It’s an honor to be invited to participate in the blog tour for author Glenn Rolfe’s latest offering from Samhain, BLOOD AND RAIN. I will be participating in two events this week, starting with this interview today and finishing off the week with a full review and excerpt from the novel. Watch for that on October 18. In the meantime, hang around and get to know a little about Glenn Rolfe and the work he’s doing in the field of horror.
For the sake of those who aren’t familiar with you yet, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Glenn. I’m a dad of three, husband to one, and I used to play in punk bands. I’m a fairly nice guy who likes to make people laugh. On the other side, I also like to scare people with stories and if you hit one of my few pet peeves, I have a short fuse. My first band nicknamed me Axl Rolfe, because of said short fuse. Which is funny now because I named my son Axl.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or other endeavors that you like to indulge in?
I still dabble in music. I like watching football and baseball. I can’t get enough books. I probably spend the majority of my free time reading.
Does the music you play and sing influence your writing in any way? Or vice versa?
I’ve slipped some cool lines from my songs into my works. But it’s more of the manner I approach creative pieces that crosses over. I write what I enjoy and what I want to hear or read. As writers we have to be our first fans otherwise we’re writing for someone else and that’s not honest or fair.
How long have you been writing horror? What were your motivations to begin doing so?
I’ve been writing for about five years now. I stopped playing in bands a lot and needed that creative outlet. I have always loved reading horror, so that’s the only road I wanted to take. It’s funny because horror is the black sheep of the lit world, like punk is to the music world. I’ve got a lot of Rodney Dangerfield in me. There’s a joke in there somewhere.
Let’s talk a little bit about your previous work before we move on to BLOOD AND RAIN. What have you learned along the way? Which book is your favorite, and why?
Practice, practice, practice. I’ve learned a lot from writing a lot and always from reading! I think the scary part was letting people who are already published read my work. Especially early on. I have to thank Kristin Dearborn and RJ Cavender for their early critiques. They both taught me so much with just a few Red Pen lessons. Pretty much they showed me what I was doing wrong, how to do it properly, and what I needed to be thinking of as a writer. Ronald Malfi was another person who blew my mind when he agreed to beta read a couple of my works. Now, I work closely with my pre-submission editor, Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. She cleans up my slop and makes me look good.
Of all the pieces I’ve written so far…I don’t know, that’s a hard one. I guess Abram’s Bridge. It’s the first big piece that I wrote that I thought was really worthy of being published. That being said, it’s still not my best work, but it was that major step in the right direction. Don D’Auria saw that and gave me a contract with Samhain.
I’ve learned a lot from good people in this business.
Which writers and books have been major inspirations to you?
Stephen King is my favorite. ‘Salem’s Lot is my all-time top book. I’ve read it four times now and can’t wait to read it again. I also absolutely love The Green Mile, Joyland, and The Dead Zone. Obviously, Cycle of the Werewolf had a great hand in putting my mindset into the correct space for Blood and Rain.
I love King’s voice. I could really read anything he writes.
Others that have inspired me? Ketchum, Laymon, Bentley Little, Ronald Malfi, Brian Keene…
I mean, pick up a copy of Floating Staircase (Malfi) or a story like Red (Ketchum) and you’ll find these amazing places to escape to and be horrified without any real “monsters” present. I always appreciate that trick. If you want monsters Brian Keene’s The Rising or Urban Gothic will gladly let you in. Or something twisted like Bentley Little’s The Resort or The Store…man, he’s creepy.
Werewolf fiction had a run of popularity in the seventies and eighties, with books like Streiber’s THE WOLFEN and McCammon’s THE WOLF’S HOUR enjoying successful runs. After that the mythos sort of fizzled out until recently. What inspired you to create your own offering in this subgenre?
My older brother got me into werewolves as a kid. I also loved the intro to Michael Jackson’s Thriller (music video). It scared the crap out of me but I was totally enthralled. Watching someone change from this gentle person into this horrifying beast…it blew my mind. After I read Cycle of the Werewolf that was it. I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Werewolves weren’t getting enough love from the horror genre at the time (I think for me that was around 2004). It was still a few years before I tried to write, but in 2011 I started my first novel and it ended up being the first draft of Blood and Rain.
Do you have favorite books or movies within the werewolf mythos?
The Howling is the greatest movie for me.
Cycle of the Werewolf is my favorite wolfman book.
Is BLOOD AND RAIN your first novel length work and, if so, what have you learned from the experience?
The first draft was my first full novel, but I have another novel, The Haunted Halls, that was my first to be published. (note-The Haunted Halls is out of print, but will be available from Samhain in November of 2016) I learned a couple of things from both of these manuscripts. One is that you take it one sentence at a time. Don’t get bogged down with imperfections, just write. Write like nobody’s watching, because no one is. You can delete anything that sucks, but sometimes just writing the rain pounded against the windshield will lead you to the next piece of the puzzle, the next part of the story. Secondly, I’ve learned that you are going to have to learn to make hard cuts. Not every cool scene you write is right for your book. Don’t get in the way of your own story.
Any current or future projects that you’d like to discuss?
I’m pumped to have Blood and Rain finally out there, but I have a number of things in the works.
Things We Fear is my next novella from Samhain. That’s in March of 2016. Then, we’ll have the re-print of the Haunted Halls in November 2016. Samhain will also be putting all of my novellas together in a print edition called, Where Nightmares Begin. That will be out on the same day as Things We Fear.
Beyond those…there’s a lot. I have a finished novella called, The Last Show. and also two novels that are nearing completion. Hopefully I’ll get those finished this winter.
Thank you very much for talking to us, Glenn. Congratulations on the release of BLOOD AND RAIN and good luck with your future endeavors. Any other thoughts you want to share before we wrap this up?
I’m happy to have a great home in Samhain and a happy team of people in my life that are willing to help me out at seemingly every turn.
Thanks for having me, Shane.
BLOOD AND RAIN Synopsis:
The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.
Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen. Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.
To learn more about Glenn Rolfe, check out his website: http://glennrolfe.com/
If you’d like to follow along with the BLOOD AND RAIN blog tour use the hashtags: #BloodandRain, #Werewolves, #WereRolfe. You can find a list of the tour dates here: https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/blood-and-rainglenn-rolfe-publicity-tour/