Sirens Call Publications recently had the pleasure of publishing of publishing K. Trap Jones’ anthropomorphized novella titled One Bad Fur Day. Knowing that we wanted to pick his brains a bit about the novella and his writing, we sat down to ask him a few questions.
Sirens Call Publications: Welcome K. Trap. Why don’t you take a few moments to introduce yourself to readers?
K. Trap Jones: I’m an author of horror novels and short stories. With inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, I have a temptation toward narrative folklore, classic literary works and obscure segments within society. I’m also a member of the Horror Writers Association and can be found lurking around Tampa, Florida with my wife and three sons.
SCP: What made you decide to become a writer?
KTJ: Back in 2010, I started to write a story and thought it would be pretty cool to have something for my kids to read when they grew up. I wrote the concept of The Sinner as narrative journal entries (ala Dante’s Inferno). I ended up writing two complete novels with no intentions of being published. I was talked into submitting the manuscript to a Florida State wide awards and it ended up winning first place in the unpublished horror category of the Royal Palm Literary Awards. I thought, what the hell, maybe I should try to get published. Blood Bound Books picked up the book and it went on to be on the 2012 Preliminary Ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards. Five years later with 6 contracted novels and over 55+ short stories published, it’s been quite the whirlwind and I have no intentions of slowing down.
SCP: What is One Bad Fur Day about?
KTJ: One Bad Fur Day is a crazy tail, err I mean tale, about what happens to the animal population during a natural disaster. The entire story is set around the civilization of animals and the predatory conflicts they go through on a daily basis. As Hurricane Katrina barrels through the Louisiana bayous, the animal population is forced to deal with the tumultuous upheaval of their world. Sheriff Sid and his wife are caught completely off-guard by the natural disaster unfolding around them as they battle not only the turbulent winds and flooding waters, but heinous acts committed by other creatures inhabiting the backwaters. Following a brutal assault on his wife, Sid is forced to fight off voodoo-priestess snakes, a junkyard raccoon, deceitful badgers, and a band of roving power-hungry alligators. While clinging to his tenuous hold as sheriff, Sid must find a way to recapture what is rightfully his and exact his revenge.
With this idealism mixed with hours and hours of watching cartoons and Pixar films with my sons, I began to conjure a story built for adults, but keeping the same visual appeal and details, but of course, much more horrific and bloody.
SCP: What is the one thing you’d like readers to know about One Bad Fur Day before they read it?
KTJ: One Bad Fur Day is filled with all kinds of animal characters with unique personalities with an old school western feel. Don’t be fooled by thinking this is a soft story because of the characterization. It is a fast paced unique pairing of the genuine horror of a natural disaster with a story of deceit, betrayal and vengeance that will pull you in and forces the reader to identify with Sid as he journeys through the darkest reaches of the bayous, facing deadly encounters, on One Bad Fur Day!
SCP: What is your writing process? Do you consider yourself to be a planner or a pantser?
KTJ: My writing process is pretty crazy. I spend most of my time thinking about the story before I write a single word. I will never start a project unless I know exactly what the ending will be. I enjoy embedding twists and turns within every story to keep the reader off guard. In order to do that, I need to know the ending so everything makes sense along the way. It’s an insane way to do things because I could have a kick ass idea, but if I can’t get to the ending then I don’t start it and it becomes a bullet on an ever growing list of unfinished ideas.
SCP: What is the hardest challenge that you have faced as a writer?
KTJ: I think the hardest challenge I have faced as a writer was when I first started. I came out of the gate with a debut novel that was completely written in a narrative verse format. I had no other publications to my name and there I was holding a narrative novel which appeared to be written in the classical era. Sometimes when you do things out of the norm, you get some crazy stares, but that’s alright, who the hell wants to follow the pack anyways? I’ve stuck to my guns throughout the years and continue to write stories which provide a challenge and tend to stray from mainstream.
SCP: In your opinion, what sets One Bad Fur Day apart from other books of the same genre?
KTJ: You mean beside the fact that the main character is a squirrel? Just joking J Seriously, I had a lot of fun writing this story because of the fact that it is so different than anything out there. Writing a narrative horror through the eyes of an animal was an insane challenge to take on, but I think in the end, the reader will relate to all of these unique characters and forget that they are immersed within the animal kingdom once the chaos starts to roll.
On a side note, every character name is associated with the type of animal they are by the first letter of their name. For example, Sid and Sally are squirrels, Randall the raccoon, Artie the alligator, Paulie and Petey the possums, etc. With so many unique characters, there had to be a method to the madness.
SCP: Are you reading anything right now, or have you read anything recently that is worth mentioning?
KTJ: I’m actually reading Clive Barker’s new one, The Scarlet Gospels. A must read, especially since I am a huge Pinhead fan.
SCP: Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite novels?
KTJ: I’m definitely old school when it comes to all-time favorite authors so I would say Edgar Allan Poe has influenced me the most. I can pretty much recite The Tell-Tale Heart. For modern day writers, I really enjoy reading Edward Lee and Jack Ketchum. Richard Laymon, Clive Barker and Brian Keene certainly make the list as well.
SCP: How do you define success as a writer? Have you been successful?
KTJ: Success to me is enjoyment. If you enjoy what you are doing, then you are successful at it. You could be great at something, but hate it. Sure, a condo on the beach with never ending time to write would be amazing, but you also have to be realistic. I believe it starts with enjoying the craft and putting out your best work every time no matter if it’s a short or a novel.
Personally, I believe I have been successful for the simple fact that I can still write and pump out stories. One day, I won’t be able to do that; my keg of creativity could run dry at any time. For now, I’m enjoying the roller coaster ride.
SCP: Do you have words of wisdom about writing that you want to pass on to novelists and writers out there who are just starting out?
KTJ: I had a chance to meet one of my favorite authors at a convention and I’ll answer this with what he told me. Most people kept asking him how long it took for him to be famous and other crap like that. When I got his ear, I asked him how he kept enjoying writing after all of these years. His answer was short and has stayed with me for a long time. He said, “Stay grounded, and don’t get big headed, no matter what happens.”
I think once the fascination of being a “published author” wears off, that’s when you truly become a writer.
SCP: What should readers walk away from your book knowing? How should they feel?
KTJ: With every story I write, I always have the same goal: I want the reader to feel a part of the character’s journey through the narrative tone as they travel amongst a wide range of emotions. At the end, I want the reader to walk away having read a fun story and of course shocked by some of the twists and turns along the way. By working alongside the great staff at Sirens Call Publications, I believe we have achieved just that.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak about One Bad Fur Day!
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions K. Trap!
And now for a little information about One Bad Fur Day…
Call it odd, call it off-beat, call it fantasy; but don’t think for a moment that One Bad Fur Day is anything other than a suspense driven horror ride that blurs the lines between harsh reality and brutal imagery…
As Hurricane Katrina barrels through the Louisiana bayous, the animal population is forced to deal with the tumultuous upheaval of their world. Sheriff Sid and his wife are caught completely off-guard by the natural disaster unfolding around them as they battle not only the turbulent winds and flooding waters, but heinous acts committed by other creatures inhabiting the backwaters. Following a brutal assault on his wife, Sid is forced to fight off voodoo-priestess snakes, a junkyard raccoon, deceitful badgers, and a band of roving power-hungry alligators. While clinging to his tenuous hold as sheriff, Sid must find a way to recapture what is rightfully his and exact his revenge
K. Trap Jones does a fantastic job of pairing the genuine horror of a natural disaster with a story of deceit, betrayal and vengeance that pulls you in and forces the reader to identify with Sid as he journeys through the darkest reaches of the bayous, facing deadly encounters, on One Bad Fur Day!
One Bad Fur Day is available at:
Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – K. Trap Jones is an author of horror novels and over 50 short stories. With inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, he has a temptation towards narrative folklore, classic literary works and obscure segments within society.
His novel THE SINNER (Blood Bound Books) won the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award. His splatterpunk novella, THE DRUNKEN EXORCIST has been released by Necro Publications. His narrative horror short story collection, THE CROSSROADS is available from Hazardous Press.
He is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and can be found lurking around Tampa, Florida.