, anyway. It is my favorite. He’d heard of people being buried in sports-themed coffins, old school jerseys, so the idea he could be buried in a jacket he liked to wear wasn’t too farfetched. Oh well, someone would surely smell that stench and toss it in a washer first.
 Hopefully.

Bio:
Kristopher Rufty has written and directed the independent horror movies: Psycho Holocaust, Rags, and Wicked Wood. Angel Board is his first horror novel. He is married to his high school sweetheart and is the father of two maniacal children. He resides in North Carolina, where he is at work on his next novel. 

 “A powerhouse debut novel. Rufty’s prose will suck you in and hold you prisoner!”
–Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase and Snow
“A creepy, gripping tale of horror. And it’s got one of the best death scenes I’ve read in a long time!”
–Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Dweller

%d bloggers like this: