Interview with Tristan Slaughter, author of “Butterflies in Blood”

The Author:

ImageTristan Slaughter was born in Burlington North Carolina. Raised around his cousins makeup/fx haunted house, The Original Hollywood Show he began writing at an early age. First starting with poetry then gradually, his stories got darker and more violent. With a strong love for movies and comics, his stories are meant to be a bit more cinematic. He has also written various stageplays, screenplays and numerous poems. With a heavy emphasis on dark, graphic violence and usage of sex, many of his earliest stories have landed Slaughter in much trouble from therapists to a heavy loss of friends. Preferring to spend his time alone and writing whatever comes to mind, Slaughter is more reclusive than anything else. Although he spent two years in L.A. California, this only inspired his writings to grow more hateful, growing his strong dis-taste with Hollywood. Focusing his hate and anger into his writings, Slaughter aims to be like no other writer, whether bad or good. He taunts both readers and critics alike but mainly its all just play. Tristan Slaughter resides in Burlington, N.C. with his wife and daughter. Both of whom have learned to love his bizarre and reclusive lifestyle. 

The Book:

Several short stories of terror and madness. From werewolves and Goddesses to Vikings and Gorgons. Slaughters bizarre writing style never ceases to astound. 

The Interview:

ImageQ. What was it like being exposed to horror movie sets at a formative age? Did it affect your writing style?

A. Being exposed to horror sets at a young age probably did leave a heavy impression on me. But honestly I can’t really say so as I spent more time with older people, most with tattoos and freaky piercings (of which I found I loved being around). I can say I had more fun there than anywhere. Getting to watch people dress up as Freddy or Frankenstein or The Fly became how most of my youth was spent. I myself got to dress as a clown at first and spin a skull in front of the crowd until a bigger clown came from behind them. Then I played a zombie and a troll. I played more as I got older, Scream and Chop-top becoming my top roles (even wound up taking pictures and giving autographs as Chop-top). I learned about “adult conversations” probably before I should have. I’m very thankful for all that. To be fully honest though, I don’t believe that affect my writing style. What did was Tales from The Crypt (the Santa episode in particular) and (horribly) Troll 2.

These two things inspired my first full story (which landed me with a therapist,and a dosage of Ritalin) which was about Santa and his elves attacking a house and killing the family (and the family was Trolls with green blood). The story was taken by a teacher and I was pulled from school and forced to see a therapist (as I apparently was troubled), and later my dad was very angry with me. Of course I never got the story back. And I found I wanted more and would later (in High school) write far worse stories inspired by real life events (one story got me pulled from class by cops and searched). But the horror sets and haunted houses never really inspired my writings, only my acting.
Q. What can you tell our readers about the Randy and Walter Trilogy? Do they have to be read in order to follow them, or could someone just pick up number two say, and read it out of sequence and understand it?
A. Heres what I will say about Randy and Walters trilogy. I am attempting to write the single most violent yet unique series ever. But the last two are far different than the first one (killers) I can’t say how as it will be giving it all away. The 2nd part (American Wasteland) is a great jumping off point. Parts 2 and 3 do have to be read in order as they go together. The 1st part was kind of a mistake and one I seek to rectify with Part 2. Still, I stand by the 1st book as on it’s own. 
Q. Will the trilogy ever be more than three books and thus no longer a trilogy, do you think, in the future?
A.No there will never be another Randy and Walter story. After 3, that’s it. The end. Writing these books takes to much out of me and damn near drives me crazy each time as they take pure rage to write accurately. This trilogy is very destructive and for that, no more books of this series, ever.
Q. Where did you find your inspiration for the short stories in “Butterflies in Blood?”

A. Different things. Places. For one, I love Lycans so I wrote my own Lycan tale (Tooth and Nail) which I would love to turn into a movie. The others come from my love for Greek and Norse Mythology. There is no single inspiration as I just wrote them as they came to me.

Q. Is there one story that is your favorite of them, and if so which one?
A. The stories are so vast and many I kinda love them all. The two stories I worked the hardest on was Tooth and Nail and Arden. With Tooth I wanted to tell a new form of Lycan story with my own ideas of how Lycans should be (full bloods age in dog years, for example, and can turn whenever they wish). With Arden I wanted to tell a Norse mythology type story. Simple, but I did a lot of Norse God research to do it. Butterflies in Blood is a collection of different forms of story telling, though, each story is vastly different. Some with morals, some not. I do plan to add more stories, though. It may expand and grow bigger as I always come up with new short stories.
Q. The stories in “Butterflies in Blood” are pretty gritty and often combine violence with disturbing imagery. You say in the introduction you hope your daughter never reads it. What do you find most disturbing about the stories?
A. To me I don’t really find any of it disturbing. I’m sure others may find many things disturbing. I know its violent and dark (not to mention highly sexual), but all those things, to me at least, are parts of life. Randy and Walter; Killers disturbs me, but that’s because now I have a child I look at certain things differently.
Q. “The Overgrown Forest” in particular, and also your introductory poem, seem to have a message. I took “The Overgrown Forest” as having some kind of message about the ecology, for example. Is that the case, and if so, would you care to elaborate?
A. When I first wrote BNB it was meant to be a critic smack around (I purposely un-edited things, miss-spelled words, etc.) I also added hidden messages and jokes and games. This was meant to bring readers in and simply, have fun. After I re-wrote it, I started putting meaning behind certain things. The Opening poem, In Blood, I wrote after hearing the news talk about the killing of an infant. Then a week later, it was like everybody just forgot about it and moved on to the next celebrity marriage. A tragedy happens, however small or large, and at the time its everywhere you go. Then its all over , and we’re all talking about celebrities or whats wrong with the food we eat. The line about dogs and cats and not devouring them, I believe that a person should only kill an animal to eat (survive) and if they don’t, whats the point? For fun? A trophy? The Overgrown forest also has a message, it stems from about the same principal. A lot of stories in it no have certain morals and messages. From, Dykes (about homophobia) to Puppies (animal abuse) Lesson (child abuse, endangerment) Medusa (which I wanted to tell her story in her eyes, read the real Greek myth, Poseidon rapes her on the floor and Athena curses her. Greek Gods were assholes. There’s a lot to that) 
You’ll find that a lot of my books have morals of some sort.
Q. Is there anything you’d like to tell our readers that we haven’t already covered?
A. Although some (and most have) seen me and my stories as misogynistic, sexist and uplifting rape and violence, the truth of it is far more complicated. As much as I write about them, I never take it lightly. I’ve explained this in person before, so I’ll say it now and explain the story Mad Fist Disease. At the end of that, the main character goes home and “rapes” his wife though he doesn’t really. The point was their relationship had become standard, non-passionate. They both (her included) wanted more passion, but one had to make a move. Of course, later he squanders it all. But just read it, carefully and you’ll get it. Especially if you are or have been married. But, never ever think I take violence of any kind lightly, I don’t. This is just a violent world we live in, and to survive it you gotta face it. 

Where to Find Tristan Online:


~ by Sumiko Saulson on July 23, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: