I’ve got a really interesting and exclusive interview with new to the scene horror author, Glenn Rolfe! I’ve enjoyed the first volumes of his The Haunted Halls serial, as well as the first part of another serial, Becoming. He’s a writer with promise and I highly recommend you get hooked on his writing.
You can read my review of Volume 1 of The Haunted Halls HERE and then today (May 29) and tomorrow (May 30) download for FREE just previous to Volume 3 publishing!! They’re worth money, so get them at a steal while you can!!
Enjoy the interview and be sure to comment and tell Glenn and I what you think in the comments! And he’d be happy to answer more questions if you leave them in the comments, as well!
Hey Glenn!! It’s so great to finally have you here at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! I’m loving your The Haunted Halls serial book for the Kindle!
Glenn: Hello Erin. Thanks for having me. Glad you dig the tale.
Erin: It’s awesome! Let’s grab some coffee, hang out on the couch and discuss you and your work…here we go.
Q: How long did you know you wanted to be a writer?
A: I flirted with the idea back in my early twenties. Nothing serious though. I just started reading a lot more. Mostly Leisure Book Horror stuff. I’ve always been a creative type, but my focus was on the bands I played in. I eventually scribbled a couple of silly short stories (with horrible endings) in a notebook and thought, hmmm. It was about six years later that I tried writing again. I was out of work, and needed something to do. I found a short idea I had scribbled down and started writing and sharing that with a couple of my horror book reading friends on Facebook. They loved it and wanted to know what happened next…three months later, I had completed my first novel. That’s when I said, I like this.
Erin Comments: Glad you did!
Q: What authors inspired you most growing up? Who inspires you now?
A: Not so much anyone when I was a kid. Like I said, I started reading on a semi-regular basis when got in my twenties. It was definitely Stephen King. Now, I love Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Robert McCammon, Ronald Malfi…the King boys, of course. Short story-wise, I’ve been reading a lot of David B. Silva.
Q: When did you really start to take your writing to the next level—to pursue it even more seriously?
A: I wrote that first novel in 2011. Pretty much after that I started writing as much as I could. I have a great wife who believed in me from the moment I said I think I want to be a writer. From there I started doing research, bought some how to write your novel type books…and joined the Horror Writers Association. I figured if I invested money in it, I would be more inclined to stay the course. I’m too old to be trying on careers. I’ll continue to write no matter what my future holds.
Erin Comments: It’s refreshing to see someone so goal-oriented in their writing. And if writing is in your blood, it’s hard to stop it!
A: Honestly, I had no clue that there was a serial novel revolution or resurgence happening. I was shopping short stories and looking for places accepting new works. I found this cool site called, Jukepop Serials. The only serial I had ever read was The Green Mile. I looked through my short stories and searched for one I thought seemed like the beginning of something more. I had a short called, Night Swim. Once Jukepop accepted it, it became the prologue to The Haunted Halls. So would try to write a new chapter a week to put up on the site.
As far as the writing of The Haunted Halls, I am writing it in sections. I have a loose outline (emphasis on loose),but I like to let the story write itself. That way I’m on the journey of discovering what happens right next to the reader (I do try to stay a few steps ahead).
Erin Comments: That’s why you were lucky you got on the very front end. See how it exploded in the last 6 months or less? Samhain Horror has one coming out with Jonathan Janz, Kindle started their own versions, and many people are enjoying the short reads and the suspense. Great timing.
Q: You’re very self-motivated in your dreams. How did you decide to take it further and self-publish The Haunted Halls through Amazon?
A: . My problem became my impulsiveness. I would write a chapter and throw it up, half ass editing the thing. Then I would find loads of typos and stuff that was just wrong. And on Jukepop, you can’t edit it after you submit it. It goes live and that’s that. At the same time, I had been playing with the idea of self-publishing. The two things smacked into each other at about the same time. The mistakes in my work up on Jukepop were driving me crazy…I went back and fixed them in my files and decided I had to put out the best possible version of the tale. Amazon has an easy to use system. I am very happy with how it all turned out. I eventually asked Jukepop to take down The Haunted Halls (and all of its mistakes). I offered them my new serial, Becoming.
Q: Has that been a good decision with The Haunted Halls? Why or why not?
A: I love it. It’s a hell of a lot of work, but that’s life. Some people have the will, some do not. I enjoy the challenge. And I believe this story is worth it.
Q: What are your hopes for The Haunted Halls? How do you plan to increase readership with each segment and also will you publish it all combined for a price one it’s complete?
A: I’m hoping a couple people like it … and those people follow it through to its completion. And then it becomes a mega blockbuster movie and bestselling novel! Nah, as long as someone likes it, I’m happy.
Erin Comments: Always good to feel successful from alot of hard work. Writing is hard work and writers don’t get enough in return. I hope it really does well for you.
When it’s finished, I’ll look at my options. I would love to have someone publish it. One way or another, it will be out as a single unit eventually. As for when that happens, I have no idea. I would guess at some point in 2014 between January and December.
Erin Comments: Great! Keep us updated!
Q: I think using the hotel as the scene of the novel is original as well as your type of scary “character.” Where do you come up with your ideas?
A: I work full time at a hotel in my hometown. Two of my shifts are the overnights. The origins of “Night Swim” which became the prologue, came to me one overnight as I walked past the swimming pool. I kind of imagined seeing something come out of the pool and then I actually got goose bumps. I stopped in the bathroom on my way back to the desk, and imagined it following me…When I got back to the desk, I wrote it all down. So now, when I’m wondering where to go next with the story, I walk down to the pool room and walk around it talking my ideas to the imaginary beast. Usually she says –“yes, there it is. That’s what should happen next!”
Erin Comments: I will never stay in your hotel in your hometown because I wouldn’t sleep knowing that woman was in the pool, or could be anyone walking by me…shiver!!!!
Q: What other kinds of short stories and/or novels do you write? Are they all horror? What other themes surround your horror writings? And if other genres, what else and why?
A: Whatever strikes me, that’s what I write. It has all been horror so far. I’m sure I’ll write some non-horror stuff sooner or later. But I love horror literature so much. My finished novel is a werewolf novel. Sort of a Cycle of the Werewolf meets the Narrows. I have another novel started, but that’s on the backburner until I get these first two out of the way. I’d rather keep quiet on that one until it’s finished.
My short stories are all over the place. I have gathered a collection I’m extremely happy with since last year. I would love to put them out as such, but I’m still shopping many of most polished ones, so that will have to wait a bit, too. Subject wise…I’m not big on Lovecraft, zombies, or vampires. Although, I do love Ann Rice and what I’ve read of Robert S. Wilson’s Empire of Blood books. So vampires may be down the road somewhere…way down the road. I have a ton of stuff to get to first.
Erin Comments: You have to go where your muse takes you, but please NO ZOMBIES!!
Q: Without putting yourself in a box, what type of horror do you describe your writing as?
A: I don’t know. I try to keep it real (as real as the devils allow). I like my stories to have heart. Even though The Haunted Halls contains some brutal stuff, that would not work if I couldn’t get you to care about the main characters. It would just be a crappy slasher that you would forget the moment you put it down. I want my work to resonate with the reader. I can’t really say who or what I write like…but my aim is to be a mix of King, Laymon, and little…with a dash of… Malfi. If I eventually get anywhere close to that I would be happy.
Q: Is there some kind of vibe in New England for writing horror? I know you recently went to book signing with Joe Hill and his father, the amazing Stephen King was there. Did you grab some of their mojo?
A: I wish. There’s another great guy from Maine, Nate Kenyon, oh, and Kristin Dearborn. She went to school with me and is gearing up for her second published novel! But yeah, it probably has something to do with the long winters and short summers. The cold seeps into the marrow…maybe it sticks with us and warps our minds. 🙂
Erin Comments: I LOVE Nate Kenyon. He rocks. 🙂 Yea that cold chill, creepy fog, dense dark tree lines, and history….all those ghosts you know…..
Q: I know you also love music and have been in a band. What type of music do you like? Does music spark your creative side? Help you write better?
A: I’ve played in punk rock bands since the late nineties. I’m currently playing (when I can) with a group. We call ourselves the Never Nudes. But yeah, music is my first love. I usually like to have something dark or heavy on when I’m writing. If not either of those, its hair metal. I love everything from Poison to Rancid to Bruce Springsteen and Carrie Underwood.
Erin Comments: CARRIE UNDERWOOD?? Are you mad? Ok, the picture of you singing Jesus, Take the Wheel just isn’t there for me. lol
Q: I also understand that you don’t like a lot of horror movies, even though you love horror novels. I am the same way! Why do you think that the characters are so much more well-developed in the novels?
A: I have NO idea how most of those movies get made. I want to like them…but most of them suck. I think it has to do with not having enough time to develop good characters and having to get so much blood and gore and scares in there…I don’t know. Give me a great Tarantino or Will Ferrell movie any day of the week. Horror flicks (especially post 80’s) are random hit, but mostly miss.
Erin Comments: I kinda agree. I need deep emotional ties to characters.
Q: Who has been your favorite character in a horror novel? Why?
A: Now you’re making me think? Jeesh. I think Ed Logan from Richard Laymon’s Night in the Lonesome October. That character really struck a chord with me. He was a heartbroken wanderer. I was that kid once upon a time. I love that book.
Q: With as busy as you are with work, writing, and have three small children, how do you find the time to write? Any advice for the other writers out there?
A: I do a lot of my writing and editing on my two overnights. It’s quiet at the hotel in the midnight hours…other than that, I write whenever I find a good hour or two to do so, either late at night, or when the kids are on one adventure with mom or nana.
Advice…write what feels right to you. Don’t force anything (dialogue, action, etc.) I like to let the story tell me where we’re going next. Sometimes it takes a little while, but if you wait and listen…it comes. Quiet definitely helps! If you have a family, it helps to go somewhere else and write, which takes a good partner. My wife will let me run away to Barnes and Noble if I need to.
Erin Comments: I need quiet too, and never get it. Probably why I stay up so late. Great advice though!
Q: Does writing come naturally for you? How have your perfected your craft?
A: I certainly have not perfected any facet of my craft. I’ve been writing for the past two years this month. I think (I hope) I’m just getting started. The writing does come pretty natural. I’ve been the main songwriter in all of my bands, so I guess you combine that with an overactive imagination and let it roll.
Q: Whenever I encounter you online, you are always very happy and friendly. What gives you your sunshine? And many of us laugh about how it’s the friendliest and nicest people writing horror…agree?
A: It seems that way. Although Brian Keene seems like a fucking badass. I’m not sure that he really is, but he seems like it to me. But yeah, everyone that I’ve had the pleasure of being in contact with seems so nice.
I love being alive, I love my wife and monkeys. I love music, books, movies… I don’t know. I’m just grateful for what I have in my life.
Erin Comments: See, how could someone not think you are terribly humble and sweet after you write that? My friend Brian Moreland once told me “We are so friendly because we get everything out on the page and don’t have to carry anymore of it around.” I haven’t met Brian Keene though…..so…lol.
Q: What else is on the horizon for you as a person and as a writer? What other books will you be writing or trying to publish?
A: Well, Volume 3 of The Haunted Halls is out in a couple days. After that, I’m working on getting the aforementioned finished werewolf novel, Blood and Rain, published the traditional way (fingers crossed). Lots of short stories… back to work on the new Jukepop serial, Becoming, and after I do get the Haunted Halls finished, I’ll get back to the other novel I started last summer.
Personally, I’m taking the whole family down to New Orleans for the World Horror Convention in a couple weeks! My first Con, trip to New Orleans, and vacation! We’re pretty excited about that. When we get back from that, I have to lay guitar and vocals down on the band’s first EP. That should keep me busy for a little bit.
Erin Comments: You are going to have so much fun at WHC!!!! Take a camera!
Q: If you could eat anything for dinner, what would it be?
A: ALWAYS Spaghetti.
Erin Comments: Do you eat it like this? Mmmmm, me too.
Q: Where can fans and fellow writers connect with you?
Erin: Thank you so much, Glenn, for coming by. You’re a bundle of positive energy and a superb writer that has a very bright future! I wish you so much luck and am sure I’ll see you back here again soon!
Glenn: Thank you so very much for having me. It’s been rad. BYE ERIN!
Erin: You only said bye because I told you too….funny guy. *wink*
Author Glenn Rolfe, Biography~
Glenn Rolfe is an author 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 and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have two girls, Ruby, and Ramona. They currently reside in Augusta, Maine.
His short story, “Sins of My Past,” was published in December in “Paranormal Horror Anthology” (edited by Elle Pryor). His next short story, “Skull of Snakes,” is set to be published in October of 2013 in the anthology, “Coins of Chaos,” from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (edited by Jennifer Brozek).
For all the latest news on Glenn Rolfe, check out his Facebook page:
The Haunted Halls, Synopsis~
What lies in wait at the Bruton Inn? Where did it come from? What does it want? People are checking in, but the little voices, the nightmares, the deep cold sinking into their marrow is changing them. What haunts these halls will alter those within its confines. Something big is unfolding, something dark- something evil. The haunted halls of the Bruton Inn welcome you. Checking in?