Summer Kickoff! Hard at Work, No Whining, Samhain, and Guns N’ Roses

Summer is here! I won’t lie, even though all of us horror writers enjoy Halloween and fall, I still think this is my favorite time of year. Living in Maine, our summer lasts from June through maybe the middle of September. We’re lucky if we get a full two months of hot weather (usually July and August it finds its way to the upper 80’s/low-90’s) . So, when we actually get the hot sun, it is totally time to bask in the warmth and jump in the lake or ocean (which is still freezing). I will make my way to Old Orchard Beach  as much as the wife allows. She prefers the state parks, I like the crazy collection of tourists and beach people by the pier.

Tonight, the wife and I are heading up to Bangor to catch Def Leppard. No, for you younger folks, that is not a disease. They’re a mega-selling rock band from the ’80’s who still make great new music and continue to tour around the world.

AT WORK

I’ve been putting in a lot of writing work behind the scenes, as well. I’m very excited about my three upcoming releases. First up will be a triple shot of short alien-themed stories titled,  NOT OF THIS WORLD. It will be an eBook/Kindle exclusive and launch at a 99 cent special sometime before the end of June. We should have a cover reveal very soon featuring the artwork of my good friend, Jason Lynch.

In August, my next novella, CHASING GHOSTS, will be released. It will be my first work with Sinister Grin Press. We should have a cover reveal for this one soon, too.

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September 3rd will see the release of the new Matt Shaw presented version of my novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS. This will be an exclusive eBook deal with Mr. Shaw in command. Anyone who is interested in receiving review copies will have to talk to him. I am very pleased to be part of the Shaw Family and I’m grateful that he’s seen it fit to release one of my works. Pre-Order your copy today: THE HAUNTED HALLS

I’m currently doing final revisions on my novel, WINDOW, and will be submitting it very soon.

As for another novel I’ve finished….BECOMING has become…a headache! As a songwriter, you write like ten songs to get one good one. I think the same idea might apply to writing. Not as bad, but to some extent. Sometimes as songwriters, we work and work on a tune that we believe has something, but for whatever reason, it never turns out right. I feel I’ve reached that point with this novel. After like three re-writes, I don’t feel it is up to the standard I’ve set for my own work. Quality control should start with the author. I think the final work is okay, but I want to release work that is better than okay. So, it is going back in the trunk. I’m sure I’ll take another crack at it, but for now, I have plenty of other stories to finish.

CRY, CRY, CRY

I want to thank everyone who read, shared, and commented on my last post, Why You Gotta Be So Mean….Again.  I’m happy to see I wasn’t alone in thinking that some writers are worse cry babies than the bad reviewers. I’ve still seen it on social media in the few days since my post, so I guess I’m just going to have to learn to use that “unfollow” option on my Facebook feed. Some of the whiners are friends of mine. I like them and their work too much to unfriend them, but I can definitely stop getting their sloppy tears on my computer screen and their over the top bashing of “bad” reviewers. I think its pathetic and childish. And with that, I hope to put the whole conversation to bed. I don’t like letting their negativity induce my own. Let’s move forward and keep it on the pos!

 

SAMHAIN PUBLISHING

I also want to touch on the latest news from the Samhain Publishing camp. After all the cuts and streamlining of the company, Samhain has decided that they can in fact carry on. I’m pleased with this decision and hope they will make better decisions moving forward. I’d love to see them rise up and become favorite destination for horror. That said, I got my rights back for the one book I had lined up with them and have no plans currently to send them any future works. I’m not ruling it out, I’m just busy in other places right now.

And lastly, GUNS N’ FUCKIN’ ROSES

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Guns N’ Roses kicked of the Not in this Lifetime Tour last night in Detroit. Axl is back on his feet after breaking his foot at the surprise gig in April, and the reviews have been great.I cannot wait to see them in July. This has been my favorite band since I was 11 years old. They were my first concert back in 1993, and I’ve been dreaming of the day that Axl and Slash would patch things up and get back in the ring together. I’m psyched to see them play personal favorites such as “Estranged” and “Coma”, but also, I’m really hoping they add “Madagascar” to the set. That was my favorite song off Chinese Democracy and I’d love to see them play it with Slash and Duff. July 19th can’t come soon enough!

 

 

Okay, I’m done. carry on.

 

Why You Gotta Be So Mean….Again.

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I’ve been down this road already, but it seems like some writers are still being offended and hurt and feel the need to take it out on people who “don’t get” their art. I’m really sorry that not everyone liked your book. I know, I know, you thought those five star reviews meant your book was amazing and that it somehow gave you the right to treat anyone that doesn’t get it like they’re a moron.  Let’s make fun of their grammar, let’s point out that they should learn how to write a review.

What? Seriously? Yes. Even among well respected authors, I have seen this ugliness pop up. Look, I get it. You don’t understand or agree with their review. Maybe a line or two in there even hit a nerve and hurt your feelings. Get over it. Stop staring at the one or two bad reviews and move on. Not everyone is going to get your piece. And guess what? That doesn’t automatically label them ignorant or less than you. You don’t need to post the review on social media where your friends are going to come on and pat you on the back, hand you a baby bottle, and oh…maybe they’ll join in on the beat down of that “stunted intellectual” who didn’t get your masterpiece.  Fuck.  I’m so tired of all this negativity.

We’re writers, we’re artists. We create these pieces with everything we have and we’re lucky if someone sees that and agrees to put it out or display it. But you know what? Once you make your art public, the public is allowed to have their opinion. And they will. And it’s not all gonna be sunshine and IPAs. Someone is gonna miss the point, someone is gonna be rude, someone is gonna be a straight up troll. My advice to you is this: If you can’t handle the awful or not good reviews, you have two choices: 1) Only read the 3-5 star reviews. (I wouldn’t advise this, because sometimes you get a kernel of truth your friends won’t share with you)  2) Stop putting your books out to the public. That’s right. Just keep them to yourself or only give them to your friends.

I hate that this post came off negative, but sometimes people need to grow up and deal with adversity (even something as miniscule in the world as a bad review-fuck me, haven’t you seen that there is real shit going on nearly every goddam day? People are starving, getting blown up, living in shit and piss, Trump is aiming to be the emperor of the world and on the verge of attaining that despite his racism and ignorance????)

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Let me relax a second here….

Look, it is not easy being told something we poured our hearts into misses the mark with someone who happens to come across it. Sure, in a perfect world we would love for our words to make every heart, mind, and soul sing. Our art would be in perfect harmony with each reader. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works and that’s never going to change. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you can learn to shrug it off and keep moving forward.

Bono once sang, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”  Don’t. Keep your chin up and walk on.   That means don’t go putting the poor sod up on your Twitter or Facebook as a dart board. Let it go. Be the better person. I know you can do it.

 

The Haunted Halls: Cover Reveal and Pre-Order from Matt Shaw Publications

Thanks to Matt Shaw for bringing this novel back from the dead!  Near the end of 2015, I signed a contract with Samhain Publishing and Don D’Auria  to re-release my novel, The Haunted Halls. It was set to come out this November.  Don loved this book and said it was my best yet. You know how that story goes. Don was let go, Samhain imploded, and The Haunted Halls was set adrift. Lucky for me, Samhain gave me the rights back and I was free to shop it around again. The Haunted Halls is definitely my most vicious, uncomprimising novel to date. I got in touch with Matt Shaw, the king of uncomrimising British horror, and asked if he’d be interested in looking at adding my novel to his recent venture of taking on up ad coming authors. He read the manuscript, and here we are.

With cover art by Jason Lynch, I give you the new exclusive eBook edition of my terrifying hotel story, The Haunted Halls.

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The Bruton Inn, located outside of the small Maine city of Hollis Oaks, is home to something sinister. 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, the dark rumors are about to come to light. They call upon an 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 their most frightful dreams.

Welcome to the Bruton Inn. The Ice Queen has arrived.

 

This will be an eBook exclusive with Matt Shaw Publications and releases September 3rd. You can pre-order your copy now for just 2.99 !  Get on it.  Buy Now

The Audio edition will be out later this year featuring the fantastic voice talents of Joe Hempel. I’m currently wokring on getting a print edition back into publication, as well.

Again, much thanks to Matt Shaw and to everyone who helped out with this book along the way.

Here’s some praise for The Haunted Halls:

“Creepy, darkly humorous, and absolutely terrifying – yet smart and intelligent, not to mention character driven, there’s a lot going on here that will appeal to the masses. Part Laymon, part King, complete Rolfe, this is a book that any horror fan needs to read. Essential.” -Stuart Keane, author of Cine and Grin 

“…a book that will proudly be displayed between John Skipp and Craig Spector’s seminal novel The Light at the End, and Clive Barker’s The Damnation Game. The Haunted Halls is a tremendous read that is hard to put down.” – Beneath the Underground

“The Bruton Inn is the scariest hotel I have read about since the Overlook…
Glenn Rolfe runs at the front of the pack with the best of today’s emerging horror authors.” –  Terry M. West, author of Heroin in the Magic Now and Night Things: Dracula versus Frankenstein

“Glenn Rolfe’s The Haunted Halls pulls out all the stops in delivering a blood-soaked, sexually charged spook show.” – Peter n. Dudar, author of A Requiem for Dead Flies

 

(Interview) Somer Canon Stops by To Discuss the Ingredients of her Delectable Debut Novella, Vicki Beautiful

Somer Canon is one of the fresh crop of authors who was set to make a big splash with Samhain Publishing over the next year and a half. She had a number of pieces contracted and scheduled for release and was on cloud nine gearing up for her dream come true.

2016, however, had other plans. Samhain announced that it was closing its doors and all of these contracts were evaporating. Overnight, the Somer’s sunshine was murdered by a cold, hard rain.

In the bleakness, Samhain did deliver on at least one of those contracts. Somer’s debut, a novella titled, Vicki Beautiful, managed to make it in line for the companies final releases.

For this rabid horror fan, seeing at least one of her babies hit the eBook scene was better than nothing. The novella about an interesting dinner party (I’ll say no more) among a  group of close friends (you can read my full review HERE) has been getting positive reviews and doing its part in sharing the promise of an up and coming talent in the horror world.

I got to chat with Ms. Canon about Vicki Beautiful, her influences, and the world of a girl that smiles while she dabbles in blood and mayhem..

Somer Canon

 

Glenn Rolfe: Hey, Somer!
First off, congratulations on getting Vicki Beautiful published! I really enjoyed it. I don’t want to give anything away, but damn, after the first quarter of the book, it totally becomes this dread-filled read. What in the world happened to you to make you write a piece like this?
Somer Canon: Thanks a bunch, Glenn! I’m still sort of stunned that I got this crazy little story published. This story came about because of this really messed up dream that I had about a fancy dinner party (you can guess what was on the menu). It sort of stuck in my head and I finally started trying to come up with how in the world a dinner party like that would happen. I sat down and wrote Vicki’s letter, her final letter, and the rest of the story filled out around that. I wanted to mess around with who actually gets victimized in this story and it’s not the umm…honored person, but rather the guests.

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GR: I could easily see this being made into an interesting movie. Any thoughts of trying to bring it to that medium?
SC: I’m actually hearing this a lot. I can see it. I’d love to see it made into a movie as long as the visuals are done in detail. Intricate detail. I have no idea how to go about getting it done, in all honesty. I’m just riding this roller coaster and trying to enjoy myself. It’s obviously so fleeting.

GR: Who are your early horror influences, and who are the authors who push you now?
SC: My mom and my grandma are big horror fans and I was never kept away from watching or reading horror as a kid. In today’s society they would be deemed horrible at child rearing, but I really got exposed to a lot of different things. My family were very low income and I had to rely on libraries and yard sale books to get my reading. I read a lot of horror paperbacks by so many authors, but really, Stephen King stuck with me not only because I loved his stories but he was also so available that it was impossible NOT to run into his stuff. I read a lot of Dean Koontz stuff as well, but I read a lot of books by authors I never ran into again and I really got a sense of different styles and tempo from that.
Who pushes me now? I love Charlaine Harris and Kim Harrison because they have really written characters that stick with me. I fucking love their heroines for their flaws and self-doubt as well as the worlds that they build. Also, Damien Angelica Walters and Jonathan Janz are killing it right now. I find myself hoping that I never actually meet those two because I would dork out to such embarrassing depths that I’d never show my face in public again!

GR: My wife is afraid to read my stuff. She doesn’t want to see that far into my mind. Does your husband read your work?
SC: My husband does read my stuff, but he will sort of silently hand the manuscript back to me and not say anything for a while. He’s not the huge horror fan that I am, but he is still a fan. I think I just freak him out every now and then.

GR: You guys live in Pennsylvania. A lot of my horror friends seem to be lurking around there. Obviously, you have Brian Keene, but also guys like Todd Keisling, T.Fox Dunham, and Adam Cesare. That’s some great company. What’s going on there? Any great back road stories you want to share?
SC: First of all, I’m a hermit! I literally go weeks without leaving my house. I’d love to meet up with some of these people and talk shop! I go in to Philly a couple of times a year and I always secretly hope I’ll spot Adam around, and then I could be a creep and approach him, but it hasn’t happened for me yet. I actually might track down Keene on his book tour this summer, he’s swinging right by me. But really, I’m not native to this state. I’m West Virginian and although I haven’t lived there in about a decade and I have no desire to ever move back, I will always be a West Virginian. That, my friend, is a state that is deserving of a mythical horror reputation. It’s actually the setting of most of my writing.

GR: Unfortunately, you and I are guests on the Samhain Titanic. I know you had two more pieces signed with them. Have you received any word on those? Have you gotten your rights back yet? And has it affected your writing? I know some writers are pretty down, while others with us (like Mr. Patrick Lacey) seem to be on fire with new work. Where do you sit with all of it?
SC: I had a solid two week period of moping after we got the bad news of the publisher closing. 2015 was such a fantastic year for me because I had three book contracts signed and 2016 was full of the promise of a great start to a writing career. *cue sad trombone music* Not so much now. I got the rights back to my two unpublished contracted works and I’m tentatively asking around about getting them a new home.
I’d say my writing has been negatively impacted by this. Before, when there was more promise, I was much more motivated to sit and get the words out. Now, with all of the waiting required of us in the submission process, I have my days where I’m a little defeated. I try to fight it and carry on and I AM still writing, I’m just slower at it right now.

GR: I just bought my wife two new Jamie Oliver cook books for Mother’s Day. We both love his stuff. It seems appropriate, so I have to ask….do you cook? If so, what’s one of your favorite meals to make?
SC: I do cook! I actually used to have a food blog where I would share recipes and my new creations. This is hilarious to me now, considering this novella of mine. I love risotto and I roast a couple of chickens every month. I love to eat, so I had to learn to cook so that we could eat well while money was tight. I have a pretty sizable collection of cookbooks and recipes and I love trying new things as well as comforting myself with the good old standbys like my mom’s lasagna.

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GR: Mother of two boys? How the hell do you potty train these guys? I have two daughters and they seemed eager to want to use the potty. My son is a completely different story. Any tips?
SC: With my boys, I waited until they were three years-old before I started really training them. I know the books and super achievers say to start earlier, but I waited until they could hold a small but real conversation with me before I could expect them to understand what potty training entails. It’s messy, oh God it’s messy, but you’ll get there. And try not to blush too much when you have to show him how to do the shake-shake!

GR: Lastly, let’s do some rapid fire:

Beer or Wine?   Beer                                                             
Movie Night: Jaws or The Thing    Jaws

Jaws-anniversary-shark-paBetter Music: ‘80’s or ‘90’s    That’s terrible to ask me to choose! 

Better King adaptation: Christine or Misery?      Misery!

Somer’s Favorites:
Rock song: The House of the Rising Sun
Love song: The Very Thought of You
Rom-Com: I love Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks pairings.
Horror (you can list three on this one): House, Fright Night, and Friday the 13th.
Movie you love that no one in your house wants to watch: Alien: Resurrection. I’ve had actual fights over this movie, but I can’t help it. I love me some cheese.

GR: Thanks for taking the time to do this. Best of luck with Vicki Beautiful and the future!
SC: Thank you so much, Glenn!

Vicki Beautiful tour graphic

 

Follow along this tour with the hashtags: #VickiBeautiful #WhatsYourLastWish #OneLastTaste

What would you do for a friend? Check out Somer Canon’s debut work! Follow along the tour!

Vicki Beautiful, Synopsis

 

    • Publication Date: April 26, 2016

 

    • Publisher: Samhain
  • Novella

 

One last taste of perfection…

Sasha and Brynn descend upon the showplace home of their girlhood friend, Vicki, planning to celebrate her surviving cancer to reach her fortieth birthday. As they gather around Vicki’s perfectly set dinner table, though, her husband shares devastating news. The cancer is back, and she doesn’t have long to live.

Her life is cut even shorter than Sasha and Brynn expect—the next morning, their friend is found dead, her flawless skin slit at the wrists. But a tub full of blood is only the beginning. Before the weekend is through, they are forced to question how far they’re willing to go to fulfill Vicki’s last wish.

A very specific, very detailed recipe that only the truest of friends could stomach…

Biography

Somer Canon is a minivan revving suburban mother who avoids her neighbors for fear of
being found out as a weirdo.  When she’s not peering out of her windows, she’s consuming books, movies, and video games that sate her need for blood, gore, and things that disturb her mother.

Vicki Beautiful is her debut novella.

Find out more about Somer and her upcoming works at her websitehttp://www.somercanon.com. You can also connect with Somer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SomerM.

Praise for Vicki Beautiful

“ I read this at one gripping session and I shall read more by this author. Excellent, original and worth every one of my five stars.” –Catherine Cavendish, Author of The Devil’s Serenade

“At times it reminded me of the cult classic “Eating Raoul” and others “The Big Chill”. Suffice to say, Canon has created an intriguing tale that will not only have you caring about characters put into an awkward, unsettling situation but also wondering how they’ll react to it every step of the way. I highly recommend this unique and entertaining story.”
–Matthew Franks, Author The Monster Underneath

“This is not the normal type of book that I would read, but the cover sold it to me, and I like reading new authors and genres. This book is beautifully written, the writing flows and you feel you really understand what the character’s are feeling…” Rebecca, GoodReads Reviewer

“The ending of this story was truly horrific. I am an old school horror fan, and have been indulging in the genre since I was old enough to hold a book. I also adore and enjoy the sub-genre splatterpunk, I read Jack Ketchum as a bedside book all the time. It takes a lot to phase me, but even I was turning my head in repulsion at the end. What a wonderful debut story for Somer Canon.”
–Badseedgirl, GoodReads Reviewer

“A simple story, but all the more powerful for its simplicity. Four stars. The author has guts and skill.” –Outlaw Poet

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

Want to Feature Somer Canon?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Somer Canon, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media:hookofabook@hotmail.com.