Sunday, October 25, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: AMONG THE STACKS: Glenn Rolfe


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Glenn!!  Welcome to The Gal.  And Thanks SO MUCH for being a part of The Gal's 31 Days of Horror.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Glenn Rolfe:
I'm Glenn.  I'm here to party.  I like to talk books and movies and music.  I'm a dad of three, husband to one beautiful lady, and I work at a hotel!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Glenn Rolfe:
I'm insecure.  I love the song "Do What You Want" by Lady Gaga (ft. R. Kelly).  Hit and Run (starring Kristen Bell and Dax Sheppard) is one of my favorite movies.  I wrote a song about a blow-up doll (Special Love) with my first band, the Skin Flutes.


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Glenn Rolfe:
Howliday Inn?  Maybe?  I remember the first books I read in one afternoon for enjoyment were Howliday Inn and The Celery Stalks at Midnight (2 and 3 of the Bunnicula series).

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Glenn Rolfe:
I just finished Jonathan Janz's Wolf Land (excellent werewolf novel coming in November) and now The Dover Demon by Hunter Shea.  (But, also have Stephen King's Bag of Bones going - loving it!)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Glenn Rolfe:
I started writing in 2011 after I tried to stop playing in bands.  I became a voracious reader n about 2002 or so.  I started devouring horror novels.  I've always been a creative guy and had sort of started a couple of creepy short stories in between songs (prior to 2011) and I came across a piece one day in my word documents that I loved.  That became the first chapter for Blood and Rain.  I shared it with some horror reading friends and they loved it!  They asked me what happens next?  And the rest is history.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Glenn Rolfe:
Either at work on my laptop (I work two overnight shifts at a hotel - plenty of quiet time) or at home in my office.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Glenn Rolfe:
Not really.  I write when I can.  Sometimes I'll act scenes out with random objects or toys.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Glenn Rolfe:
Finding the time is a big one, and making sure the material is strong each time out.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Glenn Rolfe:
'Salem's Lot and The Mist by King.  Also, Night in the Lonesome October by Richard Laymon and Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Glenn Rolfe:
Heart.  It can bleed, it can be torn out, but it HAS to be in there somewhere.  You want people to care about the story and the people in it.  They won't be afraid if they don't give a crap.  So you have to do your best to build solid characters that feel as real as you and I.  Add some blood, mystery, and suspense and there you have it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Glenn Rolfe:
First thing: Dialogue has to be legit.  If it reads like a bad B-movie, I'm out.  Second: It helps to make them evil as hell if they're bad.  If I HATE them, that's it, right?  For my protagonists...make me care about them.  Personally, I think we attach best to characters that are like people we know, or ourselves.  It makes it easier to put ourselves in their shoes and thus, in the horror.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Glenn Rolfe:
In Blood and Rain, I'd say Ted McKinney.  He's in a band, is a local deejay (I used to have a show at a local college station).  He's got a short fuse.  As much as I like to laugh and talk...if you hit one of those few nerves I have, I am quick to go into the red.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Glenn Rolfe:
Can I be turned off, yeah, but if word of mouth is still good for the work, I can bypass that.
            I'm very involved in my covers.  I've been lucky to have Samhain use most of my concepts and ideas.  I tend to have a good idea what I think would fit and get pretty descriptive with the art department.  I find and send pics from the web that are close to what I like and they do a great job of converting my ideas into an even better reality.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

Glenn Rolfe:
I've learned to dig up all those old fears I had as a kid and use them for good!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Glenn Rolfe:
There was some horrible stuff done by my main character in a short story I wrote called, Flaws.  I felt off when I finished it.  Like I had something tangible on me from the awful experience.  It's a rough read.  Some people have enjoyed it, some find it pointless.  I see and sympathize with both sides of that coin.  I made myself finish it for my short story collection, Slush.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Glenn Rolfe:
There's only one me, right?  I guess they just are laced with my DNA.  I try not to rehash any of my own stuff, and if I try and follow someone else's lead, I try to make sure to do it my way.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Glenn Rolfe:
Blood and Rain came right from the first chapter.  If you read it, you'll see.  A good title isn't always easy.  Sometimes they come right at you, other times I'm spending days thinking about them, brainstorming, bouncing them off co-workers.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Glenn Rolfe:
Novel.  It's such a long journey from idea to publication.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Glenn Rolfe:
My target audience is the old Leisure Books fans.  I loved the hell out of those novels.  I hope people get caught up in the adventure, grossed out, or scared in the right spots, and at the end feel like they just had a blast.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Glenn Rolfe:
Oh my...Blood and Rain went through a serious re-write last summer before I gave it to Samhain.  I cut out the rape scenes.  Originally, I thought a beast like a werewolf would give into that primal urge and I thought what else is scarier than being killed by a werewolf?  Oh, yes, being violated and then killed.  In the last re-write, I let all of that hit the cutting room floor.  It didn't seem necessary.  I also cut out a lot of background story on some of the side characters.  There was way more on Alex McKinney, way more on Ted (a love interest, of all things), and Nick Bruce's character was completely different!  I cut my side treks to streamline the main story.  I like my books to be fast and furious.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your 'trunk'?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

Glenn Rolfe:
I'm not huge on sequels.  I write with one-offs in mind.  The project I sneak back to when I can is a novel called, Ascension Agenda.  It's the follow-up novel to my novella, Boom Town.

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

Glenn Rolfe:
I have three things under contract with Samhain.  Things We Fear (novella, March 2016), When Nightmares Begin (my three Samhain novellas in a combined print edition - also March 2016), and in November of 2016 Samhain will be re-releasing my first novel, The Haunted Halls.  Theres a novella sitting with another publisher, too, but I have yet to hear its fate.  Stay tuned!

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

Glenn Rolfe:
My website, my Amazon page, or find me on Twitter, for starters.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
It was great having you here today, Glenn.  Thanks for stopping by. :)
            Before you go, 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?

Glenn Rolfe:
Have fun reading my stories!  If you want to try a sample size, grab one of my novellas, or my short story collection, Slush.  If you want more...there will be plenty. :)


About the author:
Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy 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 three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl.  He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.
            He is the author of the novellas Abram's BridgeBoom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain.  His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.
            He is hard at work on many more.  Stay tuned!

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