Saturday, August 20, 2016

Guest Horror Author: Glenn Rolfe

Black Sheep”
By Glenn Rolfe, Author of Chasing Ghosts

Before I started writing horror, I played (and still do) in punk rock bands. I was always the main songwriter. The transition from crafting two-minute punk songs to writing two-hundred-page horror stories was a challenge, but it didn’t take long to realize the similarities in my selected genres of art. They are the black sheep of the music and literary worlds. The shadowy corners that the misfits, the outcasts, and the strange choose to congregate.

Mainstreamers look down upon us. They wave our works off as riff-raff and as an art form for those with meager intellect. They say that we’re just people that want to be loud, abrasive, offensive, and that we crave the attention we never got in high school. Hey, maybe Donald Drumpf would dig us!  But it is so much more than that, isn’t it? Okay, on some accounts, the Mainstreamers are probably right. I’ve met my share of idiots in punk bands. I’ve played shows with guys who barf nonsense lyrics and can’t tune their instruments. Yeah, nobody liked them in school and it wasn’t because of the music they liked; they were just shitty human beings. But you find plenty of those assholes hiding behind successful careers, dressed in shirts and ties, too.

The real trick is when we pull it off, right? When you hear a punk song or read a horror novel that packs a punch on all levels. When the guitars bite, the drums send you into air-drum heaven, and the words….my God, the words strike a chord in your heart and mind. When the characters make you feel like they really exist, that it is you or one of your friends, and when that happens, you’re in deep, and you’re in all the way. One such band that is fully capable of achieving this holy union is Bad Religion. Hey, singer Greg Graffin earned a Ph.D from Cornell University. Take a song like “American Jesus”:

“I feel sorry for the earth's population
'Cause so few live in the U.S.A.
At least the foreigners can copy our morality
They can visit but they cannot stay
Only precious few can garner the prosperity
It makes us walk with renewed confidence
We've got a place to go when we die
And the architect resides right here”

Oh, I bet Drumpgf would eat this up and use it as his theme song like Reagan did with Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”…dope.  “American Jesus” is one of about a billion songs by Bad Religion that will blow your mind. Pick up almost any of their records and thank me later.

I could go on and on about horror novels that would shut the masses up if they’d actually give them a chance (Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones, Midnight Rain by James Newman, Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland etc.), but I’ll focus on my latest release instead. I know, so selfish, but I am on a promotional tour, so what do you expect?  

My latest piece is a novella called, Chasing Ghosts. It’s my first release with the fine horror folk at Sinister Grin Press (home to many greats including Jonathan Janz, Jeff Strand, Kristopher Rufty, and more). This was the fastest I’ve ever written a first draft. The story came pouring out in an avalanche of fright! Even though it is a novella (just over 100 pages), I managed to bring in quite the cast of characters. Some are my best friends. I played in a punk band called, The New 45. Ian and Connor were two of the guys in that band, and yeah, one of the other characters is supposed to represent me. It was a lot of fun to imagine what it might have been like if we ever did get an offer to play a cabin out in the woods, surrounded by a psycho family of woods-people.

The original title for the novella was The Last Show…you can see where my mind was going. I was going to keep it set on these three and the horror that would surely ensue, but like all stories, the magic took over and brought us into many different places. And I’m glad it did. It’s part of why we do this as writers. Those other wrinkles, and characters, when the town starts to come to life, when the community comes alive, all on its own. It’s when something that starts off as a dirty punk rock/horror idea finds a heartbeat and demands your attention. Anyways, I don’t want to give it all away. I want you to find out for yourself.

Chasing Ghosts is my owed to the Leisure Books Horror Club. I hope you have as much fun running through my woods as I did venturing into Laymon’s The Woods Are Dark.


Synopsis for Chasing Ghosts 

The Cobbs were ignorant woods-people that died off and left nothing to fear. Locals in Naples, Maine think they know this story. But they are wrong? 
Luke Howard and his mom move to Naples and Luke’s eager to make new friends. When Jason and Davey invite him out to the abandoned Cobb place for a game they call “chasing ghosts,” he’s ready and willing. However, the boys will come to discover that some vacant houses are better left to die alone.
Meanwhile, a punk band set to play in a rented cabin out of town feel eyes upon them. Somebody’s watching, but not their usual audience. When their lead singer strays too far from the group and disappears, his band mates set out in the darkness to find him.
Police Chief Walt Henderson is about to discover that there’s more going on out in the woods of his town than he ever imagined.
Chasing ghosts is more than just some children’s game.
Available for purchase through:

Also available in paperback!

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, Jack Ketchum, Hunter Shea, Brian Moreland and many others. 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 the novellas, Abram's Bridge, Boom Town, Things We Fear, and the forthcoming, Chasing Ghosts; the short fiction collection, Slush; and the novels, The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain.
His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, was released in March 2016. 
Praise for Glenn Rolfe
Things We Fear is a compulsively readable tale of obsession and dark suspense, with one of the creepiest villains I’ve encountered in recent years.” — Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh
“Glenn Rolfe’s new thriller is addictive. A quick, compelling read. Rolfe creates tension with a minimal amount of words. His characters are so well-drawn they come alive (before they die).” — Duncan Ralston, author of Salvage

“Fast paced and tense, with one of the most interesting monsters I’ve read about in recent times.” — Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to Be Paid

“Glenn Rolfe is quickly establishing a name for himself as one of a number of excellent new writers to ensure the horror genre is kept alive and well.” — Catherine Cavendish, author of Dark Avenging Angel
“There is a definite old school feel about this novella (Things We Fear). It isn’t an over the top gore fest. Instead, what we have is a tense, psychological thriller that builds steadily towards a fitting climax.” -Adrian Shotbolt, at Ginger Nuts of Horror