Wednesday, June 05, 2019

20Q7A: An interview with Glenn Rolfe

20 Questions, 7 Answers is an interview series for writers of genre fiction. Each author receives the same batch of 20 questions, but they may only answer 7.

This week's guest is Glenn Rolfe.


What's your latest book, and how does it differ from your previous work? 

GR: My latest writing endeavor is my venture into the world of Patreon. I’m pushing myself to write more short stories. If you join the page, you’ll see the fruits of those labors. I only have two tiers. A $2 and a $5 tier. You get my monthly short story from what I’m calling the Get Rolfed Short Story Series. Patrons get a mobi of each story at the beginning of the month. So far, I’ve done three - “Orson’s Gas n’ Go” (which is my ode to Tobe Hooper), “What’s My Age Again?” (I don’t want to give anything away about that one), and this month’s selection was a story about a creepy little doll named “Molly”. When I do short stories, it’s all over the place. I have heartfelt pieces, I have guts and gore, I have atmospheric spine-tinglers, weird Twilight Zone-ish pieces, and I’m even trying to step into other genres. A little sci-fi, a little mystery.

I’ve really been getting into designing covers, as well. And with these monthly eBooks, I get to work on that by creating one for each of the stories.

Other than the short stories, I’m posting videos about books and movies, updates on my writing projects, behind the scenes stuff like deleted scenes and first-look chapters of works-in-progress. The upper tier gets all that, plus signed paperback copies of my works going forward. If anyone is interested, like I said, $2 a month gets you quite a bit of bang for your bucks.

Do you have any creative endeavors other than writing fiction (art, music, knitting)?

GR: I’ve been in punk bands forever. I was always the singer, guitarist, main songwriter. Now, I just fiddle around with my acoustic guitar. Every so often, I toss something up on my YouTube page. It was really after I got too busy with my kiddos and working full-time that I had to give up on playing out. I still needed a creative outlet. That’s when I decided to give writing a shot. So far, it’s been amazing.

Who or what is your favorite movie monster, and why?

GR: I’m still very much a werewolf guy. There’s that constant struggle within. We all have the primal urges and instincts inside us. Those base emotions and reactions that go back to being cavemen. And it’s an interesting balancing act to marry that with the intelligence and reason most of us have developed as a species. No matter how evolved we’ve become, that primal beast is always there, just beneath. It certainly keeps us on our toes. I just watched The Ted Bundy Tapes, the new movie on Netflix. Serial killers are certainly an example of what can happen if the monster inside wins.

What's the best movie, new or old that you've seen for the first time in the past 3 months? 

GR: I saw the Avengers: End Game. That was a pretty emotional ride. I can’t say I left the theater feeling good. I think we all sort of wanted that happy big-movie ending, but what we got was something much closer to real life. It was certainly heart-wrenching.

I also caught The Changeling for the first time ever on The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs. There’s just something great about going back to the 70s and watching the way people used to react to things pre-tech days. It certainly adds to the spooky factor. And that opening scene, man, that was a heavy shot to start with. I really like ghost stories and hauntings, so this one was great to finally see. I love 70s and 80s horror flicks better than most of today’s stuff, for sure.

If you could survive on one food for the rest of your life with no health repercussions, what would it be?

GR: Probably spaghetti. I mean, I love pizza and hamburgers, but I don’t think I could ever get sick of spaghetti.

What is your writing environment like? (Are you out in public or in seclusion? Is there noise? Is there coffee? Do you type on a laptop or write longhand on lined notebook paper?) 

GR: My preferred writing spot would be at the desk in my bedroom, late at night. Everyone is asleep. All the lights are off. It’s easier for me to disappear into my work. It also adds to the creepy factor when I’m in the middle of a hair-raising scene. I’ve certainly been jumped by my cat or one of my kids while writing those scenes.

I’ve got my headphones on, pumping in scene appropriate music. Love songs for romantic moments, scary scores for death scenes, maybe a little Danzig. Or if I’m writing in a specific year, I’ll pumped songs or albums from that era. I’ve also gone ahead and created playlists or soundtracks for particular stories that I’ll write to.

I like to have a candle burning for mood light (my favorite being a hazelnut crème). I do all my writing on my home computer or my laptop.

I only recently started outlining a few of my stories. For that, I start with all the brainstorming and free writing in a notebook. When I think I’ve got the story, I’ll type it up and continue revising.

What happens when you die? 

GR: I hope someone cries for me like I did for some of our heroes at the end of the new Avengers movie. Honestly, I hope something. I’d love to see my dad and brother again. If I could write the script, we’d be at the beach - beers, burgers, fries, sun and sea. Maybe Elvis and Joe Strummer are doing 45-minute sets on the pier. That would be my paradise.

If it’s we just blackout and that’s it, I guess I won’t notice, right? But I really hope it’s more.


Glenn Rolfe is an author 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, Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, and many others. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is a Splatterpunk Award nominee and the author of The Window, Becoming, Blood and Rain, The Haunted Halls, Chasing Ghosts, Abram's Bridge, Boom Town, Things We Fear, and the collections, Slush, and Land of Bones.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!