Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Interview With Glenn Rolfe

CHHR: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

GR: I always wrote the songs in my bands, but a verse chorus verse and bridge…that’s sort of like building a story, but not quite. I don’t remember just when it was (2002, I thnk), but I remember one day buying a copy of Johnny Cash’s The Man Comes Around and a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing.  I remember the first two stories I wrote were about my girlfriend’s mannequin head. That one was called, “The Eyes” and the other was called, “Apartment #9”.  I wrote those after reading On Writing. 
It really wasn’t until I sat down to write BLOOD AND RAIN in 2011 that I said I was a writer. And even then, it was only after I wrote “the end” on that that I knew this was something I could do. I just needed a lot more practice.

CHHR: What does your writing schedule look like? 

GR: I try to write every day, but when and for how long depends on all that’s going on around me.  My son is at preschool for a couple hours two of my mornings off, I try to work on stuff then.  Sometimes, I’ll write at night when everyone’s asleep, or get up at 4 or 5 before the house wakes up and get some writing in.

CHHR: Do you have any interesting writing rituals? If so, what are they?

GR: I like to put some music on. Usually soundtracks…Stranger Things, The Fog, something like that, then I’ll light a candle and get to work. There’s always a beer or a coffee involved, too.

CHHR: Do you like writing short stories or novels?

GR: I prefer novels or novellas. Short stories are hard work, man.  I applaud those that whip ‘em out and sell ‘em left and right. That’s an art unto itself. I pretty much gave up on the submission game for short stories. Mine just don’t stand up to the masters of the craft. I like them, but editors don’t seem to, so I just save mine for my collections or for people that reach out for one from me, usually charity anthologies like Splatterpunk Fighting Back and the VS. series from Dawn Cano.
That works fine for me.

CHHR: How is the horror scene where you live?

GR: Good. April Hawks, Peter N. Dudar, Morgan Sylvia, they all live close by. All of them are published with more to come. And that weird guy that lives up in Bangor. He’s still flooding the market with awesomeness.

CHHR: Do you use outlines or do you go with the flow?

GR: I wish I could outline. Tim Waggoner sent me a thing to help me out, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I need to. All my works are from some crazy scene I get in my mind, then I write that and see where it goes.  Some people think it’s a scary way to go into writing a novel, but I just have faith that the characters will lead me where they want to go. Some writers don’t like that answer, but it’s true. I take very little credit for my stories. They very much seem like living, sentient things to me. Hell, I don’t remember half of what I’ve written. I just write and revise and go to what’s next.  Example: Joe Hempel, great audio voice artist, just did the audio for my novella, Things We Fear. He posted on Facebook that he’s in there as a character. I have no recollection of that, but it’s in there. 
So yeah, very much a go with the flow type.

CHHR: How did publishing your first book or short story change your writing process?

GR: When Jennifer Brozek took my story, “Skull of Snakes” for the Coins of Chaos anthology in 2013? Maybe it was 2012?  Getting a check for my words was prett sweet and encouraging. Getting a contract for Abram’s Bridge from Don D’Auria and Samhain in 2014….that was a major game changer for me. The second I wrote “the end” on that first novel in 2011, I had one goal: Sign a story with Don D’Auria.  Since then, I’ve always knew I had a shot with every story.

CHHR: What do you think makes a good horror story? 

GR: Like any story, you have to have good characters, good story, and a reason for people (the readers) to care. For me, writing comes last in all that. You don’t connect with readers with fancy writing. That works for connecting and impressing other writers, but your average readers wants characters and story above all else.  That’s my focus.  Now, what’s fun about horror is that you can have heart, romance, scares, mystery, suspense, drama, all wrapped up in one story. And if you do that right, you can impact the hell out of people. Push as many buttons in every story as you can. That’s my goal.

CHHR: What are you currently working on?

GR: I’m working on revisions for my next novel, THE WINDOW, finishing up my next novella, FOLLOW ME DOWN, then working on WAITING FOR DARKNESS (the sequel to BLOOD AND RAIN) and BACK TO AVALON the sequel to BECOMING). Those are first up. I have another wagon of works after that.

CHHR: What is in your TBR pile?

GR: Dang!  So much!  You know what it’s like. Up soon for me are DECEMBER PARK by Ronald Malfi, DEVILS WOODS by Brian Moreland, THE LIGHT AT THE END by John Skipp and Craig Spectre.  Oh, and DUMA KEY by King. There’s a ton of 2018 releases I’m looking forward to like PRACTIONERS from Patrick Lacey and Matt Hayward,  and all the stuff coming from Flame Tree in the fall (new John Everson, Jonathan Janz, Hunter Shea, Tim Waggoner)

CHHR: What is the last book that scared you?

GR: The last two books that scared me were A HEAD FULL OF MONSTERS by Paul Tremblay and THE LAST DAYS OF JACK SPARKS y Jason Arnopp.  I’m terrified by possession stories. I’m a big believer in God and the Satan.  These two books really raised the hair on my neck.

CHHR: What is your favorite horror film?

GR: Favorite?  Probably Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s perfect. Creepy, unnerving, realistic, it looks real and amazing… the characters are fucking freaky.  Tobe Hooper is awesome. I’m also a big fan of Jaws and The Thing. Definitely my top 3.

CHHR: What is your spirit animal?

GR: Arooooo! Gotta be a wolf, right?  I am a wererolfe. 😊

CHHR: What is your favorite beer?

GR: Sam Adams Rebel IPA. No matter what other beers I have, that Reel always calls to me.  Shipyard’s Monkey Fist IPA is probably second.

CHHR: If you could have a beer with one author, who would it be?

GR: Lucky for me, I’ve had drinks with Don D’Auria, Jack Ketchum, Patrick Lacey, David Bernstein, Adam Cesare, and more…  I was drunk and talked to Ronald Malfi….
I guess it’d be cool to have beers with all my writing buds. Brian Keene would be cool, the Sisters of Slaughter, Matt Hayward….let’s just have a big ol’ horror writers party.

Thanks for the interview, Curtis. Keep doing what you do.

It is greatly appreciated by all of us.

Author Bio: 

"A vital part of this generation." - Brian Keene, author of THE COMPLEX and THE RISING

Glenn Rolfe is an author/singer/songwriter from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King, Ronald Malfi, Jack Ketchum, 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 the author of Becoming, Blood and Rain, The Haunted Halls, Chasing Ghosts, Abram's Bridge, Things We Fear, and the collections, Out of Range, Slush. and Land of Bones.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

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