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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Link for audio book giveaway:
Link for print/e-book giveaway: