The Strange Journey of The Haunted Halls, and the People Who Have Taken it With Me.

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The release of my debut novel, The Haunted Halls, is weeks away. I’m sort of excited.  I figured I would take a minute and let those of you not familiar with me or my work in on the history of this book.

It all started with a short story I wrote in November of 2012, “Night Swim”. I work the front desk at a hotel in Augusta, Maine. One night while doing the night audit I walked past the pool and imagined something crawled out. I ran down to my laptop and wrote “Night Swim”. A few weeks later, while surfing Duotrope for a place to send the story I stumbled upon JukePopSerials.com. They were paying for serial novels. I had never written a serial novel, but recalled the way Stephen King originally unleashed The Green Mile back in the late-nineties and decided it might be fun to try.  I looked at “Night Swim” again and thought, “Hey! That could really be a great opening chapter.” In late December (of 2012), the people at JukePop Serials thought so, too.

At JukePop (at the time), after you submitted your chapter, there was no way to edit it. I didn’t have an editor and was still pretty new at this writing game. Within my first few weeks working with the site I found a number of horrifying mistakes.  These errors were so bad that I didn’t want to share my story. That’s when I took a look at Amazon’s world of self-publishing. I devised a plan. I would release the Haunted Halls on my own. I would carry on the serial idea by releasing the story in volumes. In order to get JukePop to give me back the story I had to offer them a new one.

Throughout 2013, with the help of my artist/musician friend, Jason Lynch, doing the amazing covers,  I managed to release the first five (out of six) volumes of the story. It was perfectly clear as I released volume five that the story was good, but it still needed a professional edit. Volume five went up and came back down within a couple of weeks. I then took down volume two, three, and four, while I began my search for an editor. I spoke online with Robert S. Wilson about taking a look at the manuscript and he was all for it. It took me a few months to scrounge up some cash to move ahead with Bob, but in that time, I found my publisher, James Ward Kirk.

Four of my short stories have been published by James in various James Ward Kirk anthologies. When James heard I had a completed manuscript, he was instantly excited and told me he’d love to put it out. We hatched a plan to release the book in February of 2014…then March of 2014….and then summer of 2014.  Okay, Bob is a busy, busy guy. He writes, he edits…oh, and he runs a little indie publishing company called, Nightscape Press. You know, the guys that have produced the last two Bram Stoker Award-winning books in the Best First Novel category? With Jason, Bob, and James busting their humps for me, The Haunted Halls is finally the shining gem we all thought it could and would be.

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The date isn’t exact (July 9th is the one I’m using), but the novel will be available next month. James agreed that the print version should also include all six of the volume covers that Jason created. Jason agreed to craft a brand new piece for the front cover. That cover will be revealed this week!  Whether it’s Thursday on HorrorNovelReviews.com or Friday here on my blog, is still up in the air (Matt from HNR is also a VERY busy fella).

I want to take this minute to say thanks to some of the special people who have had a hand in this novel’s journey from JukePop, to Amazon, to next month’s official release:

Jodi and Jerry at JukePopSerials.com. Anyone who voted for the first batch of chapters while they were live on the site. Jason Lynch for the brilliant covers and friendship. Matt Molgaard at HorrorNovelReviews.com for being one of the first to review volume one way back in February of 2013. Erin Sweet-Al Mehairi at Oh, For the Hook of a Book! For coming into my life soon after. She has been a HUGE supporter of this novel since getting her hands on volume one. She beta read a bunch of the volumes that followed. Joe Hempel at HNR and Topof theHeapReviews.com. Joe covered each released volume and called me out when I missed a step. Thanks, Joe! My best friend, Ben Pinard, for pushing for Lee Buhl. Ben was my keeper of the Mendoza line. Thanks for your honesty, man. Bob Wilson for his edits and challenges. And of course, James for working with me and allowing me to do this the way I want to do it.

There are others who helped out and supported this baby over the last year Jeanann, Lisa, Amy, and anyone else who reviewed a piece of the original story.

Another couple of thank yous to two authors who read volume one. Rena Mason, for telling me that I  had a good voice. It meant a lot to hear that. Thank you. And to Ronald Malfi who posted on his Facebook page that volume one was “…deliciously creepy…” and shared the link. He didn’t have to do that, but he did it anyway. Ronald has been a bit of a quiet mentor to me since 2012. Ronald, your time and opinions are appreciated.

We’re almost there. Stay tuned for the official cover reveal and the official release date.I can’t wait to share this with all of you.

 

Say hi to my friends:

Erin at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Matt at Horror Novel Reviews

The artwork of Jason Lynch at Jlynchgraphics.com

Discover and follow some great serial novels at JukePop Serials

 

and keep up with me at my website:  Glenn Rolfe Horror

 

 

The Fool on the Hill: Woman in Horror Month

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Women in horror? I can’t imagine reading a horror novel penned by a woman. How would I ever be able to relate? I need that male perspective. Guys know how to get vicious, how to take the wheel and press the throttle until the testosterone-fueled hell ride drives us toward and over the precipice of literary mayhem paved by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz. Surely there’s no way a female author can handle such a bloody, calculating, journey through Hades and back…right?

I’m afraid to say that I was one of the passengers in this vehicle of ignoramuses. Let me check that…I had works by one woman, Ann Rice. The first four books of the Vampire Chronicles were among my introduction to the world of horror, but somewhere along the line I forgot women could write horror that could cast that magical spell. In 2004, I started reading more King, Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Brian Keene. Ann Rice got lost in the background somewhere.  I didn’t touch a book from a female author until February of 2013. And I was a moron.

I joined the Horror Writers Association early in 2012. One of the things I love about the organization is the forum, specifically, the bountiful amount of members in there who are eager to help out, offer advice and be real with you. I realized how many women were in there and people like Sherry Decker (among others) were regularly responding to my infant author questions.

Throughout 2012, I focused on my own works. I regularly jumped into the forums and interacted with the HWA community as often as I could. In February of 2013, after being part of the community for a year, I started hearing about February being Women in Horror Month. And it dawned on me that I hadn’t read a terror tale by a female author in A LONG time. Meeting numerous women authors in the forum and on Facebook, I knew I needed to set aside this strange notion I’d acquired over the last eight years or so and give these ladies of blood and fright the attention they deserved.

I started with Shirley Jackson’s, The Haunting of Hill House and followed that up with Sarah Langan’s, The Keeper. Needless to say, I was quickly enlightened of the grave error of my reading ways. I was a fool for even thinking women couldn’t reach my fear factor. For believing I wouldn’t be able to relate to the voice, that I wouldn’t be able to be completely hooked in and taken anywhere close to the heights of fear and intensity that guys like John Everson and Ronald Malfi constantly delivered me to. I was wrong.

I followed my first official celebration and participation in Women in Horror Month by seeking out new female authors to read and discovered amazingly talented writers like Damien Walters, Mercedes M. Yardley, Rena Mason, and even someone who graduated from my tiny high school here in Maine–Ms. Kristin Dearborn. I can’t believe how stupid I was being. And furthermore, I can’t even recall where this bizarre stigma I’d attached to these wicked ladies came from.

Although I know I have come to the light and stepped into the unisex bathroom of horror authors, I know there are still confused and irrationally minded dudes out there making the same critical error with their horror novel selections. Hell, I’m sure it goes on within every genre. I am here today, February 17, 2014, to tell you guys…ladies are just as vicious, just as dark, twisted, and wordily crafty as any of your favorite male horror writers out there.  Set aside your misguided ideas of women writers being too soft, too sensitive, too light to spray the walls of your small minds with the real guts, gore, and brains of our beloved evil realms. I implore you to set down today or tonight and seek out one book in your favorite genre written by a person without a penis. Trust me– you will thank me later (after you get done cursing yourself for being a dolt and apologizing to the other half of our amazing writing community).

To all of you kick ass and gifted female writers…I say, CHEERS!

Here are a few Good Reads links for you to check out to some of my favorite vagina carrying authors:

Damien Walters

Mercedes M. Yeardley

Kristin Dearborn

Rena Mason

Sarah Langan

and a link to an interview I conducted for HorrorNovelReviews.com with Mercedes M. Yardley:

Mercedes M. Yardley Talks ‘The Hunger Artist’, High Body Count Fairytales and Being a Busy Mother to Boot