World, meet Glenn Rolfe. Glenn is a hard man to describe in a few snappy sentences; he simply does too much. Lives too large. He’s been a singer/songwriter and front man for the punk rock band, The Never Nudes. Now he’s a horror author with a fan base that’s growing as rapidly as his prolific writing pace. He’s a creator in the truest sense of the word, driven, it seems, to populate the world with the output of his feverish mind. And, in my humble opinion, the world is a better place for it. He’s also a hell of a nice guy – the result of offloading the festering darkness that resides within us all.
He’s currently making the rounds promoting his latest novel Blood and Rain, and took some time to discuss it with me here. I hope you enjoy the chat.
BK: You’ve written about haunted houses, ghosts, alien encounters, and now, in your latest release, Blood and Rain, you’re taking on werewolves. What draws you to the classic archetypes of the horror canon, and how do you keep things fresh?
GR: They’re the classics for a reason. I’m not concerned about originality, I just want to write the kind of fun stories I enjoy reading. I’m the first fan of these crazy tales and I hope others will find something to connect with too.
BK: Good point. Okay, let’s talk specifically about werewolves. How much humanity should remain when a man or woman transforms into its werewolf form? Do you see this transformation as a loss of humanity, or a shift to one’s darker or more animalistic side?
GR: Well, my werewolves are definitely giving into the dark side. They let go of the good at the monsters behest, but there are elements from their human forms and human lives that make it easier for them to want to be this beast.
BK: How much research went into writing Blood and Rain? Did you examine many of the earlier contributions to this classic character or just venture out on your own?
GR: I really didn’t put in much research. I’d seen plenty of werewolf movies, and I read Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King. That natural lure of the beast drew me in. When I decided to write, I knew it was going to be a werewolf story. The original manuscript for Blood and Rain was the first real thing I ever wrote. I did a few searches for variety in folklore and used some of those things, but I mostly just rolled with whatever came to my brain. I purposely avoided other werewolf novels while I was writing. I didn’t want to accidentally have any one else’s take bleed into what I was doing, though I am sure there’s some of Cycle of the Werewolf in there.
BK: What does a werewolf want? Does the condition satiate something inside us or is it simply a curse to overcome?
GR: Feed the Beast. It needs to run, to get out and flex its muscles. It needs to feast. I think it’s the state of mind of the curse’s recipient that decides just how big and bad the wolf is going to be. I definitely brought in insecurities, embarrassment, abandonment, and frustration to fuel the rage and eagerness of my werewolves.
BK: What would you do if you were infected with the werewolf’s curse and knew you’d be transforming at the next full moon?
GR: I’d be scared as shit. I would definitely get out of town. I wouldn’t want to chance hurting my family.
BK: You started writing fiction as an adult. What was the catalyst that made you decide this was something you wanted to dedicate many, many, many lonely hours towards?
GR: I wrote songs. Those are pretty much mini stories. When I stopped playing in bands, I still had that need to create. I wrote out a lot of my problems and exercised those insecurities in my tunes. I need this. Now it’s all I wanna do.
BK: In addition to being a talented author, you provide strong, critical book reviews. Do you consciously deconstruct other books and/or writing styles in an effort to improve your own writing? Has your personal reading experience changed since you became a professional writer?
GR: I don’t try to dissect books, but I do use the good and the bad to learn what I do and do not want to do in my own work. That awareness has cranked up since I started getting real serious about writing. Sometimes it can get in the way of enjoyment. But if a book is good enough, I still get lost in the writer’s voice and it’s only at the end that I can go back and say wow, I didn’t use my writer reading eyes! It’s that original pure love.
BK: You are quickly becoming one of the more prolific authors in the genre, releasing multiple titles a year. And, according to your website, you have five(!) new books coming out next year. How do you maintain that type of pace? How long do you think you can keep it up?
GR: Well, that’s always subject to change. I have two novellas, a novella collection of previous releases, a reprint of my other novel (The Haunted Halls)… and my next short story collection. The other two new novels have been pushed back a bit. I have a certain level of quality to maintain. I want to swing for the fences with each release. Can I keep the momentum? Sure. I have a lot of novel and novella ideas started. I want to finish them all. I should be busy for a while.
BK: Speaking of what’s next – what is next? What’s on the horizon?
GR: Short term? I have my next novella, Things We Fear for Samhain in March. That one along Abram’s Bridge and Boom Town will appear in the novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin (also Samhain in March).
Long term? I have a novel for another publisher and another brand new one for Samhain. Those may or may not be ready for early 2017. After that, I will try to pick up an agent to help me take a shot at the big leagues. I’m still just getting started. I’m a new writer, ya know? I have a long way to go to get where I want to be.
BK: Thanks for taking the time for this, Glenn. You’re a good dude. Last question: who would be a scarier werewolf, me or you?
GR: I don’t know you well enough to give an accurate answer, but I have a lot of anger inside. I would be a very scary monster. I wouldn’t want to mess with me.
What a nice happy note to end our conversation! Thanks for having me, Brian.
Blood and Rain has earned a heaping of early praise and been endorsed by some of the most talented voices in the genre. Learn more about it here.
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.
Praise for Blood and Rain
“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” –Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One
“With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!” -Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase
“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” –Into the Macabre
“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” —Horror Underground
“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” –Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon
“Some good ‘ol fashion violence and gore…” –Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil
“Glenn Rolfe takes a swing at the werewolf genre and hits a home run.” –Russell James, author of Q Island and Dreamwalker
“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” –Horror Novel Reviews
“The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.” –Horror After Dark
Barnes & Noble
Connect with Glenn Rolfe
Follow along his media tour and enter his Giveaway for a chance to win free copies of his other excellent titles.
For a chance to win a print copy of Glenn Rolfe’s short story collection, Slush, or a chance to win your choice of any of his titles in e-book format, go to the link below for the Rafflecopter sign-up. Good luck! The print copy is only good for those in the United States. Questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.