Last weekend's bookfair went great and I'm gearing up for another this Saturday. I'll be riding there with AR Miller, and we'll likely do too much gabbing and laughing along...
You know those stories where every one of the main characters go through hell and all come out alive? Sure you do. The writer puts the hero and his/her sidekick, his/her significant other, and other contributing characters into just enough to peril to make you sweat and maybe slip to the edge of your seat for just a few minutes. Is the author going to actually let them die???? Oh, goodness no.
A lot of time, no, the author isn’t going to take them out. Not all of them, and sometimes, yes, sometimes, not even one of them.
I am not that author.
I don’t set out to build these people for you to care about all the while plotting their deaths and thus filling you with rage or sadness. It isn’t a master plan. It isn’t preconceived. I’m not the evil. Really.
However, I do not hesitate to let my story and my action take over during the writing process. I allow the tale to do what it wants. Yes, even if that means killing off the hero or the sidekick. Or the wanna-be girlfriend/boyfriend.
We live in an unsafe world where cheap shots take the lives of those we love, cherish, and admire at will. For me, writing a story…one where a monster or a murderer is on the loose and placed face-to-face with regular people…not everyone is coming out alive. And that makes the writing process exciting for me, and I hope for my readers, as well. I don’t outline. I have no idea what’s up ahead, and if I don’t know, how are you supposed to know?
So in closing, I don’t kill everybody. And it doesn’t happen in all of my stories, but in my latest novel, Blood and Rain…well, it’s a werewolf novel, and I mean, come on. Man stands before beast, silver bullets, and horrific transformations, fear of the next full moon, and a small town ripe for the reaping!
Quoth the Lorax, “you have been warned!”
Ted McKinney resided in a small apartment over Ken Jenks’s garage. He opened the door and welcomed Joe in.
“Sheriff.” Ted pulled out a fresh pack of smokes and tapped the package against his palm. “Care if I light up?”
“It’s your house.”
“You want something to drink? I have beer or water.”
“I’m good.” Ted unwrapped the cellophane from the cigarette box, opened the lid and drew one from the pack. He placed it between his lips and raised the lighter to it. “What do you need from me?”
Joe picked at a banana sticker clinging to the bare counter next to the sink. He saw the empty grave. He saw the ravaged bodies. Despite his friendship with Ted’s brother, Jack, Joe had never really been close with Ted. He wasn’t sure which side of the debate Ted’s feelings on the supernatural lay—the sane wild-animal types or the crazy werewolf zealots.
“You didn’t happen to see anyone or anything else at the park while you were there this morning, did you?”
“You mean like a psycho killer or a black bear?”
“Or something else?”
Joe stroked his fresh whiskers. He wasn’t going to feed it to the man.
“No. I didn’t see anyone or anything there. I just saw…what was left.”
Joe nodded. “And you were there because…”
“I don’t know. I wish I hadn’t been. It’s just these killings…I sometimes cruise by the park and think, ya know?” Ted took a long drag, exhaled and continued, “All this shit and the storm and the moon last night…damn, I don’t know. It just made me think of what happened to Michele and Jack and Kelly.”
Ted looked up at him. “You really think this was just some wild animal passing through town or coming down from the hills?”
Joe stood up straight and fixed his Stetson.
“Thanks, Ted.” He tapped the counter and started for the door.
Joe waited at the door.
“Is that really what you think?”
Joe saw the empty grave. “Ted, I don’t know what to think. Just stay in tonight, okay?”
Joe closed the door behind him. He stared up at the darkening sky. The moon was still round and bright. He hoped the legends were right. He needed some quiet tonight.
Blood and Rain, Synopsis
The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.
Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen. Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.
Find Glenn Rolfe at: http://glennrolfe.com/ as well as Facebook and Twitter.
Biography, Glenn Rolfe
Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.
He is the author the novellas, Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.
He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!
Praise for Blood and Rain
“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
“With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!” -Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase
“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre
“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” — Horror Underground
“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” – Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon
“Some good ‘ol fashion violence and gore…” – Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil
“Glenn Rolfe takes a swing at the werewolf genre and hits a home run.” – Russell James, author of Q Island and Dreamwalker
“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” – Horror Novel Reviews
“The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.”–Horror After Dark
For a chance to win a print copy of Glenn Rolfe’s short story collection, Slush, or a chance to win your choice of any of his titles in e-book format, go to this link for the Rafflecopter sign-up. Good luck! The print copy is only good for those in the United States. Questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.
Stan Springs stared at the curse in the night sky. His curse. He clenched his jaw, and bit back the grunts that demanded release from within his sweat-covered body. His muscles tightened and took turns throwing fits. He could feel his heartbeat’s thunderous barrage at work inside his heaving chest. It was only a matter of minutes before the changes would come.
He ripped his gaze from the clouds, moved away from the window and knelt down next to the bed against the concrete wall. He slipped one shaky hand beneath the mattress and found the small incision he’d made when he first arrived at the institution. He had traded a guard, a heavyset fella by the name of Harold Barnes, his prized Ted Williams rookie card in exchange for a copy of the key. Parting with this gold mine had been necessary. Stan Springs had nothing else of value with which to barter. Harold trusted him enough to make the swap; he told Stan there were crazies here by the dozen, but he could tell that Stan was not one of them.
No, Harold, I’m something far worse.
Key in hand, Stan stepped to the unlocked door and cracked it open. The hallway was clear. He moved down the corridor, as stealthily as during his heydays working on the force in New York. Hearing footfalls ahead and to his left, he fell back and pressed his large frame against the custodial door. Hidden by the entryway’s shadow, he watched Nurse Collins—a tall, thin woman with a dark complexion—pass fifty feet from where he stood, before she disappeared into the nurses’ break room.
Barefoot and dressed in only a Red Sox T-shirt and his sleeping shorts, Stan made a break for the staircase across the hall. His breaths were coming faster now. If he didn’t hurry, he wouldn’t make it outside. He crept down the steps leading to the main hallway.
Through the small window on the stairwell door, he could see Harold Barnes’s haunted jowls illuminated by the laptop screen in front of him. The old man’s eyes were closed, his mouth open. Harold hadn’t even made it an hour into his shift before he was out. Stan knew Harold also ran his own antique shop in the neighboring town of Hallowell. He’d told Stan that working both jobs on the same day, which was sometimes unavoidable, made it difficult for him on the night shift. It was another shared nugget Stan had stored away for nights like this one—the nights the beast in him needed to get out.
Easing the door open, Stan skulked his way along the shadows on the wall, and tiptoed to the main entrance door. Despite the cramps now rampaging through his calves and thighs, he slipped the procured key into the lock, slow and steady. The door clicked open, and he stepped out into the night.
As the cool breeze brushed against the sweat of his brow, the tendons and bones in his face began to shift. The rest of his body followed suit. He dropped to one knee and cried out. His skin, his scalp, his eyes, his muscles were all too tight. He reached behind him and managed to push the door shut.
If you could see me now, Harold.
The private roads out front were deserted. He launched from the building’s stairs and landed on the lawn below, making a beeline for the woods to the left of the large property.
He was twenty feet from the forest when the change hit him like a massive wave, crashing him to the ground. His muscles clenched and squeezed and tore, while the bones of his face continued to crack and grow. His teeth began to fall out in place of the monster’s. Down on all fours, he crawled to the tree cover and vomited. A mix of last night’s cafeteria meat loaf, black coffee, loose teeth, and blood splashed the ferns before him. Stan’s fingers extended as his claws dug into the soft soil of spring’s floor. He moaned and grunted his way through the rest of the fluid process.
In full beast mode, Stan Springs stood and howled at the cloud-covered sky. The creatures of the night became ghosts among the trees. He felt the strength flowing through him and the hunger begging to be sated.
He burst forward, headed north. Despite Stan’s best effort to control the beast’s killing zone, he found himself heading home.