Author, K. Trap Jones graciously took time to answer questions about the characters, and inspiration behind his latest horror novel, The Harvester.
The Harvester is available NOW from Blood Bound Books, Amazon and major online booksellers.
Francis Xavier: What is the first line from The Harvester?
K. Trap Jones: The Harvester is written in Epic Poem format (ala Dante’s Inferno). The first stanza is:
As I wait and bleed,
Hidden well within my darkened cave,
The angels of Heaven converge down upon me.
Servants of God, burdened with the task of my retrieval.
FX: What inspired The Harvester?
KTJ: I am heavily inspired by classical literary works and folklore set with a narrative tone. The Harvester is actually Book II of The Sinner Saga and was just released by Blood Bound Books. If I had to pick one word that would describe the inspiration behind the trilogy, it would be depression. We all deal with personal demons and it’s how we respond to them which constructs us. I wanted to create a tale which follows a protagonist through a wide range of emotions and have the reader grow with the character throughout the story. I originally wrote the story in standard paragraph form, but it just didn’t seem emotional enough, so I went back and rewrote the story in journal-type entries and achieved the creepiness I wanted.
FX: Three words to describe your writing?
KTJ: Dark. Emotional. Raw.
FX: Which part of The Harvester challenged you the most?
KTJ: Writing in free verse stanza format is certainly a challenge. Each line needs to mean something and break accordingly almost like the narrator is taking a breath. There is no room for fluffy descriptions and overly used adjectives. The narrator is writing down exactly how he feels at the time. The emotions need to be real and believable. Capturing that style of dark emotion is challenging at times because in order to do so, you actually have to put yourself within the shoes of the narrator. There’s a quote that says, “If you are not scorned by writing narrative horror, then you are doing it wrong.” It’s true; this style of writing stays with you long after the last page is written.
FX: Which of The Harvester characters do you most identify with?
Since The Harvester deals with the devil and his demons, this is a hard question lol. I would say I relate to the main character, which of course is the devil, but it’s not the devil everyone thinks of. This guy was chosen by God to test the limits of the seven deadly sins and their associated demons. In the beginning, there is a lot of confusion and personal issues he struggles with before finally becoming accustomed to his powers in the second book. As the story goes on, you see a switch in behavior and his personality feeds into an internal darkness that is constantly brewing. I’ve fed a lot of emotions into the character since he is the narrator, I can’t help but relate to him.
FX: What did you learn about yourself as a writer while working on The Harvester?
KTJ: The biggest thing I’ve learned by being a writer in general is to focus on the style that you enjoy writing. Forget about everything else and just write stories you want. I am very comfortable writing narrative horror and I don’t think it will change. I’m sticking to want I enjoy doing and I’ve been very fortunate to have written six novels and over sixty short stories.
FX: What elements make for good horror fiction?
KTJ: To me, the most important parts of story creation are characterization, environment and some insane twists along the way. I like being shocked; I like having that WTF moment whether I’m reading or watching movies. Twists and turns through any type of storytelling is something I strive for regardless of if I’m writing a novel or short story. I grew up watching Tales from the Crypt and absolutely admired how each thirty minute episode was packed with cool characters and unpredictable endings.
FX: What are your thoughts on genre blending in works of fiction?
KTJ: Genre blending is going to happen whether we like it or not. I’m old school when it comes to horror. I like my horror frightening or mind destroying like Jaws. I don’t frown upon stories which blend different types of genres, but I certainly don’t agree with teenage romance movies being considered horror just because vampires are in it. However, if genre blending constructs a bridge for readers to eventually dive into horror books, then so be it.
FX: Where can we find you and your work online?
KTJ: I’m located all over the place and try to actively lurk around social media. Feel free to stop by any of these following places and say hi:
Amazon: Amazon Author Page – K. Trap Jones
Facebook: K Trap Jones
1. Favorite horror writer? Edward Lee
2. Favorite movie? Jaws, I still can’t jump into a body of water without thinking I’m getting eaten. Thanks a lot, Benchley and Spielberg!
3. What scares you? Poorly made tacos with crappy salsa.
4. What’s one word you overuse? Orifice…don’t ask…
5. Favorite place to write? My garage
6. Title of your first published work? The Sinner (a novel)
7. What book do you wish you wrote? Pet Semetary by Stephen King
8. Favorite color? Gray
9. What are you currently reading? The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
10. Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning and Sweet Tea the rest of the day
11. Beer or wine? Definitely beer. If I can put a lime in it then I am a happy camper.