(INTERVIEW) A Quick Chat with Jeremy Hepler, Author of THE BOULEVARD MONSTER

 

 

 

The Boulevard Monster cover

Jeremy Hepler headshot

Jeremy Hepler is a new name to me. His debut novel, THE BOULEVARD MONSTER (2017, Bloodshot Books) is getting some great reviews, and I trust Pete Kahle over at Bloodshot. I’m getting ready to dig into the novel this week, but I had a chance to harass Mr. Hepler early.  So, here’s how that went:

 

GLENN: Hi, Jeremy!
First off, congrats on your debut novel, THE BOULEVARD MONSTER. I’m getting ready to start it myself, but how about telling everyone where the initial idea for the story came from. Also, how close to the original idea did the final product turn out?
JEREMY: Thanks for having me, Glenn! The initial idea for The Boulevard Monster came many years ago when my son Noah and I left story time at the library. We stopped at a red light, and when I glanced to my left, I saw a couple of Hugh’s Construction trucks parked on a site where a new strip mall was being constructed. Three or four of the workers were standing by the truck, laughing and eating, but there was a separate worker off in the distance behind a porta potty, digging with a small shovel. The digger kept glancing at the others, and he appeared both paranoid and unhappy. I had been brainstorming ideas for an anthology I wanted to submit to so later that afternoon while Noah took a nap I started writing a short story I called For Love and Money. It was about the worker, his relationship with the other guys, what he could’ve been burying, and how that linked to why he looked so paranoid and unhappy. When I reached the 10,000 word mark, I knew it was too deep for a short story and I wasn’t confident to write a novel at the time, so I set it aside. Six years later, after I finished my first novel and wanted to start a second, I remembered For Love and Money, pulled it out, and took off with it.
When it comes to the blue jays on the cover, after I’d written the first three or four chapters, I knew something was missing from the story, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. Then one day when Noah and Tricia and I were chalking on the back porch, a blue jay landed on top of our A-frame swing. It watched us draw for a while before hopping down onto the cement right next to us. It stayed for an hour before flying off, seemingly playing a game of cat and mouse when Noah chased it around. Over the next week or so it came back, sat on the swing nearly every day, and watched us. We named it Mr. Blue, and while we were outside one afternoon, Noah, prodded by a slew of recent break-ins on our street, asked me, “Dad, do you think Mr. Blue protects the house for us while we’re gone?” A spark went off in my head, and I immediately knew that was what was missing from my story. That night I worked until dawn rewriting the first few chapters, adding blue jays into the story as the antagonist’s deliverers, watchers, spies, but more importantly, his companions.
In the end, the final novel turned out similar to the original idea, but there were some major changes I didn’t see coming until I got there. The birds were a big one and many of the side characters—Seth’s adopted daughter and dementia-ridden father, for example— were too. They didn’t exist in the original. Also, the ending turned out way different than I’d first imagined it would when I started the short story.
GLENN: I find that I learn things about my stories that I didn’t even realize I was putting into a character or situation, secondary themes. Looking back on THE BOULEVARD MONSTER, did you make any of these discoveries? Did you surprise yourself?
JEREMY: I did. An example that immediately comes to mind is that I named the fictional town my protagonist Seth lives in, Mercy—a name I actually pulled from one of my wife’s foreign exchange student’s names—not realizing until the editing stage that mercy was what Seth was searching for the entire time.
GLENN: I checked out your blog and see you like doing Top 5’s. Upon also reading that you’re working on a coming-of-age novel, how about Jeremy’s Top 5 coming-of-age horror books?
JEREMY: Thanks for checking out my blog! You’re one of the few  Like many readers, I love coming-of-age novels. My top five, in no particular order, are:
1. December Park by Ronald Malfi
2. It by Stephen King
3. Ghoul by Brian Keene
4. The Traveling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon
5. The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton (I know this one is categorized as a mystery not horror, but it’s still a dark, thrilling, kick-ass coming-of-age tale.)
GLENN: What are you currently reading?
JEREMY: I’m late to the party on this one, but I’m currently reading John Dies at the End by David Wong. So far, I’m digging it.
GLENN: All right, last one: Would you rather…. Enter Thunderdome with Glenn Danzig or be thrown into the ocean with Jaws–your boat (and safety) twenty yards away?
JEREMY: I love heavy metal, grew up on Pantera, Metallica, Slayer, White Zombie, etc., and would therefore much rather enter the Thunderdome with Glenn Danzig than swim around with a blood-thirsty shark. I feel like I’d at least have a sporting chance at convincing Danzig that I’m a fan who spent hours of my youth riding around in cars jamming out to “Mother,” and that I’m a writer and love Poe, too, and that we should rock out together, discuss dark ideas for comics, not fight. In the ocean, there’d be no convincing Jaws of anything.
GLENN: Thanks for stopping by Jeremy. Anything you want to say to potential readers?
JEREMY: Thanks for having me. I’m a huge fan and feel privileged to be here. To potential readers out there: Please give my story a taste and see if you like it.

 

The Boulevard Monster tour graphic (3)

 

Follow along the tour with these hashtags:
#TheBoulevardMonster #bluebirds #birdsofhorror #BloodshotBooks

The Boulevard Monster
by Jeremy Hepler
Bloodshot Books
Pub date: April 7, 2017

A debut novel you won’t want to miss!

The Boulevard Monster, Synopsis –

I KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD ABOUT ME

You say that I am a madman. You say that I am dangerous. You say that I am the one who has been abducting women, slaughtering them, and burying their corpses all around this city for years. You are wrong, because only part of that statement is true…

I AM NOT A KILLER

I know that you probably won’t believe me. Not now. Not after all that has happened, but I need to tell my side of the story. You need to know how this all began. You need to hear about the birds, but most of all, you need to understand…

I AM NOT THE BOULEVARD MONSTER

Purchase –

Amazon

And it’s available at other online retailers too. Plus, ask your indie bookstore to order for you or tell your local library about it!

Jeremy Hepler, Biography –

Native to the Texas Panhandle, Jeremy Hepler now lives in a small rural community in central Texas with his wife Tricia and son Noah. Throughout his life, he has worked jobs ranging from welder’s hand to health care assistant, but writing has always been his passion.

Jeremy is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA) and is currently working on his second novel, Demigod Dreams. In the last five years, he has had twenty-four short stories published in various small and professional markets, and in 2014, he placed second in the Panhandle Professional Writers Short Story Competition. You can contact him via Facebook or Twitter (@jeremyhepler) where you will find links to his blog and Amazon author page.

Want to Feature?

If you’re a book blogger or media site and would like to feature Jeremy Hepler or review The Boulevard Monster, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

New Release, New Deal: Aliens and Things We Fear– It’s a 99 cent summer!

I have two sweet deals for you!

I grew up loving alien movies. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Flight of the Navigator, the TV series, V. These started my love affair. Then I found Alien, The Thing, Fire in the Sky, and The Watch. There’s a billion others, but those are some of my favorites.

After years of listening to Art Bell and George Noory on Coast to Coast AM, I finally scribbled my first alien-themed tale, my novella, BOOM TOWN.  It just wasn’t enough.

Today, I present to you three more tales of extra-terrestrial horror….OUT of RANGE.

OOR COVER

Edited by Erin Sweet-Al Mehairi (Hook of Book Media), with a fantastic cover from Jason Lynch (Jlynchgraphics.com), and an alien-tastic foreword by the great Hunter Shea (author of The Dover Demon and The Jersey Devil), this trio of alien/horror stories is coming at you for the nice price of 99 cents!

Featuring my stories: “Not of This World”, “The Astronauts”, and “Out of Range”

Grab you copy:   AMAZON US   AMAZON UK 

Also, my last novella, the thriller,  THINGS WE FEAR, is on sale until the end of August for 99 cents, too.

 

Summer has just begun, and fear is in season.

School’s out, and the faculty at Fairington Elementary School are free for the summer. Emily Young can’t deny her attraction to Aaron Jackson, the Ed Tech from her classroom, but she’s afraid of being hurt again. Meanwhile, Aaron is determined not to let his phobia of drowning prevent him from enjoying the sun and the sand of Maine’s best beach town.

But they’re about to learn real fear. Fairington is home to a monster. Phys Ed teacher Matt Holmes has more to offer the ladies than a perfect smile. He’s a killer and he’s got his sights set on Emily. Who at Fairington will conquer their fears? And who will fall to a psychopath’s hellbent rage?

  • 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 and The Last Mile
  • “Whoa! Glenn Rolfe is on a roll! Following the success of his last book, Blood and Rain, he has another gripping story to tell, Things We Fear. This story has all the makings of a good horror flick. We have a plot within a plot that intersects at just the right moment. The chills are there, the characters are identifiable and the intensity of their actions all make for an entertaining time. All in all, well worth the price of admission!” – Horror Novel Reviews
  • “There is a definite old school feel about this novella. 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.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror
  • “In this frighteningly real look at true horror, Rolfe manages to up the ante of tension while balancing genuinely heartbreaking moments, while showcasing his talent for creating unforgettable characters placed in equally unforgettable moments… a testament to Rolfe’s growing ability to spin a story that sets him apart from his peers and displays the talent of a horror author that wants to do far more than scare you – he also wants you to think.” – Beneath the Underground
  • “Glenn Rolfe’s new thriller (Things We Fear) is addictive. A quick, compelling read.” – Duncan Ralston,author of SALVAGE
  • Things We Fear is a taught,character-driven tale of terror that delves way too close to reality and makes you wonder who may be watching you.” – David Bernstein, author of A Mixed Bag of Blood and Relic of Death

Grab a copy :   AMAZON   BARNES AND NOBLE

Some sweet summer deals!

Stay tuned for the release of my next horrorific novella, CHASING GHOSTS (Sinister Grin Press, Aug. 1st) and the re-release of my novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (Matt Shaw Publications, Sept 3rd).

Also, I’ll be attending Scares That Care in Williamsburg, Virginia this coming weekend. Stop by the vendors room and find Matt Manochio and myself signing books and wearing masks–yeah, just look for Krampus and the Wolf Man!

 

Stay Frosty, people!

 

 

Boom Town in Audio Book and My Barnes and Noble Signing for Blood and Rain.

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Last week, AudioRealms Publishing released my horror/sci-fi novella, Boom TownTo celebrate horror week, Audio Realms is selling ALL horror titles at half-price! If audio books are your bag, grab a few titles today!

Lesley Ann Fogle handles the audio for Boom Town and she really knocks it out of the park. Listen for yourself! Grab Boom Town for just $3.99

Terror from below!

In the summer of 1979, Eckert, Wisconsin, was the sight of the most unique UFO encounter in history. A young couple observed a saucer-like aircraft hovering over Hollers Hill. A blue beam blasted down from the center of the craft into the hill and caused the ground to rumble for miles.

Now, thirty years later, Eckert is experiencing nightly rumbles that stir up wild rumors and garner outside attention. The earthly tremors are being blamed on everything from earthquakes to underground earth dwellers. Two pre-teens discover a pipe out behind Packard’s Flea Market uprooted by the “booms” and come into contact with the powerful ooze bubbling from within. What begins as curiosity will end in an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.

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This past Saturday I did my first official solo signing at Barnes and Noble in Augusta, Maine. I was nervous as hell Saturday morning (I tried to relax by watching Monster Squad-great flick!). Armed with my Wolf Man action figure, dressed in black from head-to-toe (like Johnny Cash), I arrived at the store to see my face on either side of the entrance just as you entered the front doors. Pretty cool.   My table was just off to the right and loaded up with copies of Blood and Rain.  A number of friends and family showed up to support me. Thank you all so much! I met a lot of cool folks, talked to an elderly man who asked me the same five questions about six different times . He was obviously ill, but he gave my oldest daughter a dollar for helping me try to sell books! He was very nice and my daughter acted like she’d  won the lottery. It was great.

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I ended up selling out by 1:30.  The event was scheduled until 2! It was so much fun, and I was happy to see some folks I hadn’t spoken with in some time. Great turn out, great results, and I was told by on-duty manager of the store that we will definitely be doing it again when the next book drops.  That would be my novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin (coming March 2016).

Thank you to everyone who made it out! And thank you so very much for spending you Saturday and with me. You made this scribbler feel good.

Also,

The latest reviews and guest posts for the Blood and Rain Publicity Tour can be found: HERE 

“The witching season is upon us. The ghosts and monsters are close and the veil is pretty thin this time of year. Werewolves howl and Glenn Rolfe has written a damn near lycanthropic masterpiece. “– Reaper’s Harvest Horror

Fellow horror writer and Samhain Horror stable mate, Matt Manochio, also interviewed me this week. You can check that Q and A out HERE

big-giveaway

And lastly, my publisher, Samhain Publishing, will be celebrating #HorrorWeek by discounting all books by 30% from October 29th -October 31st. Get all of your favorite Samhain Horror authors (Janz, Shea, Rufty, James and many more) for cheap!

Stay Tuned!

Oh yeah…and there’s new Adele!

 

 

Blood and Rain Publicity Tour Strikes my Home Turf! Radio Appearances and my First Ever Barnes and Noble Book Signing!

2015 has been busy! I rocked the GoodReads and blog worlds promoting the heck out of my two Samhain Publishing novellas (Abram’s Bridge and Boom Town) and had a bit of a breather.

Until now.

With Blood and Rain being my first novel and print book for Samhain, I knew I needed to kick it up a notch. The latest Blog Tour is under way, but this weekend brings that next level mentality: Radio appearances and…A Barnes and Noble Book Signing Event!

Walking into the Barnes and Noble I have frequented since I was in high school and seeing a giant sign with my name, face, and the cover of my book on it was amazing.

BN sign

Follow that up with finding copies of my book on the actual shelf?

My daughter is beaming with pride.
My daughter is beaming with pride.

I’m ready to shut my mouth. Too cool.

Friday morning I stopped into the local pop station here in central Maine, 92 Moose, to do an on-air interview with long time morning man extraordinaire, Jon James.

me and JJ

They also had me on over at the country station, B 98.5  So nice to meet everyone and feel the genuine enthusiasm for my accomplishments. I hope I do you guys proud!

The 92 Moose interview can be seen and heard HERE

Tomorrow is the big day. From Noon until 2PM I will be signing copies of Blood and Rain, making friends,  and hopefully making some sales.

I even invited Stephen King.  🙂   Not sure if he got my message, but what the hell.

I hope to see some of you out there tomorrow.  Come say hi and grab a copy of the book. It really is a great Halloween read. Don’t just take my word for it…..Here’s what the people say:

  • “With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Glenn Rolfe’s novel 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 December Park and Little Girls
  • “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
  • “Many authors nowadays get lauded for writing ‘throwback’ horror fiction, but none of them quite goes the distance like Rolfe does in Blood and Rain. Werewolves, silver samurai swords, and small New England towns: it all makes you wish this was twenty years ago so you can take the paperback off a supermarket spinner-rack and huff the yellowed pages.” – Adam Cesare, author of Mercy House and Exponential
  • “Brutal, tension-fueled and captivating…Blood and Rain is the best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.” — Horror After Dark
  •   “Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction.”-Horror Underground
  • “(Rolfe) takes his writing cues form Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, with some haunts thrown in via the eerie style of Ronald Malfi.” —Oh, For the Hook of a Book
  • “A howling good read for werewolf fans.” – Scott Nicholson, The Red Church
  • “This is werewolves as they should be.”-Scarlet’s Web
  • “Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.”- Hunter Shea, author The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon

Aaaarrrroooooooo!