The Author's Own Words - Kristopher Triana - FULL BRUTAL


Okay, let me back up...

So  I got to meet Kristopher Triana at our local Phoenix Comic Fest. Yes, I fangirled. I freely admit it. Kris truly is my favorite indie author. Even when I don't really like a story, I still love his prose and his ability to make me feel what the character feels. This is an author with a natural talent to create just about anything he wants and keep us coming back for more.

Isn't he ADORBS?????

I'm also a part of The Splatter Club, which is a group that caters to authors, editors, publishers, and readers of the horror genre, most notably extreme horror. Every other month, the admin picks a book for the Book of the Month. Members get to discuss the book, and there are giveaways, interviews, lots of fun stuff going on. The club itself is building up resources for writers, readers, and anyone who enjoys the genre. There are submission calls specific to the club, beta reader help, internship opportunities, all kinds of goodies to make our lives easier as writers and publishers in the horror genre. Be sure to click here to check out the website.

Oh, and MEMBERSHIP IS FREE... All you have to do is join the Facebook group! CLICK HERE.

The Splatter Club asked me to do an interview with Kris for this month's book, Full Brutal. Published by Grindhouse Press, Full Brutal chronicles Kim White, a popular high school cheerleader with excellent grades who is sick to death of her charmed life. She decides it's time to make a change, so she plans to lose her virginity which leads her on a dark path of no-holds-barred death and destruction. This is a fascinating character study, but note that the title is definitely a warning as to what's to come.

First of all, a huge shout out to Grindhouse Press. This is a gorgeous book--well laid out, error free, and a great cover. As an editor, these are things I notice since I know that the look and feel of a book is just as important as the story itself. It's one of those things where when the packaging is really good, the general public doesn't notice, and you actually want that. We all notice a bad cover and spelling and grammar errors. Grindhouse Press delivers a quality complete package that is the kind that's hard to beat. If you want to exude good quality as an indie press, I suggest taking a cue from these guys! Click here for their website to pick up more of their work.

Now for my interview with Kristopher Triana about his latest novel, Full Brutal. Thanks to you, Kris, and to The Splatter Club for asking me to do this. It's my honor to do so!

Q1. The worst question authors get asked is, "Where do you get your ideas?" But in all honesty, I really do want to know where this came from! It seems to be an amalgamation of a lot of different ideas, so where did it start and how did you flesh out the final product?

I wanted to write a first person decent into madness. I wanted a character that would test the morality of the reader, that made them want her to succeed in her cruelties just to see where the story went next. Most of all, I wanted a character who was horror incarnate, the epitome of sadism. The title Full Brutal came to me even before I started writing the book. I liked it so much that I said to myself, “Yeah, I need to do this now.” As the novel unfurled before me, I found that escalation worked best for the narrative. Kim’s actions get worse and worse as she engages in sicker, meaner thrills to satiate her need to ruin others.

Q2. I won't spoil the book for anyone, but there was one action that Kim did that made me so upset and angry that I literally dropped the book onto my bed and wasn't going to finish it. So kudos on that! How does that kind of feedback affect you and your writing in the future, or does it affect you at all?

It does affect me. There was no way to go about this story but to never flinch. I held nothing back because, as I said, I wanted her to be horror incarnate, to do the worst things I could imagine. I have had a lot of people tell me there was one moment in the book that was almost too much for them, and I’m very happy about that, especially because not everyone picks the same moment. Everyone has something that offends, disgusts or horrifies them. I tried to put every taboo I could think of in this novel.

Q3. Kim is a calculating and cold killer and seems to be in line with how real life serial killers think. Edmund Kemper and Arthur Shawcross came to mind as I read her story. Did you spend any time researching that kind of mindset? If so, how did it affect your writing?

I mention the actions of real life serial killers in the book, including Edmund Kemper and Albert Fish. I even quote Jeffery Dahmer at the opening. I have read many true crime books over the years about such killers. I’m not some sick, serial killer fan though. These murderers are despicable monsters.

Q4. Kim also has more male aspects to her desires and fetishes that reminded me of male serial killers over female. Very rarely do female serial killers act in the manner that she did. Was that a conscious decision in this piece?

I wanted her to be driven by desire. Most female killers have been motivated by anger and money, such as Aileen Wuornos. Kim is a thrill killer.

Q5. Quite possibly what is most important to the story is Kim is a rich cheerleader with excellent grades, the ultimate pinnacle of popularity and envy in high school. Perhaps this story shows us the inner desire we all had in school, which was to see these girls fail...or perhaps show that because of her status she could literally get away with murder, and that's a comment on our society. Did either of those things cross your mind, or was there a different motivation behind Kim's social status?

A reader asked me a similar question. The name Kim White has a very American girl ring to it. White was a perfect last name because of "white privilege". She is considered above suspicion because of her age, gender, race, and social status. So I thought that worked well, without dwelling on it, just a subtle hint. And yes, we have all had those mean girl bullies in high school. Kim is a sneaky bully. She hurts people without letting her peers know. She maintains her outer image by keeping her true nature in the shadows, which makes her all the more dangerous.

Q6. First person narrative is usually a big no-no when we write about serial killers, but you took that challenge on and made it your own. Was that always how you were going to approach the story?

I actually don’t see it as a serial killer novel, even though that is what the main character becomes. To me, it’s an exploration of criminal insanity. Kim first kills out of self-defense, and her later killings are driven by a delusion about what’s happening to her body. She believes she has a physical need to do what she does. We see her motivation unfold by living in her head and watching how her thought process deteriorates into total psychosis. I felt the story needed that, and I think it paid off.


COMING SOON... More movie reviews, book reviews, and author interviews. Is there anything you'd like for me to talk about on my blog? Feel free to email me at andreadawnwriter @ gmail .com!