Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 17: Among the Stacks with Glenn Rolfe


I have been a fan of Glenn Rolfe for several years now.  He is a phenomenal writer, with stories that don't just mess you up while you're reading them, but stick with you over time, especially when you're lying in the dark, trying to get some sleep.  His artistic abilities don't just come out in his writing.  Have you heard him sing?  Add it to your Bucket List...


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Welcome back to The Gal, Glenn.  It's always great having you.  It's been awhile since we sat down together.  What's been going on since we last spoke?

Glenn Rolfe:
Trying to find time to write. I have so many books to work on! I've mostly been pecking away at a couple novels, while working on short stories I have due to some anthologies. This has been the first year where I’m getting invited to a lot of cool Anthos. Very exciting news ahead. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Who are you outside of writing?

Glenn Rolfe:
I’m a dad, a husband…a bit of a clown, music fanatic. Such a hard question to answer. Ask my wife. 😊

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Glenn Rolfe:
It is definitely weird. My wife has only read ABRAM’S BRIDGE. She’s afraid to read the others. 😊  I have had my best friend beta read a few book. He busts my balls. That’s a good thing.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Glenn Rolfe:
It’s a fun thing. I guess it’s a gift, but one that if you want to see grow, you must bust your ass - reading, studying books and people - to make that natural bit reach its potential.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Glenn Rolfe:
I think your life seeps into every creative outlet, whether that's writing, drawing, writing songs... If you're doing it right, not just following a blueprint, but pulling from within, your past is what colors your art.  It is what makes you you, and hopefully gives you your unique voice or stroke, I guess.
            I grew up in a trailer park, my parents divorced when I was fourteen, I moved out with my older brother when I was sixteen and pretty much bounced around from couch to couch until I was about 21.  That kind of wandering, homeless teen.  Never truly homeless, but I didn't have a place to call home.  I had my friends.  And they were the closest thing that gave me that sense of security.  They were my home.
            I'm sure all that has weaved its way through my writing somewhere.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Glenn Rolfe:
I did some research on morgue workers. That was interesting. Mostly, I get worried when I type anything weird in Google. Always wonder what the government would have to say about my search history.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Glenn Rolfe:
The middle for me. That bridge from the initial idea of the story to the climax. I don’t plot out my work, so sometimes, I get this great ending that fits really naturally with my beginning and I have to work to get that giant middle part of the story to play nice with the two exciting ends.
            When I wrote the original version of my novel, BECOMING, I got to the end I loved, but then couldn’t get the middle to feel right. Every fix I applied wrecked something else. Eventually, I scrapped the 65K words and started over. I ended up with a very sleek, very concise and much improved 45K word book that I am more than happy with. The story changed completely. I managed to salvage a number of the characters from that original draft, but on the second try, I feel like I knew them much better.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you outline?  Do you start with characters or plot?  Do you just sit down and start writing?  What works best for you?

Glenn Rolfe:
I start with a scene in my head. From that point on, it’s just a matter of WHAT happens next? So far, that seems to have worked well.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you do when characters don't follow the outline/plan?

Glenn Rolfe:
I let them do what they want to do. I can try to steer them, but, in the end, it’s always best to let the characters come alive and show YOU who they are. I tend to bend the story around where they take me. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Glenn Rolfe:
Well, that’s been my problem. I did overnights at my hotel for 5 years. I stopped that at the beginning of summer. It’s been a struggle to find the time to get in the zone since. I just need to set goals and timetables for myself and work toward making them happen.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you an avid reader?

Glenn Rolfe:
Heck yes. I’m always a reader first. I will read over writing probably 8 out of 10 times. I’m a huge fan of books. That’s what made me want to write my own. Books are a constant source of inspiration and motivation.
            I try to read about 60 books a year. Sometimes more. I try to read established writers, classics, and a lot of up and comers. I’m a huge proponent of checking out the newbies and helping those I love out as much as I can. Writers like Patrick Lacey, Somer Canon, Jeremy Hepler (to name a few).

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Glenn Rolfe:
Horror books of all kinds. I’m starting to come around to this Lovecraft thing. It took me some time. But I’ll always read about classic monsters.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you feel about movies based on books?

Glenn Rolfe:
I'm all for it.  Most fall short of good books, but IT was so freaking good!!!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Have you ever killed a main character?

Glenn Rolfe:
Yes. I’m not afraid to. It’s like football—If the QB falls, you just go with the next man/woman up and hope they can carry the team to victory. I think it can work, and it keeps your readers on their toes (if you don’t do it every time).

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Glenn Rolfe:
No, but it is often necessary. Like in real life, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You can break or strengthen your characters. Again, I just let them roll with who or what they are, and hope for the best.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the best piece of feedback you've ever received?  What's the worst?

Glenn Rolfe:
Best? I was having lunch and drinks with a few writers at the World Horror Convention in New Orleans back in 2013. I was talking to Rena Mason about going back to school for writing. She told me to be careful, and that I had a nice writing voice. She didn’t want me to lose that. I thought that was a wonderful compliment from a great writer. Because she said that, I was, and still am, very cognizant of the good thing I have going, and I only add to that, rather than try and change anything I do to fit into anything that’s not me.  As a writer, you’re always learning, you should never get to a point where you think you know it all, but you must remain true to you. That’s kind of what I took away from that conversation.
            Worst? I never got the advice outright, but I did have a writer that got upset with me for giving a book of theirs an honest review. It wasn’t even a bad review, it just wasn’t a shining 4 or 5-star review. This writer (any many others) have this quid pro quo idea about reviewing each other’s books. I don’t do that. If you think my book was just ok, or that it wasn’t good, say so. I don’t need you to build me up. If you give me your book to review, you better expect the truth. I learned that from Nate Kenyon. When he took BLOOD & RAIN from me to possibly blurb, he warned me that if he didn’t like it, he was going to tell me so. That one turned out pretty good for me, but in the months after sending him the book, I was sweating bullets. Anyways, if you’re not gonna review another author honestly, don’t do it at all.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do your fans mean to you?

Glenn Rolfe:
I love that anybody out there would read my stories and connect with them. To me, that’s all bonus. I love writing these characters and these crazy situations, if anyone else appreciates that, I’m good. I’ve got a nice little tribe started. It feels nice.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?

Glenn Rolfe:
Hmmm. For me I’d have to steal a god guy and a bad guy. I think my hero would be Jojo Walker from Ed Kurtz’s THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD. A down and out cop that finds himself working as a hotel watchman. I think part of the charm for Jojo was that Kurtz set the story back in the early fifties?  I think?  Anyways, I just really connected with that character.
            For a bad guy... It would be either Barlow from 'SALEM'S LOT or Dale from Wrath James White's THE RESURRECTIONIST.  Barlow was the first evil vampire I read that I was really terrified of.  I thought, "How are they gonna beat this guy??????"
            Dale freaked me out in the same way.  How would they catch him and stop him?  I remember hating that White book soooo much when I finished it, but that was because he made the evilest antagonist I've read about still to this day.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?

Glenn Rolfe:
I’ve been saying this for the last few years… I’d make Ronald Malfi write a book with me. I have the idea and the thing started already. It’s a ghost story based off a Bruce Springsteen song. I loved Malfi’s FLOATING STAIRCASE and, more recently, LITTLE GIRLS. He’s just one of my favorite writers, and for some reason, I’m convinced that he could (and will one day) help me bring this idea to fruition.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Glenn Rolfe:
Expect my next collection, LAND OF BONES.  That should be my next release, sometime between late November and February.  It will have about twelve or thirteen short stories, and possibly a new novella.
            After that, I have a novella (FOLLOW ME DOWN) to turn it to one editor, and a novel (THE WINDOW) to give to another.
            There's a slew of anthologies coming out that should contain some new short stories from me as well.  UK vs. US: EXTREME, THE BLACK ROOM MANUSCRIPTS 3, FIGHTING BACK (from Splatterpunk Zine head honcho, Jack Bantry w/ Kit Power), and a very cool project from Matt Hayward and Crystal Lake Publishing featuring a cool idea and a stellar line-up (that one is due out sometime next year).
            After that, I will be finishing up WAITING FOR DARKNESS (aka Blood & Rain 2), AUGUST'S EYES, BLACK SIGNS (Lee Buhl novel #2), and ASCENSION AGENDA (my follow up to BOOM TOWN).

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (STaLKeR links)

Glenn Rolfe:
And occasionally on Facebook (search Glenn Rolfe, I'll be there)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview or the last?

Glenn Rolfe:
Please be patient with me. 😊 I have a lot of stories on the way, just not sure when they’ll see the light of day. I promise to put everything into each and every one.  Thanks for supporting me and my work.  It means so much.
            Cheers!


About the author:
Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, and songwriter from the haunted woods of New England.  He studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, and many others.  He and his wife, Meghan, have three children: Ruby, Ramona, and Axl.  He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.  
            He is hard at work on many more.  Stay tuned!


Monsters can hide anywhere.  Under a bridge, below the earth... or behind a smile.

Abram's Bridge-- When Lil Ron realizes the beautiful girl he met under Abram's Bridge is a ghost, he sets out to make things right for Sweet Kate.  His quest leads him into a tangle of small-town secrets as he uncovers a story of heartbreak, violence... and fear.

Boom Town-- Thirty years after a notorious UFO encounter, the town of Eckert, Wisconsin is besieged by mysterious rumbles from deep in the earth.  As the earthly tremors grow stronger, two pre-teens discover a dislodged pipe spewing a strange, bubbling ooze.  Their curiosity unleashes an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.

Things We Fear-- Emily Young can't deny her attraction to Aaron Jackson, the Ed Tech from her Fairington Elementary classroom, but fears she'll be hurt again.  Aaron is determined to overcome his drowning phobia and enjoy the sun and the sand of Maine's best beach town.
            But real fear lurks closer than they think.  Fairington harbors a psychopath seething with hell-bent rage - and he's got his sights set on Emily.


Something ancient has wormed its way up from the earth... A change has come today.
            After Michele Cote's best friend disappears, no one believes her story about the thing responsible for his abduction.  Forced to figure out the mystery for herself, Michele encounters terror she has never known, and witnesses the impossible.
            When other members of the community begin to change or vanish, Sheriff Shane Davis must look beyond reason in order to stop the evil seeping int this small town.  With help from an unlikely source, Sheriff Davis will come face-to-face with the truth.
            You can't destroy what you don't understand.  For the town of Avalon, Maine, the future is about change... for better or worse.

Becoming is the most horrifying novel from author Glenn Rolfe.  Includes the bonus novella Boom Town.


The Cobbs were ignorant woods-people that died off and left nothing to fear.  Locals in Naples, Maine think they know this story.  But are they wrong?
            Luke Howard and his mom move to Naples and Luke's eager to make new friends.  When Jason and Davey invite him out to the abandoned Cobb place for a game they call "chasing ghosts," he's ready and willing.  However, the boys will come to discover that some vacant houses are better left to die alone.
            Meanwhile, a punk band set to play in a rented cabin out of town feels eyes upon them.  Somebody's watching, but not their usual audience.  When their lead singer strays too far from the group and disappears, his band mates set out in the darkness to find him.
            Police Chief Walt Henderson is about to discover that there's more going on out in the woods of his town than he ever imagined.
           Chasing ghosts is more than just some children's game.


Four young boys pick up a coin and welcome its curse.  A sweet romance ends in a shallow grave to be revisited again and again.  A girl's field hockey team exacts revenge on their coach and  her dreaded 'whistle of the damned.'  Parker Stephens discovers that some paths are not safe to walk after sunset.
            In these twelve dark and powerful tales, Glenn Rolfe, author of The Haunted Halls and Boom Town, welcomes you to the dark side.
            Take his hand and slip into the shadows...

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