(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.

 

(Interview): Share the Horror Dives the Depths with Chad Lutzke

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Chad Lutzke is a name you should make yourself familiar with. His style is all his own, and it’s one filled with two of my favorite things: horror and, more importantly, heart.

Hot on the heals of his 2018 releases OUT BEHIND THE BARN (co-written with John Boden), SKULLFACE BOY, and STIRRING THE SHEETS, this man is dropping a new novel titled, THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU (which releases today, January 11th).

I invited him over for a quick chat.

SHARE THE HORROR :  You’ve had quite a year. I’ve seen three titles of yours popping up on the Best Of lists–SKULLFACE BOY, STIRRING THE SHEETS and the one that I absolutely loved, OUT BEHIND THE BARN co-written with John Boden. How long did each of these books take to complete?

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CHAD LUTZKE: I think a few months for each one. I can’t remember exactly, but I think SKULLFACE BOY, though it’s twice as long as the others, took the shortest amount of time. It was just really easy to write because I was so into it, and while I pants everything I write, that one even more so. I had no idea where I was going with it other than eventually getting the protagonist to the beach. SHEETS felt like it took much longer because it was depressing being in that mindset of losing loved ones and being alone. As far as OUT BEHIND THE BARN goes, once John and I actually started working on it, it went pretty fast. Maybe 4 to 6 weeks? Plus we already had Boden’s short that we were using as a skeleton.

STH: Which one are you most proud of?
CL: SKULLFACE BOY because it was kind of experimental and it turned out to be a lot of people’s favorites, even surpassing OF FOSTER HOMES & FLIES, which I wasn’t sure I could do.

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STH. You have yet another new book. Tell us a little about it.
CL: The book is called THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU. For that one, the reader is basically a fly on the wall, watching a group of kids in their late teens go through love, let downs, tragedy, drugs and alcohol. I’ve been comparing it to the films KIDS, RIVER’S EDGE and DAZED & CONFUSED. It definitely gets dark. And in a very personal way the book is heavily influenced by The Cure’s Disintegration album.

STH: Your style is unique. Of Foster Homes and Flies was brilliant. It was one of the most original coming-of-age stories I’ve ever read. Do you ever see yourself going for a straight forward horror story, or is it just not appealing to you?

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CL: I really appreciate that. Thank you! I really don’t have any interest in doing anything I feel has been done before. I really try and come up with concepts I feel are original and fresh. Sometimes I just want to write some silly slasher that is outlandishly absurd, but I don’t know if I could make it entertaining enough to not have it feel like everything else that’s already been done, and if I can’t then I won’t bother. I prefer to write about things that have to do with the human condition, things we can all relate to. The horrors of the heart and mind.

STH: Who are some of your favorite horror authors past and current.
CL: The usual suspects like King, Koontz, McCammon, Poe, Matheson, Serling. For some of the newer guys, I’m a big fan of Stephen Graham Jones and Joe Hill. But I think my style more reflects my sincere love for Ketchum and Lansdale.

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STH: I know Jack Ketchum read Of Foster Homes and Flies. What was the interaction like with him? I know when he read my book, Things We Fear, I saved every email from him. What were those interactions like with you guys and what would you say was Jack’s number one strength as a writer?
CL: This may be a long answer because I really miss Dallas and think the world of him and his ability to write. I’ve told this story before, maybe a few times, so some may be tired of hearing it but I don’t care. I love sharing how awesome Dallas was. My communication with him was short, only over the course of a year, and it started by a friend of mine congratulating me on Jack Ketchum tweeting about my book. I had no idea what he was talking about so he sent me a link and I kind of never left the cloud I found myself on that day. I reached out to Kevin, the guy who run the Ketchum website, and asked if he’d forward an email to Dallas for me. I think it was within an hour Dallas contacted me. Now, I keep in contact with a few “famous” people in the music world and I’m very careful about making sure I don’t get all fanboy on them and I keep things to a minimum and that’s how I played it with Dallas and I wished I hadn’t. I wished I would have gotten closer with him, reached out more, because I now know he was that kind of guy. He wouldn’t have minded. Months went by and he tweeted about an anthology I was in, calling the two stories I contributed as standouts. By this time, I had already had Dallas’ home address and I had sent him a book (WALLFLOWER). Then when I was doing the final draft on STIRRING THE SHEETS for my publisher, I reached out to Dallas and asked him for a blurb. He told me that he doesn’t just hand them out, that he would have to love the book. And then he told me “But since it’s you, I’d love to read it.” He was dying at the time and I had no idea. I scrambled to get the cover together for SHEETS and we were having issues because I wasn’t using a template because we were creating a custom-sized book, so the cover kept getting rejected. Finally, all the files were accepted and I had spoken with Dallas again, he was looking forward to the book. He didn’t know this, but he even had a little cameo in it as Dallas Doud, “the neighbor who maybe smokes too much.” The day we were to send the book to Dallas I got a message on Facebook from a friend that Dallas had passed. I had no idea he was sick. No idea. And all I kept thinking was “Who does that? Who agrees two weeks before their death, while their sick with cancer, to read someone’s book?” That told me everything I needed to know about the man and wished I would have reached out more than I did. Within minutes I contacted my publisher and had him dedicate the book to Dallas.

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As far as his strengths as a writer, he just had this way of putting words together in a sentence that completely floor you. When you’re reading Ketchum you’re never safe because you know at any moment he’ll go straight for the dark, and when he does it’s worded in a way that is profoundly disturbing. Nobody does that like him. He also shares my love for human horror, fictionalizing things that either did happen or could absolutely happen. Or maybe is happening somewhere right now. In a nutshell, the way the man crafted a sentence was like no other. He knew exactly what to say to get under the reader’s skin, and with few words.

 

 

 

STH: He is certainly missed.  I’m right there with you.  we definitely lost , not just a great writer, but one of the most amazing people in our business. 

What’s up ahead for you this year?
Lutzke: THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU will be out January 11th. Unfortunately, you caught me at a time where a lot of the cool stuff I can’t even talk about yet. There are a handful of anthologies I’m in that will be out in spring and summer that I can’t name yet. I’ve gotten a few anthology invites I still need to write for and I assume those will also be out this year. I have a huge deal coming sometime this summer that I can’t talk about yet. I signed the contract but haven’t been given the go-ahead. I’ll be in another Corpus Press anthology due out this summer. July, I believe. This spring/early summer I will be putting out a collection of stories that are all Patreon exclusives. The paperback will only be available to my patrons, but the Kindle will be available to everyone else. Also, I’m part of the editorial team that is resurrecting Shock Totem Magazine and we’ve got some great surprises with that one and we’re all neck deep in reading slush right now from the open call, but the first return issue should be out late spring/early summer. And Boden and I are going to see what we can do about releasing another novella before the year is up. Overall, the plan is to be even more prolific than I was last year and with some other things I’ve got in the works I hope to have that happen.

STH: Well, I think I have a story in that Corpus Press anthology with you and a few of our friends. That should be rad.  Also, I cannot wait to dive into THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU. 

CL: Thanks, Glenn!

 

Grab your copy of THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU HERE 

Chad Luztke Patreon

Twitter

chad-lutzke

Chad Luztke lives in Michigan with his wife and children. For over two decades, he has been a contributor to several different outlets in the independent music and film scene, offering articles, reviews, and artwork. He has written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance, and Scream magazine. He’s had a few dozen stories published, and some of his books include: OF FOSTER HOMES & FLIES, WALLFLOWER, STIRRING THE SHEETS, SKULLFACE BOY, and THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU.

 

 

 

 

THE WINDOW WORLD TOUR!

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I’m so excited for you all to read this novel. Can’t believe it comes out this Friday. It has been years in the making. And I’m happy to finally get to talk about it and share the journey this baby took to get here.

Stay tuned for many guest posts/articles, interviews, and reviews in the weeks and months ahead.

We started things off with Kendall Reviews and Ink Heist.

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Interview with KENDALL REVIEWS: http://kendallreviews.com/kendall-reviews-talks-with-glenn-rolfe-author-of-land-of-bones-becoming-and-the-forthcoming-novel-the-window/

And this guest post at INK HEIST: https://inkheist.com/2018/09/25/the-price-you-pay-by-glenn-rolfe/#more-575

Thanks to both for having me!

If you guys have any questions for me, THE WINDOW is Horror Aficionados (Author-Invite) group read for October! I’ll be checking in every day from now until we finish, so click this link and join us: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19548778-october-2018-group-read-2-with-guest-author-glenn-rolfe  

And thanks to Ken at Horror Aficionados for letting me come back!

Pre-order your copy of THE WINDOW here: E-Book $2.99  

Stay tuned for the print edition announcement. It looks like I’ll be working with Lori Michelle and Michael Bray to get this baby nice and pretty.

Expect it sometime in October.

 

 

(Review) THE NIGHT PARADE by Ronald Malfi

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The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

Kensington Horror

First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .

They call it Wanderer’s Folly–a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.

After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he’s bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he’s on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.

Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they’re running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .

REVIEW by Glenn Rolfe

Author, Ronald Mafli (Little Girls and Floating Staircase), delivers in his new novel, The Night Parade. In this story, Malfi unleashes the next great plague upon humanity– Wanderer’s Folly. You daydream, you forget, you see things, until you finally lose it. Some go screaming, some jump to their death, and some wander into a fiery demise. No one knows how it’s spread or why some contract it while others don’t, but one thing is certain—it’s getting worse.

It’s a story that’s been told before, but as with all familiar tropes of fiction, it is the author’s voice that provides the melody over these familiar chords that make it something new, something special. I’ve been a huge fan of Malfi since reading his novel, Snow, and that awe, that amazement over his talent I felt then grows with each novel. The Night Parade is another fine example of his incomparable grasp on storytelling.

This is a beautiful story of a man named David, and his daughter, Ellie, as they struggle with all that has just happened in their world. David has lost his wife and knows that he must do whatever he can to keep his daughter safe. Escaping into the night, they hit the highway, leaving what’s left of their quarantined town behind.

I’m not going to tell you the story. I want you to enjoy the ride yourself. Let me just say that Malfi’s ability to craft these amazing stories and characters in such tight fashion, where you breeze through nearly four-hundred pages like it was a two-hundred-page book is astonishing and wonderful. You don’t want it to end. You want it to stay a little longer, to linger, so you can wrap up in the magic and keep the cold, harsh world at bay. Yeah, even if the story is about a deadly plague. That’s a testament to how good this guys is.

I loved this book. Definitely in my Top 5 of 2016.

I give The Night Parade 5 stars!

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Ronald Malfi, Biography

Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including The Night Parade, this summer’s 2016 release from Kensington.

In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for best novel, a Gold IPPY Award for best horror novel, and the Vincent Preis International Horror Award. His novel Cradle Lake garnered him the Benjamin Franklin Independent Book Award (silver) in 2014. December Park, his epic childhood story, won the Beverly Hills International Book Award for suspense in 2015.

Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi’s dark fiction has gained acceptance among readers of all genres.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977, and eventually relocated to the Chesapeake Bay area, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.

Visit with Ronald Malfi on Facebook, Twitter (@RonaldMalfi), or at http://www.ronmalfi.com.

Praise for Ronald Malfi

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The setting, the words, the ending. Color me impressed.” –Melissa Reads on The Night Parade

“The Night Parade has a creepy vibe and some genuinely terrifying moments. I even teared up a time or two. It’s everything I look for in a great read.” – Frank Errington on The Night Parade

“One cannot help but think of writers like Peter Straub and Stephen King.”
—FearNet

“Malfi is a skillful storyteller.”—New York Journal of Books

“A complex and chilling tale….terrifying.”—Robert McCammon

“Malfi’s lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia…haunting.”—Publishers Weekly

“A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride that should not be missed.”
Suspense Magazine

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Want to feature this book/author?

If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature The Night Parade or Ronald Malfi in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Follow the Publicity Tour here:

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Welcome to THE HAUNTED HALLS: Matt Shaw re-releases my debut novel today exclusively for the Kindle!

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“More than just a King knock-off, this is a truly gruesome and fun ode to the splatterpunk days that are long since gone. This is fantastic storytelling with copious amounts of sex and violence. Rolfe’s novel means more to me than just a King inspired horror yarn, this is 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.” – David Sharp, 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 Now and the Night Things series

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“The Haunted Halls is a terrifying novel that is full of blood and guts but most importantly – a very engaging plot. Rolfe has definitely come out of the gates swinging on his debut and has established himself as one of many excellent up and coming horror writers.” – The Horror Bookshelf

“The Haunted Halls is a fantastically creepy ghost story. The setting of the Bruton Inn works very well. For me, old hotels always seem to have a sense of history and impersonal menace. Although the ghosts you find at the Bruton are anything but impersonal. They are straight up evil and out for blood.” – Horror Maiden Reviews

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“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 Grin and Charlotte

GET YOU COPY HERE:  AMAZON US      AMAZON UK     AMAZON AU   AMAZON CA

Much thanks to Matt Shaw for taking this  novel under his dark cloak and bringing it back to the light!

Any reviews are greatly appreciated. Hope this one bleeds your horror heart and scares the shit out of each and every one of you.

Stay tuned!

GR

 

Update City: Let’s Get, Let’s Get, Let’s #GetRolfed

CHASING GHOSTS at Amazon.com PURCHASE NOW

CHASING GHOSTS at Amazon.UK    PURCHASE NOW

THE HAUNTED HALLS at Amazon.com  PURCHASE NOW

THE HAUNTED HALLS at Amazon.UK  PURCHASE NOW

If you’ve never been Rolfed before, September is the best time to acclimate yourself. August 1st saw the release of my Laymon-esque effort, CHASING GHOSTS (Sinister Grin Press), and this weekend (Spetember 3rd) offers those of you new to the Rolfe universe, a chance to own my first novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (Matt Shaw Publications). There will be a Facebook Release Party for THE HAUNTED HALLS Friday. Stay tuned for details.

Z-Dubz over at THE EYES OF MADNESS coined the phrase, #GetRolfed  We’re hoping it catches on.

For those of you new to my work, I have three novellas with Samhain Publishing (Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and Things We Fear). They are also available in a collected book called, WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN (also from Samhain).  These three novellas find me branching my horror out into the edge of mystery, sci-fi, and psychological horror, but I’ve always had a thing for the Laymons, Keenes, and Ketchums of the world. If you read my werewolf novel, BLOOD and RAIN, you got a hint at my darker side. With CHASING GHOSTS, you got a full on kick to the teeth (Read the latest review HERE). And if you think that was rough you will be begging for mercy with THE HAUNTED HALLS. It’s my first novel,. It was originally self-published in serial format, then released by James Ward Kirk Publishing in 2014. I signed on with Samhain and they offered to republish it. When Samhain announced that they were closing their doors (which they later decided not to do), I got the rights for the novel back. Within days of getting the rights back, I signed an exclusive eBook contract for it with British Horror master, Matt Shaw. There’s a reason this novel found a home with Mr. Shaw–it is brutal and pulls no punches.  I’m super excited to see it coming back out and can’t wait to see what people think. An audio version will follow, narrated by the talented Joe Hempel (Voice of Joey) who did my audio book of SLUSH. Joe has also recently been busy with Adam Cesare and Mercedes Yardley. Print rights for the book are being shopped around. hopefully, we’ll find a happy home.

Looking ahead, I will have another 99 cent set of short stories for you guys before the end of the year. The stories included will be “The Death Wish” and “One of These Things…” along with a surprise that I can’t mention yet.

My next two novels, WINDOW and WAITING FOR DARKNESS (aka the sequel to Blood and Rain) will hopefully see the light of day before the end of 2017 or early 2018 at the latest. I think these are my strongest two novels to date and can’t wait to share them with you all. I’ll keep you posted.

As for now, I’ll be pushing these two latest piece, both of which I am hugely proud of, and I look forward to chatting with you guys soon.

Keep up to date with all my latest releases by following my Amazon Author page HERE

Stay tuned!

-GR

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Bag of Bones is Another Reminder of Stephen King’s Magic

 

 

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Bag of Bones is one of King’s bigger books (just over 700 pages). As with another of his larger novels that I read and loved recently (The Tommyknockers), this one veers off maybe a tick too long here and there, but here, the off-trail jaunts accomplish what they should-they draw you deeper into the story. And what a deep tale it is.

“Then I got back to the house, and all I worried about was my story and the people in it–bags of bones which were putting on flesh daily.”
As a writer, I fell into this novel more so than some of the others I’ve read (even King’s). We have Mike Noonan, a writer who is facing an entire Walmart of problems. Besides ghosts, small town mysteries, what his since-deceased wife was doing in the months before she died, how he could help a young girl defeat and evil, rich, scaly old SOB and keep her daughter safe, author, Mike Noonan, was struggling with a severe case of writer’s block. I felt like King was giving us a look behind the curtain. He noted in the afterward that he was also writing or set to write On Writing at the time, as well. I’m sure those thoughts were floating in his brain at the time and seeped into this larger piece. I found the writer’s side of Mike Noonan’s adventure (or misadventure) just as captivating as the rest of the amazing story (until I hit the last couple hundred pages…then it was full-on holy hell-what’s going to happen!) But prior to the last quarter or so of the book, I was pulling for Mike to write again, I was excited for him when he did, I wanted so bad to see him get to write THE END with his new story. Once he does start writing again,King talks a lot about getting “in the zone”, and for us writers, that’s where we dive in and swim until we’ve got no choice but to come up for air. And when we do break the surface, it’s the sweetest air.

Which brings us to a fine piece of horror in this book that has Mike coming up for air….

The scariest scene in the entire book for me was definitely when Mike gets cornered by Max Devore and his aid, Rogette, on The Street. If you’ve read it, you know exactly what I mean, if you haven’t-you will (picture that being said in Yoda’s voice when he’s telling Luke he will be afraid! I think Yoda actually says “you will be”, but whatever, you get the point). We hadn’t seen Max up until that point and man, King delivers a horror home run. Rogette turns out to be just as scary (with her softball rock throwing skills on full display!).

“Her lips were painted so brightly red she seemed to be bleeding from the mouth.”
The heartbreak and magic of the book centers around young widow, Mattie Devore, her 3-year-old daughter, Kyra, and Mike. When I tell you there’s some hard hitting stuff in this novel, I’m not kidding. I usually see things from a mile away, but what goes on in this novel caught me by surprise and flipped me on my head. I thought I knew what was around the bend….and each time I got that line of thinking King walloped me, leveling me and leaving me needing to come up for air. Only problem was, the story burns like gasoline in the last two hundred-plus pages….finally finished, I am exhausted.

“It was as if the heart had been burned out of her and the sadness that remained was just another ghost , the memory of love haunting the bones of hate.”
King packs punch after punch of pure heart and soul in these pages. It is a thing of beauty and awe. He has that intangible that all of us are striving for- the honesty and emotion- and does it so effortlessly. He’s mastered that chi of writing that makes characters completely real and these worlds of fiction take form around us making everything else fade into the background. Pure magic.

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Bag of Bones is definitely one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever read. A brilliant and completely engaging work by my favorite writer.

I give Bag of Bones 5 stars!

(#Share the Horror: Interview) Heather Herrman Touches on Horror in the Heartland, Women in Horror Month, and Her Mom’s Book Club Reading Her Novel.

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Glenn Rolfe:  Hi, Heather! Thanks for doing this interview with Share the Horror! Congratulations on your excellent first novel, Consumption, and an extra hell yeah! for making the preliminary Bram Stoker Award ballot for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. That’s a whole lotta awesome.

Heather Herrman:  Thanks, Glenn! I’m really excited about it and very honored to be considered.

HH

GR: Let’s talk about the book. How long did it take from first draft to final manuscript?

HH: The first draft was completed in about seven months. I was very disciplined about writing 2,000 words a day because, frankly, it was the only thing keeping me sane. My husband and I had just moved across country from Portland, Oregon to Minneapolis, MN, in the middle of the recession, and despite (or maybe because of) my multiple, incredibly useful humanities degrees, I couldn’t find a job to save myself. I finally found an amazing VISTA position with the Minnesota Literacy Council, with whom I then worked for another four years, but my job didn’t start until noon, so I had the morning free to finish the novel. After that, I got an agent in about a month by sending out about sixty or so queries. And then… nothing. Nada. This was 2009, before the Walking Dead, before the zombie craze, and at that point my book was about 145,000 words long. A tome. And there weren’t any publishers willing to take a chance on that for a first novel. Fast-forward four years to my agent sending it out again, Hydra picking it up, and me completely revising the novel to cut about 50,000 words. I still mourn my earlier version, but I think what it is now is what it needed to be to get published as a first novel, and I’m really proud of it.

GR: I always wonder what it would be like to sneak a peek at the original versions of certain novels. I bet Consumption would be great. Wonder what else you did to this town?Why did you bring this evil to poor little Cavus?

HH: Dude, Cavus was asking for it. JK. But seriously, I am very intrigued by the transformations small middle-America towns have experienced in the last few decades. I grew up in farm country, spending a lot of time on my grandparents’ farm in the small town of Bennington, Kansas. And even from when I was a kid to now, I’ve seen so much change, specifically in the way farming happens. For example, I just did a harvest ride along with my uncle, who still farms and is now, in fact, one of the bigger farmers in the state. He said that whereas before his dad—my grandfather—used to work from dawn ’til dusk during harvest, now they worked all night sometimes, because technology provided lights and automated steering to make this possible. This meant that for farmers, there was no longer any natural “end of the work day;” the natural cycle had been shifted. He and I talked about how this was a really hard thing for a farmer and a farmer’s family. But technology had to happen, and it is, in a lot of ways, a good thing—farms can produce much higher yields than they did before. However, at what cost? Because now we’re talking about mono-crops with giant yields and what struck me is that even though I grew up in the middle of farm country, when I come back home I can’t eat any of the food that the farmers are growing. All of the food in restaurants is flown or trucked in. This—along with small farms disappearing and with them their lifestyle—seemed to beg the question, if we aren’t consuming what we grow, what are consuming? And obviously I mean that on more than a literal level. What is filling what the disappearing farming lifestyle left behind? And thus Cavus was born. I didn’t set it in Kansas because I needed the mental distance to write about it honestly. Cavus is actually based on a small town in Montana that I drove through on the move to Minnesota.  I can’t for the life of me remember which one, just that it had this incredibly creepy energy.

GR: One of the aspects I really enjoyed was the bizarre creatures your Feeders become when they slip their human disguise and take form. That, among other things, reminded me of Bentley Little. More than just horror or monsters, The Feeders (or you) put these really macabre images in my head. And it’s always alongside something ordinary or something that appears ordinary. I think there’s a scene when John is walking back to Bunny’s and there’s this little girl, and thanks to all of the previous freaky imagery, we’re sort of on the edge of our seats to see if it’s really a little girl or something else. I loved that. I’m assuming Little is an influence for you?

HH: Man, it’s so interesting you say that because a few people have made that comparison. I’m completely flattered, but I don’t think he is an influence that I realized until hearing people say so. I read several Little books in the past years, and going back to think about those books, I think they really did creep into my sub-conscious, especially some of those gorgeously disturbing images he creates (I’m thinking of the dead in The Walking). Anyway, if asked I’d put King or Katherine Anne Porter as immediate influences, but I wonder if the more powerful influences are sometimes the ones buried in the deepest depths, the true raw stuff that just kind of oozes out when you write.

GR: I love Little, so it is definitely a compliment. Of those Little books that you have read, any stick out to you?

HH: As I said before, I loved The Walking. The Summoning is also great. In both of these books you get monsters that go beyond the traditional, which I really appreciate. A vampire isn’t just a vampire, and a zombie isn’t just a zombie. Anyway, thanks to you, I’m going to go back now and try to read all Bentley’s work at a stretch, which is something one of my old professors did with any author he really liked. He’d take a summer and work his way through an author’s entire publishing catalogue, no matter how deep it was. He said this was the best way to get to know an author as well as learn from them as a writer. I’ve only done this a few times, but I think Bentley and I are about to spend the summer together. I hope he likes tequila.

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GR: I thought the factory bit, these mother fuckers getting ready to unleash this to the rest of the world was scary as hell. I know King brings religion and God into a lot of his works. You used the communion wafer in here as that potential weapon to take down the world. Is there a religious stance going on here? Or is that just where the story demanded to go?

HH: Did my mom put you up to this? Seriously, she just gave me a talking to about those poor church-goers and their communion wafers a few nights ago. For whatever reason she and her nursing friends have decided to read Consumption for their book club (god love them), and my mom wants to be prepared with an answer about why her daughter is going to hell.

Truthfully, I find much to loathe and admire about organized religion, and I think the communion wafers were just my way of exploring that. Any organized institution begs corruption of power, and religion has had some splendid examples of this. At the same time, you most often find your Everyman there, trying to do good, trying to find something to believe in. For me, those communion wafers harkened back to the consumption theme. As in, what are we consuming beyond the physical food we’re eating? Communion wafers are symbolic, and they’re meant to represent something holy and good, and yet what if even this isn’t safe from globalized capitalism in its greediest form? In what ways do we already infuse religion with politics and use it to sway the opinions of believers from all walks of life? Which is not to say that I am not a believer, or that I don’t think religion is important or doesn’t produce some very good things like charity and a structured belief system that can be a strong foundation for families and communities. But. And. To believe in such a system is to question it. And if you can question it and still find belief, if you can step outside of your glass bubble where everyone thinks the same thing as you and believes the same things you do, and still find a way to bring that belief to life, then, I think, you have something truly worthwhile.

GR: How are things going with Hydra? How is their marketing team and your overall experience with the publisher been?

HH: Hydra is incredible. Truly. Sarah Peed and Ashleigh Heaton in particular have worked really hard on getting the book out there and making sure it was all it could be. I certainly have had to do a lot of my own publicizing (as do all authors these days)—for instance, I came up with the idea of a blog video to go with Consumption’s release—but any time I had something like that I wanted to do and asked for their help they were completely on board. I also did a Mary Shelley b-day party on Facebook with two other Hydra authors whom I really admire—Michael M. Hughes and Adam Cesare. That was a lot of fun. What I really appreciate about Hydra is the level of talent that they bring in. I think the books that they have out there and are currently curating are top-notch.

GR: Growing up in Kansas,  are there any scary incidents from your youth that may have led you down this path?

HH: The usual childhood stuff, I guess. As do all kids, I experienced some rough patches growing up, and I remember one of my earliest horror books was King’s It. I was in sixth or seventh grade and borrowed it from my aunt’s house (she didn’t know), and it scared the shit out of me. But more than that, it comforted me. It took me out of any bad stuff happening in the real world and let me not just escape, but believe in the importance of small actions and small people. Which I think really good horror does. By which I don’t mean handing us a neat good and evil dichotomy on a platter, but forcing us to find the grayness and walk within it. As for any particular scary events happening, I think its more landscape for me. As I said before, I spent a lot of time on my grandparents’ farm, and at night I would go outside and listen to the coyotes, and there was such beauty and wildness there, that I just knew there was so much more than what we were seeing. I still find a magic when I go back there. And also my friend’s basement was completely haunted, so there’s that.

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GR: I know that February is Women in Horror month. With all of this blow up over the Oscars and whether or not African-Americans are getting hosed or not, I was wondering your feelings on Woman in Horror vs. Men in Horror. I saw actress Stacy Dash, who happens to be black, on Fox News talking about how having channels like BET and the BET Awards where you can only be nominated if you’re black is a double standard and that they need to do away with those if African Americans are going to try and play this card. I know this isn’t as deep rooted an issue as race, but some do bring discrimination into it. Personally, I think ladies can be twice as vicious as guys, but WiHM did make me look at how many male authors I was reading vs. how many woman authors. It was predominantly male for me. It did convince me to purchase books by Shirley Jackson, Rena Mason, and Mercedes Yardley. Does WiHM mean anything to you? Do you see it as something that’s necessary or not? Is there a problem in our industry?

HH: First let me say I think it’s really badass of you to actively take a look at your reading list and think proactively about what that meant and how you could change it. Kudos.

Actually, inequality of race and gender are old bedfellows, going all the way back to suffragettes and abolitionists. So I think talking about them in tandem is gonna happen regardless—though obviously each also contains its own, complex issues. But to your specific question, I’ve said a lot of things lately about women in horror, and posted a video about the lack of women on the Stoker ballot. That video kept me up a few nights—I posted it right when the ballot came out, and we were on vacation, and I kept second-guessing myself and thinking that I should have polished it more, or said things in a clearer way so that men didn’t feel like I was specifically attacking them, but at the end of the day I just needed to say something and get it out there without overly-censoring myself which, I think, is a real danger for women. And honestly, almost everyone in the horror community—especially HWA members, have been incredibly supportive. They were and are already talking about the issue and recognizing a need for change. I admire a lot of what they’ve done with, for example, recruiting more women for specific chapters and creating a Diversity Committee, but I think we’re all on the same page in saying there’s still a lot of work to be done. When you’ve got the Stokers preliminary awards ballot with over 70 percent men on it, there’s a problem. Let’s not sugar-coat it.

By and large I think horror readers and writers are one of the smartest groups out there—people who haven’t maybe always fit in elsewhere but find a home in horror. Horror can either reinforce the status quo or explode it, and obviously, at least for me, it’s the latter possibility that’s the most interesting. Which would, in my mind, dictate a need for inclusiveness in storytelling. You’re going to see the exciting stuff happening in genre first— we already are—and that’s why I think horror and specifically the HWA is an important place to honor this.

But, you know, I’m new to this game. I should just make sure that’s out there. Plenty of other women horror authors have already taken up the cause of getting great work by women published and noticed. HWA president Lisa Morton comes to mind. So I don’t want to have the audacity to come in an presume to speak for all women. It’s a complicated topic, and we’re all just figuring it out, but we’ve got to figure it out together. And to answer your specific question, yeah, I’m all for Women in Horror month. Do I wish we didn’t need it? Sure. Is there a danger that it boxes women into a little, safe corner where they can just eat crumpets and drink their tea? Absolutely. But anything that brings more women’s fiction to the public is fine by me.

In regards to Stacey Dash and her comments—when she said what she said, I think you also have to look at the context in which she said it. Which means thinking about who her audience was, and what the benefit vs. the risk of saying what she said might be. She is absolutely entitled to her own opinion, and discrimination of race or gender, while tied in many ways, are also their own very complicated issues. I would never presume to know what a person of color, for example, might be experiencing. But I will say that in terms of gender and writing, we’ve got a problem that is deeply systematic. I would never say let’s just throw more women’s names on the Stoker Ballot, for example, because that’s not going to solve anything. We all want work based on merit—there’s never a question of that. But we need to think about the deeper issues—like how do we even get women’s work and voices to the table in the first place and, in my mind, perhaps more importantly, deeper into the publishing and literary world so that more of the behind the scenes decisions such as what books are being published and reviewed are in the hands of a much more diverse membership. This of course goes for race and gender both.

There are so many stories that need to be told, and giving voice to them will only make horror, and all genres better. What we absolutely don’t need to do, however, is to demonize one group of people—let’s say white men—because that gets us absolutely nowhere. And some of the biggest advocates for increasing women’s recognition in horror come from men. But what we do need to do is have a dialogue that goes beyond the usual finger-pointing or victim vs. man in power that we’re so used to having. This is a nuanced issue and everyone, including men, should feel that their story is valid. We may, however, need to do more thinking about what that actual story is and the inherent privilege (of which I also as a white, cisgender, hetero woman enjoy) that entails. But this doesn’t have to mean a winner/ loser situation. It’s like thinking, as an author, that for me to do well, somebody else has to fail. When in truth, we both do better if we both succeed. The more books out there being valued, the wider the audiences reached and the stronger the market.

GR: I do my Share the Horror page partly because I love to bring things to people’s attention, partly as a way to pay it forward, and basically share any knowledge that I have or that of my interviewees. You’ve done some great YouTube videos offering up advice to writers. Is that kind of the same deal? Is it something you enjoy doing? (You guys can check her YouTube Page HERE )

HH: I love the concept of Share the Horror. A sincere thank you because you are truly bringing a much needed resource to the genre. And yeah, that is, I guess, what I like to do with my videos and blog in regard to writing in general. Not that I have it all figured out, far from it, but I have taught it a lot and had some great teachers myself, and so when I start thinking about a topic in my own writing, I’m interested in putting it out there just to enter the ever-evolving dialogue of what it means to be a writer

GR: What’s next from Heather Herrman?

HH: Currently I’m about 3/4 of the way through a new manuscript with the tentative title ’Til Death. It features a failing couple at a marriage retreat that also happens to harbor a serial killer. This book has been a lot of fun for me, and whereas Consumption tackled a lot of big ideas, this one has allowed me to cut loose a little and just enjoy the blood.

GR: Okay, it’s time for some rapid fire!Give me three of your favorite scary movies:

HH: The Descent, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and High Tension.

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GR: Name a book you got so caught up in that it made you yell out loud:

HH: Not yell but just kind of put it down with a sigh and think motherfucker, I will never be able to write like this, how did you do it and why didn’t I think of it first? That was Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind. Oh! And also the short-story “The Debutante” by Leonora Carrington. Go read it right now. The BEST, gorgeously insane horror story ever. Now, if you’re talking about throwing a book in anger, pretty much any book every written for a child under two. It’s called iambic pentameter, people. Learn it. And dear god can someone please write something that I can read 500 times and not vomit? I think a children’s book line penned exclusively by horror writers is definitely needed. Maybe featuring titles like, Even Zombies Potty. I’ll keep working on it.

GR: An album that you own that you don’t want anyone to know you own?

HH: Hey, I’ll claim them all. No shame here. Shakespeare Sisters, maybe? I busted out “Stay” at a New Year’s party we were hosting last year and had to by dragged off the living room table with boos for my rendition. I like a lot of classical music as well because I used to play cello, so there’s some pretty over-the-top tear your coattails and bleed your suffering stuff like Rachmaninoff in my collection.

GR: You have a day completely to yourself. You’re not allowed to write. What are you going to do instead?

HH: First I’m going to get outdoors some how some way, maybe a quick game of basketball, and then I’m going to hit up a brewery. I am a big fan of small-batch local beer, and there’s such exciting stuff happening with it right now. Surly, though not so small anymore, will always hold a special place in my heart. Since this is fantasy, I would also like a giant truffle (fungus, not chocolate) to eat like an apple while this is happening. And of course capping all that off with a scary movie while eating popcorn with milk-duds (and you gotta put the milk duds in the popcorn) couldn’t hurt. I realize I haven’t mentioned my kid once here, poor little dude, but I’m gonna assume he is with a babysitter who is exponentially more fun than I could ever be. Oh, and there’s definitely some reading going on in there somewhere. Maybe during the Surly-drinking/truffle-eating phase? Okay, wait. Can we pretend my liver and stamina are still 21? Because then I’d throw a live show of some sort in there. Maybe catch a band at the Slowdown or something and stare creepily at the lead singer while dreaming about what it would be like if I could actually sing. But if I do that I’m going to also need some late night pizza from Gumby’s, and they don’t deliver to Omaha, so…. Also, this is sounding like a lot of work. Let me just revise and say Read. Beer. Truffle. Movie. Perfect day. Done.

GR: Thanks for doing this, Heather. Good luck with Consumption and the Stokers.

HH: Thanks, Glenn!

 

Find Heather at her official site: Heather Herrman

And go buy CONSUMPTION!

She’s also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

 

 

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!