Most authors have had many jobs to pay the bills in their quest to become successful. What are some of the the jobs that you have held?
Wow…so many. Let’s see—I washed dishes for a family-owned restaurant. That was my first job and to this day, I can’t stand washing dishes and need to wear gloves when I do it. I worked for a farm, sowing seed, picking crops. A lot of hard work. I was the cook in a gas station kitchen, and was told I was the best cook they’d ever had. Which I constantly bragged about. I also worked in a fabric store and was the only male on a staff of about fifteen women. Needless to say, I was a bit out of place, but I still enjoyed it. Worked in management at Circuit City for many years, and then worked in I.T. for a University/Hospital.
Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?
SOMETHING VIOLENT should be coming soon from DarkFuse. I believe the limited edition hardcover releases in December, with the eBook and paperback following three months later. I have three books coming from Thunderstorm this year, reprints of other titles, with one of them being the first ever print edition of A DARK AUTUMN. I’m VERY excited about that. Sinister Grin has a book of mine coming—hopefully—before the end of the year. 2016 has been…crazy to say the least, good and bad, so I’ve gotten very behind on my deadlines. I’m currently working on three books at once, not to mention three collaborations with other authors. I have a lot to finish. Next year will be very packed with Rufty releases.
Have you always been a storyteller? What is your earliest memory about telling a story?
That’s a good question. I suppose I’ve always been telling some kind of story. My earliest was probably after watching Friday the 13th for the first time. I was five years old, a young’un as my grandma called me. I drew pictures, gory crayon illustrations, of people being slaughtered. I remember laying them out in a row and explaining to my parents that it was about people in the woods getting killed. To this day, I am very surprised by how my parents handled that. Those violent kid drawings hung on the fridge for months. My dad kept them all his life and now I have them stored away. The first ever Rufty creation. Had my parents scolded me for it, I might have thought there was something wrong with trying to scare people. I’m glad they embraced my ideas, even though I know they had to be a little worried about me.
Have you ever devised a character and then written a plot around them?
I’ve tried to, but I don’t think I’ve ever been successful at it. I find that I work better without knowing too much about the character when I’m writing. I allow them to tell me who they are through the story. Whenever people used to tell me that was how they did it, I thought they were crazy. I used to spend a lot of time writing out who my characters were and why they might do this or that. It didn’t take me long to learn that I wasn’t programmed that way. I might have some ideas about what they do or where they live when I begin a story, but I never know how they will react, where they’ve come from, and what they might do next until I get there. Sometimes the characters really surprise me, other times they let me down. But they always keep me guessing.
What is your guilty pleasure book or movie? Is there a snack to go with it?
There’s always a snack when it comes to me, or at least a glass of strawberry milk. Guilty pleasure? I don’t know. I really don’t call many things ‘guilty pleasures’ and just kind of freely admit I adore them. I love cartoons and spend a lot of time watching them. Scooby-Doo is something I watch with a passion, always getting the new movies, investing my time in the new shows. I enjoy watching THE PIONEER WOMAN with my wife and, yes, I really like to watch DUCK DYNASTY. I’m a fanatic when it comes to wrestling and an open comic-book junkie. I read a lot of biographies from Cory Feldman’s to Dave Mustaine’s. I’m guilty when it comes to lots of things, I suppose.
Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?
Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Wrath James White, Bryan Smith, Ronald Malfi, Brian Keene, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, and so many movies and their filmmakers should be added to that list as well: John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, George Romero, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Lloyd Kaufman, Roger Corman, and Trent Haaga…so many. I tend to take a little something from anything I enjoy, even areas that aren’t books, but that tell a great story.
If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?
Bodies? Hmmm…I don’t know if I’d want to trade bodies—well, maybe I’d take Ryan Reynolds’s body. But I think it would be neat to witness the creative process inside some other writers’ brains. Take Stephen King, for example. I’d love to experience how his mind works when a story is brewing. Same goes for Richard Laymon, when he was alive. Just to experience it all unfold into the words on the page would be absolutely amazing.
What are the next three books you’re planning to read?
Just finished up Adam Cesare’s THE CON SEASON and loved it. I highly recommend it. The next three? I can tell you the next one, for sure. Hunter Shea’s THE JERSEY DEVIL. After that, who knows? I usually go back to my bookcases, sit on the floor and dig through books until one jumps out at me. I got a lot of books from some of my author buddies at Scares That Care III. David Bernstein’s THE SLUDGE keeps eyeballing me, so that may very well be the second book. And a third? I think I’ve ogled Pauline Dunn’s THE CRAWLING DARK on one of my bookshelves long enough and it might be time to finally read it. It’s the last Dunn book I haven’t read, so I’ve been trying to save it.
If you could be a character in a story (and know you could live through it) what book would you jump into and why?
Probably Laymon’s IN THE DARK. That book is packed with thrills and mystery as Jane receives these strange letters from somebody called MOG (Master of Games), and they lead her on some outrageous and terrifying adventures. It was so much fun experiencing that with her, trying to solve the clues and riddles. Knowing I would survive that ordeal would make me much more apt to give it a try.
What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?
Richard Laymon, Stan Lee, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Bruce Campbell.
How do you want the world to remember you?
Kindly. Just that I tried my best at everything I did. I’d want my kids to remember me as a father who loved them, no matter what, and that he worked hard, even when he failed. That he never gave up and that the impression he left on them would help them in their own adventures and with their own families. I’d hope my wife remembered me as somebody who never stopped loving her and was constantly devoted to her and our family. My friends? I hope they’d remember that I cherished every conversation we ever had and enjoyed our time together.
Look for Kristopher Rufty…you never know what you’ll find!
Thank you so much for an awesome interview! I can’t wait to read SOMETHING VIOLENT. I just know that’s going to be incredible since it’s being published by DarkFuse! You’ve had quite the busy year, Krist; you sent me three books to read – I can’t say enough good things about them! And a western? A horror-western, of course, whoda thunk it? But, keep reading. Here they are!
DESOLATION is on Amazon.com
DESOLATION is a revenge story. That’s the short version. It will suck you in and you’ll think be rooting for one person but with one a few twists Rufty has you going around re-thinking your position and wondering if maybe you were wrong. And then he gives you a few more details…Wait! Just who are the bad guys here? Long time time horror fans are going to love this!
Buy VAMPIRE today!
THE VAMPIRE OF PLAINFIELD pitted Ed Gein against a vampire. Don’t know who Ed Gein was? Open a new window to Google; we’ll wait.
Back now? Great! Doesn’t that sound incredible? It was! Krist put together the pieces of a story that made so much sense I couldn’t believe it hadn’t hit the major newspapers and World News. This is an absolute must read.
Whoever said you can’t choose a book by it’s cover was wrong. Dead wrong! Now I’ve never been one for westerns, not the Zane Grey type of westerns at any rate. I might have been with a Rufty cover, though. And this book carries Krist’s distinctive voice. You know that you’re reading one of his books as soon as you realize that this could happen. The monsters are real. Don’t let the fact that this is a western scare you. Or maybe you should. Bwahahaha!