Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Guest Horror Author Kristopher Rufty

Today’s guest is one of the best horror authors writing today and a dear personal friend of mine. I’m happy to have Kristopher Rufty back to talk about what inspired him to write his latest novel, Desolation.

Desolate Influences…
By Kristopher Rufty

As I write this article, I can look out my window and see a landscape buried in white. We’ve had a lot of snow the last few days and I can’t help but be reminded of my mindset when writing Desolation.

All my ideas start from an inspiration. Whether it be a mood, smell, something I see, a movie I watch, or a book I read, something comes from something else. A seed. Sometimes a single seed may sprout a crop that produces fruits and vegetables, which can be added to other things to make a tasty casserole of an idea.
Did I just compare Desolation to a food dish? Yeesh. My point is, a lot of things inspired Desolation, which is no different than anything else I’ve written. A spark of inspiration hits the dry brush of my brain that grows into an out of control fire. Now that’s probably a much better idiom for what Desolation was inside my head. Something I couldn’t contain. And its influences range vastly.

I’m going to share a few other pieces of work that inspired Desolation in some way.

John Carpenter’s The Thing: A movie of complete isolation, shut off from the world in heavy snow and no way out, with the monster trapped inside with them. On the outside, everything looks ordinary, but inside the walls, inside the people, an evil intruder is stirring. Nobody is safe and nobody can be trusted.

The Evil Dead: A similar theme as The Thing. But in this one, as most of us know, our poor characters are trapped inside a cabin, away from population, while a demonic force picks them off one by one. The lone survivor fights back with a chainsaw.

Psycho: This one might seem a bit odd, considering the book Desolation turned in to. But I felt Robert Bloch staring over my shoulder while I wrote, reminding me that sometimes subtlety is better than throwing everything in your readers’ faces. Also, the element of surprise that Bloch employed in Psycho (as Hitchcock did in the film) was something I really wanted to imply throughout. Hopefully my readers didn’t know what or when, but sensed something terrible was coming to the Marlowes when the snow started falling.

Misery: The novel much more than the movie. I read Misery during a snowstorm that crippled our town for a few days. It was one of those books that I had to force myself to stop reading so I could eat, use the bathroom, and make appearances for my family so they remembered I existed.

With the snow falling outside my window and inside the book, I could really identify with Paul Sheldon in the story. He wasn’t just trapped in the bed because of his injuries and the mad nurse caring for him, but also by the elements outside—the weather and location. But through it all, his love for writing carried him forward, urging him to fight, to survive... His predicament forced him to find that creative love again, the love that he’d lost thanks to years of success.

These themes and moods were substantial in my mind when I was writing Desolation. The inclement darkness outside is almost as bad as what the Marlowes are trapped inside the cabin with. Their situation feels hopeless no matter what route they might try to take for survival, and they need to find that one thing to focus on to remind them why they want to live. And for them, that one thing is each other.

If you’ve read Desolation, I thank you with all my heart. If you haven’t read or seen any of the titles from my list, please check them out.

I think if you enjoyed Desolation, you’ll find something to love in each of them.

Kristopher Rufty writes violent, twisted, terrifying tales that are most comparable to Richard Laymon and Stephen King. If you’ve yet to discover Rufty’s books, I highly recommend them. Here is the synopsis for Desolation:

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.

"Rufty juggles captivating characters, breakneck suspense, and insidious horror in a macabre story that will leave you feeling possessed by the end of it." -Edward Lee, author of City Infernal, on Angel Board

"Kristopher Rufty delivers the goods yet again." -Bryan Smith, author of Go Kill Crazy!, on A Dark Autumn

You can buy a copy of Desolation in paperback and eBook through:

Barnes & Noble

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.

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
Link for audio book giveaway:
Link for print/e-book giveaway:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Writing Progress

Today, I surpassed 30,000 words on the current horror book I'm writing called TOMB OF GODS. My goal is to have something new to release in 2016. I'll keep posting updates as I get closer to completion.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Krampus Season: Guest Author Matt Manochio

This holiday season it’s the year of Krampus, the dark demon of Christmas, and there’s a horror movie by the same name releasing at the theaters on December 4th. The trailer looks scary and fun. The movie appears to have been done with a nice budget and stellar cast, including Toni Collette, Adam Scott and David Koechner. I’m really looking forward to watching all the mayhem in Krampus this weekend. I’m also looking forward to reading more about the legend. Today’s guest author, Matt Manochio, has delved deep in the Krampus mythology and penned not one but two horror books about St. Nick’s evil counterpart. Last year, Manochio did an interview on this blog and talked about his first Krampus novel The Dark Servant. Manochio has now followed up his terrifying novel with a novella-length sequel titled Twelfth Krampus Night. Below, Matt Manochio shares about writing the sequel.

I never thought about writing a sequel to The Dark Servant, my debut novel which features Krampus, Saint Nicholas’s devilish dark companion who punishes naughty children—mostly in Europe. I set my kid-snatching story in modern-day New Jersey. Once you hammer out what Krampus does, and set a novel around it, what more can you do with that specific premise? It’s kinda like the Friday the 13th movies. There’s only so many ways you can butcher stupid, sex-crazed teenagers without it becoming insipid. You can break away from the Krampus myth and have him battling Santa Claus, as others have done, and that’s fine! I prefer my Krampus to be subservient to Saint Nicholas, who I prefer to have lurking in the background as an invisible hand.

Horror fanatic and reviewer Erik Smith planted the seed to revisit Krampus, in a prequel of sorts, shortly after The Dark Servant came out. He mentioned that he enjoyed the book and the characters and was hoping I’d bring them back. I was thrilled he dug the book, but it got me thinking—how would I bring the big guy back?

It started in a throwaway line in an email I wrote to Erik, about how I thought it might be fun to have Krampus trying to infiltrate a heavily fortified castle to get his prey, and always being thwarted by its defenses. That blossomed into the idea of having another dark servant—Bavaria’s Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag—attempting the same thing, and then pitting the two against each other. That’s the wonderful thing about the Krampus mythos—there are several unexplored dark servants whose stories vary based on the region of Europe from where they originated.

Krampus is always hunting bad kids—that’s why he’s around. But that doesn’t have to be the sole focus of each and every story. Setting’s an important character, and having Krampus traipsing around in his homeland some 700 years ago immediately changed practically everything from The Dark Servant. And Krampus is fun! More than anything, I want my stories to be entertaining, and Krampus, at least the way I envision him—a monster with a warped code of ethics and a dark sense of humor—is a blast once you get into writing about him. People seem to be enjoying him too. And I’m not the only one who realizes this. The Krampus movie premieres in a few days, and I’ll probably see it. I say probably because it’s virtually impossible to sneak out of the house to see a movie of any sort when you have a 4-year-old son running around destroying things. But I certainly will see it, and I hope it’s a good film in the sense that it inspires more people to want to learn about this monster, who’s still not very well known in the United States. I know I’m not the only one hoping to change that, and I hope we’re all successful in our endeavors.

You can find Matt Manochio’s Krampus books at Amazon, Samhain Publishing’s store, and wherever books are sold. Here is the synopsis for Twelfth Krampus Night.

Dark servants clash!

Medieval maiden Beate, who’s grieving over the mysterious evisceration of her best friend, Gisela, must escape a Bavarian castle under siege by sadistic creatures.

Standing in her way—beyond towering walls and crossbow-toting guards—are Saint Nicholas’s demonic helper, Krampus, and Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag who prowls the countryside during First Night festivities to punish naughty teens.
Beate wants out. Krampus and Frau Perchta want in, determined to breach the castle to snag their prey. Beate has no idea why these monsters want her, but she must use her wits to save herself from horrors both human and inhuman—lest she wind up like Gisela.

Praise for Matt Manochio

"Twelfth Krampus Night is an enjoyable read and a strong horror story. Manochio is a very strong writer and his talent is evident in this novel. I easily slid into the world that Manochio creates and was fascinated by Frau Perchta and Krampus." —Minnapolis 

The Dark Servant is everything a thriller should be–eerie, original and utterly engrossing!” — Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

“Beautifully crafted and expertly plotted, Matt Manochio’s The Dark Servant has taken an esoteric fairy tale from before Christ and sets it in the modern world of media-saturated teenagers–creating a clockwork mechanism of terror that blends Freddy Krueger with the Brothers Grimm!” — Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author

Matt Manochio was born in 1975 in New Jersey and graduated from The University of Delaware in 1997 with a history/journalism degree. He spent the majority of his 13-year newspaper career at the Daily Record in Morris County, New Jersey, where he won multiple New Jersey Press Association Awards for his reporting.

He wrote about one of his passions, rock ‘n’ roll giants AC/DC, for USA Today and considers that the highlight of his journalism career. He left newspapers in 2011 for safer employment.

His debut novel, The Dark Servant, was published with Samhain Horror in November of 2014. His second novel, Sentinels, was release November 2015, just prior to Twelfth Krampus Night in December 2015. He currently lives in New Jersey with his son.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Monster Men Interview

In this video episode of Monster Men, I discuss horror books and movies with hosts Hunter Shea and Jack Campisi. You can watch the show here or go to this YouTube link:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Deadly Reads Radio Interview

Last night I did a 2-hour interview on Deadly Reads Radio Show with Linda Barton and Lisa Vandiver. We talk about writing horror fiction, what inspires writers, experiences with the paranormal and I read excerpts from DARKNESS RISING and DEAD OF WINTER. My interview starts around 12 minutes into the show.

You can listen to it here: