My wife says “I do” again. :) I’m a lucky dude.

My wife and I met at my brother’s wedding (to her sister).  Six days after meeting this girl, we got married. Yes, you read that right–we knew each other for 6 days.  On July 25th we celebrated our 10 year anniversary by renewing our vows.  We finally had a wedding for the majority who weren’t at our original courthouse surprise marriage.  It was so cool to have our three kids there with us. I love you, Meghan!  I don’t know how or why you put up with me and my crazy life, but I’m glad you do.

Here’s a few pics from the day.

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Here’s to another decade of wild fun!!!!

Update City: What’s going on in the Rolfe Universe.

I’ve been trying to enjoy the heck out of this summer. I hope you have, too. The wife and I are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary on July 25th with a vow renewal.  We also celebrated by going to see one of our favorite artists Kacey Musgraves in concert this past week. She rules. Besides playing in the sun with my wife and the kiddos, I have been writing and reading quite a bit. I’ve also been doing some Author Relations type things for Samhian Publishing along with helping out with their official blog.  If you skip over to iHorror.com, you can read my most recent interviewees and reviews (Brian Kirk, Ronald Malfi) with more on the way!

As for my fiction…

Slush, my first short story collection that came out in eBook back in October of last year, is now available in print and audio.

The Haunted Halls, Abram’s Bridge, and Boom Town should be available in audio by year’s end.

Blood and Rain, my werewolf novel for Samhain Publishing, will be out October 6th. You can pre-order it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble now.

Things We Fear, my next novella from Samhain Publishing, will be available in eBook in March, 2016. Things We Fear, alongside Boom Town and Abram’s Bridge will be combined in my 2nd print book for Samhain (my first novella collection), Where Nightmares Begin (also out in March).

I wrote a new novella called, The Last Show, that will be on its way to a different publisher later this month. Whether it lands with that publisher, Samhain, or I end up self-publishing it, The Last Show, will be out sometime in 2016.

Doodle cover for The Last Show
Doodle cover for The Last Show

I’m still revising/re-working my current WIP, a novel called, Becoming.

I’m hoping to get back to work on the next novel, Window, by the end of August.

As for my next short story collection, The World Comes Down, I read through a batch of stories I think may make the final cut last night. I’m pretty happy with the direction and hope to release it in all formats next summer.

On the to be finished list: I have two yet-to-be-titled novellas and the follow-up novel to Boom Town (Ascension Agenda). Maybe look for those in 2017.

I’ll be doing some massive blog tour (with Oh, For the Hook of a Book)/publicity stuff for Blood and Rain over the next three or four months. I’ll also be attending Horrorhound Weekend in Indianapolis, IN in September (armed with advance print copies of Blood and Rain). Come see me and a bunch of cool Samhain authors if you’re in the area.

Stay tuned!

July Monster Beach Party: A Trio of New Releases from Samhain Horror

RELEASE DAY!  Yep, Samhain Horror welcomes you to the heart of summer with these three hot releases. Brian Kirk’s debut puts you in the crazy house, Russel’s James’s latest treats you to a New York-sized epidemic, and Devin Govaere takes you out to the lake. What could go wrong?

Click any cover below to order today!

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The Apocalypse has come to the Sugar Hill mental asylum. 

He’s the hospital’s newest, and most notorious, patient—a paranoid schizophrenic who sees humanity’s dark side.

Luckily he’s in good hands. Dr. Eli Alpert has a talent for healing tortured souls. And his protégé is working on a cure for schizophrenia, a drug that returns patients to their former selves. But unforeseen side effects are starting to emerge. Forcing prior traumas to the surface. Setting inner demons free.

Monsters have been unleashed inside the Sugar Hill mental asylum. They don’t have fangs or claws. They look just like you or me.

Reviews:

“Keep an eye on Brian Kirk. His ambitious debut, We Are Monsters, is a high-voltage thrill, like watching Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor and Joel Schumacher’sFlatliners on split screens. ” — Jonathan Moore, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Redheads

“Brian Kirk’s debut We Are Monsters is a smart, elaborate novel that weaves together the best and worst of us. Complex, terrifying, and still humane, this book moved me to both horror and compassion, and that’s a difficult thing indeed. Easily the best book I’ve read this year.” – Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy.

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Epidemic!

An ancient virus has surfaced on Long Island, NY, turning its victims into black-veined, infectious, psychopathic killers. Chaos and madness rule.

In desperation, the military quarantines the island, trapping Melanie Bailey and her autistic son, Aiden. Somehow Aiden survives infection. He could be the key to a cure…if Melanie can get him to the mainland.

Gang leader Jimmy Wade also survives the virus, but he’s acquired a hunger for human flesh. Believing consuming Aiden will make him all-powerful, he and his gang hunt the boy. Melanie and Aiden must evade both Wade’s tightening grip and the growing army of the infected in an impossible escape from what all call Q Island.

Reviews:

“James creates powerful intimacy and terror….This is a seriously creepy page-turner that will keep readers up all night.”
 – Starred review from Publisher’s Weekly

“This could very well be the best horror novel of the year. 5 Stars!” – The Examiner

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Surrounded by fears. And all of them real.

There isn’t much that doesn’t frighten ten-year-old Kelly Carter—the dark, the water, monsters, you name it—but she’s about to enter the summer of all fears. When Kelly and her family arrive at Kildare Lake, she knows it’s not just for vacation. They’ve come to say goodbye to her little brother, Cody, who is dying.

Kelly tries to be brave for Cody, but everything around her is plagued by darkness, and all of it is scary. Dangerous things lurk beneath calm water, and others skulk beneath her bed. Shadows swirl through the lake, and more dart in the upper corners of her room. Her parents tell her there’s nothing to be afraid of, but she doesn’t believe them. Her fears are real. Somehow, scared or not, she must find the courage to keep her brother safe.

Find all three new releases, plus all of your favorite horror titles from authors like Hunter Shea, Kristopher Rufty, David Bernstein, Jonathan Janz, and more!  Click the Samhain Horror logo and discover your dark side.

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Blood, guts, and gory meet character and heart: The Gentle Art of Finding the balance

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This week, I started writing a brand new novel. Anyone who has paid attention to me knows that I’m already working on more than four other pieces. So, what the hell am I thinking starting something else? That’s just how my ADD writing brain works. Part of the inspiration was trying to choose my summer re-read (every summer I like to re-read one of my favorite books). This year, I was trying to choose between one of my favorite Richard Laymon novels, The Woods Are Dark, and Jonathan Janz’s Savage Species. Holding the two righteously vicious novels and thinking about my first Laymon-inspired debut, The Haunted Halls, I felt that old familiar pull to scribble another chainsaw attack of a horror story. One that would make Ketchum or the late Laymon smile.

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I decided to go with Laymon’s re-stored classic.

I got ready to read it and a light bulb went off in my brain.

I opened a new word document and started typing.

In less than 24 hours I typed up the first 8K words for a new novel I’m calling, The Last Show.

Unlike with The Haunted Halls where I had to go back and re-work the story to make it more than just a outright trail of blood and scares, this time around, I want to add great characters and a dump-truck load of heart. Will I succeed? That’s the real trick, isn’t it? Finding the balance between vicious and tender. Heart and outright gore-a-palooza.  Sometimes these mad romps of killers tearing apart semi-innocent campers and travelers don’t really call for any Love Me Tender moments, but I believe the ones that stick with us have other memorable characters outside of our violent death dealers. There can be more magic moments than the jaw dropping scenes that scorch our brains. Scenes like, well, almost any in Ketchum’s Off Season, or the fantastic kickstart opening to Laymon’s Woods…(A hairy, half-bodied man who chucks a severed hand at two girls driving down a back road????). These things stick with us, for horror writers, the do a little more. These scenes stain us.

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My favorite thing about a guy like Laymon is the surprising helpings of heart he manages to slip in between the line of entrails and the cock with razor sharp teeth that is also a pleasure machine. The Traveling Vampire Show’s childhood romance between its two main characters brought me back to those early episodes of The Wonder Years. Watching Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold kiss for the first time.

How can we replicate this masterful art of blood and beauty? Well, it ain’t easy or everyone would do it. I think the key is one word: honesty.  Keep it real (as real as your monsters will allow). It is far easier said than done.Our imaginations can get pretty fantastic. It is easy to get lost on the dark side. To get caught up in the crimson pool of guts that we paint the page with. Sometimes, that’s all a story calls for. I couldn’t write that way, but I know some authors who do and pull it off. For me, I have to push a couple more buttons on my readers. I have to hit those buttons in myself first. I bring up my own guts, my own pain, my own joys, and then I let the monsters terrorize the hell out of all that goodness, all those emotions, all of the honesty.

I hope when I write THE END on the last page of The Last Show, I’ll have accomplished all of that.I promise you one thing–I will give it my best shot.

Here’s to heart, horror, and that crazy Laymon inside of us all.

Cheers!