Glenn Rolfe is an author from the haunted woods of New England. He 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.
What first attracted you to horror writing?
I’ve always been a ‘fraidy cat. I remember staying up late and watching 20/20 with my mom when I was pretty little. I’d see segments on kidnappings, dog attacks, murders… I was a pretty paranoid ten year old. I didn’t read my first horror novel until I was almost 17. A friend gave me a copy of King’s The Dark Half. I loved it. That was maybe 1995. I didn’t start writing until about four years ago. I knew I had to get all of those childhood fears out, and writing horror is great therapy.
What is your most notable work?
I’d say my debut novella with Samhain Publishing. It’s called Abram’s Bridge. Having Don D’Auria say “yes” was my main goal when I decided I wanted to do this. Don was the main man behind all of those fantastic Leisure Book Horror titles from Laymon, Ketchum, Campbell, and Keene. His approval is sort of like getting that merit badge for horror literature.
What are you working on now?
Abram’s Bridge came out a few weeks ago. Up next, I have my second Samhain novella, Boom Town which is a bit horror/sci-fi. That will be followed this Fall by my first novel with the company, a werewolf novel called Blood and Rain.
How much planning and research do you undertake before writing?
Not much at the outset. I fly by the seat of my pants. I set out to write a little ghost story with Abram’s Bridge. Before I knew it, it had turned into a bit of a mystery/thriller. It kept growing and growing. That’s what I love about getting the idea and just writing from the word “go”. I feel like it allows my story and characters to go and do what they want. I end up along for the ride. Research is different. If I decide to venture into something I don’t know about, I will definitely dive in and learn what I can to make it as accurate and functional within the story as it has to be. Often, I’ll just write a bunch of erasable nonsense on the first draft so I can keep the flow going, and then when I’m done I’ll go back and do the research and make revisions. If it becomes something essential to the story I’ll stop and research, but I try not to let it slow me down.
Describe your writing routine.
First off, I read as much as possible. There’s no writing without reading. When I do sit down to write, I’ll re-read what I last did and pick it up from there. This usually happens at night after my kids are in bed, or when I do overnights at the hotel I work at. I also have multiple stories going on, so if I’m not feeling it with one novel, I’ll work on one of the others or start a short story. I haven’t been able to write as often lately with promoting and all of the other things I do, but I certainly get in a good bunch of hours throughout the course of a week.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
Ronald Malfi is a pretty big inspiration to me. Floating Staircase is brilliant. I love his style. He’s great with descriptions. He doesn’t go overboard, but he nails it every time. I aim to do the same thing in regards to my style. I like the less–is-more approach. Understated, I guess you’d say. As much as I love Stephen King’s sidetracks throughout his books, I can’t do that. I like a faster pace. I’d get lost too easily. Another author that’s big on my radar right now is Hunter Shea. His output for Samhain Publishing over the last couple of years –and now with Pinnacle – has been amazing. He has been able to maintain quality over quantity. That’s hard to do. It is extremely impressive and a great motivator. I also love the loyalty to Samhain. He is still releasing with Don even though his second Pinnacle title hits this summer. Rad.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
I like both, and have done both. But if I read or write too much gore in a short period of time I have to step away. It’s not that it gets to be overwhelming, there’s just only so many times in a short span where I can read/write the same or similar descriptions of someone getting their entrails pulled/sucked/spilled out, ‘ya know?
Why should people read your work?
Like some of my favourite writers I try to hit on as many emotional levels throughout the course of a story as possible. Horror with heart is how I like to look at it. I like to think I create characters that my readers care about. If I succeed at that they are along for the ride, and that’s really the main goal.
Recommend a book.
Zombies are still pretty hot right now. For me, I usually steer clear of them, but one book that is extremely well-written and is pretty freaking amazing is Shadows in the Mist by Brian Moreland.
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