Triana was recently interviewed by Adrian Shotbolt for Beavisthebookhead!
Here he discusses the writing process, mental illness, John Carpenter movies and old Crestwood Monster Books. Plus, he goes into detail on his new novel The Ruin Season, which is now available on Amazon in paperback and on kindle, as well as Barnes & Noble and PMMP’s bookstore.
Triana’s debut novel The Ruin Season is now available.
Jake Leonard has more than his share of trouble.
He’s close to forty now and still suffers from bipolar disorder and the painful memories of the psychotic episodes that derailed his life and sent him behind bars as a youth. He lives in the rural south where he spends his days breaking horses and his nights training dogs in solitude. His nineteen-year-old girlfriend, Nikki, is the daughter of the sheriff, and she’s just getting worse with drugs, alcohol and satanic metal, eventually leading into heroin and low-budget porn. When Jake reconnects with his ex-wife, things get even more complicated, and the limits of love and sanity get pushed to the breaking point.
The Ruin Season is a haunting, violent tale of a mentally ill man struggling in a violent and heartless world. It is the story of unrequited love, mad rage, and bloody revenge. It moves forward in the dark style of gritty southern gothic novels, in the tradition of Larry Brown, Harry Crews, Daniel Woodrell, Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Conner. It shows both the tender and horrible sides of insanity as well as the seedy underbelly of the American, backwoods suburbs.
“The Ruin Season bristles and lurches powerfully with lust and dope, violence and satanic music, but make no mistake, it’s a runaway train whose engine is pure heart, and Kristopher Triana keeps it on the tracks just long enough to give you hope that the little engine can. Makes it hurt true. Hell of a crash.”
—Jedidiah Ayres, author of Peckerwood
“I’ve written that a way to judge the health of a genre is to gauge the number of emerging young, good writers. Kristopher Triana is one of the newest bumper crop of good ones. I read a couple of his short stories after meeting him at the recent StokerCon. His prose is excellent, his plots compelling. The Ruin Season has these same qualities. Kris has the Write Stuff. Check out a rising star.”
—Gene O’Neill, author of The Cal Wild Chronicles and Entangled Soul with Chris Marrs
“The Ruin Season is like the literary equivalent of Springsteen’s classic Nebraska. It’s a book with a stripped back feel, brooding with raw emotion and atmosphere where Triana allows his characters to bare their souls and bleed onto every page.”
—Adrian Shotbolt, BeavistheBookhead
“The Ruin Season by Kristopher Triana portrays mental illness and small town dynamics with a grit and a fearlessness I’ve rarely seen before… The compounded, unpredictable and patient storyline really worked a number on me… Triana is a smart and patient storyteller and an underrated tragedian.” – Benoit Lelievre of Dead End Follies
Triana was just praised by Publisher’s Weekly for his short story “Dead End”, which Comet Press has selected as one of 2015’s best horror stories. “Dead End” was originally published in “Chilling Horror Short Stories” by Flame Tree Publishing, and is now reappearing in Comet Press’s anthology “Year’s Best Hardcore Horror”.
From Publisher’s Weekly’s review of “Year’s Best Hardcore Horror”:
“In the best stories — which include Kristopher Triana’s “Dead End,” a character study about a hell-bound serial killer… — violent incidents help to bring the brutal lives of their characters into sharp focus and set up poetically just endings.”
The wait is almost over. Triana’s debut novel “The Ruin Season” comes out on June 23rd. But you can PRE-ORDER it NOW from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing!
Read all about it and pre-order yours now:
Jake Leonard has more than his share of trouble.
He’s close to forty now and still suffers from bipolar disorder and the painful memories of the psychotic episodes that derailed his life and sent him behind bars as a youth. He lives in the rural south where he spends his days breaking horses and his nights training dogs in solitude. His nineteen-year-old girlfriend, Nikki, is the daughter of the sheriff, and she’s just getting worse with drugs, alcohol and satanic metal, eventually leading into heroin and low-budget porn. When Jake reconnects with his ex-wife, things become even more complicated, and the limits of love and sanity get pushed to the breaking point.
The Ruin Season is a haunting tale of a mentally ill man struggling in a violent and heartless world. It is a story of unrequited love, rage, and bloody revenge. It moves forward in the style of gritty southern gothic novels, in the tradition of Larry Brown, Harry Crews, Daniel Woodrell, Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Conner. It shows both the tender and horrible sides of insanity as well as the seedy underbelly of the American, backwoods suburbs.
Ginger Nuts of Horror recently reviewed Kristopher Triana’s new horror story collection Growing Dark.
“Triana writes well, succinct and lean but with enough of an eye for detail… at times reminiscent of early Lansdale while sometimes toeing that chalk line that the splatter punks drew on the asphalt.” –Ginger Nuts of Horror
Triana’s short story “Dead End” was originally published in Chilling Horror Short Stories by Flame Tree Press in 2015.
Now Comet Press has selected it as one of the year’s best hardcore horror stories and it will be featured in their upcoming anthology of the same name. The volume also contains twisted tales from Adam Cesare, David James Keaton, Monica J. O’Rourke, Michael Paul Gonzalez and Robert Essig.
Coming this June.
Kristopher Triana’s short story “Soon There’ll be Leaves” was recently translated into Russian for the horror magazine Darker. The translator, Amet Kemalidinov, also decided to do an interview for the issue. Here it is (in English!).
AK: Hi Kris! How do you do? What’s new?
KT: Hi Amet. Thanks for having me back. I guess the big updates are that my book of short stories Growing Dark was released by Blue Juice Press this past summer, and I have two novels coming out in 2016, Body Art and The Ruin Season.
AK: It’s great to hear that you finally have a short story collection! How did it feel to get it into your grasp for the first time? So, what can you tell us? What do we HAVE to know about Growing Dark?
KT:Always great to have the finished product in your hands. Blue Juice dig a great job on it. Growing Dark is a collection of horror stories in the classic tradition. There are tales of ghosts taking on the form of B-movie stars, ghastly things coming out of a tar-filled sky, monsters under beds, and female psychopaths, to name a few. It has a little something for everyone.
AK: Yeah, everyone could see that Blue Juice did their best judging even by the cover only. Did you take any part in the process of publication?
KT:Oh, absolutely. I worked closely with the editors and even gave artist Michael Crockett feedback as he was designing the cover. I really wanted a creepy autumn feel to it and he did a great job.
AK: The Internet became a very useful tool of self-promotion for the young writers. What can you say about your experience with Growing Dark?
KT: Well, the internet is really the best place to advertise these days. There are also a lot of writer’s groups on Facebook and the like. A lot of it is word of mouth and everyone counts on each other to get the word out. Another way I promote the book is by having new stories of mine appear in anthologies. One just came out called Selfies from the End of the World and it contains my new story Dog Years. Another is called Chilling Horror Stories and it contains an all-new story of mine too. When people read a story they like in an anthology they usually will hunt down more from the author. It also helps to have the support of great horror webpages like DARKER.
AK: Yeah. Unfortunately, we have very few new horror antholigies in Russian now, but still we’re trying to keep our hands on pulse. Could you tell us about your recent discoveries in horror?
KT: Well, lately I have been reading a lot of older works by Graham Masterton, he’s incredible. Charles L. Grant too, his prose is beautiful. I was also really impressed by the movie Starry Eyes. It reminded me of Suspiria with a touch of the brutality of the french film Inside.
AK: Oh, yes, Masterton is extra-cool. We interviewed him this year, and translated a short story too, and it was just great.
Last year we’d all read your story The Devouring, and this sick and twisted tale has gained some notoriety among horror fans in Russia. Soon There’ll Be Leaves is your second story to be translated. It’s very different, and it shows the other side of your talent. Could you introduce it to us please?
KT: Sure. Soon There’ll be Leaves is more subtle horror. It had a very human side to it because the main character is an emotionally wrecked man who has returned to his old hometown to see his dying mother. While there he hears from a girl he knew in high school and they decide to have a one night stand. Then everything goes horribly wrong when he discovers that she has a very dark side.
AK: I guess you’ll get tired by this question in a while, but… Where did you take the idea? How did you write it?
KT: Actually the story has some stuff taken from my real life. Like the protagonist, I grew up in Florida and my mother died of cancer. So there is a lot of truth there. And I’ve had a few one night stands in my day. Often women can be in danger with a man they hardly know. I just wondered what it would be like if the roles were reversed and a man found himself trapped by a crazy woman.
AK: The main character of Soon There’ll Be Leaves is a really technophobic guy. Do you have much in common? I know that you have a Facebook page and all, but still…
KT: Yes, I’m pretty anti-technology. I understand the need for cellphones in this day and age, but when I see people with their faces buried in them all the time it depresses me. I use a limited amount of social media but you need to have it these days if you’re a writer. I didn’t even have a cellphone until 2008!
AK: So. Would you mind if I ask you about your one-night stand experiences? Did you have some extraordinary ones?
KT: Well, I’ve certainly experienced the thrill of taking a woman to a motel room in my day. When both parties are really into it, a one night stand can be a wonderful thing. There are no lies, no delusions or regrets when it is done right. But now I’m married to the love of my life and that’s better than any one night stand could ever be. A good marriage is nothing short of magic.
AK: What do you think it’s like for your wife to be married to a horror-maniac?
KT: (laughs). Well, she’s very tolerant. I have a huge collection of horror memorabilia. Posters, action figures, even a life sized Jason Vorhees! We made a deal that I could have one room in the house to make my “horror room”. I filled it with everything. She just didn’t want chainsaw murderers and monsters all over the house, which I can understand. She knows I’m a horror nut and a horror writer, and she’s very supportive of my writing. Like every writer, I always want to impress my wife with my books more than anyone else.
AK: I see that your technophobia doesn’t achieve Clive Barker’s scale, but do you have some prejudice against computers? Do you have a typewriter or something?
KT: No. Using a computer for writing is ideal, and most publishers prefer emailing manuscripts to using regular mail. It’s just easier. My thing against technology is that it has made our lives better, but also worse. While we have convenience, we have also dumbed ourselves down with it. We rely on our gadgets for everything, and now everything is also designed for no attention span. Social media’s videos can only be a few seconds long and text can only be two sentences. And there’s nothing I hate more then when I’m with someone and instead of talking to me they’re texting. It’s sad.
AK: Well, and do you find the Interet a scary place?
KT: Yes, I do. People seem to be at their worst on it. Because they can hide behind the screen they say things they normally wouldn’t. Look at all the cyber bullying. Not to mention the porn. I’m no puritan, but it’s crazy that so much free porn is available to teens and that so much of it is really sick and perverted. When I was a kid it was rare to even find a Playboy. It was like finding treasure! All the boys in the neighborhood would share it! Now 13-year-olds can watch anal gang bangs online. It’s fucked up. That shouldn’t be anyone’s introduction to sex. It takes away all the magic and mystery of it.
AK: Talking to men from the dark side we often forget that they’re not all buried deep down in horror, but love some soft and common stuff too. Which of your favorite books, films or bands can surprise a typical horror fan?
KT: I admit I’m not a happy ending sort of guy. But I love human dramas. Stuff by Cormac McCarthy, Daniel Woodrell and Harry Crews. Stewart O’Nan writes beautiful books about love and family. I love the morality of western movies like True Grit and Lonesome Dove. And nothing beats Calvin and Hobbes in my book. I listen to a lot of Nick Drake. His relationship with nature is very strong and I can relate to that. Scott Walker too, he makes meloncholy so beautiful.
AK: Well, we have some classic questions, and I wanted to ask you one. Imagine a blind room. There are four men, three chairs, two bundles of rope and a knife inside. The door is closed and no one has the key or the strength to break it. What would happen there?
KT: Well, that’s a bleak scenario. I’d like to think they would try to dig through the walls with the knife. But if they’re truly trapped, I could see someone resorting to cannibalism eventually. Deep down, there is darkness within all of us. We need only look at the world’s prisons to know what men do to each other when they are confined.
AK: And for the end, you’ve told that you have two upcoming novels. Can you share your plans with us, please? What we’re to wait next?
KT: The Ruin Season is being published by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. It’s a southern gothic novel about a modern day cowboy with bipolar disorder. His young girlfriend gets involved with heroin and he has to go up against some mean drug dealers to try and save her from herself. He also tries to patch things up with his ex-wife, but his mental illness proves too powerful for him to keep at bay. The other novel, Body Art, is being published by Blood Bound Books. They’re the kings of putting out extreme horror, and that is exactly what Body Art is. It is a brutal, twisted, grotesque novel about a deranged undertaker making art out of human bodies and a film crew trying to make the most depraved porno of all time. It should certainly appeal to fans of my short story The Devouring, which Blood Bound Books also published. 2016 is going to be an exciting year. Beyond that I have other new books I’ve written that I’m waiting to hear back from publishers about, and I’m writing a new horror novel as we speak. Lots of scary things coming!
AK: Great to hear this! Looking forward to read ’em. Thank you for the interview, Kris.
KT: Always a pleasure, Amet.
Growing Dark was recently reviewed by Rue Morgue, the best horror magazine there is! And they gave it a glowing review! Make sure to check out this special double issue (#160).
Triana’s extreme horror novel “Body Art” has just been picked up by Blood Bound Books.
This one is as bloody and twisted as it gets, folks. Triana himself likes to refer to it as “Hellraiser” meets “Deep Throat”. Previously, Blood Bound Books published Triana’s short story “The Devouring” in “D.O.A. II”, an anthology of hardcore horror that also features stories by Jack Ketchum, Wrath James White and more.
Triana’s book Growing Dark is NOW AVAILABLE directly from Blue Juice Comics and Books, as well as being available on Kindle, or you can pre-order it on Amazon, (with an official release date of July 28th).
This is a collection of ten of his darkest short stories, some of which have appeared in magazines and anthologies, while others are new and exclusive to this book.
A small town is ruined by black rain, and two police officers find themselves face to face with the creatures lurking in the flooded streets. Paramedics find a remedy for a zombie virus outbreak — but can the survivors come to terms with their cannibalism? Former high-school sweethearts reconnect for the anniversary of a murder. Two deceased movie legends come back as avenging angels, tracking demons through haunted canyons. In the Wild West, an aging gunslinger returns to his favorite brothel, only to encounter a fathomless black tar that’s devouring everyone within.
These stories and more fill Growing Dark. A macabre book of bloodcurdling terror, ranging from otherworldly evils to very human nightmares, this powerful collection is sure to keep you sleeping with the lights on.