Officially signed with FLAME TREE PRESS!

It’s been a while…

Happy to announce that I have signed with FLAME TREE PRESS for my vampire novel, UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND.

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UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND

It’s Old Orchard Beach, Maine in the summer of 1986. The pier, the fries, the tourists, and the sunshine blazing high above the Atlantic. For fifteen year old Rocky Zukas, it’s when he sees the beach side town he calls home come to life. Gone are the long, cold, quiet nights of the off season, and here, like magic, returns the beauty and wonder of the city’s heartbeat.

This summer brings her.

When a mysterious, dark-haired girl named November walks into his world, Rocky’s life is forever changed.

A story of love, loss, betrayal, and the undead, ends in explosive fashion after sundown.

In the tradition of such modern horror classics as The Traveling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon and Ghoul by Brian Keene, Until Summer Comes Around proves once and for all…the monsters are real.

Look for UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND to be released in mid-2020.

And I am so happy to be back with family like this.

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Stoker Con Providence, RI 2018 (Left to right: -JH Moncreiff, me, JG Faherty, and Don D’Auria)

From my first viewing of THE LOST BOYS to reading Anne Rice’s THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES, ‘SALEM’S LOT by King, THE NARROWS by Ronald Mafi, and LIVE GIRLS by Ray Garton, this  one has been percolating for some time.

See the below video from my old band, THE NEW 45- “I Wanna Suck Your Blood”

(Interview) Share the Horror Prepares to Play the Dark Game with Jonathan Janz

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I set out to become a writer the same year Samhain Publishing launched. When I saw the Leisure Horror Books head acquisition man, Don D’Auria, was at the head of this new horror line, I knew good things were on the horizon. And I was right. Don, introduced us to Kristopher Rufty, Hunter Shea, Russell James, and  a guy named, Jonathan Janz.

The books from Janz came one after another–The Sorrows, The Darkest Lullaby, The House of Skin, Savage Species, Castle of Sorrows, Dust Devils, The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, and Exorcist Road before we all got the news that Samhain was a sinking ship.

Janz put out the excellent and much acclaimed, Children of the Dark, and also the much anticipated, Exorcist Falls with Sinister Grin Press before Don D’Auria landed with Flame Tree Press and called one of his favorite sons home. The-Siren-and-The-Specter-ISBN-9781787580053.0

Following Janz’s recent release with Flame Tree Press, THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER from this past September, we prepare for his next new release, THE DARK GAME (Catch my brief review of this awesome book after the interview).

I called on Janz to join us here at Share the Horror and he obliged.

Share the Horror: Let’s go back a few years. You were one of the first Samhain authors and had built quite a catalog in a relative short amount of time. When the news that Samhain had a) fired Don D’Auria and then shortly afterwards 2) folding up shop, what were your thoughts and emotions at hearing those two things?

Jonathan Janz: The news about Don was really a shock. He’s a great editor and a great person, so mainly I just felt really bad for him. After that, the news of the publisher going under wasn’t too shocking. I figured if they were letting Don go, they were probably hurting for money, so while it was sad for the employees—many of whom remain my friends—that second piece of news wasn’t as surprising.
As far as emotions go, in addition to feeling terrible for those more directly impacted, I did experience a lot of uncertainty about the future. Everything has worked out really well, but at the time it was a giant unknown.

STHWhat did you do in the space between Samhain and then the start up of Flame Tree Press?

JJ: This sounds simplistic, but I just wrote. Even though I didn’t know where the books I was working on would end up, I knew I needed to keep writing. Fretting about events out of my control wasn’t going to be productive, so I threw myself into my work. So in the years between Samhain and Flame Tree, I wrote THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER, NIGHTMARE WORLD, THE DARK GAME, THE DISMEMBERED, and I began CHILDREN OF THE DARK 2.

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STH: Let’s talk Children of the Dark for a second. This was a very well received book. It’s a part of your Savage Species (one of my personal favorites) world. I know your King influence bleeds through with this one, especially with Will Burgess. Whereas with Savage Species there was gore galore like a dark Ketchum novel or something from Richard Laymon, with COTD I get a lot of that THE BODY vibe. More about the characters and the heart of this kid rather than the all-out blitz style of its predecessor. Would you say that’s an accurate take? If so, was that intentional or did it just come out that way?
JJ: I’d say that’s very accurate. With SAVAGE SPECIES, I wanted a no-holds-barred, bloody, grueling epic. With CHILDREN OF THE DARK, the story was largely, as you allude to with your reference to THE BODY, about the pain of growing up and the difficulties this kid was experiencing. So like you said, even though the stories are in the same universe, they’re very different animals. I realized this when writing the sequel to COTD. My initial idea was to combine the worlds of SAVAGE SPECIES and CHILDREN OF THE DARK, but that changed as I wrote the sequel. So while there are some intersections, the story really remained a COTD story and true to the tone of the first book.81hj+mlkx0l
STH: So, Don and Flame Tree Press happens. Did he come to you, or were you guys in constant contact and it sort of just happened?
JJ: We kept in contact. Not constantly, but I’d say every couple of months we’d email, and a few times we spoke by phone. The one thing we knew was that, wherever we landed, we wanted to work on more projects together. I got the news about Flame Tree when my family and I were in Virginia for Scares That Care in 2017. We were walking from a beach on the James River to our van when I checked my email and found out about Don’s new gig. I think I emailed him within a half hour or so, and we started talking about THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER. Since that story was set in Virginia, and I’d just wrapped it up, it was fresh in my mind and a natural first project to do with Don and Flame Tree.

STH: THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER, like COTD, feels like another step forward in your writing. As someone that has read almost all your published works, I feel like your growing more and more comfortable with each release, and with that becoming even more fearless as a writer. Does it feel that way to you?
JJ: Thank you so much, Glenn! I truly appreciate that. Yes, it does feel like I’m progressing, but it’s an incredibly subtle and gradual progress. I’m fond of all my books, but I really noticed it a couple months ago when reading through HOUSE OF SKIN, which is the first novel I wrote (and the second one published). I really like the story, but I’m a very different writer now than I was then. It feels good, but I know I’m nowhere near a finished product and will never be finished in my writerly walk. I have to constantly strive to improve, to grow, and to learn. I’m too self-critical to ever be satisfied.
STHSIREN is landing on a lot of Top 10 lists right now, I know that’s gratifying. Do you let that good feeling linger and use it going  forward, or are you more the type that is focused on that next release and coming at it with the need to prove yourself again?

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JJ: Like you say, it is gratifying, and it feels wonderful to have one’s work acknowledged, but I don’t bask in that glow for too long. That need to create is too strong. And I also always want to make my next book better than my last. Hopefully, I did that with THE DARK GAME, and I hope to do it again with the titles coming in late 2019 and 2020.
STHTHE DARK GAME comes out in April. I’m reading an ARC now, and I believe this is my favorite book of yours so far. How much fun did you have crafting the antagonist in this one? Without giving anything away, what were your favorite aspects of Roderick Wells to create and play around with?
JJ: That’s so great to hear! I worked very hard on THE DARK GAME, so it’s awesome to hear you’re enjoying it. I had a lot of fun with it. The Roderick Wells character was at the center of the story, so I needed him to be all sorts of things: strong, elusive…incisive yet cryptic. He had to represent both writers and critics, both nurturing teachers and cruel taskmasters. Plus (and here, like you said, I’m trying not to give anything away), there are elements of his character that aren’t revealed until later. That means I have to play fair with the reader by hinting at those unexpressed character elements without completely revealing the character’s secrets. Walking that tightrope was a challenge, but it was a rewarding one. I think the aspect of Wells’s character I enjoyed the most was his love of power and how he reacted when that supremacy was threatened. There are some exchanges between him and a character named Sherilyn that were a blast to write.
STH: There’s a lot of writers in here. I’m imagining that there are aspects of your own strengths and self-perceived weaknesses in each of these characters. At this stage in your career, with regards to your writing skills, what do you see as your best assets and what areas are your constantly targeting to improve upon?
JJ: Wow, that’s extremely insightful! Yes, you do get some of that in the novel. Rick Forrester, for example, is a lot like me before I got anything published. He’s been rejected, told he’s not good enough, and basically dismissed. Like Rick, I once received a very chilly reaction from the head of a collegiate writing program, so that experience made its way directly into the novel.
Regarding the second part of your question, this doesn’t sound sexy, but I think my best assets as a writer are my support network, my willingness to learn, and my work ethic. My wife and kids always provide me with a bedrock, so I know that when a story isn’t going well or I face some other kind of adversity, what really matters—my family—will remain intact. I’ve been teaching for twenty-three years and teaching Creative Writing for seventeen of those, and I believe these experiences help me to remain grounded and focused on growing. Just as I’m helping my students evolve, I’m evolving too. I also never quit. Because that option is never on the table, I concentrate on ways to solve problems rather than allowing them to defeat me.
With regard to areas of improvement, I want to keep getting better at blazing new trails. Horror is a vast realm, and there are many untouched or rarely-trod areas in the genre. Therefore, I want to constantly aim to examine those and maximize their potential.

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STHOne last thing, before we go. Looking back on THE CLEARING OF TRAVIS COBLE, which has remained one of my very favorite stories you wrote, what are your thoughts and memories on that story and its release?
JJ: I’m so glad you liked that one! That story was a major moment of growth for me because it forced me to use dialogue to carry a story. Yes, there’s description; yes, there are the other essentials of storytelling. But it’s the dialogue that reveals character, that unveils plot twists, that adds mystery and depth. I had to develop my dialogue-writing skills in “The Clearing of Travis Coble,” and looking back, I view that exercise as a moment of profound growth for me. Thanks again for mentioning it! 

STH:I love it and THE DARK GAME, so I will keep praising them from the mountains! Thanks for taking the time, good sir.

JJ: Thank you, Glenn. I had a blast!

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Don’t let our smiling faces fool you…
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Keene, and Jack Ketchum; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal.
His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice Awards nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children.
You can sign up for his newsletter, and you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.
Flame Tree Press is re-releasing Jonathan Janz’s entire Samhain Publishing catalog.
This month sees the re-release of SAVAGE SPECIES. You can also grab his debut novel,
THE SORROWS.
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MY REVIEW of THE DARK GAME

The Dark GameThe Dark Game by Jonathan Janz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quite possibly Janz’s best work yet. His skills continue to sharpen, and it really feels like he’s comfortable as hell behind that keyboard now. There’s a piece about fearlessness in this book, and I think it’s safe to say Janz is feeling just that-fearless. This was by far my favorite cast of characters in any of his books, and the story read like something straight out of the Leisure Books Horror Club heyday!
THE DARK GAME is a horror gem.

 

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

 

Win a Trade Paperback of my Werewolf Novel, Blood and Rain

Arrrrroooooooooooooo!

 

That’s right, people. You have 29 days to enter over at GoodReads for your chance to win a signed print edition of my howling novel, BLOOD AND RAIN. Edited by horror editor extraordinaire, Don D’Auria, and with a fantastic cover created by Scott Carpenter, this edition will soon be a thing of the past. Get yours while you still can.

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  • “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 ofDecember 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
  • “Rolfe is the real deal, folks, and anything he writes is well worth checking out.” – Gord Rollo, author The Jigsaw Man and The Crucifixion Experiments
  • With solid writing, Rolfe will once again make readers take notice of our beloved and vicious, hairy beast. I guarantee after reading this book you’ll be watching the sky for the next full moon… ’cause nobody want to get caught ouside when something this blood thirsty is on the hunt! Highly recommended!” – Ty Schwamberger, author of Escape Lucidity, DININ’, and The Fields 
  • “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.”-Beneath The Underground
  • “It’s Silver Bullet on speed!…a mix of early Stephen King and Bentley Little…” – Aaron J. French, author of The Dream Beings
  • .Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.”- Hunter Shea, author  of The Montauk Monster

Enter for your chance to win below!

 

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blood and Rain by Glenn Rolfe

Blood and Rain

by Glenn Rolfe

Giveaway ends May 01, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Simple but So Damn Cool! A Tweet from Jack Ketchum

Friday afternoon my friend Max Booth III (I cal him MB3) messaged me…. I clicked the link

And this popped up:

 

: Glenn Rolfe’s THINGS WE FEAR, summer fun and psychopaths…

It’s no Glenn Rolfe is amazing and makes me want to be a better writer…but it’s pretty damn cool!

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I met Jack Ketchum in 2014 at the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon. He was super cool and we actually had a pretty great conversation earlier in the day. He was excited to find that I was working with Don D’Auria and had nothing but nice things to say about Mr. D and wished me well with my then first novella (Abram’s Bridge).

Fast forward a little less than two years and BAM!  I get that Tweet!

Ketchum’s influence is apparent in my latest piece, Things We Fear. We all know about his ability to scare the shit out of us with a group of creepy people living in a cave down by the water…but the stories that really get to me out the ones where Ketchum paints monsters out of the people we run into every day. In Red, he gave us a family of assholes. In Cover, we get a vet who slips too far over the edge, in The Girl Next Door…well, that one takes the cake, doesn’t it? The horrible woman who puts innocence in harm’s way without a glint of remorse.

In TWF, I made a monster out of the gym teacher from high school with the perfect smile and pile of muscles. Mr. Too Good to be True. I take our Perfect Smile and turn him into a cold, sadistic killer. A trick I learned from one of the masters.

At the end of the day, I am uber-plussed by this shout-out from one of my heroes. I hope to continue busting my butt, challenging myself to writer better, and trying to follow in his massive footsteps.

Thank you, sir!

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I also learned how to NOT look at the camera from him….

Pick up an eBook copy of THINGS WE FEAR today at any of the following links:

AMAZON     Barnes and Noble  Google Play    Samhain Horror

If you prefer reading Print, TWF also appears in my new novella collection, WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN alongside ABRAM’S BRIDGE and BOOM TOWN, available in print edition at the following links:

AMAZON     SAMHAIN HORROR

 

 

New Plans and Hope for 2016. Plenty of Cool on the Way!

Hey guys!  I know I posted about my tentative release schedule for 2016 a few months ago…since them a few things have changed.

The Samhain Publishing/ Don D’Auria split.

I love Don and wish he was still with the company, but things happen. Companies have the right to make whatever changes they see fit.  The way it went down could have been handled better on all ends, but  now, it is what it is. Let’s move forward. I know Don and his reputation and his track record in the horror genre will find him in a better place sooner than later. I hope to work with him again wherever that is.

As for Samhain, I’m also excited to see what 2016 and these new changes brings. We have a great new editor. I just finished collaborating with her on the edits for my next Samhain piece, the novella, THINGS WE FEAR. If you are worried about what the final product is going to look like under a new editor…don’t. We are in very capable hands.

I look forward to working with the company on my November 2016, the reprint of my first novel, The Haunted Halls.

As for the future…I will stay on with Samhain in an author relations role.  I enjoy helping my fellow stablemate out in any way that I can. Don gave me his blessing to do so, and I intend on making sure his “chosen” are well tended to.

I won’t waste my time or energy on any of the negative vibes that came after the company/editor split, and neither should you. Let’s keep it on the Pos and walk on.

Here’s my plan for 2016 (as of this moment):

I have THINGS WE FEAR (novella) in March with Samhain.

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I have WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN (novella collection featuring Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town and Things We Fear) also in March with Samhain.

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I Have THE HAUNTED HALLS (reprint 1st novel) in November with Samhain, as well.

I have a finished novella, THE LAST SHOW. Not sure where it will come out. It is sitting with a publisher right now, so I hope to have news on that in the next couple of months.

My next new novel, WINDOW, is nearly complete, but I will be holding onto that one while I set to work on my next big project…

That brings me to the next collection. I haven’t decided on a title for it yet (it was World Coming Down-it may still be).

Here’s what I know. I want this collection to bury SLUSH . I loved that collection, but i intend for this one to be EPIC. I will be including at least two new novellas in the collection along with a variety of horror and sci-fi-tinged short stories. This one should wind up twice the size of SLUSH.

I will keep you posted on the progress.

So…expect to see the above mentioned Samhain titles and the collection in 2016.

WINDOW, THE LAST SHOW, and my other novel, BECOMING, may not make it out there until 2017. But that’s more than okay.  I want them to be the best possible pieces I can create, so there really is no rush.

Oh, and if this Guns N’ Roses Reunion tour happens?  I’ll be too distracted to work.

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Stay tuned, people….and Stay Gold.

 

Preliminary Stoker Nomination News and More

The preliminary ballot for this years Bram Stoker nominees came out this week and I was happy to find out that two books that I’m included in have made that list. This doesn’t mean either will make it through to the final ballot, but it is still pretty cool.

In the non-fiction catagory:  Horror 101: The Way Forward  (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2014) 

This one features a TON of authors and editors, etc.  The eBook edition contained the interview I conducted with Leisure Books/Samhain Horror maestro, Don D’Auria.

Horror101

Horror 101: The Way Forward – a comprehensive overview of the Horror fiction genre and career opportunities available to established and aspiring authors.

Have you ever wanted to be a horror writer? Perhaps you have already realized that dream and you’re looking to expand your repertoire. Writing comic books sounds nice, right? Or how about screenplays?
That’s what Horror 101: The Way Forward is all about. It’s not your average On Writing guide that covers active vs. passive and other writing tips, Horror 101 focuses on the career of a horror writer. It covers not only insights into the horror genre, but the people who successfully make a living from it.

Covering aspects such as movies, comics, short stories, ghost-writing, audiobooks, editing, publishing, self-publishing, blogging, writer’s block, YA horror, reviewing, dark poetry, networking, collaborations, eBooks, podcasts, conventions, series, formatting, web serials, artwork, social media, agents, and career advice from seasoned professionals and up-and-coming talents, Horror 101 is just what you need to kick your career into high gear.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is not your average On Writing guide, as it is more focused on the career options available to authors. But don’t fret, this book is loaded with career tips and behind-the-scene stories on how your favourite authors broke into their respective fields.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is perfect for people who:
• are suffering from writer’s block
• are starting their writing careers
• are looking to expand their writing repertoire
• are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
• are looking to pay more bills with their art
• are trying to further their careers
• are trying to establish a name brand
• are looking to get published
• are planning on self-publishing
• want to learn more about the pros in the horror genre
• are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
• love the horror genre
• are not sure where to take their writing careers

Includes articles by Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterton, Edward Lee, Lucy A. Snyder, Emma Audsley, RJ Cavender, Scott Nicholson, Weston Ochse, Taylor Grant, Paul Kane, Lisa Morton, Shane McKenzie, Dean M. Drinkel, Simon Marshall-Jones, Robert W. Walker, Don D’Auria and Glenn Rolfe, Harry Shannon, Chet Williamson, Lawrence Santoro, Thomas Smith, Blaze McRob, Rocky Wood, Ellen Datlow, Iain Rob Wright, Kenneth W. Cain, Daniel I. Russell, Michael McCarty, Richard Thomas, Joan De La Haye, Michael Wilson, Francois Bloemhof, C.E.L. Welsh, Jasper Bark, Niall Parkinson, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Waggoner, Gary McMahon, V.H. Leslie, Eric S Brown, William Meikle, John Kenny, Gary Fry, Diane Parkin, Jim Mcleod, Siobhan McKinney, Rick Carufel, Ben Eads, Theresa Derwin, Rena Mason, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Mynhardt, John Palisano, Mark West, Steven Savile, and a writer so famous he’s required to stay anonymous.

The second book that made the prelim ballot is in the Anthology category: Journals of Horror: Found Fiction (Pleasant Storm Entertainment, INC, 2014)

This one is edited by Terry M. West and features a ton of great writers and one of my freakier pieces, “Killing Jessica”.

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It would be cool to make the final ballot, but this is still rad, too.

On the downside, my debut novel, The Haunted Halls (James Ward Kirk Publishing, 2014) was ineligible, because I had self-published pieces of it in 2013.  😦   Oh well, you live and learn.

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Another thing that surprised me was the lack of consideration for any of the stellar Samhain Horror titles from 2014. The company (yes, they happen to be my publisher)  released a ton of terrific novels and novellas that I believe should have appeared….somewhere on the Stoker lists.

Releases from Adam Cesare, Jonathan Janz, Hunter Shea, Tim Waggoner, JG Faherty, Catherine Cavendish, John Everson, David Bernstein, Eric Red, Matt Manochio, and many, many others all went unsung. That’s some sort of shame.

I proclaim 2015 the year of the SAMHAIN ARMY!   We will make our presence known!

Let’s get the word out starting NOW. Click the logo and grab some great horror.

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My Samhain debut is garnering some nice reviews. It is now available for pre-orders.

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There is a darkness in this town, and it’s buried beneath Abram’s Bridge.

When Lil Ron meets Sweet Kate under Abram’s Bridge he is mesmerized. And when he realizes this beautiful girl is a ghost, it frightens him, but also draws him to her. Curiosity and a drive to make things right lead Lil Ron into a tangle of small-town secrets involving his own father and other members of this otherwise quiet community. Bit by bit, he will uncover the truth about Sweet Kate, a story of heartbreak, violence…and fear.

I have been blown away so far by the great reviews trickling in for my debut novella with Samhain Horror. Abram’s Bridge will release on January 6th in all e formats (stuffed in with some other much anticipated Samhain releases from Jonathan Janz, Hunter Shea, and Russell James).

Thanks to some ARC’s made available by myself and Samhain Publishing, a number of readers have devoured my piece and left their impressions.

Here are a few:

Mallory Heart Reviews: “I loved this story, literary horror at its best, so lyrical I expected it to burst into poetry. Here we have two “angels” (in the metaphorical sense), striving to live in innocence and purity, which among this cast of small-town picayunes is about as effective as sinners trying to climb from the depths of Hades while low-rent demons continually pull them.back down.”

Top of the Heap Reviews: “Glenn Rolfe has come a VERY long way, in a very short time. I’ve been following his career for the better part of a year or so, and with each piece of work he puts out, the better he gets. He doesn’t just tell you that he’s working on improving his craft, the proof is evident. It couldn’t be more evident than in this novella. In my opinion, this is the most polished work I’ve seen from him, and it raises his status in the horror world.

The story is a tale that has been done before, but this time, there are more sinister elements at work. Not with the supernatural elements, but with the human elements.

The sweet interactions between Lil Ron and Sweet Kate underneath Abram’s Bridge instill the familiar feelings of young love, and the feeling of knowing that you are falling for someone that you know you can’t have. Glenn builds this relationship slowly and each time Lil Ron takes a trip to that bridge, you are ready to return as well.

In between the sweetest moments of this novel are instances of human degradation and pure evil. Nobody, and I mean nobody in the town seems to really care about what happened to Sweet Kate those many years ago. In fact, they seem to go out of there way to prevent Lil Ron from finding out anything about her, even attempting to kill him in order to keep the town’s secret.

The Bottom Line: I have a hard time sometimes going through a short story without taking little breaks. It’s a special skill set that an author has to have to create a wholly engaging story from beginning to end. This title though, was completely mesmerizing, captivating, and left me completely satisfied as my eyes passed over the final sentence. Glenn Rolfe is one to watch, big things are going to happen with him.”

Scarlets Web: “At 85 pages Abram’s Bridge is a quick read, it’s a ghost story but it’s also a lot more than just that. The story revolves around Lil’Ron meeting the ghost of a young girl, so it is at it’s heart a ghost story but it also has elements of thriller, suspense and the horror every day people are capable of. Drawn to the Sweet Kate, Lil’Ron spends more and more time with her and wants to know what happened to her and why she is still around, little does he know that in looking into her death his life will change drastically. Every town has their secrets and this small town is no different.

Short stories tend to be a hit or miss for me, many of them have big gaps in the story where the reader has to try fill in the information themselves, or on finishing you’re left with questions and no answers given and you’re left wondering what the heck just happened or they lack depth and background and have boring flat characters. Abram’s Bridge had none of that, it’s a good solid story with a main character you can’t help but like and root for. The pacing and tension builds slowly throughout and the story has a good beginning, middle and end and held my attention easily.

I enjoyed this one, it took me on a whole different journey than I was expecting.”

You can read all of the reviews HERE

You can pre-order your copy of Abram’s Bridge today from these links:

Samhain Publishing.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Some AB inspiration:

AA MMY

JOHN EVERSON AND THE ART OF SEX, GUTS, KE$HA, BEER, AND THE HORROR WRITING BUSINESS.

“As he joined the captain, she shuddered, and the red glistening mess that had once been her belly opened wider. Too wide.

The rookie turned away, his gorge rising as the woman’s insides turned out.”– from The 13th by John Everson,

The 13th was my introduction to John Everson. I remember receiving the paperback in the mail as part of the Leisure Horror Book Club. Like many of the authors, John was new, and like the majority of the Leisure titles at the time, John was fucking good. I instantly logged him in with Brian Keene and Richard Laymon. When I got Siren a bit later, I knew I had found another horror author who was terrific at messing with every one of my emotions throughout a single novel.

Now with Samhain’s Horror line, John continues to play the dark arts over every tender nerve in our minds and bodies. But after digging into his world a little further, I’ve discovered he’s so much more than a great writer. Now, so will you.

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Let’s start at the beginning. When did you get started in writing, was it always horror, and who were the first authors who lit the fire for you?

The first story I remember writing was when I was probably in about 4th grade. All I can recall is that it had some connection to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series… so I guess I started out by writing Sci-Fi Fan Fiction! Growing up, it was really golden age SF that I read, along with the occasional ghost story and Edgar Allan Poe tale… so the first stories I wrote in grade school and high school were science fiction. Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Clifford D. Simak, Hal Clement, Robert Heinlein, J. T. McIntosh… those were my first influences. They told stories that kept me absolutely enraptured… and made me want to tell stories to do the same thing to other readers.  Richard Matheson is probably the SF writer who really showed me the way, because he was the bridge between SF stories and horror. All of the tales I’ve ever come up with seem to have a bit of a macabre twist to them… and his ability to do that – and cross genres – was amazing.

I wrote some stories and poetry in high school, and more in college, but it wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I submitted anything. It was 1993, and it had been a few years since I’d written any fiction. Just for fun, I was putting together a chapbook of some of my college stories, since my day job was desktop publishing, and in doing that, I realized some of the old tales weren’t too bad. I submitted them to a couple magazines and then wrote a couple new pieces. Once my first story appeared, at the start of 1994, I kept writing and submitting and never looked back. So this year has marked my 20th anniversary as a published fiction author.

Leisure Book Horror Club is where I discovered you. I remember reading The 13th and being floored. It was just a great story. I followed that up with Siren. Another great one. Talk to me about those Dorchester days. How did you hook up with Don?

The first time I met Don D’Auria was at World Horror Convention 2000 in Denver. I was there promoting my first short fiction collection, Cage of Bones and Other Deadly Obsessions, which was coming out later that year from Delirium Books. I had just finished an early draft of Covenant, called The Cliff, at the time, and described it to Don at one of the pitch sessions they hold for authors to meet editors at those conventions.  He said to go ahead and send him the manuscript, and I did, but then I never heard anything back… so I pitched him the same novel at World Horror Con 2001. And then again at World Horror 2002…..It was probably around that time that I finally got the formal rejection notice! I remember it took a couple years. But at the time, it seemed like anyone who was anyone in horror (outside of King, Barker and Rice) had a book with Leisure, so I was determined to “break in.” At World Horror Con 2003, I had a sequel begun – Sacrifice. So I pitched him both novels as well as a couple other ideas. He said very supportive things… but didn’t buy the books. Despairing, I gave up on my mass market dreams and contracted and published both novels in limited hardcover editions with the small press – Delirium Books — in 2004 and 2007. But I still pitched those books and other ideas to Don at every World Horror Con — 2004, 2005, 2006…. finally in 2007, after Covenant had won the Bram Stoker Award for a First Novel from the Delirium release, and Sacrifice had also come out in hardback, I pitched to him once more and he said “I want to have you on the imprint, it’s just a question of a slot. I might have something… soon.” I thought he was just being kind to a stupidly persistent kid, but then, literally 24 hours later, he came to me during the Mass Autograph signing where all the authors sit in a room and sign books for convention attendees and he said “can I talk to you?” I left my table and he offered me a two-book deal there in a coat check hallway at the World Horror Convention 2007 in Toronto. I can’t tell you how excited I was over the next 48 hours of that con!!!

Shortly after signing with Leisure, I was in New York on day job business and had the chance to stop in at Leisure’s offices to say hi to Don… and then I saw why it had taken so long for me to get a rejection letter years before. The wall on one side of his office was stacked from window to doorway four feet high with manuscript submissions! Talk about being lost in the slush pile! I can’t imagine the number of aspiring authors that sent books to him in the ‘90s and 2000s. Immense competition.

Once Covenant came out, Don bought three more books from me for Leisure after that. The 13th was the first original novel I did for Leisure (published in 2009), followed by Siren and The Pumpkin Man. As soon as Don landed at Samhain after Leisure imploded, I offered him NightWhere and he accepted it. The irony there was… my original idea for NightWhere was sketched out over a decade before – while I was still finishing Covenant. So Covenant launched me at Leisure and NightWhere, a book hatched in the same period, launched me with Samhain. And both “starts” were Bram Stoker Award finalists!

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That’s so rad! So, Covenant won the Stoker for best 1st novel, but you were crafting short fiction prior to that. Is short fiction where you started, do you still do it on a regular basis and which do you prefer: shorts, novellas, or novels?

Short fiction is what I did almost exclusively my first 10 years of writing. I still write short stories, just not as often since I’m focused on novels. But I’ve always felt that in many ways horror is best served by the short form – Poe’s stories were always the epitome of the perfect horror tales for me… and he never wrote a novel.

As for me… I’ve actually never written a novella. I’ve written well over 100 short stories, and a few novelettes (longish short stories). And now eight novels. But the one time I tried to write a horror novella… it went and turned into a short novel – The Family Tree, my latest. I still love writing short fiction, but it’s a different approach than novels. So now that I’ve gotten used to writing “long”… I find it harder to get in and get out quickly to write short fiction anymore. When I started writing 20 years ago, most of my short pieces were 2,000 – 3,000 words. Now I can’t seem to write a short story that’s less than 6,000 words! Novels train you to describe things more, do more character-building. You don’t have time for that in a short piece.

Covenant’s win. Was that intimidating for you? Or did you just accept with a smile and go back to work?

It was a crazy thing. I went to that award ceremony when my wife was 3 weeks from her delivery due date with our son – we asked the doctor  if he thought it was safe enough for me to go and he said yes… but what if she went into labor early and I was hours away?  I knew I wasn’t going to win… but I wanted to be there, to make the most of the nomination by meeting people there. And then I won!?!  I was so unprepared to win… I hadn’t even worn a suit jacket, just a shirt and tie to the ceremony.  It was an amazing night, and an amazing weekend… and then yeah… I went home and wondered, OK, how do I top that?  There was pressure. But eventually… you just do what you do and hope it’s good. Over the years, I’ve finished a couple books and thought to myself, “OK, well, that’s as good as it’s going to get. That’s your best.” You feel like you should just stop… but then you write something else that you’re proud of and think the same thing again.

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Your stories definitely go willingly into the erotica territory. Is this it a case of the story taking you there, or is there something funny happening when you sit down to write.   

I don’t know why sex and horror have always been a tag team for me… but they just seem to naturally go together. Most of the story ideas I come up with have an erotic element that, at least to me, seems integral to the plot. Hell, in NightWhere, there would be no story at all without it – the story is about a couple drawn to an underground sex club that is much more than the house of kink it seems to be on the surface. And Siren is patently about the temptation of forbidden sex – what does a Siren do but lead men to their deaths with song and sensual allure?  But there are stories that also have very little sexual element to them too. The Pumpkin Man has virtually no sex in it at all. The story didn’t call for it, so it’s not there.

Are there any monsters you leave to others or are you willing to write about any of them? Also, what is one story you want to write but haven’t yet?

There are a lot of horror novels written about serial killers and torture artists and cannibals and the like. People being imprisoned by some sadistic nutjob and trying to escape. That kind of horror is just not my area of interest. I’ve always said, if I wanted to read about evil human beings, I can pick up the newspaper. Me? I like to read about demons and otherworldly creatures breaking down the doors to our world. Stuff that extends beyond our current reality. That’s the stuff that I like to read…and thus write.

I have a few story ideas outlined that I’d like to write; most have a demonic element to them. I’ve always been attracted by the intersection of amoral demons and unethical humans allying and causing havoc… The latest novel that I’ve started working on is a sequel to Covenant and Sacrifice. I’ve started on it a couple times… this year, I’m hoping to finally follow it all the way through!

Are you writing full-time? And what is your writing schedule/routine (if you have one)?

My best year writing fiction brought in less than a fifth of what I make at my dayjob. So no… I don’t and never have written fiction full-time (unless you count the years I was a newspaper journalist. But that wasn’t fiction-writing). I honestly don’t foresee ever writing fiction full-time. It’s just not in the cards for 95% of writers, unless they have a spouse that can bring in the medical insurance and guarantee a regular income that pays the mortgage.  But that’s OK. That means I’m free to write what I want, when I want, since I don’t have to feed myself with it. There’s no pressure to write what I KNOW will sell and pay the bills, vs. what I feel like writing. Would I LIKE to have more time to dedicate to my novels? Sure. But I like knowing that I for sure am going to be able to pay the mortgage next month a whole lot more.

As for my schedule? It honestly changes with every book. There are books that have been done by getting up an hour early every day before work for three-six months (Siren). And there are books that I relied on pulling marathon sessions one night a week after the day job for a few months at a favorite pub (The Pumpkin Man, NightWhere). Most have been a combination of those methods. I tend to be a “binge” writer. I’ll write like crazy for a few days or weeks in a row and then not write at all for weeks. Depends what life is bringing at the time!

With three kids at home, I totally understand that!  When it comes to sitting down and getting to work are you typically a plotter or a seat of the pants guy?

I like to be entertained, so when I write, I am telling myself stories. Which means…seat of the pants. While I’ve outlined most of my books (a necessity to selling them before they’ve been actually written), I have had the most fun flying blind and just making it up as I went along (Sacrifice and The Family Tree). And even with outlines, there’s a lot of stuff that happens in a novel that you had no idea was going to happen until the moment you write it. The entire parallel plot of Siren following Ligeia’s imprisonment 100 years before the main thread of the novel? That wasn’t in the outline that sold the book to Leisure. And some readers have said that’s the best element of the story!

So you kept in contact with Don when he got the gig at Samhain?  I was so happy to see that Ronald Malfi (among others) was there to get the new line going. As a fan, I was hoping to see you there, as well. And then you popped up! How did that transfer go for you?

I had stayed in touch with Don after he left Leisure, and he let me know as soon as he landed. We were talking about what my first book for Samhain might be almost immediately afterward!  However, since I hadn’t actually written the book yet, there was almost a year of Samhain novels that came out ahead of mine — because he bought a lot of completed novels at the same time as he contracted my outline for NightWhere.

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The Family Tree. A Samhain October release! I know there’s a Megadeth song by that name….what are we in for with this new novel?

I’m not much of a metalhead, so I didn’t know that!

Violet Eyes, my follow-up to NightWhere, focused far more on spiders than on sex. After the crazy “50 Shades meets Hellraiser” reviews of NightWhere, I kind of went off in the other direction for Violet Eyes. But The Family Tree is a return to horror with a lot of erotic overtones. It follows a loner, Scott Belvedere, who inherits an old inn in Appalachia. When he goes to check it out and decide whether to sell it or keep it, he soon finds himself the object of obsessive sexual affection of the innkeeper’s daughter, as well as a couple other “friends” of the inn. Not a bad gig… but why? And are the stories of the curative powers of the sap of the tree that the inn is literally built around, true?  Scott finds that sometimes it’s better to leave your family roots… buried.

I love any horror stories wrapped around hotels, inn, and bed n’ breakfasts! This sounds amazing! I can’t wait.

Switching creative gears a bit…I ‘ve been to your site a number of times, but usually only look at the book info. I only recently noticed the art and music sections!  These are early passions for you? Was it art, music , or writing first and which did you feel you had the most talent in?

Music has always been my first love. I was playing the organ at five years old, and wrote songs all the time in grade school. There is no more fulfilling experience in the world to me than writing and recording a song. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing fiction. But a good song? I can put that on the stereo and play it over and over and over again and enjoy both the song and the feeling of accomplishment of having created it. I have no desire to read my stories over and over again! But ultimately, music is for the young, and itinerant. I think I had talent and could have gone somewhere… but only if I was willing to cash in everything else to go for it. And I wasn’t willing. Nevertheless, I need to be creative, whether it is writing music, writing stories, or creating digital art for books. I figured that I could continue a career as a writer long after any “pop band” career would be over… so that’s what I stuck with and focused on. You really can’t do it all… as much as I wanted to!

I know exactly what you mean. I’ve played in original bands for years, and have always been the main songwriter. Personally, I’ve written hundreds of horrible songs, but when I get to that “good one”, it makes all the flubs worth it. But it is nearly impossible to commit to both writing and music, and as you said, it’s a young person’s game.

Do you do book tours with each release? What is it typically like for you? Do you tag along with a fellow author (and if yes to that one, can you give us any great stories?)

From where I stand, book tours are a luxury of the past.  I used to do book tours throughout the Midwest when my Leisure novels were released. I’d schedule a couple dozen signings, and hit every Borders and Barnes & Nobles that I could in Chicagoland, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis… and wherever my day job happened to take me (I have gotten to do book signings in Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angels, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and more thanks to dayjob trips!) I stayed in a lot of fleabags to sign books around the Midwest for a few years.

But for a mid-list author, book signings are far more about attracting a store’s existing foot traffic to buy your books that are in the store, then about having a legion of fans turn up specifically to see you. So the prerequisite is to actually have the stores carrying your books both before and after you appear. With the death of the Borders chain, there now IS no chain store that has a horror section. Barnes & Noble barely stocks any horror novels. So if you’re going to do a book signing, it’s going to be at a store that likely doesn’t normally carry your novels. That, for me, just isn’t worth the time. Because the reality is, if the store doesn’t already devote shelf space to your books, as soon as your book signing gig is over? They will return all your books to the publisher and not keep any in the store. That’s the cold hard truth of bookstore inventory management. In the old days, I could go to a Borders Store, sell 20 books at a signing, and leave 20 more at the store with “autographed by” stickers on the covers… and those books would be displayed and sell after I was gone. And then the store would order more. That was worth doing – because you built a sales track record thanks to your appearance. Now? I sell more books via Amazon and at conventions than I do through the Barnes & Noble chain, because they won’t keep most horror books available in their stores. So… what’s the point of doing signings there?  There’s no “tail” after the event.

I can’t let you go without discussing beer and pub food. In my mind, you and I have a Food Network show where I tag along with you across America and consume copious amounts of beer and burgers.  I like the idea of that Food Network Show. If we could do a few specials spotlighting the best chili pepper recipes in restaurants in the Southwest … it would be perfect!

That’s it; I’m going to the network! 

Back to the beer….I crawled out of my PBR phase in New Orleans at the WHC and discovered the magnificence of IPA’s. What are some of your favorite beers?

As for beer… at this very moment, I am wearing a Revolution Brewing t-shirt (I was in their Chicago brewpub last night after guesting at the Chicago Horror Film Festival) and sitting in a hotel room in Springfield (family trip). We just got back from a great dinner at Engrained, a brewery/restaurant down here.  I do try to check out the local microbrews in whatever town I’m in. Favorite IPA? Definitely Revolution Anti-Hero. Great name. Great beer. I’m also a huge fan of the Deschutes Brewery roster. Mirror Pond Pale Ale is great, as is Red Chair North West Pale Ale. I have been more of a fan of English brown ales than IPAs for years – Newcastle has been my drink of choice for probably 15 years… so my enjoyment of hoppier beers is still fairly recent… and so I demand that it be a smooth assault on the taste buds, rather than a murderous one. Goose Island has some nice easy-drinking ales – I like their Green Line and the new Rambler IPA (which replaced their nice Harvest Ale of year’s past). And Santa Fe Brewing’s Happy Camper IPA is a great session ale.

For German beer, I’m a big fan of Hofbrauhaus Dunkel and Ayinger’s Maibock. And Ayinger’s Doppelbock is great for a winter beer. Speaking of which… winter is coming, and every year I host a Winter Ale and Chili fest in my basement – I brew up some chili of various heat levels and a group of us share our favorite Winter Ales. Mine over the last few years have included Deschutes’ Jubelale, Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale, New Holland’s Cabin Fever and Great Divide’s Hibernation. Not surprisingly, I like the other beer varieties from all of those breweries as well.

For dessert? If you can find Tanilla Porter from Knee Deep Brewing… buy a case. And send me a couple bottles! Hands down the best vanilla porter I’ve had. Failing that… look up Southern Tier’s Crème Brulee. Mmm mmm Sweet Imperial Milk Stout.

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What are a few of the places someone who loves great beer and good food need to go to across the country?

Wow… that’s a question that could frame a book chapter!  If you’re in Chicago… go to Revolution Brewing. Great food, amazing beer. And the bar is held up by giant fists carved out of wood. Or drive out to the far south burbs and visit Flossmoor Station – one of the original brewpubs in a crazy nationwide explosion over the past few years of breweries with good food. This one was built in an old train station not far from where I went to high school.

In Denver, you have to stop at Breckenridge’s brewpub by the ballpark, and the less obvious Pint’s Pub, which cask brews the best English Ale I have ever tasted brewed in America.

In New Orleans, seek out NOLA Brown Ale – one of the best American browns brewed… and not distributed very widely. I have had it at Turtle Bay on Decatur a few times.

There are some great brewery/brewpubs in Michigan: Holland, Michigan’s  New Holland Brewing has an amazing bar and great beer. Founders in Grand Rapids is an impressive place to sample a lot of craft beer, some of which is only available on premises. And the place that introduced me to sours – Jolly Pumpkin, in Ann Arbor, is worth pulling up at a table for a night (I’ve done some writing there while on business trips.).  I’ve blogged about Ann Arbor’s brewpubs as well as Calgary, Canada’s here: http://www.johneverson.com/wordplay/?p=4786

In Vancouver, you want to head over to Granville Island and eat at The Sandbar (awesome food) while enjoying some of the ales from Granville Island Brewing, located just a couple blocks away.

In Seattle, head down near the ballpark and have a burger while sampling the many ales at Pyramid Breweries – my favorite was the Weiss Cream (with a tap in the shape of an ice cream cone). Elysian Fields has a couple brewpubs there as well and you have to stop at The Pike Brewing Company down at Pike’s Market. I could go on and on here… I’ve travelled a lot for work over the past few years, and been lucky enough to sample a long list of cool places!

These days? One of the best places for me is in the comfortable oak home bar I built (board by board!) this spring in my basement. (sadly, no, the taps on the ornamental tap display I created of my favorite beers don’t work. But the fridge is full!)

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I usually do a couple rapid fire bits so here you go:

Last novel you read?

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Satan’s Fan Club by Mark Kirkbride. He asked me to blurb it and I loved it!  Before that? Fifty Shades of Grey. And you know what? I enjoyed the hell of out if. A refreshing lightweight change after all the horror I typically read!

Your guilty pleasure song?

Ke$ha. “Gold Trans Am.” Or really anything by her. And you know what? I don’t feel guilty at all.

No shame in the Ke$ha love. I’m right there with you.

Favorite non-horror film?

There are non-horror films?  Ha! There are many answers to that question because there are so many genres… and I love film. Things that have stuck with me? Goofy comedies like Johnny Dangerously and Better Off Dead. Feel-good dramedies like Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes. Or It’s A Wonderful Life – which I’ve watched nearly every Christmas for 40 years. Sci-fi genius like Bladerunner, Forbidden Planet, Brazil, Star Trek IV, Terminator and Star Wars. I list Alien as my favorite movie of all time, but I always have felt that skews more horror than sci-fi. How about The Incredibles? Or Monsters, Inc or Fifth Element? Crazy action movies like Machete and offbeat erotica like The Image or Salo? And what about strangely unforgettable excursions like Barbarella? What about the entire Hitchcock catalogue (some horror, but most thriller/mystery)? What about Akira Kurosawa, Orson Welles, John Ford, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Ingmar Bergman?  Lucas, DePalma, Spielberg, Cameron, Lee, Zemeckis… I can’t pick a favorite film. I can’t pick a favorite director.  I love too many films too much for that.

Love a lot of those, as well.

Grossest beer you ever tasted?

Stone Brewing Arrogant Bastard.  Kind of what I imagine licking a wet, old dog would be like.

John, thank you so very much for doing this with me. We must grab that drink sometime.

I have a pint waiting for you!

Find John and his wicked ways in these places:

John’s Website (For his books, blog, music, art): http://www.johneverson.com/

John’s Amazon Library: http://www.amazon.com/John-Everson/e/B002BMHL52

TALKING MONTAUK MONSTER, SAMHAIN PUBLISHING, AND METAL WITH AUTHOR, HUNTER SHEA

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Hi Hunter! First off congrats on your success thus far in the horror writing community. I want to start this off with you giving us a brief rundown on Hunter Shea pre-Samhain Publishing.  What kind of jobs did you work?  Are there novels or short stories that you wrote/released or shopped that we don’t know about?

Thanks, Glenn! The last few years have been a crazy ride. I’ve made a lot of stops along the way before I could add ‘author’ to my resume. I’ve done landscaping, retail, supermarkets, pizza delivery, spent a decade with the phone company and then director at a video company. Thankfully, the phone company job was so dreadful, I needed an outlet to make sure my brain didn’t up and die on me. Writing was that outlet. There are plenty of short stories that will never see the light of day. I cringe so hard when I read them, my eyelids almost fuse shut. But hey, that’s all part of the process. You have to learn to crawl before you run. The first full-length novel I ever wrote was, of all things, a romantic comedy. That one I’m still very proud of and may revise it and see what happens.  

Sounds different. Let’s talk about Samhain. How did you get started with Don D’Auria and what has the journey been like?

Being an avid reader and horror fan, I was hooked on everything Leisure Books published (part of the now defunct Dorchester Publishing). Don was the editor for legends like Richard Laymon, Brian Keene and Jack Ketchum to name a few of the dozens of brilliant authors that published through Leisure. I wanted desperately to some day work with Don. To me, then and now, if Don plucks you out of the masses, you’ve arrived. When I submitted my first horror novel, Forest of Shadows, I sent it to Don and Don only. It took several years of back and forth before he rescued me from the slush pile. He first offered me a deal with Leisure, and then they collapsed, and came back for me when he joined Samhain. My book was part of the kickoff of Samhain’s horror line. Don is such an incredible guy. Turns out, we grew up relatively close to one another and have many of the same interests when it comes to the world of horror. The best part about him as an editor is his willingness to let his writers take chances and tell the story they want to tell. It’s been freaking awesome.

For those readers out there who may not be familiar with your work yet, give me two pieces you’ve done with Samhain that you would want a Hunter Shea virgin to read.

Naturally, you start with book numero uno, Forest of Shadows. I’m a big paranormal geek and love a creepy ghost story. Nothing I’ve written is as personally revealing as that book. Plus, it’s a launch point for follow up books, Sinister Entity and Island of the Forbidden. Next is my true love – monsters. Swamp Monster Massacre is my love letter to Bigfoot, B movies and ass-kicking fun. Funny enough, that’s the book that landed me the deal to write The Montauk Monster.

Cool. I’ll have to check those out. I recently read Sinister Entity (really enjoyed it) I know it’s the second in this overall story. One thing that struck me personally right off was the 80’s metal/hair metal references. I see we share a love for 80’s hard rock and metal. Is that Hunter or was it mostly for the character.

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Dude, I am a product of 80s metal. I was fortunate to be there to watch Motely Crue, Cinderella, Metallica, Tesla, Whitesnake, Def Leppard and so many others perform. Damn that music was raw and just plain fun. When I was creating Jessica’s character in SE, I had to make her a little metal protégé.

I just missed the boat by a couple of years. I was too young to go to shows and had to watch my brother get to go to all the Ozzy and Motley shows. What was the best concert you attended at the time?

The best band I ever saw perform was Tesla. I got there early for one of their shows and while the stage was being set up, they came out and did a 40 minute acoustic set just sitting on metal chairs. Then they came out later to do another 2 hours. To me, they were the true rock geniuses of the 80s.

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Love the metal, but let’s get back to business. I want to touch on your Samhain release from earlier this year, The Waiting. The Waiting is brilliant. To me it is the perfect example of a novella. It’s so tight, full and compact.

Wow, thanks. That was a difficult one to write because I was so close to the source material. What are your thoughts on novellas overall?  Personally, I love them.  I think the novella form is the best form for horror. It’s hard to keep the tension building for a full-length novel. I hate filler, so for me, the novella is ideal.

I checked out some episodes of your Youtube show, Monster Men. It seems like a lot of fun. I have to ask two questions here. First: Who does the theme song? My son, Axl.  was be-bopping like a madman to it.

It is catchy, isn’t it? Like a virulent disease! It was created by Steve Capalbo who is friends with Jack, the other half of the Monster Men. We also have a closing theme that was performed by our mutual buddy Colin Farmer and his band, The DXR All Stars. Jack and I used to work with Colin. We danced a jig when we got those theme songs. It upped the Monster Men game!

And second, during the World War Z review episode you mention that the Zombie genre needs to be “shot in the head and put to bed” . I feel the same way times a hundred.  Do you feel this way more toward the film world or the literature world? Would you ever attempt a zombie novel?

I think we have shambled the gamut of the zombie genre, both in film and literature, though I still hold out hope for quality zombie books. At least in book form, you can be original and out where the buses don’t run. Movies like to play it safe, beating a dead horse until the stink is too much for even the dullest viewer to stand anymore. I still can’t believe that WWZ made a zombie movie without any real blood. Are you kidding me? And Brad Pitt’s character was more resilient than Daffy Duck during hunting season. Oy! I have an idea for an anti-zombie zombie novel, the bullet to the head, so to speak. I’m just not quite ready to commit it to paper yet.

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Let’s talk about Montauk Monster. It’s on Pinnacle. How did this come about? Do you have an agent or get to them yourself?

Talk about a wild way to get a book deal. I do have an agent, but this came out of the blue. My editor at Kensington (of which Pinnacle is a part), Gary Goldstein, loaded up his Kindle with a ton of novels and novellas, looking for a new voice. He emailed me out of the blue and said he couldn’t put Swamp Monster Massacre down. At first, I wasn’t even sure he was legit. I thought it was a prank. Seriously. But the more we talked, the more I realized we were of the same mind when it came to loving old monster movies. Together, we wanted to put one in book form. The Montauk Monster is our B-movie come to life, with enough facts thrown between the fiction to keep people nervous.

Give us the gist of the tale.

In the beautiful beach town of Montauk, Long Island, bodies are piling up, torn to shreds, fizzing with a strange toxicity. County cop Dalton Gray is the man on the scene as the disturbing deaths occur during his watch, the graveyard shift. The citizens of Montauk are reporting strange creatures lurking in the night, their numbers increasing. It doesn’t take long before the whole town is thrown into a full-scale panic. Can Gray discover the truth behind these hideous creatures before it’s too late? The action is non-stop and the monsters (and their origin) are terrifying. If you need a book to bring to the beach or on vacation this summer, The Montauk Monster is it.

That sounds awesome. Before we finish, I know you are still working with Samhain. I’m assuming this will continue?

You can’t pry me away from Samhain. My next book with them, a horror western, actually comes out in July. It’s called Hell Hole and is a total departure from anything I’ve ever done before. I’ve got cowboys, black eyes kids, wild men, Rough Riders and ghost hunters all descending on an abandoned mining town in Wyoming in 1905. Next up with Samhain is the sequel to Sinister Entity, Island of the Forbidden. It takes place a few years after SE. Jessica and Eddie are apart and not the same people they used to be. That’s slated to come out January of 2015.

What else do we have to look forward to in late 2014/first half of 2015 from Hunter Shea?

Aside from my Samhian books, my second book with Pinnacle should be out some time next year. I just handed in the manuscript, so I’m waiting for the date.

Busy man. All right, we all love some rapid fire, so here we go:

Give me your favorite TV show right now that no one would guess you liked.

Longmire. Best show on TV. I want to be a sheriff in Wyoming because of that show!

Two writers you think people should be reading:

Jim Lehrer (he of the McNeil/Lehrer fame on PBS) for straight up quality storytelling and Brian Moreland for superb horror.

Lastly, I’ve read ‘Salem’s Lot 4 times. What book have you read the most?

A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. I read it every year since I discovered it, so I’m guessing I’ve read it at least 20 times. Thank you for taking the time, Hunter. Best of luck with The Montauk Monster and Hell Hole. Hey, thanks for having me. And welcome to the Samhain family. I’ll be grilling – er, interviewing you very soon!

Thanks, man. I look forward to it.

 

Check out Hunter’s official website: Hunter Shea

Find Hunter and his friends at Samhain Horror

And order your copy of his summer masterpiece, The Montauk Monster