(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.

 

 

 

Werewolf Wednesday 99 Cent Deals!

JP WWR

Click on the covers of these two snarling beauties and grab ’em while they’re just 99 cents each!

For more Jason Parent go HERE

For more Glenn Rolfe go HERE

 

Happy Werewolf Wednesday!!!!

Update City: Samhain’s Horror Hangout and More News

Just a few updates for you.

Tuesday night Brian Kirk (We Are Monsters) , JG Faherty (The Cure), and I , participated in a Facebook Hangout for Samhain. We answered questions and talked beer and writing and other cool things….Anyways, it was a lot of fun and I wanted to thank all my buds and new  friends that stopped by and said hello.  It was a strange situation with all that’s going on with Samhain Publishing, but it turned out really well. Thanks to Lauren for her work in making this happen and running the thing.  🙂

The hangout, with all of our Q and A and comments is still up and available for you guys to look through. Just be sure to click on “Discussions” and feel free to scroll through and read all the fun stuff.  Also, if you missed the party and have any questions for any of us, just ask away on the page and be sure to tag us in your question.

Click below to get the direct link to the Hangout

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SAMHAIN HORROR HANGOUT w/ KIRK, FAHERTY, and ROLFE

 

In writing news....

I finished the first draft of my next novel, WINDOW, and will get started on edits and revisions next weekend.

We should have a cover reveal in the next couple weeks for the eBook re-release of my first novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (Matt Shaw Publications, September 2016). It is gorgeous and once again reunites me with artist, Jason Lynch. We’ll have the pre-sale/pre-order up with the reveal. Stay tuned!

In other Haunted Halls news: The audio book is sign with voive talent, Joe Hempel (Adam Cesare-Tribesmen) and I’m currently talking with other indie pubs about the rights to the print editions. I’ll keep you posted.

You can find Jason Lynh’s artwork here: J. Lynch Graphics

Lastly,  Matt Shaw has made a nifty little page on his website highlighting the (set of freaks I’m proud to be hanging with ) authors that he’s publishing these days.

Check out all the rad mother lovers here:  MATT SHAW PUBLICATIONS: CLIENTS

 

 

 

 

(Interview)A New Voice in Horror: Talking Flesh and Fire with Lucas Mangum

I met Lucas Mangum in Portland, Oregon at 2014’s World Horror Convention. We were both there to meet n mingle, of course, but, being newbies on the scene, we were more focused on pitching our stories to the gathering of editors looking for new talent. We didn’t spend a lot of time together, but I liked Lucas right off the bat. He seemed serious, legit, hungry, and determined. These are all things I see in myself. I kept in touch with Lucas through Facebook and we’ve had plenty of great little conversations.

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Well, now the rest of you get the opportunity to meet this cool MoFo. His new novella, FLESH AND FIRE, is out now as part of Journal Stone’s DoubleDown series. FLESH AND FIRE gets to share the pages with a new story (DARK OF NIGHT)  co-written by Rachael Lavin and none other than Jonathan Maberry!  That’s a pretty great way to introduce yourself!

Now, let’s get to know Mr. Mangum a little better…..

 

Glenn Rolfe: Hey Lucas! How have you been? 

Lucas Mangum: I’ve been well. I’ll be thirty-two in April and I’ve been giving this whole adult thing a try and managing not to butcher it. Got a job with the city. Bought my first house back in September. Have my first kid on the way in July. Things are good, and not just on the creative front. I haven’t always been able to say that. 

GR: Give us a couple of things people should know about you

LM: I was born in San Diego, a ten minute drive from the beach, and a thirty minute drive from the mountains. Really, anything I would have wanted to do was at my fingertips, but I spent most of my time in the backyard acting out stories that I later wrote down. Sometimes I was joined by friends. Even though I was never the toughest kid, we almost always played the way I wanted to play because I had the ideas. I was lucky in that way. I think it reinforced my desire to pursue writing because it taught me pretty early on that my stories could hold people’s interest. 

I later moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania (yeah, where SIGNS was filmed) where it was cold all the time, except for when it was humid, so I stayed inside and nurtured my love of pro-wrestling, horror movies and reading. 

Now I live in Texas. Apparently, I enjoy giving myself culture shock every twelve to fifteen years or so. Maybe I’ll move to Italy when I’m forty-five. 

GR: Any cool or weird jobs in your history? 

LM: Oh, tons. My first job was dressing up in that awful-smelling rat costume at Chuck E. Cheese and dancing for children’s birthday parties. I also worked at Hollywood Video and Borders Books, managed a warehouse, worked for a small bank, and wrote marketing materials for a corset company. 

Now I take 9-1-1 calls on the night shift. You’d think it’d provide a lot of fodder for my stories, but really, most of the calls I get are just because of drunk people acting like fools, which I’d rather have at the end of the day. I’m actually quite squeamish when it comes to real life horror.  

GR: We met back in 2014 at World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon. It seems like another life! How was the experience for you and was your upcoming release the piece you were pitching that weekend? 

LM: I enjoyed the hell out of World Horror Convention. Little too expensive for me to make the trip every year, but I definitely try, because I do think it’s worth it. You’ll make the right connections, and even if you don’t have a manuscript right away, those connections will be there when you do. I had already signed the contract for FLESH AND FIRE by the time World Horror in Portland rolled around, but I had a few other things I wanted to pitch. Plus I wanted to get facetime with all the wonderful authors and editors I’d already interacted with so much on social media. I did my first panel there, on romance and the erotic in horror. 

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GR: The release of Flesh and Fire is here. I’m super psyched to read it! Where did you get the idea? How long was the journey from idea to release?  And what’s it about? 

LM: Thanks, man.  

FLESH AND FIRE is about a man in the midst of a midlife crisis who has to help his long lost lover escape hell. 

The idea came to me after I finished the sixth draft of a novel that no one will ever see. I do my best work when I pull pieces from my own life and there were big things going on with me at the time. I was about to get married, which was great. I was in a job that kept the heat on, but didn’t give me a sense of purpose, which was not so great. So I was thinking a lot about life decisions and where I would be in the future and how people end up where they end up. On top of that, I listened to my band’s CD for the first time in years, which brought a lot of other things to the surface. The band fell apart after the guitarist’s suicide, so a lot of memories, a lot of different emotions. 

With all that swirling around in my head, I wrote a very rough first draft in three weeks. As with most of my first drafts it was more like a detailed outline than an actual novel or novella. I sat on it for a while. Wrote some short stories. Tried to learn more about the craft. Tried to live my life (it’s important for us creatives to do that as much as possible). 

I returned to the manuscript about a year later and did a second draft and a third. Fast-forward to about November of 2013 and I had something I felt comfortable enough submitting. I did some proofreading for the Journalstone anthology OUT OF TUNE, which Jonathan Maberry edited, and we got talking about my manuscript. He liked the sound of it and passed it along to Chris at Journalstone who reviewed it over the holidays and offered me a contract in January of 2014. 

Because of the book’s length, Chris felt like it’d be a good fit for their Double Down series, instead of as a standalone title. Between more edits and waiting for Jonathan’s schedule to open up, the whole thing took about two years. 

 GR: The fact that it’s on the flipside of a Jonathan Maberry title has got to be blowing your mind. A young author in our business couldn’t ask for more. What was your reaction when you got that bit of news? 

LM: Jonathan is a hell of a writer and a great guy to boot. I owe a lot to him, because he saw something in me pretty early on. I remember once he messaged me out of the blue just to tell me he thinks I’m going to make a big splash in the publishing world. Now, I don’t know about that, but still, to have a guy like him say that about me and then later want to do a book with me is really humbling. I guess the most important thing to take from the whole experience is that if I’m ever in his position, I should do whatever I can to pay it forward, because this whole writing life can be hard and starting out you really need all the help you can get. 

He co-wrote his tale with Rachael Lavin, a great up-and-coming writer and professional cosplayer. The story is a direct sequel to his DEAD OF NIGHT series, but also features the warrior woman from his ROT AND RUIN series and Joe Ledger. 

GR: Before I let you go, any scary stories you can share that have actually happened to or around you? 

LM: My ex-girlfriend and I were once pursued by an asshole wielding nunchaku. I once had a bad trip where I felt like I was drowning for six hours. I almost actually drowned in a pool when I was a toddler and my memory of the experience is all too clear. 

I don’t’ know. My definition of scary has changed so much. Maybe because I’ve been desensitized or whatever, but more than that I think it’s because as you grow up you learn that “yes, that shadow on the wall really is just the tree outside and not some demon hand reaching through your window.” Nowadays, my bouts of depression scare me. Passing depression onto my son scares me. Taking a 9-1-1 call and having someone I love being on the other end of it scares me. Dying broke and sick scares me. 

I think as an adult with real world fears, I kind of miss the demon hands. 

GR: Best of luck with the new release!   

LM: Thanks, Glenn! 

 

Find Lucas on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lucas.magnum

And click here to grab a copy of DARK AS NIGHT/FLESH AND FIRE

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Horror of Self-Promotion

 

I read an interesting blog post this morning about the horrors and uselessness of self-promotion on social media. While it brought up some valid points, such as Facebook BUY MY BOOK posts are annoying and next to fruitless, I couldn’t get on board with all of what the writer had to say.
Look, I know as writers going on about ourselves can rub people the wrong way and have the opposite of our posts desired effect. I say this: There is such thing as overkill, but in my experience, using what tools we have in the social media realm does work fairly well if you’re smart about it.
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You do need to put in the footwork, you need to make real connections, you need to take chances, and you need to be considerate rather than assumptive. I primarily use GoodReads and Facebook. I look at my fellow horror authors and their pages, their friends, their more successful posts. I study what seems to work for them and do my best to add their best plays into  my game plan.  It is scary to reach out to someone who has no idea who the hell you are. That’s why you must go into it with respect and humility. I introduce myself, Glenn-horror writer, mention how I found them- saw you enjoyed my friend Hunter’s book, just wanted to see if you’d be interested in receiving a free copy of my title, Book X?  I make sure to follow that up with  If not, that’s totally, cool. Thank you for your time. If you are interested, let me know.   I’ll send out a few of these messages a month. Then  I go back to reading or writing. I don’t expect an answer from these strangers. After all, who the hell am I? But you’d be surprised to find how many conversations these messages start. And like the blog post I referenced earlier points out-conversations lead to relationships, which maybe leads to sales.
Don’t forget, I’m not selling my books, I’m offering them. I’m the lucky one if they reply. Even if they say, “wow, that is so nice of you.”  In my world, it is the reader or reviewer who is the rock star, not me.
Now, I’m still a fairly new writer. I got my first story published in 2013 and my first bigger piece published last year. I’m not with a major publisher, so there’s maybe more self-promotional duties on my plate. I’m okay with that. I understand being shy and timid, and not wanting to ruffle the feather’s of strangers or friends. You’re friends will understand and  they can always “unfollow” you if they don’t want to see what your promoting. Besides, they probably have your number and can still hold regular conversations about day-today stuff anyway.
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That brings me to how much promotion you should do on Facebook. Yeah, it is pretty freaking hard to get anyone to really see your posts on Facebook. Regardless, I still have writer and reader friends who like to see what I have coming up or what I’ve recently read and enjoyed. For me, reading is still #1. I write, but I definitely read more than I write. After the release of my first novella with Samhain Publishing I did so much talking about the book and the road to getting published, and what inspires me and what terrifies me and me, me, me… you get the picture.  Anyways, I made two changes after that first book: 1) I cut my self promotional Facebook posts in half and  2) I started promoting my friends and heroes.  This made me feel a little better when I did blab about my new release, and made me and my fellow writers feel good whenever I shared a review of their latest book or interview or podcast appearance. I decided to start a page called, “Share the Horror.”
I read, I review (some writers opt-out of reviewing, because of relationships and hurt feelings-I’m not one of them), I promote myself and the pieces I enjoy. I also promote authors and books based off what my friends have to say about them. If Kristin Dearborn says a book or writer is good, I’m sharing the news. I try to be cognizant of the fact that “Hey, my new book is out, you know what that means? It’s hammer-time!” is not the best way to go about things. Use common sense. It won’t pay to flood your page every hour of every day in an effort to convince anyone to purchase your book. As with approaching readers who don’t know you, leave the hammer at home- promote with respect and humility.
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Not sure if you wanna try any of my methods, but I was inspired to share them. Nobody likes self-promoting….but it is a part of the publishing world, especially the indie publishing world.
Good luck and stay positive!

(#Share the Horror: Interview) Kristopher Rufty Talks Writing, Family, Malfi, and his Upcoming Schedule

 

“Kristopher Rufty is the  demented reincarnation of Richard Laymon!” –Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Dweller

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If you’ve been following the literary world of horror for the past few years, you no doubt know his name.  With about one billion books published since 2011 (I might be exaggerating there, slightly), Kristopher Rufty has carved out an impressive and loyal fan base. The Rufty Army includes readers, editors,reviewers, and publishers alike.

2015 alone saw the release of 4 major titles — The Lurking Season, Jagger, Bigfoot Beach, and The Vampire of Plainfield. All well received and all full-on Rufty.

He’s been compared to (and rightfully so) the great and dearly departed Richard Laymon. His no-holds-barred style mirrors that of Laymon without feeling like a cheap clone. With his 2013 novella, A Dark Autumn, he also proved, like Laymon, that he could bring in real thought and emotion and dance effortlessly through a complex story and character with the best of them.

In this interview, we touch on his prolific catalog, where he finds the time, what family life of a writer is like, and of course, dip into a number of his works including his next offering, Desolation. 

Glenn Rolfe: First off, looking at your bibliography…. holy crap. I mean, you put out Angel Board in October of 2011 with Samhain, you were one of the originals. Now going into your fifth year of being a published author you have a lot of titles.

I have to ask, do you still have a day job, write full-time or what? How do you pump out so many works?

Kristopher Rufty: Thanks, man. It was an honor to be part of the original launch of the Samhain Horror line. I still can’t believe it happened, even after a few years have gone by.

I still have a regular job, but I’m self-employed, so that helps and hurts me. Because I drive a lot for my work, I don’t get to pump out the words quite like I used to. Now we have a baby, and my writing time has become very limited. There are days that my wife will take our three kids with her somewhere, so I can I have the house to myself to play catch-up. On those days, I start writing the moment they leave and don’t stop until they get back.

I think why I was able to write so many books for that stretch was because I used to do I.T. for a hospital.  I had a small office, a computer, and Microsoft Word. In between work orders, I would write. I ate lunch at my desk a lot, and would write. When I ate in the cafeteria, I took my notebook with me and wrote longhand at the lunch table. I cranked out a lot of words during the day, then would still write at night before bedtime. I think back then I was doing anywhere from 4,000-6,000 words a day.

GR: Out of all of your published works, do you have a couple that are really special to you and if so, what make them standout to you?

KR: Well, I love them all, but I do have a couple that just seem to linger with me, or make me smile when I think back to them. ANGEL BOARD and THE LURKERS were the first two novels I wrote, so they hold a special place in my heart. THE SKIN SHOW and PROUD PARENTS were written while I was in bed due to medical issues. They helped me through a lot of pain and worry, so I feel I owe them a lot.

 I wrote JAGGER in six, fun-filled weeks. That book poured out of me, and I worked on it before dawn most of the time, while the kids were out of school. I really liked doing that.

 OAK HOLLOW will always stay with me because I wrote it multiple times in a six-month period. One version was turned into Don at Samhain and he said he wanted to publish it, but he just had one request: “Rewrite it in your voice.” I had experimented with the King style of writing the book like an outside observer. I loved it, but Don thought that I would turn off my core readers by switching to such a diverse voice like that. I think he was probably right.

So I sat down to rewrite it…from scratch. This time, I was sick with pneumonia during a huge chunk of it and I dreamed up some of the scenes during a fever-induced sleep, then wrote them the next day. Some of the wilder crap that happens in that book was written while I felt like I was dying.

 Recently I wrapped up a novel for DarkFuse called SOMETHING VIOLENT. That one was a lot of fun to write because it was so different, and I experimented with rotating first-person POVs.

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GR: I loved A Dark Autumn. Can you talk about that one a bit?

KR: Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. Well, it’s a novella about Ricky—a writer—who has rented a cabin to work on his new book. Life has been overly hard for him; he’s recovering from alcohol abuse and a rocky relationship the only way he knows how: by writing. At the same time, a group of women have also decided to go to the mountains for a reunion of sorts and are staying across the lake from Ricky. When their paths cross, a lot of bad things happen to Ricky, and the reunited friends will suffer for what they’ve done.

 A DARK AUTUMN is a novella I’m very proud of. I felt it was the first time I nailed what I was going for. I wrote it in less than two weeks and my editor changed nothing. He said it was perfect as far as tone and emotion. But it’s also a novella that took me to places I’d rather not go again, if I can help it.

 Because of the subject matter, I feared I’d lose all of my female readers. But I didn’t. I even received more positive letters about this one than anything I’ve ever written. Some women even said it was “hot”. That was not my intention. I guess each person takes something different from it.  

GR: I think novellas are really fun. They’ve sort of replaced short stories for me. I used to read short stories between novels, now I try to seek out novellas for that quick breath. What are your feelings toward them?

KR: I enjoy them, and I enjoy writing them as well. Probably more so now than ever before. Don D’Auria encouraged me to right more novellas. So long as they’re written well and don’t seem cramped, I think they can be perfect. I hope to write even more novellas over the next year or so.

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 GRBetween you, David Bernstein, and Hunter Shea, there’s this pressure on us newer writers to try and keep up. Do you feel any pressure to keep at your current pace?

KR: It’s hard to keep up with Dave and Hunter. Another very prolific author is Heather Graham. She puts out a new book every month sometimes. I used to obsess with the idea of keeping up, but I’ve already accepted that this year it’s just not going to happen. Maybe even the next few years. We have a baby now at home and I just won’t be able to produce words like I have the last two years. But I am already scheduled for two-to-three books a year for the next three years, so I’ve got plenty coming up.

At one time, my goal was to be like the pulp guys, putting out a book every couple months. I managed to do that in 2015, but it kind of hurt me, doing it like that. Not only did it wear me out, but some of the books were neglected because there were just so many out at once. I think a few months between each title is better than excessively putting a new novel out every two months or less.

 GRYou’ve self-published a number of stories, too. Are these stories that have been passed on, or are you just compelled to get these ones out there?

KR: Well, that began as an experiment. I had this idea for a novel called PILLOWFACE. It featured characters from a low-budget horror movie I wrote/directed. My idea was to put it out with the distribution company’s help right around the release of the movie. We were going to work on it together. They changed their mind and I had this novel I’d been promoting for several months. So I didn’t know what to do. After a conversation with Blake Crouch and I decided to put it out myself.

It bombed.

Nobody bought it. I think I sold four eBooks in the first month of its release. Then Thunderstorm Books came along and signed me to a book deal. PILLOWFACE was one of the titles they wanted to do a limited edition hardcover of. When that deal was announced, PILLOWFACE saw a nice rise in sales.

LAST ONE ALIVE had a very similar story. It was supposed to be the novelization of a low-budget movie that I wrote the script for. The movie was never made and I had this book that I had planned to self-pub to help promote the movie. I put the book out there and to my surprise, it sold like fire. If every book I wrote sold like that one did, I could write full-time and never look back.

 Since then, I’ve held onto some eBook rights of my titles that have been released in limited hardcover editions. Those have all done very well.

 PRANK NIGHT had offers from a couple different publishers, but it would have been almost two years before it could be released and none of the publishers could have had it out around the Halloween season because of scheduling issues. Since the story took place on Halloween night, I opted not to sign it over and decided to put it out on my own and see what happened. It did really well for almost a year. It was something different for me in style, tone, and pacing, so it was a good book to experiment with a full-fledged self-publishing venture.

 GRJust this year, you dropped Jagger, Bigfoot Beach, and The Vampire of Plainfield. They’ve all been well received.

KR: THE LURKING SEASON was also released between those others. As I mentioned earlier, some books became overlooked when so many were released so close together. TLS was that book. It was the sequel to one of my bestselling books and it hardly made a ripple in the publishing ocean.

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GR: I just finished The Vampire of Plainfield. I loved it. Such an interesting take on Ed Gein. Where the hell did that one come from?

KR: I wish I knew. I’ve had that idea for years. I was suffering a bout of insomnia a few years ago. One night while lying in bed and staring at the ceiling a scene popped in my head of somebody digging up a grave. Then my mind started wandering toward Ed Gein and how he robbed graves, then the concept popped in my head.

GR: The descriptive style of it reminded me a lot of an author we both admire-Ronald Malfi. I’m sensing his work is a big influence on you. Would that be accurate?

K and R
Actual photo in the Rufty home. (Photo courtesy of Last Krist on the Left).

KR: For sure. Malfi is my best friend in the world and I’ve always tried to avoid emulating his style in any way, just because of that reason. But as I sat down to write VAMPIRE, I knew I had to approach it differently than my other books. I’d tried to write this thing many times since 2009 and it just wasn’t working. This time, I kept in mind what Malfi had done with THE NARROWS. How he’d written about an entire town through the eyes of only a few crucial I liked how Malfi handled those situations and tried to treat my story in a similar way. It really helped. I was finally able to finish the book after many years of failed attempts.   

GR: Can you give me a few books that influenced you at different stages of your writing career. Maybe early you on, when you started, and now?

KR: Early on I was heavily influenced by King and Koontz, as were many of us. But two other authors really influenced my writing back then—Saul and Little. I read books by all of these all through my teenage years, plus picking up random paperbacks from TOR and Zebra well into my 20s.

Then a friend suggested I check out Jack Ketchum.

Everything changed.

I had surgery and was going to be down for a long time, so I bought a stack of paperbacks to read, one of them was OFF SEASON. I couldn’t believe I was reading a book that was similar to the kind of stuff I secretly wrote. When I told my friend that, he said he knew I’d like Ketchum for that reason. Then he told me a list of others to check out that included Edward Lee.

He was with me in a bookstore one day and grabbed Richard Laymon’s THE CELLAR off the shelf and put it in my hand. He told me I’d like Laymon because we have similar tastes and both use the word “rump” when describing a female’s backside. He was right. Reading Laymon put me on the path that led me to here.

 Recently, I’ve been very influenced by a lot of old paperbacks I’ve been picking up at used bookstores. King’s MISERY heavily influenced my writing with my new book DESOLATION. And I’ve read a lot of pulpy crime fiction this year that has played into my writing lately.

 Newer stuff? GOBLINS by David Bernstein was a great read. TORTURES OF THE DAMNED by Hunter Shea. LITTLE GIRLS by Ronald Malfi. THE NIGHTMARE GIRL by Jonathan Janz. So many good ones.

 GRI met you and your wife at Horror Hound in Cincinnati this past March. You were both super cool. You guys were expecting baby # 3. Boy or girl? How has that third addition been? Any change in dynamics or writing schedule?

KR: Yeah, that was a good time. It was great to finally meet you after knowing you online for a little while.

 Our third child, second boy, has been a blessing. A lot of adjusting, but a blessing all the way. My writing schedule has completely changed. Now I write when I can. My wife will handle things so I can take the computer into the bedroom and write on the bed, and I’ve also gotten back into doing longhand while lying in bed at night. I might actually write my next novel longhand. I’ve already written quite a few chapters with my pencil.

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GR: Desolation is your next piece with Samhain. Can you tell us a bit about that one?

KR: It might be the darkest thing I’ve ever written. Probably because there are no supernatural elements that exist in the story. The only demons in this one are human.

 Grant, a husband and father, tricks his crumbling family into going to their cabin in the mountains for Christmas, in hopes of rekindling things he’d ruined with his alcoholism. A demon from his past shows up, invades the vacation home, and forces Grant to take responsibility for his actions while also unleashing what he views to be “similar punishment”. This book was hard to write. Many scenes left me feeling drained and depressed when I was finished. I don’t look forward to traveling down a similar road anytime soon.

 GRWill it be your last for Samhain?

KR: Hmmm…hard to tell. As of this interview, I don’t have anything slated with Samhain. After the ruckus back in early November cleared, I expected to hear from them, but I haven’t. Maybe they’ll reach out, maybe not. I have enjoyed my time with Samhain, though. I have nothing but kind things to say about the company. When our baby was born, the Samhain staff sent a card to congratulate us. That meant a lot to my wife and me.

I guess we’ll have to see how things play out in the future for all of us.

 GRWhat’s the rest of 2016 hold for the Rufty Universe?

KR: DESOLATION releases on January 5th.

I have a sequel to one of my reader-favorite novels coming out this year. It’s a surprise that I haven’t announced yet.  

SOMETHING VIOLENT releases in September through DarkFuse.

JAGGER will release in Germany, and I have a short story in an anthology in Germany that’s being edited by a very popular Extreme Horror writer. I can’t wait to announce it.

Plus, I might have something through Thunderstorm Books.

I also have deadlines to meet that I can’t talk about yet.

GR: Thanks for taking the time, man.  I think I’ll see you at a con or two this year. Good luck with everything and have a great holiday.

KR: Thank you, Glenn. I really appreciate it. I hope we bump into each other many times this year. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and brought in the new year with smiles and laughs.

 Can’t wait to read your next book.

 

You guys and gals can follow the rest of Rufty’s Publicity Tour by clicking on the banner below:

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Hook of a Book Media and Publicity—Erin Al-Mehairi
Contact: hookofabook@hotmail.com

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Desolation, Synopsis

Samhain Horror
PAGES: 266
ISBN: 978-1-619233-09-6 Trade Paperback (List: $15.95)

There’s no escaping your past. Especially when it wants revenge.

Grant Marlowe hoped taking his family to their mountain cabin for Christmas would reunite them after his alcoholic past had torn them apart, but it only puts them into a life and death struggle.  On Christmas Eve, a stranger from Grant’s past invades the vacation home and takes his wife and children hostage. His agenda is simple—make Grant suffer the same torment that Grant’s drunken antics have caused him. Now Grant must confront his demons head on and fight for his family’s lives. Because this man has nothing left to lose. The only thing keeping him alive is misery—Grant’s misery.

Biography, Kristopher Rufty

Kristopher Rufty lives in North Carolina with his wife, three children, and the zoo they call their pets. He’s written various books, including The Vampire of Plainfield, Jagger, The Lurkers, The Lurking Season, The Skin Show, Pillowface, Proud Parents, and more, plus a slew of horror screenplays. He has also written and directed the independent horror films Psycho Holocaust, Rags, and Wicked Wood. If he goes more than two days without writing, he becomes very irritable and hard to be around, which is why he’s sent to his desk without supper often.

Praise for Kristopher Rufty

“Kristopher Rufty is the demented reincarnation of Richard Laymon!” –Jeff Strand

 

A Dark Autumn is a wild gender role reversal of ‘I Spit On Your Grave,’ with gonzo nods to Norman Bates and ‘Friday The 13th’ thrown in for good measure. Kristopher Rufty delivers the goods yet again.” –Bryan Smith, author of Kayla Undead and The Late Night Horror Show

 

“A creepy, gripping tale of horror. And it’s got one of the best death scenes I’ve read in a long time!” –Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Dweller

 

“A powerhouse debut novel. Rufty’s prose will suck you in and hold you prisoner!” –Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase and Snow

 

“An occult thriller with a new twist. Rufty juggles captivating characters, breakneck suspense, and insidious horror in a macabre story that will leave you feeling possessed by the end of it. Next time you think about taking that old Ouija board out…forget it!” –Edward Lee, author of Lucifer’s Lottery and City Infernal

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Desolation-Kristopher-Rufty/dp/1619233096/

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/desolation-kristopher-rufty/1122582601?ean=9781619233096

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5684/desolation

Giveaway

We have a lot of books to giveaway from Krist! We have two audio books, Oak Hollow and Pillowface in one link. In the second link we have a signed print copy of The Lurking Season and two e-books, Vampire of Plainfield and Bigfoot Beach. Winners are chosen random via rafflecopter and are given choice of prize of order pulled. Any questions on raffle, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com

Link for audio book giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI5/?

Link for print/e-book giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjMw/?

 

THINGS WE FEAR Praise from a Brilliant Author–Tim Waggoner

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

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THINGS WE FEAR will be part of my Samhain Horror Print novella collection, WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN.  Both the eBook and the Print collection come out in March.

 

Tim Waggoner is one of many gifted authors out there today. His works have been published by way too many publishers to list, which speaks volumes of his talent. I am honored that he would make time in his busy teaching and writing schedule to fit in an early read of one of my stories.

Thank you, Tim.

TIM

Tim Waggoner writes fantasy and horror for both adults and young readers. He also teaches creative writing at Sinclair Community College and in Seton Hill University’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program.

 

 

 

Tim tackles so many different areas with his writing. From young adult to fan fiction (Grimm and Supernatural) to out-right scary as hell horror.

Click on the covers below to check out just a few of his works.

Find out all you need to know about Mr. Waggoner and his fiction at:

TimWaggoner.com

TIMM

 

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You can find THINGS WE FEAR on GoodReads or Samhainpublishing.com

or Pre-Order it today at Amazon.com

 

This song would be on the soundtrack if it had one:

A 2015 Highlight: My 3 Releases with Samhain Publishing

Beginning in January with the release of my novella, Abram’s Bridge, following that up with April’s horror/sci-fi novella, Boom Town, and concluding with my first full novel, Blood and Rain, 2015 was a great year for my writing on a professional level.

It was an amazing feeling each time out and I have a lot of people to thank for it all:

My wife, Meghan, and our babies (Ruby, Ramona, and Axl). They give me the space I need when I need to finish up an important piece or meet editing deadlines. They also howl with me and celebrate each acceptance and cover art reveal.  They rule!

Also to Erin (my friend, publicist, and pre-editor), her husband, Tim, and Oh for the Hook of a Book! Erin, you are my BASF (and eighties and early nineties reference) you make what I do better. You bust your hump setting up tours, keeping dates straight, giving me ideas about what the hell to write a post about next, and so much more. Thank you. And I will send anyone who needs help your way.

To Don D’Auria for believing in these stories and taking a chance on me. Can’t wait to work with you again wherever that may be.

To the Samhain team (Tanya, Kaitlyn, Jacob, Lauren, Matthew, Christina, and everyone in-house that I don’t get to chat with regularly). You guys work hard and answer the call whenever I reach out (even at the last minute).

To all my fellow Samhain authors for their support, friendship, and advice, to all my readers and reviewers who made time for my work, and to anyone who shared a post, a tweet, or mentioned me to a friend….thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

I also want to say a special thanks to  Ronald Malfi, Nate Kenyon, Adam Cesare, Gord Rollo, Catherine Cavendish, David Bernstein, Russell James, Tim Waggoner, and Hunter Shea for taking time out of their crazy writing schedules to read and blurb my work. Some of you have read each piece, some only Blood and Rain, I thank you for each and every minute, hour, and word.

May 2016 be a great year for you all.

Stay Tuned!

-GR

 

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

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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!

 

 

NEW RELEASE ALERT: GOD BOMB! Get the Brand Spankin’ New Release from Kit Power.

So, this is the land of “virtual” friends…

I met author Kit Power sometime last year or earlier this year (I forget which) via some back and forth commenting on a mutual friends Facebook post. If I recall, we were aggressively discussing the merits of…oh, hell…probably self-publishing or something. Regardless, after some back and forth verbal nonsense, we settled down and found a common ground: music!

Since then, we’ve talked Oasis (and how brilliant their b-sides are) and partaken in the 2015 Author Lip-Sync Battle (you can witness Kit’s fantastic tribute to the mighty Skid Row HERE).

Anyways, Kit and I also have new releases coming out within a week of one another. Me, with Blood and Rain, and Kit, with God Bomb!

Print

Somebody wants answers.

North Devon, England. 1995. A born-again revival meeting in a public building. The usual mix of the faithful, the curious, and the desperate. And one other – an atheist suicide bomber. He’s angry. He wants answers. And if God doesn’t come and talk to him personally, he’s going to kill everyone in the building…

Kit is a super rad dude.  I bought God Bomb! at Midnight and have it locked and  loaded on my Kindle right now. I implore you to do the same.

For more fun and info on the author and the book (which is also available in Print), check out this link:

Kit Power: The Deep End (Crystal Lake Publishing Guest Post)

 

And Grab a copy of the book by clicking the amazing cover above or going to AMAZON

Good luck, KIT!