What's in a name?
By: Glenn Rolfe
"What's in a name?"
It's a question one might hear often in the writing world. Usually, it has more to do with choosing character names or giving deeper meaning to a villain or a hero in your story. I searched the web and found the cool post, 7 Rules of Picking Names. I never endorse following rules, but this guy has some good tips.
Before we look at a few of the character's names in my books, I thought we might take a look at my own surname.
Yep. That's the name I was born with way back in 1977.
I looked it up earlier this year (something I'd been meaning to do for forever, but never got around to doing) and found something very interesting indeed...
This unusual and interesting English surname derives ultimately from
the Old Scandinavian and Germanic pre-5th century
personal name "Hrodwulf." This was composed of the element "hrod,"
meaning "renown," and "wolf," a wolf.
Huh? Yeah... that is very interesting. I wrote a book (my first book) about werewolves... Perhaps there is a reason for things, right?
I didn't pick a cool name for my writing career (not that there's anything wrong with having a pen name - I have many great friends in the field that use pseudonyms). I started writing as Rolfe, and when it came time to publishing these crazy stories, I decided to just go with my own name. I lost both my father and my brother before I started writing. I felt that using my name - their name - was a way of honoring them. There's a pride that flows through me each time I see our name on my book covers. That's pretty cool.
Now, onto Blood and Rain...
I didn't do any of the "7 rules..." when I started naming my characters. I didn't know any better. I pulled names out of my butt and typed them on the screen. Some of them were awful. Alex McKinney used to be Thad McKinney. Nick Bruce was Samuel A. Bruce. And worst of them all, Joe, that's Sheriff Joe, use dot be Turk Dungy. Yep. Turk Dungy. Isn't that fucking awful? My best friend beta read the original manuscript and pitched a fit. He told me that all he could see was Tony Dungy (NBC Sports analyst and former Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts). My friend Ben hates Tony Dungy. He said the guy looks like Golem and that was all he could see every time he read the name.
I shrugged it off. It didn't mean that much to me at the time.
Fast forward another year or so.
Ben was at my house and he was telling me stories about the area I had just moved to. He had family that came from the town. He started telling me about his grandparents and that led to another character they used to tangle with, Joe Fischer.
Joe Fischer? The way he talked about the guy made him feel like a character. I guess Joe was a big deal in the town. That name kept going through my brain. Halfway through his story I stopped him and said, "That's it!"
"The name - Joe Fischer. That should be my sheriff's name."
At that moment, Turk Dungy became Sheriff Joe Fischer. And it felt exactly right. I can't even remember the stories of the real Joe Fischer, but my Joe Fischer commanded respect from the people of his town, deserved or otherwise, and he was a big deal.
In Blood and Rain, Sheriff Joe Fischer takes on the sins of his past and the biggest beast in town. Who wins? The big deal or the "wereRolfe?" You'll have to read the book to find out.
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 Bridge, Boom 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!
About the books:
Blood and Rain
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: 10.6.2015
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 the 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.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: 1.6.2015
There is a darkness in this town, and it's buried beneath Abram's Bridge.
When Lil Ron meets Sweet Kate under Abram's Bridge, he is mesmerized. And when he realizes this beautiful girl is a ghost, it frightens him, but also draws him to her. Curiosity and a drive to make things right lead Lil Ron into a tangle of small-town secrets involving his own father and other members of this otherwise quiet community. Bit by bit, he will uncover the truth about Sweet Kate, a story of heartbreak, violence... and fear.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: 4.7.2015
Terror from below! In the summer of 1979, Eckert, Wisconsin, was the sight of the most unique UFO encounter in history. A young couple observed a saucer-like aircraft hovering over HollersHill. A blue beam blasted down from the center of the craft into the hill and caused the ground to rumble for miles. Now, thirty years later, Eckert is experiencing nightly rumbles that stir up wild rumors and garner outside attention. The earthly tremors are being blamed on everything from earthquakes to underground earth dwellers. Two pre-teens discover a pipe out behind Packard's Flea Market uprooted by the "booms" and come into contact with the powerful ooze bubbling from within. What begins as curiosity will end in an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.
Publisher: Alien Agenda Publishing
Publication date: 10.30.2014
Four young boys pick up a coin an 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...
The Haunted Halls
Publisher: James Ward Kirk Publishing
Publication date: 7.8.2014
The Bruton Inn, located outside of the small Maine city of Hollis Oaks, is home to something special. An icy presence has made its way from a dark past to the present day. Cold spots, shadows, and whispers permeate the halls, and guests are beginning to change.
For two front desk employees, Rhiannon and Jeff, the dark rumors are about to come to light. They call upon Lee Buhl, the urban shaman, and his connection with the spirit world to dig up the truth.
Will they be able to stand against this malevolent force? Or will they come face to face with something beyond even your most frightful dreams. Welcome to the Bruton Inn. The Ice Queen has arrived.