Meghan: Hey, Kris. Welcome back to Meghan’s House of Books and our annual Halloween Extravaganza. What is your favorite part of Halloween?
Kristopher: As a kid, it was being out on a cold night with the leaves blowing about, seeing the jack-o-lanterns glowing, running down the street in my costume and pretending I was a werewolf or vampire or whatever. That was even better than the candy! As an adult, I cherish those memories. Now, my favorite part of the holiday is its rich traditions, and the way adults can return to that childlike wonder for a night.
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?
Kristopher: The horror movie marathon, especially when it’s with a significant other or a good friend. You carve pumpkins as the sun goes down, put on scary movies, and hope to get trick or treaters.
Meghan: If Halloween is your favorite holiday (or even second favorite holiday), why?
Kristopher: It is my favorite, hands down. I’m a horror writer, and also a horror fanatic. Halloween is the time of year everyone is into what I’m always into all year long.
Meghan: What are you superstitious about?
Kristopher: Nothing, really. I don’t believe in that stuff. Give me a black cat to pet!
Meghan: What/who is your favorite horror monster or villain?
Kristopher: Oh, that’s a tough one. As for the old monsters, I’d have to say The Wolfman is my favorite. I’ve always related more to a tortured soul trying to contain his inner beast than some undead bloodsucker being all suave and perfect. I also dig The Blob!
Meghan: Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most?
Kristopher: The Black Dahlia. It was such a brutal crime and so shrouded in mystery.
Meghan: Which urban legend scares you the most?
Kristopher: I’ve always loved the hook, with the teens at lover’s lane who hear on the radio about an escaped maniac with a hook hand, then find the bloody hook on the handle of the car door after they drive home.
Meghan: Who is your favorite serial killer and why?
Kristopher: I wouldn’t say I have a “favorite” one because I don’t like when people glorify someone like that. I see someone at a horror con wearing a Richard Ramirez t-shirt and I’m just like, “You know he raped and murdered old ladies, right?”. It’s just messed up. People need to differentiate between horror fiction and reality. But I do find true crime stories very interesting. Edmund Kemper’s story is so beyond messed up. Well worth a read if you can stomach it!
Meghan: How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?
Kristopher: I can’t remember exactly, but probably eight or nine, watching the old Universal monster movies. I was about eleven when I saw my first slasher film, which was John Carpenter’s Halloween, and I was hooked.
Meghan: How old were you when you read your first horror book?
Kristopher: I read the Crestwood Monster Series and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark as a kid. Then I moved on to Stephen King and Clive Barker. I think The Mist by King was my first adult horror story, and my first novel read was The Dark Half. Then Barker’s The Great and Secret Show opened my mind to the limitless possibilities the genre could offer. By the time I was fourteen I was devouring what is now referred to as “Paperbacks from Hell”, all the novels from the horror boom of the ’80s. I knew early on that I wanted to be a horror author too.
Meghan: Which horror novel unsettled you the most?
Kristopher: King’s The Shining was the first book I ever had to put down for a few hours because I was so freaked out. Since then, there have been many that got under my skin—brutal books like Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door and Off Season, or more recent thrillers like Come With Me by Ronald Malfi. There are even books that don’t qualify as horror but are deeply unsettling, such as Last Exit to Brooklyn and The Demon by Hubert Selby Jr. His books are incredible.
Meghan: Which horror movie scarred you for life?
Kristopher: I saw part of Prince of Darkness when I was way too young and it scared the crap out of me! I never knew what is was, and then one day I’m watching this movie, and the scene I always remembered—the hobo impaling a man with a bicycle—comes on and I’m like, “Holy shit!”
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween costume?
Kristopher: I loved being Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, but dressing as Leatherface was the best because I hid in the bushes and then chased kids with a real chainsaw! I had removed the chain, so it was totally safe, but still loud and terrifying. They came back for more every year.
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween-themed song?
Kristopher: Again, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But I do love Tim Curry’s song in The Worst Witch.
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween candy or treat? What is your most disappointing?
Kristopher: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are my Halloween staple. Even the old school label screams Halloween with its autumn colors. The worst in the world is that horrible abomination known as candy corn.
Meghan: Thanks again for stopping by, Kris. Make sure you send Bear our love. But before you go, what are your go-to Halloween movies?
Kristopher: My ideal Halloween movie/TV marathon is:
John Carpenter’s Halloween
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Trick or Treat (1986)
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror episodes
Night of the Demons (1988)
Night of the Demons 2
The Exorcist III
The Monster Squad
Kristopher Triana is the Splatterpunk Award-winning author of Gone to See the River Man, Full Brutal, The Thirteenth Koyote, They All Died Screaming, and many other terrifying books. His work has been published in multiple languages and has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, drawing praise from Rue Morgue Magazine, Cemetery Dance, Scream Magazine, and many more.
He lives in New England.
And the Devil Cried —
When Jackie is released from prison, his boss Pino sends a limo to pick him up. Even fresh out of the joint, ruthless Jackie is ready to work, collecting money for the mob and using his special training to take care of bad accounts—permanently.
But when a drunk driver kills Pino’s young son, he gives Jackie a task that goes against every moral code. The drunk driver has a pre-teen daughter, and Pino doesn’t just want vengeance—he wants an eye for an eye.
Jackie accepts the job, but once he finds the girl he starts making plans of his own…
And the Devil Cried is a dark thriller from Kristopher Triana, the award-winning author of Gone to See the River Man and Full Brutal. It is a vicious, unflinching novel that’s bound to keep you burning.