Interview with Kristin Dearborn

In the last year, Kristin Dearborn has quickly climbed up my horror ladder and now resides with some pretty impressive distinguished authors. Her residence in the horror penthouse is well deserved. Whispers and Stolen Away were two of my favorite reads of 2016 and this year looks like she won’t be letting off the throttle. Thats great news for us horror fans. If you haven’t had the pleasure to read any of her spine-tinglers, here’s your invitation. Kristin brings her stories to life with some of the most amazingly realistic characters you’ll ever come across on the written page. Dearborn doesn’t give you perfectly chiseled “super-hero” types who don’t have a care in the world. Hers are flawed, gritty, and multi-faceted, just like how life is, and it makes her stories come alive. When I had the opportunity to interview this amazing, up-and-coming talent, I couldn’t resist. Here she is…Kristin Dearborn.

Lets get the vitals out of the way –

Name: Kristin Dearborn
DOB: August 3, 1982
Birthplace: Augusta Maine
City of Residence: Burlington, VT
Marital Status: Lone Wolf
Children: One spoiled white furry dog
Pets: See above


Into The Macabre: When did you first start writing?

Kristin Dearborn: Before I could write, I would dictate stories to my mother, then illustrate them. As a kid I dabbled in sequels to my favorite animated movies (All Dogs go to Heaven II). From there, I moved on to my own works.

ITM: What drew you to horror? What/Who were your inspirations?

KD: My parents had a fair number of horror novels around the house growing up. In 1990, for Christmas, my Mom bought my Dad a copy of Jurassic Park and I devoured first that, then most of the rest of what Crichton had written at the time. From there, I graduated to Dean Koontz, and once I’d chewed through most of his catalog, Stephen King. I was pretty young when I got an adult library card, and although my folks were pretty strict on what movies I could watch, books were fair game.

ITM: Describe the process it took for you to become published.

KD: In 2008 I started the masters program at Seton Hill University, and there I really learned the nuts and bolts of what it takes to polish a story. From there I was able to look at markets with a more critical eye, and make my first short story sale. I firmly believe who you know is 60% of the publication process, so remember that and always be nice to everyone in the genre.

ITM: If you could turn back the hands of time and go back, what about the publishing process would you do differently?

KD: Hmmm…interesting question. I’d say nothing, because it’s all gotten me where I am. I will say it’s time for me to get serious about looking for a literary agent.

ITM: They say its not about what you know but who you know. Would you agree with this statement? Who helped you along the way and what did they do?

KD: The connections I made at Seton Hill University have been invaluable. In that program students are matched with two mentors who are writers working in their genre. One of my mentors connected my thesis novel with a publisher, and it became my first novel released. Another sale came as a result of a drunken 2am conversation at World Horror Convention. An author I admired introduced me to his publisher, who liked the idea of my book, and the rest was history.

ITM: What would you say are the biggest challenges you face today as a writer?

KD: Time management, for sure. It’s hard to keep the bills paid and play as much as I like to and still write books. I feel like it comes and goes, sometimes I feel like I have a handle on it, other times, not so much.

ITM: What role has social media played in your successes?

KD: I think it’s helped. Working with a publicist who is actually social media savvy has been huge. My social media strategy is basically just to be nice to everyone and to not talk a lot about my books—probably I should do it more than I do. For all its downfalls, it’s a great place to stay connected to the writer tribe, many are scattered across the country and the globe.

ITM: Many readers are introduced to new authors through sites such as Goodreads. Have you explored Goodreads and what would you say is your level of interaction on there?

KD: I used to do a lot more with it than I do now. I’ll occasionally pop over to say hi, but haven’t been really locked in with it as of late.

ITM: Your latest, Whispers, is a gripping read that blends nicely the Lovecraft foundation with realistic and modern characters. How did this story come about?

KD: I think HPL has great ideas, but I often find his execution falls flat (except for “Color Out of Space,” which I think is his best work). I’ve been drawn to “Whisperer in Darkness” because it’s set here in Vermont. During my most recent read-through, I got thinking about the very destructive flooding that came about after hurricane Irene in 2011, the heroin epidemic which has taken root in Vermont, and GLBTQ rights. I wanted to make it more than just a story about a shut in and the Mi-Go, but something that pulled in issues that are very real to my adopted home state today.

ITM: One of the things that I’ve noticed with Whispers, as well as your previous story, Stolen Away, is that you use gritty characters that don’t have a lot going for them and you make them rise up to the challenges that face them. Is this a conscious effort on your part?

KD: Heroic heroes like Superman don’t interest me. I like a little grit to them, more along the lines of the Losers Club from It or Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie. Flaws make the character, and watching these types power through being dealt a crummy hand and come out victorious on the other side makes for a much more rewarding read. It’s a problem I’ve had with Dean Koontz’s books…his heroes are so squeaky clean. There’s no meat on those bones. I feel like one of the most fantastic character arcs in pop culture, and one that inspired Whispers and Stolen Away both is that of Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. Over five seasons we watched him go from entitled little shit to becoming a person we could admire (if we admire drug lords—which, you know, sometimes you do).

ITM: You’re starting to rack up an impressive catalogue of books. I know it’s like asking which one of your children is your favorite, so I’ll try to do it in a different way. Which story of yours do you recommend to someone that has never read your work and why?

KD: I’m going to give a TOTAL cheat answer and say my favorite is a novelette called “Jackson House” which isn’t out yet but likely will be in 2017. As for a recommendation of where to start, I think my winter tale Woman in White is a great starting place. There’s a monster, a fun cast of characters, and a blizzard.


ITM: Some writers have to follow a strict routine and can only create while writing in their special designated area on a set schedule. Others drag a laptop around with them and take advantage of any free moment their day may present.. Give me a breakdown of your day and how you create the next Kristin Dearborn masterpiece.

KD: I like to write first thing in the morning, but as of late, that’s not been happening. If I don’t get it out of the way first thing, the need to write hangs over me like a little dark storm cloud, and on days when it doesn’t happen, I feel guilty and crappy. If I don’t kick it off first thing, either in bed or from my desk, always on a laptop, then I wind up trying to shoehorn it in later in the day.

ITM: Stephen King has the spooky house in Bangor surrounded by the wrought iron fence with gargoyles on it. Do you have anything crazy at your house that makes your neighbors clutch their children when they see you coming?

KD: Here’s a little corner of my kitchen: I have a knife block that is shaped like a person and the knives are all impaling him. There are also pictures of Cthulhu and ravens on the wall.

ITM: Nice! I love the knife block. I need to get me one of those! What are you reading these days?

KD: I’m on a bit of a sci fi kick these days. I’m almost done both the 6th book in James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series, Babylon’s Ashes, and the Star Wars novel Bloodline by Claudia Gray. Bloodline is a Leia-centric story which is bittersweet to read after Carrie Fisher’s death. The Expanse is a kick ass Space Opera series with some fantastic characters and settings. Highly recommend.

ITM: Your Top 5 horror movies?

KD: This is such a fun question… Alien, The Thing, Rosemary’s Baby, Blair Witch Project, The Loved Ones and one more bonus on, the French Romanian film Them(Ils)

ITM: Do you do horror conventions? What’s your thoughts on those?

KD: I do a good number of horror conventions. My favorite is NECON, which is less like a horror convention and more like summer camp with some people who happen to write horror. The horror community is a wonderful, tightly knit group of people, especially at NECON, and each time I arrive in Bristol, RI, it’s like I’m at a family reunion. I’ve gone to many World Horror Conventions, and made some fantastic connections there. I love getting to see different cities in different parts of the country, and exploring them with my horror friends. I attended the first ever StokerCon in Las Vegas last year, which was a great con, but for me totally overshadowed by LAS VEGAS! I think there’s a lot of valuable networking that happens at horror cons, the sense of community is huge and affirming, and they almost always stoke my creative fires. However I’m awful at getting out beyond my little cliques and meeting new people, because I’m so excited to see the folks I only see once or twice a year. You can treat them like a horror themed vacation, or a real working event, and to do the latter one must be pretty deliberate and intentional. I try for a blend, sometimes I do better than others.

ITM: What can us fans expect coming down the pike in 2017 and beyond?

KD: More horror! The aforementioned “Jackson House” should be coming out this year, as well as a few short stories. I have a few completed first drafts tucked up my sleeve and am working on a novella about a haunted woman. Y’all haven’t seen the last of me yet!

ITM: I’m really looking forward to your new one coming out. Thanks again. I really appreciate you letting me grill you for my blog and look forward to chatting with you in the future. Take care, my friend.

Interview with Brian Moreland

Lets get the vitals out of the way –

Name: Brian Moreland
DOB: November 28, 1968
Birthplace: Portsmouth, VA
City of Residence: Dallas, TX
Marital Status: Divorced
Children: None
Pets: None

Into The Macabre: When did you first start writing?

Brian Moreland: In college, when I was 19, I decided to write a novel for the fun of it. I discovered that making up stories came easy to me and I could sit at a computer and write for 8-10 hours. In fact, I was having so much fun, I didn’t want to stop writing. I skipped a lot of classes that Spring semester of my freshman year. I wrote a very early version of what eventually became my novel The Devil’s Woods. I changed majors that year from Business Finance to Radio/TV/Film and Creative Writing. I took classes that taught me how to write short stories, and I took two screenwriting classes. I wrote a short script for Tales from the Crypt that eventually became my WWII novel Shadows in the Mist. By the time I had graduated college, I had written three novels and several short stories. It took me over a decade later to finally publish my first story.

ITM: What drew you to horror? What/Who were your inspirations?

BM: I’d say my Mom drew me to horror, because when I was a kid, she and I used to watch classic monster movies every Saturday when they had double creature features on TV. I’ve loved monsters and spooky stories for as long as I can remember. I used to draw monsters with crayons and I collected monster figures. I’m not really sure why I was drawn to horror. To me, watching a scary movie, reading a book that gets your adrenaline going is a rush. In high school, I read Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, Graveyard Shift, It, and Salem’s Lot. I devoured all of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. The first one I read was The Midnight Meat Train. King and Barker catapulted my innocent mind into dark worlds that rocked my core. They taught me that the experience of reading horror fiction can be more satisfying and have longer lasting effects than watching a movie. In college, I discovered Dean Koontz and Robert McCammon. Their stories were more action-packed, and showed me that horror could also be a wild ride. I modeled my style after Koontz and McCammon in my early writings. In the past few years I’ve studied Richard Laymon, H.P. Lovecraft, and especially Clive Barker. Ever since I started writing in college, I wanted to be successful like all these authors. I had aspirations to write several of my own horror novels and one day become a published author.

ITM: Your first novel, Shadows in the Mist, you self published. Describe the process that led you to go down this avenue.

BM: After college, I spent the next 15 years writing novels and attempting to get them published with a big publisher. It was a frustrating time because I couldn’t get a literary agent to represent me. In the ‘90s and early 2000’s self-publishing wasn’t an option (or at least not one respected by the industry). You had to get an agent to get a publisher to read your book, otherwise your manuscript ended up in a giant slush pile and had about 1% chance of ever getting read. I submitted an early version of my first novel, The Devil’s Woods (originally titled Skinners) to a dozen agents and got rejected over and over. I almost gave up on a career as an author, but my friends and family encouraged me to put my first novel aside and write a new one. I had this cool WWII horror story that I wrote as a short screenplay in college. I liked it so much that I rewrote it as a short story called “The Refuge.” One of my friends read it and told me I could easily expand this short into a novel. So I spent four and half years researching and writing my WWII thriller and renamed it Shadows in the Mist.

Once I finished, putting all those long hours, blood, sweat, tears, and a few pints of blood into my new novel, I thought the publishing world would welcome me with wide-open arms. I discovered the same reality as before: a big traditional publisher won’t even look at your book or query letter without an agent giving it to them. Again I went through the merry-go-round of querying agents and receiving rejection letters. At least, these were more encouraging. I did get one agent to read the entire manuscript (a feat in itself). She enjoyed Shadows in the Mist and said it was publishable, but she had recently published a horror novel set in WWII, and she didn’t feel she could rep two authors in the same genre. Go figure. So I was back to square one. I started Shadows in the Mist in 2000. It was now 2005. It was a turning point for the publishing industry, as self-publishing was beginning to become an alternative.

I found myself at a crossroads. I wanted a traditional book deal, but I had already spent fifteen years attempting to get an agent read my first two manuscripts. I was burnt out on that process and I wasn’t getting in any younger. I had started this dream at age 19, and here I was at age 36 still trying to make it happen. By 2005, self-publishing was becoming more and more the norm, thanks to the invention of print-on-demand printing. Ingram’s Lightning Source made it possible for authors to have a printer and distributor to Amazon (who was also quickly changing the industry). Also, there were a couple break-out, bestselling novels at the time that had started out as self-published. This showed me what was possible. I began to wonder: what if I self-publish my first novel just to get it going? I felt if I could just jump-start my career and get one book out there, I’d not only convince myself that I’m a published author, I’d convince others.

Now, I’m an entrepreneur by heart. I was already in business for myself through my other career, editing film and video, and very successful at it. If I can figure out a way to do something, I’ll just do it myself. I met some authors who self-published, and I learned the process: form your own publishing company (I created a DBA called Blue Morpho Publishing), hire an editor to edit your manuscript, a cover designer, and someone to lay out the book for print. (eBooks didn’t exist yet, so I only focused on a trade paperback version). I knew the cover had to be great, so I also hired a famous horror artist, Les Edwards, to paint the cover.

Original self-published cover

Long story short: I first released Shadows in the Mist in September 2006. It climbed up the Amazon charts quickly. It won a gold medal (IPPY) in the Independent Publisher Awards. Within that first year, that novel landed me the literary agent that I still have today and got me a traditional deal with Penguin in 2007. The mass market paperback version came out in September 2008.

Penguin version

From there, I sold my next novel, Dead of Winter, to Samhain Publishing and never looked back. They eventually republished Shadows in the Mist and The Devil’s Woods, as well.

ITM: If you could turn back the hands of time and go back, what about the publishing process would you do differently?

BM: First, I would have written more novels. After writing my first novel in college, I spent the next decade tinkering with it, trying to make it perfect. I wrote so many drafts and changed the storyline so many times that I could have just started a new story instead and I would have had a number of manuscripts ready to sell when my big break finally came.

As for self-publishing, there’s not much I would have changed. I might have saved some money because I’ve learned how to do it less expensively now. One thing I would do differently. I spent $1,000 on a bestseller program from a marketing company that claimed on their site they could teach me how to promote my book to bestseller status. It turned out to be a 1-hour phone conversation of some general advice. I later discovered no one can really predict how to make an unknown author of an unknown book become a bestseller. So I had buyer’s remorse. Other than those things, I pretty much self-published the best way that was available in 2005.

ITM: Would you recommend self-publishing now for new authors trying to get a book published in 2016?

BM: That depends on your goal and what type of book you’re writing. If you’re a professional speaker who’s written a non-fiction book and you have a platform for reaching a wide audience, then you could succeed well self-publishing the book. If you’re a non-famous person writing a memoir for friends and family, then self-publishing is your best bet. If you’re a novelist, then I recommend writing the best book you can, getting someone to edit it, and then explore getting a literary agent first. You’re book will stand a better chance if a medium to large publisher publishes than if you attempt to self-publish. There’s a vast sea of self-published books on the market and most of them are poorly written and poorly edited. Publishing with a traditional publisher will ensure that the product a writer puts out on the market is well-edited and hopefully well-written if an agent and publisher deems it to be. I’ve sold more books through a publisher than on my own and those publishers paid for the costs of editing, cover design, and distribution.

ITM: What would you say are the biggest changes in the industry and horror fiction now from when you released Shadows in the Mist?

BM: Well, eBooks would be the first big change. Now, instead of just selling a print book, you also have a digital copy to earn extra revenue. I think eBooks made it easier and cheaper for readers to take a chance on unknown authors. Also, a decade ago the big traditional publishers ran the show, and if you couldn’t get in with them it was like getting locked out of the party. Since then mid-size horror publishers like Samhain, DarkFuse, and Sinister Grin have made it possible for first-time authors to find a home and build a line of books. I had only one book published before signing on with Samhain back in 2011. Because I had a great editor, Don D’Auria, and a feeling of a home and family with Samhain’s staff and the other Samhain authors, I was inspired to write and publish more books. At the current moment, I have 7 books published through Samhain. This could change tomorrow, since Samhain has told its authors it might be shutting its doors this year. I may be looking for a new home soon. One thing I’ve learned, the industry is constantly changing. If you can, publish with more than one publisher. So if one shuts its doors and ties up your books for awhile, you still have other books on the market.

ITM: I’ve been seeing more and more of that with the authors that I follow. That’s really too bad about Samhain. I thought they had a nice stable of talented writers. Do you think that some publishers simply don’t know what to do with their horror line or is it mismanagement?

BM: Yes, it’s a shame that such a great stable of authors will now be scattered to the wind. Those authors had become like family to me, and I enjoyed signing books with them yearly at the Samhain booths. The horror market appears to be a tough market to sell high volume of books. Seems like only the major bestsellers like Stephen King break into the main stream market. I know Samhain tried various ways to market our books. Our covers were on the backs of horror magazines, on banners of horror websites, and they hosted horror conventions, like HorrorHound, where they splashed giant images of our covers on vinyl banners. I even saw a copy of my novel Dead of Winter on a digital screen at Times Square. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. They were open to suggestions from the authors and even implemented a few of them recently, but it was too late. Honestly, I’m not sure what it takes to keep a horror publisher afloat or have it achieve continual success with book sales. I think it might have something to do with good timing and luck, having quality books ready to sell when the horror market is booming. I know for a fact that Samhain has a goldmine of talented and really excellent horror books, most of which never attracted the audience they deserve.

ITM: What would you say are the biggest challenges you face today as a writer?

BM: Outdoing my previous books. I’m always pushing myself to write stories that are better than the previous ones. Also, coming up with fresh ideas that horror readers haven’t already seen before. That’s a huge challenge today, because there are a lot more horror authors today than when Stephen King was writing in the 1970s. And movies theaters and Netflix are constantly churning out derivative horror. The tropes, like zombies and vampires, are so overdone that it’s gotten more and more difficult to surprise readers with something new. Often times, I’ll start writing a story, and then a straight-to-Netflix movie pops up and steals my thunder with a badly written b-movie. That’s why I typically write unusual monsters and storylines. I challenge myself to break out of the norm.

ITM: You’re right. It does feel like most of the fiction out there is very derivative and unoriginal. Even many of King’s works over the last decade seems to have homogenized ideas, but he can get away with it because he’s such a great storyteller.

BM: Yes, and King has got a great writing voice, too, that readers can connect with. I think writing many books over the course of decades, it’s easy for a few of them to feel similar or repeat themes or characters the author’s covered before. Dean Koontz comes to mind. Many of his books have the same types of leading characters with a lovable golden retriever as their pet. Even with a few homogenized ideas here and there, both King and Koontz can still frequently knock one out of the ballpark.

ITM: What role has social media played in your successes?

BM: It’s connected me directly with readers, which I love. Through Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, I’m constantly getting tweets and messages from readers telling me how one of my books impacted them. That’s very rewarding. It’s also a great outlet to announce to your friends, family, and followers that you’ve released a new book. Sometimes they even help promote it to their friends and followers.

ITM: Do you find it tiring trying to keep up with all of the social avenues of self-promotion?

BM: Yes, actually. I’m not a big fan of self-promotion. Unless you’re an established bestselling author, most publishers will spend very little marketing dollars on getting the word out about your book’s release. I believe they are counting on their authors to self-promote and that includes social media. As of now, posting announcements on social media is one of the most in expensive ways to let your friends and followers know that your book is out.

ITM: Many readers are introduced to new authors through sites such as Goodreads. Have you explored Goodreads and what would you say is your level of interaction on there?

BM: I have a profile on Goodreads, but I don’t interact there. When I first discovered Goodreads, I tried treating it like Facebook and Twitter. I once reached out and thanked a reader for writing a nice review of my book. I got a nasty email from her in response. A couple other messages responded with crickets. Now, those were just a few people, but I realized maybe Goodreads followers don’t want the author contacting them, as if it breaks some kind of bubble. Maybe it’s better if they just connect with my stories, and I keep out of the way. Facebook and Twitter has been a much more welcoming place to interact with fans.

ITM: I’ve noticed that the authors that have the most success on Goodreads are the ones that get involved with the discussions, group reads, etc, of books besides their own. It’s as if they have to see you as a fan of horror and not simply trying to promote. Jonathan Janz comes to mind. If you didn’t know that he was an author, you’d never guess it by the way he interacts.

BM: Yes, I’ve heard that. If an author has time to get involved in discussions on Goodreads, it’s a nice, non-self-promotional way of connecting with horror fans and getting discovered.

ITM: Your latest offering, Blood Sacrifices, is a gathering of three novellas and a short story you previously released. How did Blood Sacrifices come together?

BM: The four horror stories in Blood Sacrifices were originally published as separate eBooks. The stories include The Girl from the Blood Coven, The Witching House, Darkness Rising, and The Vagrants. I’m a big fan of reading paperbacks and I know several people who still prefer reading paperbacks over e-Readers. Since these stories weren’t available in print, I brainstormed with my editor and we came up with the idea to republish all my shorter books into a collection that could be available in paperback. We gave it the name Blood Sacrifices: Four Tales of Terror, designed a cool cover, and this collection was born.

ITM: Who designed the cover?

BM: I came up with the concept for the cover based on a scene in The Witching House and Angela Waters, a very talented cover designer, did a beautiful job creating the art work and fonts.

ITM: The short story, The Girl From The Blood Coven preludes into the novella, The Witching House. How did these stories originate?

BM: I wrote The Witching House first. Before I had any characters or story idea, I dreamed up the abandoned house in the woods that had been boarded up for 40 years. Then I came up with Otis Blevins, the mentally disturbed caretaker of the Old Blevins House. Next I chose my characters (Sarah, Dean, Meg, and Casey) and came up with their reason for wanting to explore the house that was rumored to be haunted. Once I had all my characters in place, I wrote The Witching House in one frenzied month of writing in October. I wrote the book while staying at an isolated cabin in the woods of East Texas. That gave me the idea to set the story there. I also grew up in Texas and always wanted to set a story in my home state.

When I finished The Witching House, I still had a lot of desire to explore the backstory of the witches who had been slaughtered in the Blevins House back in 1972. I dreamed up writing a short story about Abigail Blackwood, one of the survivors of the massacre at her hippy commune and wrote it from the perspective of Texas Sheriff Travis Keagan. He just wants to have a beer at the local roadhouse bar and watch a baseball game on TV, when in walks a girl covered in blood…

Pretty much the day I wrote “The End” on The Witching House, I was so inspired, I started writing “The Girl from the Blood Coven,” and two days later I had a prequel short story that could stand on its own and give readers a taste of the mystery of the Blevins House.

ITM: It has a nice, original take on mixing witchcraft and a haunted house tale with a plausible and believable premise that you can get behind.

BM: Thanks. I love a good haunted house story, and witches have always been scary to me. It was fun to blend these two horror elements together in one story.

ITM: What about Darkness Rising?

BM: Darkness Rising has an interesting evolution. Right after I got out of college, I did a lot of experimental writing. I wrote several short stories and lots of poetry, both love poems and really dark, twisted poems. I was just playing around with words. I wrote a speculative fiction short story called “The Night Shadow Collection” about a poet with a dark side who seeks revenge against those who hurt him. The story was told mostly through poems with a few scenes written with prose. I had forgotten about it for 20 years, and then in 2014, I was going through some of my old writings and came upon this collection of poems and the main character who wrote them. I decided to flesh out that character, and he became Marty Weaver. Once I began to explore his dark side and the motives behind his thirst for revenge, the rest of the story fell into place. All the villains in Darkness Rising I came up with while expanding the short story into a novella. I debated whether or not to put the poems in the story. I asked myself, do horror readers care about reading poetry? I decided that the poems were necessary to show the depth of feelings Marty has for Jennifer, the girl he loves. The poems also reflect his inner darkness, which later in the story become the driving force behind his quest for revenge.

ITM: This one was very interesting for me due to poetry being such a main character in the story. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done before. It also doesn’t hurt when you mix in a Lovecraftian monster to the story!

BM: I hadn’t seen a story that mixed fictional prose and poetry either. It was fun to experiment with the two styles of writing. I love a good Lovecraftian monster. I found that all the other worldly creatures that Lovecraft created were scary because they gave me the sense that there might be other dimensions beyond this one, and any place–a house, the mountains, a body of water–can be portal to old gods and unspeakable nightmares.

ITM: And The Vagrants?

BM: The Vagrants started out as a short story I wrote many years ago when I was writing a lot of short fiction. The story was originally set in Chicago about some mobsters having to get rid of some vagrants that were squatting in their building. Last year, I re-read the story and liked the dark mystery. I moved the story to Boston, because I wanted the horror element to come from an abandoned underground subway and the Boston’s T has plenty of creepy tunnels that have been closed off for decades. I created a new main character, Daniel Finley, and made him a reporter who was doing an undercover story and witnessed something he shouldn’t have. The new, revised version was supposed to be just a short story, but the more I kept writing, the more I saw a bigger story and expanded it into a novella.

I wrote Daniel Finley to be a sympathetic character as he starts out attempting to do something good for humanity. Also, I’ve had my own experiences with homeless people. There used to be a shanty town beneath a bridge here in Dallas. I don’t know what happened to the shanty town or the people who lived under the bridge, but it looks like the city made them move on and then cleaned up that area.

Another time I was helping out a homeless married couple. I offered to just give them some money so they could get back on their feet, but they were very proud. The husband was an ex-soldier and a very good handyman. He had hit hard times and couldn’t find a job. His wife was a housewife and mother of two kids. The husband insisted that he and his wife work for the money, so for a couple months I gave them odd jobs at my house. In the mornings, I’d pick them up at this slum motel they were staying at.

One morning, while I parked outside waiting for them, I saw this tall homeless man emerge from beneath a nearby bridge. He crossed through a weed-ridden field toward the motel. At first, I just casually watched the man hiking through the weeds and then turned my attention back on the upstairs apartment door. The married couple was taking longer than usual to get ready. When I turned back to the field, I was shocked to see the homeless man approaching my vehicle, reaching for the passenger door. Before I could hit the locks, the passenger door opened and the homeless man climbed inside and sat right beside me and closed the door. He was bigger than me, sweaty and filthy. He just looked right at me with this crazy grin and said, “Hey.” My fear of being attacked at close range skyrocketed. I panicked and yelled, “What the bleep are you doing in my car? Get the bleep out!” I think I scared him as much as he scared me, because he opened the car door and was out of the vehicle in half a second. I believe in treating homeless people with respect and helping them out when I can, but when they climb into a car with you that crosses a line. A few minutes later the married couple came down to my car and told me that guy was crazy and I did the right thing. Those up-close experiences with homeless people influenced the writing of Daniel Finley’s story.

ITM: This one had the best visuals for me. Throughout the whole story, I felt like I was with Daniel under the bridge, in the abandoned tunnel, etc.

BM: Thanks. My aim was to put the reader in Daniel’s body and experience what he’s seeing, hearing, and feeling. I’m very visual, so I tend to describe a lot of vivid details to build a three-dimensional world in the reader’s mind. Glad that you felt like you were there with him.

ITM: The settings for Darkness Rising and The Vagrants are so vividly described that it feels like you are there. How does a Texas guy get the details down so well for a small college town in Oregon and the seedy sides of the streets of Boston?

BM: Funny you should say that. I’ve actually never been to a small town in Oregon, and I’ve only been to Boston once for a day. As much as I wanted to travel to both places while writing my novellas, circumstances prevented me from being able to do so. So I relied on Internet research, movies, reading books about those places, YouTube videos, and drawing from my own experiences with small towns, college campuses, lakes, subway tunnels, and seedy sides of cities. How I pulled off it feeling real for the reader to be there, I’m not quite sure. My goal is to write as viscerally as possible. I attempt to build the three-dimensional world around the reader using all five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. I’m big on details and nuances, so if I read something interesting about a place, like Boston’s T having abandoned tunnels, I’ll add those details. Then for the horror elements I’ll add in a pinch of ominous atmosphere and a few dashes of dread.

ITM: Not to sound like a kiss-ass here, but I think that’s why your stories stand out so much. It’s because you can tell that you’ve done your research to tighten everything up and make it as realistic as possible. The suspension of disbelief in these stories is incredible.

BM: It makes me smile to hear that. To me horror works best when the author suspends the reader’s belief enough that what happens in the story feels like it could happen in real life. If I’m reading a great story and not questioning the validity of what’s going on, then I’m right there experiencing it. I love it when a story shares an ancient legend or some scientific fact that makes something fictional seem possible. For me, research is key to adding those interesting touches that will make the story feel more plausible.

ITM: I’ve found that many writers have a routine that they like to follow when writing. Give me a breakdown of your day and how you create the next Brian Moreland masterpiece.

BM: I’d love to have a routine–I’d get a lot more books written–but I’ve never been a routine guy. I write in sprints. As a freelancer, I have demanding client projects, so some weeks I don’t write at all. When I do get a week or two between projects, I’ll take a writing sabbatical and leave town for a week. I often go to a friend’s cabin in the woods of East Texas (right down the road from where I imagined the Old Blevins House from The Witching House). I write to for 10-12 hours a day. That’s how I get the bulk of my stories written. I can knock out 20k-30k words in a week of pure focus. I literally live the story during my writing sabbaticals. I completely unplug from my everyday world. I stay away from the Internet, watch very little TV, and call one or two loved ones every couple days to check in. This isolation allows me to focus on the story and it’s how I can get into the skin of my characters and their fictional world becomes an three-dimensional world around me. It’s like I’ve transported myself to their world. I write this way, so the readers will experience as if they have been transported to another dimension where everything in the story is actually happening.

I discovered I’m most creative if in the mornings, when I just wake up and half-asleep. I’ll get up at 5:00 a.m. and write till about noon, then go take a walk. If I’m stuck on a plot problem, I’ll wake up at 4:00 a.m. and start writing. This is the magic hour for me. Some of my wildest ideas have come from writing at 4:00 a.m. after just waking up. My brain is still in a dreamlike state and very creative.

My writing sabbaticals are my ideal way of writing. I probably do four or five of those a year. I also write at my home office, a little here and a little there each week. My client workload determines how much time I have for writing (it’s still not a full-time job yet, although it will soon). Sometimes I write in the morning, sometimes at night. Often, I have a day or two off between projects and devote those days to writing fiction. One thing that has helped me to stay on track. I’m part of a writers group that meets every two weeks. We each read a chapter or two aloud. So, even when I go through a period of working more on client work than my book, I’ll write a couple chapters to read to the group. Over the course of a few months, I’ll gain momentum and next thing I know I’ve drafted another manuscript. Then I spend months editing and revising that manuscript, doing research where needed. It takes me about three to four months to write a novella and a year to a year and a half to write a novel.

ITM: Stephen King has the spooky house in Bangor surrounded by the wrought iron fence with gargoyles on it. Do you have anything crazy at your house that makes your neighbors clutch their children when they see you coming?

BM: I live in a top-floor apartment, so fortunately my neighbors can’t see into my home. About the craziest thing in my home is a book shelf full of horror novels with an abominable snowman character, a sculpture of a Nazi creature from Shadows in the Mist that a friend of mine made, and a Dexter bobble-head wielding a bloody knife. I guess if my neighbors saw this, they might clutch their children.

ITM: What are you reading these days?

BM: I’m currently in the middle of two books. One is Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. This is actually my first time to read any of his work. When I was talking to my agent about writing more psychological horror, she recommended Ghost Story. Because I had seen the movie years ago and thought the movie was okay, not scary, I didn’t feel the need to read the book. Over the years, I’ve noticed this book keeps popping up on top scariest books lists. I took my agent’s advice, and I’m glad I did. I found an old hardback copy that was published in the Seventies. The story is gripping. While so far it doesn’t have a lot of action, like a Dean Koontz or Robert McCammon book, Ghost Story does a fantastic job building suspense with dread. Straub’s prose gets under my skin. Since I modeled my story-telling style after Koontz, McCammon, and even some of the splatter punk authors of the ‘8- and ‘90s, like Skipp and Spector, my brand of horror has been more like grab a reader, put them on a funhouse ride, and scare them with lots of horror. Because I’m always striving to improve my craft, I’m studying Ghost Story and other, more subtle horror authors, to learn more about writing psychological horror.

I’m also reading High Road to China by Jon Cleary. I saw the movie with Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong back in the ‘80s. My reason for reading this is for the past year I’ve been writing a period piece novel called Tomb of Gods set in 1937, with back story set in the 1920s. I’m also writing a mostly British cast. In my new book, there’s a romance between and English woman and an American reporter.

Reading High Road to China, which is an excellent adventure book and love story between a British pilot and an American heiress, is helping me get the sense of what life was like back in the 1920s. When I write historical novels, and Tomb of Gods will be my third, reading books of that time period is one of the ways I do my research. There’s another benefit to reading outside your genre: it helps you become a more well-rounded writer.

ITM: Your Top 5 horror movies?

The Thing
The Shining
Evil Dead
Prophecy (1980 version with the killer bear)

ITM: I see that you’ve done a few horror conventions? What’s your thoughts on those?

BM: I love them. They’re a fun gathering with horror fans and fellow authors. I love the atmosphere, the costumes, the horror movie celebrities, the booths with all the horror collectibles. Conventions are also great places to sell books and talk to readers who love to read horror. In the evenings, I’ll hang out with some of my fellow authors, many of whom have become friends, and share a beer with them or go out to dinner. We’ll talk about writing, the publishing business, or just hang out as friends. Horror authors are a really fun and diverse crowd. Some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. And horror fans are very passionate about loving horror. I find the energy at horror conventions is very positive.

Sharing a booth with Hunter Shea and David Bernstein
at Horrorfind in Gettysburg

Meeting horror fans

Signing books alongside Kristopher Rufty
at HorrorHound Indianapolis
Hanging out with Jonathan Janz and Jon Everson
at HorrorHound Indianapolis

ITM: What can us fans expect coming down the pike in 2016 and beyond?

BM: I already mentioned that I’ve been working on my historical novel, Tomb of Gods. It’s set in Egypt in the 1930s. On the one hand, it’s a James Rollins style adventure story with some archeologists who have discovered a mysterious tomb that seems to have no end to it. On the other hand, it’s a journey into terror inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. That’s all I’m saying. I hope to finish the novel this summer and get it into a publisher’s hands quickly. I know I’m itching to move on to the next story.

I’m also putting together a short story collection that includes old ones that I wrote over a decade ago and new ones. A couple stories that are in it that I’m eager to share with readers are revised versions of “The Dealer of Needs” and “Chasing the Dragon.” I’m currently revisiting the original short story that inspired The Vagrants novellas. The short story is set in Chicago. The anthology has been a work in progress for over a year now, so I’ll see how that comes along. My goal is to self-pub it later this winter or early next year.

I have some audio books published and soon-to-be-published through Audio Realms. Right now, The Devil’s Woods, The Witching House, and The Vagrants are available as audio books. My WWII horror novel Shadows in the Mist has wrapped up production and should be released in the next month or so. I’ve also been told that Darkness Rising, my revenge novella that’s in Blood Sacrifices, is being matched with a narrator and slated to go into audio production soon.

I really appreciate you letting me grill you for my blog and look forward to chatting with you in the future. Take care, my friend,


Thanks Ken, it’s been a pleasure talking with you. I look forward to coming back.



Interview With Glen R. Krisch


Let’s get the vitals out of the way –

Name: Glen Krisch
Marital Status: Married
Children: three sons
Pets: three dogs
Ghosts: two

Into The Macabre: Two ghosts? This I have to hear!

Glen: Well, I guess you could say we currently have one ghost. The other one we left behind when we moved last Fall. The first time I mowed the lawn at our old house, I discovered a headstone blanketed in overgrown grass. It was for someone named John, who died in 1938. I went to the library and researched his death in the microfiche archive of the local newspaper. Turns out he was buried at a nearby cemetery, but since he was a WWI veteran, the government had given his family a military headstone. We assume his family built some sort of shrine in his honor in their backyard, including this headstone. Anyway, when we lived there we would often hear inexplicable noises, and on more than one occasion, inexplicable voices. We would simply laugh it off and blame it on John. We never felt bad vibes or ill omens at that house, so if he was present, he had a kind spirit.

The second occurrence happened because I get up incredibly early since I don’t sleep very well. One morning shortly after we moved to our new house, I stumbled my way to our bedroom door at around 3:30 a.m., ready to start my day. When I opened the door, I saw a little gray and white blur of a dog scamper inside. I literally shifted to one side to let the little blur pass by. Since my brain doesn’t function before my first cup of coffee, I thought nothing of it beyond mild curiosity. I closed the door, went to the coffee maker, intending to mention it to my wife when she woke up. When I finally remembered to mention it to my wife a couple of weeks later, she was really mad at me. We contacted the previous owners of the house to see if they’d been dog owners. Turns out they’d owned a dog fitting the description, a Yorkie named Torie. Turns out Torie slept at the foot of their bed until the day she died. Turns out they buried Torie in a velvet-lined doggy casket just outside our bedroom window. I’m not 100% sure I believe in ghosts, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did exist. That would explain a lot of odd occurrences in my life.

Into The Macabre: When did you first start writing?

Glen: I started writing poetry early in high school. Fueled by nonstop reading (I even took extra study halls just so I could fit more reading into my schedule), I felt an almost compulsive need for a creative outlet to mirror what I was taking in. My first attempts were rather silly, in retrospect, but they were the first stepping stones on the path to my present situation. I soon started writing short stories, and I attempted (and failed) to write my first novel before the end of high school.

Into The Macabre: Were you one to share your stories to your classmates at an early age or was that something that you kept to yourself?

Glen: I shared the early poems and stories with a buddy of mine who also wrote. We even collaborated on occasion. He had such a twisted creative mind. I continued to write, while he set it aside. I’m pretty much “a grinder” in my technique. I don’t think I’m the most gifted or natural writer, but I work hard to improve. Hopefully the effort adds up over time.

When I attended college, I met few people who had the drive to seek publication on a professional level, so I worked pretty much in isolation. I had a few pieces published in the campus literary magazine, but most of what they published (including my own submissions) was pretty weak. Since my college didn’t have a great creative writing program, I created a couple of independent studies that I attended one-on-one with an English professor. One of these was called, I believe, Long Fiction Workshop, the other, Novel Writing.

Into The Macabre: What drew you to horror? What/Who were your inspirations?

Glen: I’ve written in many genres, but I always seem to return to the dark stuff. Horror seems the most alive, the most malleable and versatile genre. Authors who inspired my early writing? Those would include: Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Clive Barker, Jack London, Dan Simmons, Robert McCammon, Tad Williams, and countless others.

Into The Macabre: Your list looks very familiar. Do you remember what book was your first jump into horror and how old you were?

Glen: In the past I’ve mentioned that I was a late bloomer as far as reading is concerned. Before high school my main interests were sports, movies, and music. During my freshman year, I picked up a copy of King’s THINNER, and that book opened my eyes in so many ways. It’s like a switch was thrown inside my head. I became a voracious reader, and within a year, I wanted to become a writer.

Into The Macabre: Describe the process it took for you to become published

Glen: Well, that’s a long story…

I graduated from college in 1997. By that time I had already started sending out short stories through traditional channels via postal mail. These were the waning years of the old Zine culture, you know, the old Xeroxed, saddle-stapled magazines with the horrid cover art? I wrote a ton of weird short stories, the weirder the better, somewhat in a proto-bizarro vein. I was pushing my creative envelope, but not really establishing how to really write characters or plot. I sent out an ungodly amount of stories with almost all of them coming back rejected. I piled up hundreds of rejections, even as I began to improve and sell on occasion.

I was hesitant to write a novel; I just didn’t think I could create something that would carry 300 or so pages, and I already had a trunk of half-finished failures. But I talked about writing and completing a novel, you know, someday. And I talked about it a lot. Around 2000, my wife had finally heard enough and said: “If you want to write a novel, write a novel. Stop talking about it!”

So I did. Somewhere along the way, I learned about developing characters and plot. These would be the bedrock of my novel writing. With strong enough characters, you can write a novel of just about any length! I also learned that focusing on “the weirder the better” was only a crutch. It was easier to say editors and publishers rejected my work because “they just don’t get it,” instead of working on refining my craft. So my wife’s kick in the butt led to my first completed novel, THE NIGHTMARE WITHIN. With a completed novel, I went the traditional route of trying to find an agent and/or publisher. I had a lot of nibbles. I had a number of publishers requesting to read the full manuscript. I even had a publisher say they wanted to publish it before they put it on their back burner for three years. Silly novice that I was, I waited, and waited.

During this long waiting period, I wrote more short stories, novellas, and my second novel, WHERE DARKNESS DWELLS. This also coincided with the advent of modern self-publishing. By the time THE NIGHTMARE WITHIN hit the three year mark waiting to be published, I decided to pull it from that publisher and self-publish it. I found some moderate success right away, so I published my second novel, to even greater success. The buzz for WHERE DARKNESS DWELLS opened the eyes to some traditional publishers, including Cemetery Dance, the publisher of NOTHING LASTING.

For future works, I plan to keep my options open. If the best deal is with a big publisher, I’ll go that route. If I think a story will be best served by self-publishing it, I’ll do that.

Into The Macabre: The publishing industry seems to be so volatile. I know that many authors subscribe to the theory of spreading their work out to different publishers that way they don’t have all their eggs in one basket if that company goes belly up.

Glen: Unless you’re someone with a seven-figure advance, writers need to be flexible in today’s publishing climate. Things can change so quickly. While the barriers to publication are pretty much nonexistent, finding readers can be a challenge. Just because you can write and publish something on your own (even if it’s to professional standards in every way), it doesn’t mean you’ll find people willing to read it without a gun pointing at their head. So, yes, I think spreading stories to different niches and venues can only help the vast majority of writers.
Into The Macabre: If you could turn back the hands of time and go back, what about the publishing process would you do differently?

Glen: I would try to learn the craft of novel writing sooner. I would tell myself that it’s okay to take chances. I would tell myself that everyone’s first draft sucks.
Into The Macabre: They say it’s not about what you know but who you know. Would you agree with this statement? Who helped you along the way and what did they do?

Glen: I have a degree in English Writing, but not a single hour of those classes was dedicated to how to navigate the path to publication. I’ve had to teach myself most of the basics through trial and error. Luckily, whenever I’ve reached out to professional authors with questions, I’ve gotten excellent feedback. Some of the authors who have helped me along the way include: Tom Piccirilli, Rick Hautala, Brian Keene, Tim Waggoner, Kealan Patrick Burke, among others. I hope to live by their example and pass on my hard-earned knowledge whenever I can.

Into The Macabre: It seems like that many horror authors tend to keep in touch together and genuinely root for each other to do well, almost like a big fraternity. Have you found that to be the case?

Glen: Absolutely! I know some people seethe with envy whenever an author makes a big splash, but for the most part, authors are cheerleaders for their peers. I get so excited when an author friend signs with a big publisher or agent. As a reader I get just as excited when my favorite authors are rewarded for their efforts with big deals.

Into The Macabre: What would you say are the biggest challenges you face today as a writer?

Glen: For me personally? Carving out the chunks of time needed to produce high quality work at a high rate. I’ve been a stay-at-home dad the last couple of years. Even though I don’t have a strict 9-5 job, it’s sometimes difficult to find the peace and quiet that my brain seems to need. Our youngest son will attend full-day kindergarten in the Fall, so I’m hoping my productivity increases later on this year.

Into The Macabre: What role has social media played in your successes?

Glen: To be honest, I’m not sure. I think it’s a great way to connect with individual readers, but using it to reach a wide audience? I don’t think social media is currently constructed to allow for that kind of reach. I also don’t have the kind of personality that would garner a viral type of following. I do enjoy interacting with readers and other writers on Facebook. I still haven’t gotten the hang of Twitter, and I’m not sure I ever will. Other social media platforms don’t really ping my radar.
Into The Macabre: Many readers are introduced to new authors through sites such as Goodreads. Have you explored Goodreads and what would you say is your level of interaction on there?

Glen: I’ve gone through periods of time when I’ve been really active on Goodreads, other times, not so much. I like some of the groups on the site, but a few people with sour dispositions have tarnished the experience for me. I still use the site, mostly to log my reading for the year.

Into The Macabre: Your release, Nothing Lasting, is a gripping, multi-layered, coming-of-age horror tale. How did this story come about?

Glen: After writing novels with multiple points of view, I wanted to write something with a really tight, single POV. I also wanted to write about my own childhood. While obviously fictional, NOTHING LASTING has a lot of little details from my own experiences. Jenny Sparrow’s thinking spot, the mysterious auto graveyard? That was real. The movie house marquee with the burnt out lights? Same thing. The breaking and entering, the wanton destruction? Um, well, yeah, to a certain extent.

Into The Macabre: You know it’s funny that you mention that. When I was reading about the breaking into the house, I thought to myself, “This guy has this part nailed. I bet he’s speaking from experience!”

Glen: In a lot of ways, I appeared as a child as I do now—unassuming and innocuous. But, at certain points in my youth, I was a bit of a hooligan. I could go into details, but I’d hate for my children to come across this interview some time down the road!

Into The Macabre: One of my complaints with stories that have adolescent-aged protagonists is that the authors rarely get the dialogue right. Nothing Lasting is a pleasant surprise in that not only did you nail the dialogue of a 12-year-old, but you also have captured the feel of suburbia circa 1984. How hard was it to transport yourself back 30 years to get it right?

Glen: I felt that to do NOTHING LASTING justice, I had to write it when I wrote it. The longer I went without getting that story down, the harder it would be to get the characters right. I have a keen memory for the general time period, so it didn’t take much effort to get to that headspace, but even still, I couldn’t imagine trying to write those characters, when I’m, say, fifty. I also wanted to set the story in 1984 without having the reader feel like they were tripping over period references every other sentence. I’ve read novels with that problem, and it’s distracting after a while. Hopefully, I found the right balance.
Into The Macabre: You’re starting to rack up an impressive catalogue of books. I know it’s like asking which one of your children is your favorite, so I’ll try to do it in a different way. Which story of yours do you recommend to someone that has never read your work and why?

Glen: NOTHING LASTING is probably a good place to start. It’s gotten great initial reviews. It’s also not as graphic as some of my other work, if you’re on the squeamish side. It also has probably the best ending I’ve written.
Into The Macabre: Some writers have to follow a strict routine and can only create while writing in their special designated area on a set schedule. Others drag a laptop around with them and take advantage of any free moment their day may present.. Give me a breakdown of your day and how you create the next Glen Krisch masterpiece.

Glen: I occasionally break out a notepad and pen to shake things up, but otherwise I write almost exclusively on my laptop. I have a fairly large office, but I tend to move around a lot during my writing day. Sometimes I write on my back deck, sometimes I write while sitting on my rocker on the front porch. I tend to wake super early, usually by 4 a.m. I either write in the morning or go for a run. If I run first thing, I set aside time in the afternoon to bang out some words. If I write first thing, I run later. For me, the two activities are linked. If one isn’t working, the other is usually suffering as well. I try not to burden myself with a set number of words or pages written per day. That’s bad for my psyche. Instead, if I’ve made positive progress on my current story, it’s a win for the day.
Into The Macabre: Do you get bogged down by deadlines or are publishers a little more forgiving these days?

Glen: I’m not currently under a deadline, so I’m pretty much a free agent with what I’m working on. When I am under a deadline, I battened down and focus until I reach a reasonable ending. I abhor being late for anything. When I had a day job, I don’t think I reported late more than once or twice in 25+ years of working. I think that ethic has carried over to my writing life.
Into The Macabre: Stephen King has the spooky house in Bangor surrounded by the wrought iron fence with gargoyles on it. Do you have anything crazy at your house that makes your neighbors clutch their children when they see you coming?

Glen: I’m basically invisible to the general public. My house is nondescript, even on Halloween. I don’t announce myself as a writer. I don’t dress all in black. I’m just that quiet unassuming dad down the block. I do the grocery shopping. I home cook all our meals. I help with homework. But… I’m also always observing. Plotting. Creating.
Into The Macabre: What are you reading these days?

Glen: I’ve been jumping around a lot in my reading these days. Some of the best books I’ve read so far this year have been written by: Nathan Ballingrud, Stephen King, Lee Thompson, Richard Thomas, Adam Howe, Dennis Lehane, Graham Hancock, Eldon Taylor, and Calum Chace.
Into The Macabre: Your Top 5 horror movies?

Glen: Hard to say, and this list would probably be different tomorrow. I generally don’t watch movies more than once. The following movies have stuck with me, however.

El Olfanato (The Orphanage)
The Exorcist
The Descent
The Night of the Hunter
Let the Right One In

Into The Macabre: Do you do horror conventions? What are your thoughts on those?

Glen: I’ve never attended a convention. I keep telling myself I need to pull the trigger and pick one, but I never get around to it. I’m not the most social person. I know conventions can greatly help a writer’s career, but it doesn’t even occur to me to think about them. I’d be happy to write in my little insular bubble and send out new stories into the world when they’ve reached maturation.

Into The Macabre: What can us fans expect coming down the pike in 2016 and beyond?

Glen: I should be wrapping up a new novel, LITTLE WHISPERS, in the coming weeks. I have a couple of publishers who want to look at it, so I’m not sure when it will be available. The next story to see the light of day will probably be an experimental horror novel called PATHS TO SURVIVAL. I’m considering making it, at least initially, an exclusive to my newsletter subscribers
(click here to sign up: That should be ready sometime this Fall. I’m also fairly deep into the writing of a conspiracy thriller tentatively called THE CLOUDED FRAY. Of course, the reality of my publishing future is almost never what I expect it to be, so who knows how it will unfold!

Into The Macabre: How can fans find out more about your work and what’s going on with you?

I’m pretty easy to reach. To contact me through social media, your best bet is Facebook:

I’m also on Goodreads:

and Twitter: @glenkrisch

The best place to track down my books is probably Amazon:

I’m also quite welcoming to corresponding through email. Drop me a line at
I really appreciate you letting me grill you for my blog and look forward to chatting with you in the future. Take care, my friend,


Interview with Kristopher Rufty







Lets get the vitals out of the way –

Name: Kristopher Rufty
DOB: July ‘79
Birthplace: NC
City of Residence: TBD
Marital Status: Married
Children: Yes
Pets: Yes
Into The Macabre: When did you first start writing?

Kristopher Rufty: I dabbled a lot as a kid, writing my own comics that I had drawn on folded typewriter paper. But the first story I completed was in the 6th or 7th grade. And it was TERMINATOR 3, after I’d just finished watching T2 and decided to write my own sequel. About ten pages long, I got to the point rather quickly.

Into The Macabre: What drew you to horror? What/Who were your inspirations?

Kristopher Rufty: What first drew me in was Friday the 13th. I was put in front of the TV when I was five years old. My mom wanted to do some canning and she mistook the guy in the superhero costume on TV, telling jokes as being a child-appropriate babysitter. Turned out the show was Commander USA, and he was a horror host. He aired FRIDAY THE 13th and I was hooked. I drew pictures in crayon of scenes I’d seen in the movie. My mom, always the supportive one, hung them on the fridge.

Into The Macabre: Describe the process it took for you to become published.
Kristopher Rufty: It was a lot of falling on my face, relearning everything from the ground up. And then submitting over and over. Getting a lot of rejections, then rewriting the book and submitting again. Luckily, I had a lot of support and guidance from some very talented writers along the way. Then, thanks to Ronald Malfi, Jeff Strand, and Don D’Auria, it finally happened.

Into The Macabre: If you could turn back the hands of time and go back, what about the publishing process would you do differently?
Kristopher Rufty: That’s a good question. One thing, for sure, would be to not be so quick to submit. ANGEL BOARD was my first published novel, and I submitted versions of it two years prior to it finally being acquired. The final version was completed after a lot of advice from other writers, and had I been stricter on the writing itself, it might have made for a better book earlier on. But, everything happens as it’s supposed to and that was a learning experience for me. I honestly wouldn’t change it in any way.

Into The Macabre: They say its not about what you know but who you know. Would you agree with this statement? Who helped you along the way and what did they do?
It does help, especially if the “who” is someone you can depend on. But if the who you know can’t teach you anything new, then it really doesn’t matter.

Kristopher Rufty: There was a lot of people who helped me along the way. Ronald Malfi and Jeff Strand were very supportive and encouraging, still are. They actually read ANGEL BOARD early on and gave their suggestions on what they thought needed to be worked on.Others who’ve helped me are Heather Graham, Edward Lee, Brian Keene, Ray Garton, Gary A. Braunbeck, Al Sarrantonio, Wrath James White, Aleka Nakis, Kathleen Pickering, Traci Hall, Blake Crouch, and JA Konrath. There are so many more. I could keep naming names.Not all of those helped me before I got published, but most of them did, but they all still help me to this day. I still hold their teachings close to my heart.

Into The Macabre: What would you say are the biggest challenges you face today as a writer?
Kristopher Rufty: Challenges I face are sticking to a word quota when the day acts as if it won’t allow it. That’s why I’m grateful for a wife who understand that I have to write. I know other authors that don’t have supportive spouses and it breaks my heart. But I do get to write, no matter what, and it’s good to have that.

Into The Macabre: What role has social media played in your successes?
Kristopher Rufty: I’m rarely on Twitter. Rarely. Facebook is fun. I enjoy the interaction with readers and other writers on there. Seems so much more intimate. I’ll do giveaways and sometimes when it’s somebody’s birthday, I’ll give them a free book. It’s fun. I plan to get more involved with Twitter, but not allow myself to become married to it.I think it’s played a decent role in what success I’ve had because I’m very approachable and feel that I’m easy to talk to. I wish there had been something like this when I was getting started. I’d have lost mind had I been able to communicate with my influences as I was growing up.

Into The Macabre: My first exposure to your work was through recommendations on Goodreads. What would you say is your level of interaction through fans on GR and other sites?
Kristopher Rufty: Not much at all on GR. I need to get better at it. Some of my author friends have great success with interacting on GR, but I do not. It’s really because I don’t know how to. It’s on my list of things to change this year. I plan to be more active with it. I like GR because its readers and writers talking about books. So I could easily see myself becoming absorbed.But I interact quite frequently on Facebook. I try to always respond to comments and messages whenever somebody reaches out to me.

Into The Macabre: Which one of your stories are you most proud of?
Kristopher Rufty: DESOLATION is definitely one I’m proud of. A DARK AUTUMN is a story I read after I’d finished writing it and couldn’t believe I was the guy who’d written it. I think I crossed a barrier with that one, to an area that I was too scared to infiltrate before. Had I not written A DARK AUTUMN, I don’t think I would have had the guts to attempt THE VAMPIRE OF PLAINFIELD and DESOLATION. I wouldn’t have dared try to write the book I’m about to finish up now, SEVEN BURIED HILL.
I’m very proud of THE LURKING SEASON and PROUD PARENTS as well. These two books just don’t really seem to get a lot of notice, for whatever reason. But I wish they would. I think those books helped me realize how much I’ve grown as a writer. I tried new things in those stories and tapped into areas that I hadn’t yet.

Into The Macabre: So tell me about Diabolical Radio. What’s the status of that?
Kristopher Rufty: I was a guest on The Independent Corner, a podcast hosted by Jonathan Moody. He had me on to discuss CUTTING ROOM!, a very low-budget movie I’d made. I liked the idea of having the time to talk with people about things you admire. I wondered what would happen if I started a show, invited people I would love to sit down and talk with. Not only am I fan of these people, I admire them, RESPECT their work. Just imagine what I could learn by talking with them. Just imagine what others, like me, could learn hearing us talking. I knew there were people out there that would like to ask these guests the same questions. So I asked legitimate questions about what I wanted to know about, which were things that the listeners also wanted to know.

We had so many great guests come on. I don’t know what it was about our show, but somehow we became a hit. Very high listener ratings. Not at first, but during the first year, we were trying to discover what were as a show. We found a format that worked. And by the second year, people were contacting us about coming on. I couldn’t believe it. We ran for almost four years.

As a writer, I got to learn from some of the best: Joe Lansdale, Ed Gorman, Edward Lee, Brian Keene, F. Paul Wilson, Heather Graham, Ronald Malfi, Jeff Strand, Wrath James White, Ray Garton, John Russo, JA Konrath, Blake Crouch, Gary A. Braunbeck, and so many more.

As a filmmaker, I got to learn from Herschell Gordon Lewis, Kevin Tenney, William Butler, Charles Band, Tom Towles, and the teams behind many great movies I’ve loved all my life.

It was so much fun. So much fun.

The status now? Well, it’s dormant. But I’m asked, a lot, to bring it back. I wonder what it would be like now? I know Faith, one of my cohosts, is up for it. Steve is up for it. I’m even up for it. I left the show to devote my time to writing. I’ve met a lot of great folks since then that I’d love to talk with more, and I’m sure Diabolical’s listeners would love to hear from them.

Maybe it’ll come back one day. Maybe sooner than anybody expected.

Into The Macabre: I’ve found that many writers have a routine that they like to follow when writing. Give me a breakdown of your day and how you create the next Kristopher Rufty masterpiece.
Kristopher Rufty: It changes from day to day now. Being self-employed, I used to write in the mornings. I still prefer to write in the morning. Something about starting your day like that just sets the rest of the day in a positive motion. Now we have a baby, and I write at night. I wrote at night for years while our older two children were younger. I’m back to the night shift. It seems that my stories get a little darker when the sun isn’t out. I wonder if it’s related to my nocturnal writing schedule.

Into The Macabre: I see that your story, Jagger, is on quite a few Top 10 lists for 2015 and getting quite a bit of love. What can you tell me about that? How did the story come about?
Kristopher Rufty: JAGGER is one of my favorites. It did make a good number of Top Ten lists, but it also got me a lot of hate mail. There are a couple scenes involving animals that were very tough to write, but I felt were crucial to the book that angered a lot of people, which wasn’t my intent. I didn’t set out to write an animal cruelty story, though it was meant to bring focus to the kind of things that happen.

The idea first sparked in my head when I had taken our large dog to the vet. A guy came in with a much bigger Fuzzy Mastiff. I’d never seen such a large dog in all my life. But he was the sweetest animal. Just like our dog. He’s close to 150 pounds, and intimidates a lot of people, but is very sweet and loving and protective. I wondered what would happen if that guy’s dog turned on him. That was where the idea began, and it just went wild from there.

Into The Macabre: Tell me about the filmmaker side of Kristopher Rufty.
Kristopher Rufty: Not much to tell these days. I enjoy making the movies, but would be happy writing for the rest of my life. I still have the bug to get behind the camera with a good team and make something special. I’ve been blessed in the past to work with a lot very talented and dedicated people. We’ve done some work that I’m very proud of. Hopefully, one day it’ll happen again, but if it doesn’t, I’ll be okay.

Into The Macabre: Stephen King has the spooky house in Bangor surrounded by the wrought iron fence with gargoyles on it. Do you have anything crazy at your house that makes your neighbors clutch their children when they see you coming?
Kristopher Rufty: I wish I did! Maybe someday. I think during the Halloween season people will think we’re a bit obsessed with the decorations and jack-o’-lanterns, but other than that, nothing to really talk about. Hopefully we’ll be those neighbors sometime soon.

Into The Macabre: What are you reading these days?
Kristopher Rufty: Been on another Ray Garton kick. I tend to read a cluster of books by the same author before moving onto something else. I love Ray Garton’s work. I also read a lot of crime fiction and westerns, and I have a pile of those to get to. I still prefer to read paperbacks over eBooks, but I read a lot of eBooks. I also read a lot of comics and horror magazines, and newspapers.

Into The Macabre: Your Top 5 horror movies?
Kristopher Rufty: Man…that’s so hard. I watch them all over and over, but I suppose the few I watch more than any are:
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Friday the 13th 1-6
Fright Night (Probably my all-time favorite movie)
Halloween, The Thing, Prince of Darkness, In the Mouth of Madness (I binge-watch Carpenter movies)
Phantasm 2 and The Evil Dead tying.

Into The Macabre: Desolation has been released here in January. How has the response been, so far? How did the story come about?
Kristopher Rufty: The response has been amazing. My most well-received book, by far. The story came in a dream. I dreamed I was watching a movie and the select scenes I saw in the dream-movie inspired the entire story. This idea has been with me for ten years. It has been a screenplay, a couple of abandoned novels, and many rewrites before finally becoming the book that was released. I’m glad it took as long as it did. This was the version that needed to be read.

Into The Macabre: Do you do horror conventions? What’s your thoughts on those?
Kristopher Rufty: I love them and will do them any chance I get. I’ve enjoyed going to Horror Hound since my first time way back in 2008. Last year, I was a guest at Scares That Care and really enjoyed it. Not just the convention, but what they strive to accomplish by doing it. I’ll be a featured guest this year and can’t wait to go back.

Into The Macabre: What can us fans expect coming down the pike in 2016 and beyond?
Kristopher Rufty: As many books as I can get out. I have three coming through DarkFuse over the next couple years. The first, SOMETHING VIOLENT, will be released in December. I have a horror-western almost ready to go. And a book due to Sinister Grin Press this summer. I will continue to work with SGP for years to come. Thunderstorm Books will be releasing special, hardcover editions of DESOLATION and A DARK AUTUMN this summer, with more titles to follow. I also signed with Festa-Verlag, a German publisher. I have a short story coming in an anthology they’re putting out, plus JAGGER will be released this year through them. There will be more short stories in other anthologies, but I can’t announce them yet. And there will be more audiobooks coming this year.

Into The Macabre: I really appreciate you letting me grill you for my blog and look forward to chatting with you in the future. Take care, my friend.

Kristopher Rufty: No, thank you for having me on. I really appreciate it. Thank you for your support and kindness!

Interview With Hunter Shea






Lets get the vitals out of the way –

Name: Hunter Shea
DOB: Most likely before you were born.
Birthplace: In a town adjacent to the Boogie Down Bronx
City of Residence: Asgard
Marital Status: Happily
Children: 2 wonderful girls
Pets: 2 very different cats

Into The Macabre: When did you first start writing?

Hunter: I did my fair share of bad songs, poetry and short stories in my teens. I didn’t get serious about the craft of writing until the mid-90s. It took a lot of bad writing before I was willing to show my stories to anyone other than my wife.

Into The Macabre: What drew you to horror? What/Who were your inspirations?

Hunter: I grew up on horror. Because I showed that movies didn’t scare me, as a kid I got to watch all of the Universal monster movies, Chiller Theatre and scores of horror flicks at the local drive-in (Lord, I miss that) and a movie theater two blocks away. I thank my father for letting me see things most kids would run from!

Into The Macabre: Describe the process it took for you to become published.

Hunter: My overnight success took about 15 years. J I started with short stories, then worked my way to a dreadful vampire novella that is thankfully lost forever. After a couple of years, I started submitting stories to all these horror sites popping up on this crazy internet invention. Once they got accepted, I had to confidence to write a novel. Of all things, my first was a romantic comedy. It was all practice so I could build my skills to write a horror novel. I was a huge fan of Leisure’s horror line, so when I wrote my first horror book, they and the editor, Don D’Auria, were my one and only goal. From query letter to acceptance, it took over 3 years. I was just about ready to give up. So glad I didn’t. But I’m proof that you can rise from the slush pile.

Into The Macabre: Don D’Auria’s name pops up more than any other editor when I interview writers by a huge margin. What was your working relationship with Don like? Do you still work with him?

Hunter: Working with Don was literally a dream come true. He’s not just an editor. He’s a devoted fan of the horror genre, which means he knows what works and what doesn’t. The man has sparked the careers of some of the best and brightest authors in horror today. He’s no longer with Samhain, so we’re not working together at the moment. But I consider him a true friend and hope we can team up once again in the future.

Into The Macabre: If you could turn back the hands of time and go back, what about the publishing process would you do differently?

Hunter: I’d tell myself to be more confident and concentrate on horror earlier and submit to everywhere in the world. It would be nice to have gotten a head start on that part of my career. Like Burgess Meredith in that Twilight Zone episode, I just want more time!

Into The Macabre: I love that episode! Were you writing in other genres before you decided to concentrate on horror?

Hunter: I’ve written comedy, children’s books, scifi and a bit of mystery in the past. Over the past few years it’s been all horror, all the time. But I do have plans for branching out into other genres in the very near future.

Into The Macabre: They say its not about what you know but who you know. Would you agree with this statement? Who helped you along the way and what did they do?

Hunter: Honestly, I had zero help. I was inspired to write by my friend, Norm Hendricks. But when it came to learning the craft and the business, I did that by reading books in the genre and trade magazines. I didn’t have an agent or anyone that I knew in the business. I just read, wrote and worked my ass off.

Into The Macabre: What would you say are the biggest challenges you face today as a writer?

Hunter: Finding time to not only write but also get into the nitty gritty of promoting my books. Writing is the easy part. The real work comes with marketing, looking for new publishers you want to work with, meetings with editors and agents, setting up blog and book tours, etc. But I love it all.

Into The Macabre: Writing really is a business, isn’t it?

Hunter: Absolutely. And I think that’s the biggest shock for anyone who finally gets that first book published. You have to wear many hats if you want to succeed. Now, success can be defined many different ways. For me, it’s simply having an audience who wants to read the madness that spills from my brain.

Into The Macabre: What role has social media played in your successes?

Hunter: Look, there’s no magic pill when it comes to social media, despite the scores of books that proclaim to have one. I know a lot of writers who look at it as either a necessary evil or something to be avoided, like silver to a werewolf. There’s also a worry of devoting too much time to social media and neglecting the most important thing – writing good books. As a writer, you have to find some avenues to make your voice heard. Find the two or three that work best for you and you’re comfortable with. I personally have a good time with it. And I don’t just talk about myself. That would be boring as hell. If all you do is self-promote, readers will run from you in droves. But I do have a blog, video podcast called Monster Men, and I’m on Facebook and Twitter. On all of them, I get to talk about my favorite subject – horror – and the people and places that interest me.

Into The Macabre: I agree. Goodreads is full of carnival barker authors that only hawk their stuff at every turn and don’t participate in any of the discussions. On the flip side, I’ve met some great authors that are true horror fans first and enjoy being a part of the horror community. Those are the ones that I personally, and I think many other horror fans as well, gravitate towards. Jonathan Janz and Glenn Rolfe immediately come to mind. Do you do conventions? If so, what are your thoughts about them?

Hunter: Janz and Rolfe are Goodreads masters! I need to imitate them and get more involved there. I do a convention or two a year – as an author. I go to others like Chiller Theatre as an attendee. As a nutso horror addict, I’ve been going to conventions for a long, long time. Being there as a guest is always a lot of fun. I try to have a damn good time and hopefully sell some books in the process. People who come visit me have been known to leave with a cocktail or two. It’s all about connecting with people, which is hard to do in a room, tapping away on your laptop. I’ll definitely be at Scares That Care in VA this summer. I’d love to go to Horrorhound but it’s a little far for me.

Into The Macabre: My first exposure to your work was through recommendations on Goodreads. What would you say is your level of interaction through fans on GR and other sites?

Hunter: I have to admit, I’m not very proficient with Goodreads. I find the forums and conversations threads really confusing. I think it’s a wonderful site because it’s filled with readers, like myself. I always have giveaways on Goodreads and I’m trying my hand at my first ad for They Rise. If anyone wants to reach out to me there, feel free. I promise I’ll answer.

Into The Macabre: I recently read Tortures of the Damned and was impressed with the character development in that one. Can you tell me how that story came about?

Hunter: I live in the city it’s set in, and like most people around me, 9/11 changed my perspective on everything, especially when it comes to living right next to a major terror target. The three explosions that happen in the opening chapter actually happened over the holidays one year. It scared the heck out of my family. The news said it was industrial grade fireworks. No one believes them. That was the seed that grew into Tortures of the Damned.

Into The Macabre: Which one of your stories are you most proud of?

Hunter: That’s like asking me who my favorite child is! If push comes to shove, I guess it would have to be The Montauk Monster. It was my first mass paperback book and I felt a ton of pressure to get it right. My father suddenly passed away when I started it, so the fact that I was able to get it done at all is a major accomplishment. In a way, it was therapeutic. I just wish he’d been alive to read it. I know he would have loved it.

Into The Macabre: So what is the Monster Men video podcast and how can fans check it out?

Hunter: My partner in crime, Jack Campisi, and just talk about anything horror. It’s like listening to two guys at the bar at a horror convention. We discuss movies and books, monsters and mythical beasts. Over the last 2 years, we’ve added interviews with authors, directors and cryptozoologists. It’s a total blast. We’re coming up on our 100th episode. Wow. It’s weird seeing it in writing like that.

Into The Macabre: I’ve found that many writers have a routine that they like to follow when writing. Give me a breakdown of your day and how you create the next Hunter Shea masterpiece.

Hunter: Masterpiece? You flatterer. When I’m working on a book, I like to write every day. I have a day job, so I come home, chill for a bit, have dinner, then go in my lair to write for an hour or so. On weekends, I write for 2-3 hours a day. By sticking to that schedule, I can usually get a first draft done in 3 months.

Into The Macabre: Do you have that one place in the house that is the only place you can effectively write or can you take a laptop anywhere you go and write wherever? What’s your writing environment like? Absolute quiet? Music? Background noise?

Hunter: I’ve learned to write anywhere and everywhere. I have a perfect setup in my house, but I’ll also write in the kitchen, in bed, the back yard, even my car. I tend to stick with the ‘hot hand’ and write where the story flows best. If I have music, it has to be soundtracks. Lyrics get in my head and mess with me. There can be total chaos around me, but when I’m in the zone, I can shut it all out. Having kids trained me to block out the white noise. 

Into The Macabre: Do you have a notepad by the bed for those middle of the night inspirations? Has that ever happened to you where you had to get up and start concocting a story from those 3am dreams?

Hunter: I always have something close by. When I’m in the middle of a book, I also carry around a voice recorder. It’s very helpful when I’m in the car, which is where I seem to get most of my revelations.

Into The Macabre: Did read right that you’ve busted out 10 stories in the last 4 years? That’s an amazing pace! Is writing now your full-time profession?

Hunter: I wish! No, I’ve just watched less and less TV so I have more time to scribble. I’m not gunning to be a full time writer. If it happens, awesome. If not, I’ll keep working and feeding the family…and cats.

Into The Macabre: Sohow did you get into cryptozoology? What’s something you’ve learned in the field that would shock the hell out of your readers?

Hunter: Ever since I saw the Bigfoot episode of In Search Of, I’ve been a cryptid nut. That led to an obsession with the Loch Ness Monster and has just taken off from there. I just wish there was more concrete proof that some of these animals exist so we can get them out of the realm of the unexplained or paranormal. I think anyone who follows cryptozoology feels that if any creatures will be truly found, they will most likely come from the sea. We don’t know one-tenth of what’s really down there.

Into The Macabre: As a landlubber myself, I find the sea to be an amazing place. Do you sail or scuba dive? What’s your interaction with the sea?

Hunter: I’ve never sailed or went scuba diving, but I love being on the water. I fished a lot when I was a kid with my grandfather, great uncle and their friend. In fact, they’re the older gentlemen in the first chapter of They Rise. If I could convince my wife to live on a houseboat, I’d be there in a flash.

Into The Macabre: Stephen King has the spooky house in Bangor surrounded by the wrought iron fence with gargoyles on it. Do you have anything crazy at your house that makes your neighbors clutch their children when they see you coming?

Hunter: Not outside, but inside, I have my horror collectibles all over the place, from signed autographs with Elvira and Julie Adams (from The Creature from the Black Lagoon) to skulls, gargoyles, cryptid figures, not to mention tons of books and movies. You definitely know you’re in the home of a horror writer, and most importantly, fan.

Into The Macabre: What are you reading these days?

Hunter: I just finished Ash by Jason Brant. He always knocks it out of the park. I’m on a bit of a Jeff Strand kick, devouring Kumquat and Benjamin’s Parasite. I’m settling into Longmire novel and am about to finish Robert Bloch’s Psycho trilogy. Oh, and I finally finished Crime and Punishment. On to Huck Finn next.

Into The Macabre: Your Top 5 horror movies?

Hunter: That’s a tough one. This could change depending on my mood. LOL Here we go – 1. Alien 2. Halloween 3. It Follows 4. The Haunting 5. Creature from the Black Lagoon

Into The Macabre: They Rise is your upcoming release here in January.. How did that story come about?

Hunter: Severed Press approached me to see if I was interested in writing a sea monster tale. My editor Gary saw that I’m monster crazy, so it was a perfect fit. I looked at their titles and decided I had to make my sea monsters different than what was already out there. So, in came the chimaera fish, also known as ghost sharks. It was great working with Gary and Severed. We really collaborated on the story, amping up the finale which was just insane. I hope people like it and harken back to the good old days of creature features on the drive in screen.

Into The Macabre: I found that one to be a blast to read. Obviously, many people are going to compare any terror in the seas story to Jaws, but I found myself numerous times being reminded of the Kevin Bacon movie Tremors. What has been the early response to it, so far?

Hunter: Thank you so much. Critical and reader response has been amazing. I love that there are so many other monster lovers out there! I now can’t wait to write my next sea monster novel for Severed. And the comparison to Tremors is pretty spot on. I must have been channeling my inner Kevin Bacon when I wrote it.

Into The Macabre: What can us fans expect coming down the pike in 2016 and beyond?

Hunter: I have two more releases this year : I Kill in Peace, a novella with Samhain, and The Jersey Devil with Pinnacle books. Those books are polar opposites of one another, so I’m giving folks a little bit of everything this year. I’m working on the concept for a follow up novel with Severed Press and a very intense work for a publisher to be named later. It’ll be my most mainstream work to date, and if I do it right, it’ll scare the hell out of people. If you all want to be in the know, stop on over to my blog and chain at and sign up for my Dark Hunter newsletter while you’re there. You’ll get all the news first AND I have lots of giveaways.

Into The Macabre: I really appreciate you letting me grill you for my blog and look forward to chatting with you in the future. Take care, my friend.
Some call them ghost sharks, the oldest and strangest looking creatures in the sea. Marine biologist Brad Whitley has studied chimaera fish all his life. He thought he knew everything about them. He was wrong.

Warming ocean temperatures free legions of prehistoric chimaera fish from their methane ice suspended animation. Now, in a corner of the Bermuda Triangle, the ocean waters run red.

The 400 million year old massive killing machines know no mercy, destroying everything in their path. It will take Whitley, his climatologist ex-wife and the entire US Navy to stop them in the bloodiest battle ever seen on the high seas.

Biography, Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.

Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel, Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”

Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.

He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

You can follow his travails at, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow in on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise for Hunter Shea

“This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster

“Bloody good read! This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast

Purchase They Rise


Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card for joining this tour! Get extra entries for social media follows, but get extra extra entries for signing up for his newsletter and five extra entries if you review They Rise and send the link to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at!

Good luck!

Interview With Author Jonathan Janz

IMG_8994 (5)


In a few short years, Jonathan Janz has exploded onto the horror scene and, with his latest lycanthropic masterpiece, he keeps getting better and better. I’ve had the pleasure of having some great discussions with him on Goodreads, which he’s a very active and accessible member, and I’m very excited to be able to interview him here. It is my extreme pleasure to give you Jonathan Janz.


Into The Macabre: Ok, let’s get the vitals out of the way –

Name: Jonathan Janz
DOB: Unknown
Birthplace: Colorado Springs
City of Residence: West Lafayette, IN
Marital Status: Married Blissfully
Children: Three
Pets: One, a dog named Weasley (after the Harry Potter family)

Into The Macabre: When did you first start writing?

Jonathan Janz: I didn’t seriously begin writing until about seven years ago. I didn’t start writing things that people wanted to publish until about four years ago.

Into The Macabre: How did the pen name Jonathan Janz come about?

Jonathan Janz: My real first name is Jonathan (I go by my middle name in my daily life), and my mother’s maiden name is Janz. It’s a way to honor my grandparents, who are two of the most amazing people I know.

Into The Macabre: What drew you to horror? What/Who were your inspirations?

Jonathan Janz: Stephen King. He made of me a reader and a writer. After that it was Richard Matheson, Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, and Ray Bradbury. Those writers led to a host of others, but those were the first to stir my imagination after King. Oh, and the book GREAT TALES OF TERROR AND THE SUPERNATURAL. That anthology changed me.

Into The Macabre: Hard to beat that list! Describe the process it took for you to become published.

Jonathan Janz: I wrote, edited, got rejected, wrote some more, edited some more, got rejected some more. Then I went through that process about seven hundred times before I finally got something accepted. And you know what? It all made me a better writer. I didn’t get published right away because I didn’t deserve to be. Whatever I’ve gotten has been through much effort and perseverance, and I like it that way.

Into The Macabre: I definitely see a progression and maturation with each new release. If you could turn back the hands of time and go back, what about the publishing process would you do differently?

Jonathan Janz: I’d worry less about query letters, first of all. I’d also spend less time Twitter-stalking agents and thinking about things beyond my control. I’d also pay far less attention to writers, readers, agents, and editors who fixate on what not to do and worry far more about honing my craft through careful and concentrated study, which is what I do now. Yes matters far more than no.

Into The Macabre: Some writers say that its not about what you know and more about who you know. Would you agree or disagree with that statement? Who helped you along the way and what did they do?

Jonathan Janz:  I’d disagree with the notion that it’s about who you know. I didn’t know a soul when I started and didn’t really meet anyone “in the business” until maybe two years ago. By that time I’d already had about four books published. Maybe I’m naïve, but I believe it doesn’t matter who you know if the writing isn’t good enough. If the writing is good, people will want to acquire it, represent it, or read it.

Having said that, there have been many people who have helped me along the way, and while I could talk about a great many individuals here, I’ll mention two: Don D’Auria and Brian Keene. Don was the guy who was editing books by Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Brian Keene and many others back in the 2000s, when I was starting to get more serious about starting a writing career. Like many writers, I wanted to be edited by Don. When he accepted THE SORROWS, it was a life-changing moment for me. Since then, he’s edited most of my books, and he’s also become a dear friend.

The other person I mentioned above was Brian Keene. This is a very unique relationship because I was a fan of his work before I became his friend, and I remain a fan now. I know an outsider might look at the way I talk about him and say, “Well you’re just trying to ingratiate yourself with an established writer,” but honestly, I don’t care about that sort of nonsense. I love Brian’s writing and am not afraid to talk about that. I’m also now proud to call him a friend, and that’s something that transcends writing. He has been incredibly good to me, from offering advice to simply being someone I can talk to. My wife and kids think the world of him, and frankly, I do too. I know few writers of his stature who are as genuinely giving and caring as Brian. And I’m thankful to be his friend.

Into The Macabre: It still amazes me how many times I keep hearing those names pop up when I talk to authors about who helped them, especially Brian Keene and Don D’Auria. What would you say are the biggest challenges you face today as a writer?

Jonathan Janz: I’d say it’s trying to get all my ideas down on paper. I am able to write at least two novels a year, but I come up with five or six novel ideas per year (at minimum), which means the majority of my projects get bumped out of the way or put off longer than I want them to be.

Into The Macabre: What role has social media played in your successes?

Jonathan Janz: I think it has helped a great deal, though honestly, that’s another area in which I struggle. With my family, my teaching, my writing, and my various other endeavors, I have very little time to spend on social media. Really, that side of a writer’s career could be a full-time job too. But sometimes that gets delayed because of things that matter more.

Having said all that, I do feel like social media has played a major role in the growth of my career. I’ve met many of my favorite fans and reviewers online, and those interactions have led to many friendships I wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.

Into The Macabre: My first exposure to your work was through recommendations on Goodreads. What would you say is your level of interaction through fans on GR and other sites?

Jonathan Janz: I love Goodreads, and I know you do too. It’s an amazing way to meet other readers, and I sometimes meet fans that way too. However, I think the reason it has been so effective for me is that I approach Goodreads as a reader first and foremost, and I think the people there tend to appreciate that. So many writers today attempt to elbow their way to the table, and for me, that’s a major turnoff. I don’t want to look like the attention-seeking kid in class who raises his hand and hops up and down in his seat for the teacher’s attention. If people like my writing, they’ll read more of it. I’m content with a more gradual growth because I know I’m not giving anyone the hard sell.

Into The Macabre: Have you had any “Misery/Annie Wilkes” moments where a fan was creeping you out to the point where you were looking over your shoulder?

Jonathan Janz: I’ve had a couple instances where people have asked me for money because a) they’ve read my work, and b) they figure I’m a rich writer with limitless funds. That makes me feel a bit weird because I’m not Daddy Warbucks, and I don’t make a practice of giving money to strangers. I’d rather give whatever money I have to my wife and children.

Into The Macbre: All I can say is Wow! The balls on some people! Now, I have noticed that the world of horror fiction appears to be a big fraternity where many of the authors hang out at conventions and keep in touch with each other. Have you found this to be true and have you had any moments where you went from being Jonathan Janz the author to being Craig the wide eyed fan?

Jonathan Janz: You said that really well, and yes, there have been several moments like that. One of the most recent was when I was at Scares That Care 2 and within a two-hour span got to have conversations with both Edward Lee and F. Paul Wilson.

Paul talked to me about his editing process, and though I absorbed every moment of it, it was sort of an out-of-body experience. I stood there listening and nodding and thinking, F. Paul Wilson is telling you how he shapes his work. This is freaking incredible! The conversation with Lee (that sounds like a name drop, but he really does prefer to be called Lee) veered toward M.R. James, which was beyond enjoyable for me. I’ve loved the fiction of M.R. James for years, and it turns out that Lee is a massive fan of the writer as well. We talked and talked about different James stories and why we loved them so much. Again, it was kind of out-of-body and thoroughly enjoyable, and I somehow managed not to pass out or otherwise embarrass myself.

Into The Macabre: You’re a better man than me. I would’ve been stumbling and bumbling through that whole day sounding like an idiot!

I’ve seen a progression in the maturity of your writing with each subsequent novel. Which one of your stories are you most proud of?

Jonathan Janz: Thanks, Ken! I really appreciate that. Well, I’ll first utter that stock line, “I love all my stories,” because it’s true. However, if I had to choose favorites…I’d say THE NIGHTMARE GIRL, SAVAGE SPECIES, DUST DEVILS, WOLF LAND, EXORCIST ROAD, and my two upcoming novels. I know I just named about half my works, but at least I sort of differentiated.

Into The Macabre: I’ve found that many writers have a routine that they like to follow when writing. Give me a breakdown of your day and how you create the next Janz masterpiece.

Jonathan Janz: On a normal Saturday, I’ll play with the kids all morning and then scurry off to my writing room at about 1:30. I’ll prime my mental engine for about ten or fifteen minutes, and then I’ll write hard until about 4:45. In that time, I’ll usually get three thousand words or more written. During the summers, I can sometimes reach four thousand. Often, I’ll edit at night after the family has gone to bed and before I begin to read myself to sleep.

Into The Macabre: My two favorite stories of yours, so far, have been The Clearing of Travis Coble and Exorcist Road. Can you describe how those stories came about?

Jonathan Janz: Ah, very cool! “Travis Coble” was inspired by three things, really. One was the Lizzie Borden case. I found that fascinating. Here was a woman who was never convicted who is still today viewed as a macabre figure. That’s really interesting to me. So was the word “clearing.” I liked how that could be interpreted a number of ways. Like Bradbury, I’m stimulated by different words and will often create a story around a single word. The third inspiration was the time I spent in grad school and the pressures I saw weighing upon my professors. The whole publish-or-perish notion is pretty unhealthy, if you ask me, but that’s the system in most colleges. I wondered what kind of a toll that would take on a character, and that led to the protagonist of “The Clearing of Travis Coble.”

EXORCIST ROAD came to me one night after getting off the phone with my agent. It was one of those cosmic blast things where it all comes to you in a moment. Within fifteen minutes, I had the basic plot figured out, then over the next two weeks, the story just wrote itself. I’m extremely proud of that story and can’t wait for folks to read EXORCIST FALLS, the sequel that’ll be coming sometime in 2016.

Into The Macabre: I soooo can’t wait!

Now, for the aspiring authors out there, I see the minuscule amounts that they charge to download a story on Amazon and I have to wonder – Can you really make a living being an author?

Jonathan Janz: One can make a living, but it all depends on a number of factors. How much do you need to be comfortable? Also, how important is health care to you? For me, because of my family, I would need to make a lot more money to be able to write full time. As a teacher, I get paid better than most would assume, and we have decent health care. I can see going full time with writing at some point in the future, but I would have to make a good deal more than I do now as a writer to justify that decision.

Into The Macabre: Stephen King has the spooky house in Bangor surrounded by the wrought iron fence with gargoyles on it. Do you have anything crazy at your house that makes your neighbors clutch their children when they see you coming?

Jonathan Janz: Just my leering visage. Actually, the only horrors are the pottery projects my kids make for me because they know I love creepy things. My eight-year-old daughter made a skull-shaped mug of which I’m particularly fond.

Into The Macabre: What are you reading these days?

Jonathan Janz: Right now I’m reading Graham Masterton’s THE MANITOU, which is really entertaining. After that, I’ll probably read a crime novel by Ed McBain, whose stuff is always great.

Into The Macabre: Quick! Name your top 5 horror movies.

Jonathan Janz: Man, that’s tough. I’ll just name the first five that come to mind:

THE EXORCIST (the book and movie terrified me), DOG SOLDIERS (my favorite werewolf movie), RAVENOUS (a criminally-underrated masterpiece), JAWS (a perfect movie, in my opinion), and the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (for visceral terror).

Into The Macabre: You’ve just recently released Wolf Land. How did that story come about? How’s the response been?

Jonathan Janz: Better and stronger than any novel I’ve written so far. And that’s exciting, because THE NIGHTMARE GIRL (my first 2015 release) was received better than anything that preceded that. I guess that means that things are trending in the right direction. Hopefully, folks will respond just as positively to my first 2016 release (CHILDREN OF THE DARK).

Into The Macabre: I can’t wait that you have a sequel coming for Exorcist Road! What are you working on now and what else can we expect to be coming down the pike in 2016 and beyond?

Jonathan Janz: As I mentioned above, CHILDREN OF THE DARK is coming soon from Sinister Grin Press (in March). That one is a standalone book, though it’s also a prequel of sorts to SAVAGE SPECIES, which is one of my most popular titles. After that one, as you mentioned, there will be EXORCIST FALLS, which is a full-length novel and about twice as long as EXORCIST ROAD. The new story is just as dark and twisty as the first story, and I can’t wait for folks to check it out. In addition to those books, I’ll be releasing an updated version of WITCHING HOUR THEATRE, which was my first story to get published. It’s a novella that folks will really enjoy, and I’m pumped about its re-release because most of my fans haven’t read it yet. After all those projects, I’ve got several more in the works. 2016 will be a wonderful year!

Into The Macabre: Indeed. I know I speak for many when I say that I look forward to it.

I really appreciate you letting me grill you for my blog and look forward to chatting with you in the future. Take care, my friend.
Jonathan Janz: Thanks for these excellent questions, Ken. I had a lot of fun answering them!


Interview with author Glenn Rolfe


Glenn Rolfe is an up and coming horror author from Maine and has recently released his latest (and in my opinion his best) novel Blood and Rain through Samhain Publishing. Blood and Rain shows a progressive maturation in his writing and a ‘coming into his own” that started with his novella Boom Town. With great characters and an eerie atmosphere, I wanted to get to know the man behind it all. I’ve reviewed Blood and Rain and Boom Town earlier on this blog. I encourage you to check them out. Without further ado, I give you Glenn Rolfe.


Name: Glenn Rolfe
DOB: September 30, 1977
Birthplace: Augusta, Maine
Marital Status: M
Children: 2 girls (ruby and Ramona), 1 boy (Axl)
Pets: cat (Meesha)

Into The Macabre: When did you first start writing?

Glenn: I became a writer in 2011. That’s when I drafted the first version of Blood and Rain.

Into The Macabre: How about before that? Were you the type that always dabbled writing stories in high school or was this something that you woke up one day and said I have an idea and I want to write about it?

Glenn: In 2003 I scribbled a three page story called, “The Eyes”. My girlfriend was a hair dresser and she had this mannequin head, practice thing that looked like its eyes were always following me around the room. I was starting to read more at that time, so I guess I grabbed my lyric notebook and wrote this tiny story. It came out pretty good. I remember buying my first copy of Stephen King’s On Writing and that was followed by a few more stories in my song books. So, I guess I dipped my toes in the writing waters back then, but I never went all in.
In 2011, I remember stumbling across one of those notebooks and deciding I wanted to type a couple of the stories up. One of those ended up being the first chapter of Blood and Rain. Once I typed that one up, I remember thinking it had something more to it. And I started writing and didn’t stop until three months later when I typed THE END.

Into The Macabre: What drew you to horror? What/Who were your inspirations?

Glenn: I was scared to death by The Exorcist, Terror Train, Happy Birthday to Me, and a bunch of other horror flicks as a kid. We had HBO for a year or something and I for one reason or another, watched all of those films. I couldn’t have been more than seven at the oldest. I remember at ten, me and my buddies being all about Jason and Freddy.
I’d say the horror movies got me started down this road. Something about being scared, but also something about good beating evil, ya know? That’s what helped you sleep at night after watching them. Whether it was the Dream Warriors besting Freddy, or Tommy Jarvis hacking Jason in the head.
When I started reading horror, it was like the most amazing world opened up to me. King and Anne Rice were my gatekeepers. They led me in with fantastic storytelling and unforgettable characters. Eventually I discovered Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Bentley Little, and Brian Keene. The Four Horsemen of my descent into this wide open realm of monsters and fears.

​​Into The Macabre: King, rightfully so, seems to be the author that lures many people into their first foray of horror. Do you remember the first King story that you read?

Glenn: Oh yeah, it was The Dark Half. I loved it. I think it took me like four or five months to read. I didn’t spend much time reading back then. That was probably around 1997.

Into The Macabre:  Describe the process it took for you to become published.

Glenn: I started writing and submitting short stories after I finished my novel. I knew the book wasn’t good enough to be published. I still needed to learn A L OT before I sent that manuscript anywhere. So, instead of becoming a Hunter/Gatherer of food, I became a Subbing/Gatherer of rejections. Six months into that harsh place, I sold my first short story: “Skull of Snakes”. That felt amazing, but the next half year brought another boatload of “Sorry, but we have to pass”.
At the end of 2012 I entered into the Amazon/Kindle world of self-publishing. I tried my hand there for about eight months before I realized I’d made a huge mistake. I still wasn’t a very good writer, I had no fans, and I wasn’t approaching it like a professional. I had great book cover (thanks to my friend, Jason Lynch) and a pretty good story, but no editor. I’m lucky that move didn’t kill my hopes of having a career dead in its tracks!
By the end of 2013, I’d written my first novella, Abram’s Bridge. I tried to sneak it into one publisher. They told me it just barely missed the cut. I was told that they had eight amazing stories to choose from (mine included) and only space for one. That told me all I needed to hear about the story. I’d finally written something GOOD!
I’d circled Don D’Auria on my wish list while I was writing my first book in 2011. I finally had something I dared to send him, and when I did…he loved it. I landed my first of five contracts with Don and Samhain.

Into The Macabre: I hear Don’s name mentioned everywhere even before all the stuff went down with Samhain. I don’t want to dig into any of that. What I’m interested in is why Don? Is he someone that you knew? Is he someone whose reputation caused you to seek him out?

Glenn: His name was in all of those Leisure Books Horror titles. He was the acquisition editor who was responsible for choosing all these great stories by all of these great writers old and new. Nobody really knew who Brian Keene was until Don plucked The Rising and contracted it with Dorchester Publishing/Leisure Books. ​ALL of thise great Leisure Books titles were picked by Don. As a writer, even from the start, I knew his thumbs up would be proof that I really had something in this business.

Into The Macabre: If you could turn back the hands of time and go back, what about the publishing process would you do differently?

Glenn: That’s a great question. I mean, I don’t think I’d undo any of it. As bad as trying to self-publish was, I learned A LOT from the experience. Even if that was what NOT to do. That helped push me to become a better writer.

Into The Macabre: ​​I read the first article in the series that you wrote for Samhain’s website about your experience with self-publishing. Now obviously it’s a self-serving piece for publishers, like Samhain, to get talented newcomers to use established publishers instead of going the self-publishing route. With that being said, there’s some great info in there and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

(For those that haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. It’s an eye-opener for any aspiring author)

Do you feel that, for you, you needed the trials and tribulations of the route you took to become the writer you wanted to be or was there anything along the way that you wish you could’ve avoided to speed up the process to where you are today?

Glenn: I tend to be one of those guys who have to learn the hard way. I wouldn’t take any of it back. I like where I ended up. That said, it was sort of… stupid. Or more naïve. It could have ended me as a writer. Luckily, I realized quickly that it was the wrong way to get where I wanted to go. Now, I hope my experience can help people stay on a more proven path. The traditional route is a bitch, but it is the best barometer of where you’re at level-wise. I was writing some “good stories”, but my writing wasn’t quite there yet. I had to learn and I did, and I still am.

Into The Macabre: They say its not about what you know but who you know. Who helped you along the way and what did they do?

Glenn: Man, this could get long…. Okay, first off, you need help. Some inherit that help. I don’t know that Joe Hill used his dad in any way (probably not, Joe is a great writer), but knowing that he was there and had connections if you needed them…that had to feel okay, right? So, some people have that. They have family in the business in some fashion (writer, publisher, editor…), or somebody knows somebody that knows somebody. The other side of that is a person who lives in the woods and has NO connections. In this business, if you want to get your stories from your computer and into a readers hands, you need to make friends. You need to “network”, Thank you, internet!
I’m not going to give you each person and how and why…I’ll just jot down this list:
Ronald Malfi – As a naïve little man, I reached out to him and asked him to read my early work. He said okay and gave me some of the best writing advice ever.
Kristin Dearborn- A fabulous horror writer who attended the same high school as me! We found each other on a mutual friends Facebook and got along right away. She also beta read a bunch of my short stories and gave me amazing tips and advice. Her Red Pen corrections and pointers helped my writing immensely.
RJ Cavender- He edited the first draft of Blood and Rain and did what Kristin did for me but on a novel length work. Lots and lots of Red Pen. Lots of fantastic advice.
Erin Sweet Al-Mehair- She was among the first fans I made. Little did I know how big a part of my life she would become! She’s now my pre-editor, my publicist, and probably still my number one fan. She is AMAZING.
Jonathan Janz, Russell James, and Hunter Shea- These guys have been pulling for me the whole time. I made friends with them all on Facebook around the time I started to get serious about looking at Samhain. All encouraged me and all gave me advice. That meant a lot to me then, and even more to me now. I’ve got to hang out with them since joining Samhain and they still keep me pumped and gladly unload pearls of wisdom. It seems like some sort of weird ass fate that my first Samhain novella came out alongside their new novels in January of this year.
Don D’Auria – He’s the man. He made this all possible. Thanks to his belief in my stories, I now consider myself a real writer. I know he’ll land on his feet, and I look forward to working with him again in the not-too-distant future.

There are a lot of other names that could go here: Matt Molgaard, James Ward Kirk, the team at JukePop Serials, Erinn Kemper, Rena Mason, Robert S. Wilson, The Tuesday Mayhem Society (Peter N. Dudar, April Hawks, JoJo Mason-Schnopp, Morgan Sylvia), Max Booth III, Joe Hempel…. the list is HUGE!

Into The Macabre: What would you say are the biggest challenges you face today as a writer?

Glenn: Personally, finding time to sit down and write. I have three kids. They impose quite the challenge! Businesswise…I’d say finding a way to get your book into the hands of people who might really like it. That is a big challenge. I’ve been busting my ass through GoodReads and Facebook, but it seems like I’m still missing something… That’s what I use as my motivator: that bridge is out there and I will find it. Or, I’ll end up making my own path along the way.

​​Into The Macabre: You learn real fast that being an author is a business. It would be nice if all you had to do was write and then the book would sell itself. But, unfortunately, if you want your product in the hands of the consumers, you have to sell it. You could have the next Great American novel, but if you can’t get it out to the masses, its simply nothing more than a paper weight on your bookshelf. Was the business and marketing side of being an author a big shock to you when you first started?

Glenn: Not really…but when I got to Samhain, I did think it would be a little easier. I wasn’t naïve enough to think I’d just have to write and leave the rest to them, but I did think it would be easier. I learned quickly though. Coming from the music side of things, I was pretty good at using social media to get my name out there. I’d always had initial success in pumping up my band’s music, but then something would happen in the band and the momentum that I’d created would just stop. Usualy someone ended up quitting or moving. It’s a lot easier being a writer. You don’t have to depend on anyone else. I like that.

Into The Macabre: What role has social media played in your successes?

Glenn: I’d be nothing without it. That’s where you network. You should also attend conventions and talk up as many folks as you run into! But yeah, Facebook and GoodReads, man. That’s where I reach out.

Into The Macabre: How many conventions and book signings do you typically do? Do you have any coming up that you’d like to let your fans know about?

Glenn: I aim for two a year. I did both of Samhain’s Horror Hound gigs this year. Next year, I’m aiming to attend the first annual Stoker Convention in Vegas (in May) and doing the Scares That Care convention in Virginia. (in July). I will probably slip in at least one more, but that’s all up in the air right now.

Into The Macabre: My first exposure to your work was through recommendations on Goodreads. What would you say is your level of interaction through fans on GR and other sites?

Glenn: What’s the highest level? That’s where I’m at. I’ll take nights away from writing to scour Goodreads for potential readers. It’s hard, time consuming work, but I’m willing to do it because I want other people to give my work a chance. I try pinpointing people with similar taste in books and then I’ll message them and offer a copy of one of my works. The key is being polite and remembering that they don’t know you and don’t owe you shit. The moment you start thinking they owe you something, you need to stop and get out of the game. Just like you gotta earn your kills in a book– you gotta earn your readers, as well.

Into The Macabre: So, so true. I love that Goodreads has let the average Joe be able to communicate with the up-and-coming authors.

Glenn: It has been a great tool to meet new readers and get your name out there. I stand behind it 100%.

Into The Macabre: Have you had any “Misery/Annie Wilkes” moments where a fan was creeping you out to the point where you were looking over your shoulder?

Glenn: Not yet. There’s plenty of weirdoes in my neck of the woods though, so I’m waiting.

Into The Macabre: Well here’s hoping that you don’t roll your car in a snow storm and get rescued by your number one fan that also owns an axe and a blow torch!

Glenn: I think in my neck of the woods I’m still my number one fan! I don’t own anything that dangerous.

Into The Macabre: The world of horror fiction appears to be a big fraternity where many of the authors hang out at conventions and keep in touch with each other. Have you found this to be true and have you had any moments where you went from being Glenn Rolfe the author to being Glenn the wide eyed fan?

Glenn: Absolutely true and yes! I saw Stephen King at a Joe Hill signing. I didn’t even try to get close to him. Couldn’t do it. Thought I’d just be a pest. Saw Jonathan Maberry at my first WHC in New Orleans…same deal. I stayed far away from him. Brian Keene at WHC Portland. I at least got him to sign my copy of Ghoul and spoke with him for a few seconds. Jack Ketchum…. This guy. I was in awe, but I made myself say hello. He ended up asking me to walk with him and we had a full blown conversation. I was probably in shock, but it happened. He was super cool.
And most recently, John Everson. I did manage to keep my cool in check. He probably doesn’t even know how psyched I was to meet him. I hung with him and the Samhain gang at Horror Hound in Indianapolis a few months ago.

Into The Macabre: That’s a great list. I wonder if they get just as “weirded out” by us fans that put them up on a pedestal or if they’re used to it by now. Is there any author that you are just dying to meet and pick their brain, if you could?

Glenn: I’d love to sit down with Ketchum, King and Keene and go over things.

Into The Macabre: I’ve seen a progression in the maturity of your writing with each subsequent novel. Which one of your stories are you most proud of?

Glenn: Probably Abram’s Bridge. It was the first one that I felt was really special. It was the first one Don said yes to. When I was writing it, I had a feeling it was different from everything I’d written before.

Into The Macabre: I’ve found that many writers have a routine that they like to follow when writing. Give me a breakdown of your day and how you create the next Rolfe masterpiece.

Glenn: I have no ritual. I have one I’d like to keep, but life doesn’t allow it right now. I typically work on multiple pieces whenever I can. If the story gets going in one, I’ll stick it out until the end or I run out of gas. Each work ends up coming together in its own time and in its own unique way. I ended up re-writing 50-60 percent of Blood and Rain in about five weeks last summer. That was intense.

Into The Macabre: My two favorite stories of yours, so far, have been Boom Town and Blood and Rain. Can you describe how those stories came about?

Glenn: Boom Town is based off some real life underground booms that occurred a few years back in Clintonville, WI. There were news reports about mysterious unexplained booms under the ground… I gave them an explanation. I love aliens, so it was great fun bringing that to the table.
Blood and Rain in its current form came about when Don (D’Auria) asked me for a novel. I loved that story and those characters, but my original manuscript wasn’t working. I took the whole thing apart with the help of my best friend, Ben. He told me if something sucked or was stupid or if it was just bad. I ran my new ideas by him and when he said yeah, I like that, I wrote it and added it to the story. After I completed the new draft, I sent it to my friend, Erin. She did all the pre-edits and I ran a few more minor details by her that I was unsure of. She helped guide those last pieces and there you have it!
It was obviously inspired by my love of werewolves. Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf and the movie, The Howling probably had the greatest impact on my writing brain.

Into The Macabre: For the aspiring authors out there, I see the minuscule amounts that they charge to download a story and I have to wonder – Can you really make a living being an author?

Glenn: Not unless you have a great fan base or you get lucky, or you just happen to write an unquestionable, brilliant novel. For the most part, we get pennies for our passion. Unless you have built a fan base, like Brian Keene and Bryan Smith, you will have to maintain a day job to survive. But guys like Keene and Smith have spent the last decade or so building those loyal fans, so if you continue to write, improve, and nurture your little flock of fans, there’s no telling where you might be in ten years!
England seems to be its own story. I’ve seen guys like Iain Rob Write, Matt Shaw, and now Stuart Keane come up from seemingly out of nowhere and have an amazing impact on the horror genre. Besides being great writers, they seem to be doing something else right. It’s very impressive…and mysterious.

Into The Macabre: Stephen King has the spooky house in Bangor surrounded by the wrought iron fence with gargoyles on it. Do you have anything crazy at your house that makes your neighbors clutch their children when they see you coming?

Glenn: I have toys on my porch and pink bikes next to my garbage can! Nothing creepy, no.

Into The Macabre: What are you reading these days?

Glenn: Too many books! Right at this moment: Sentinels by Matt Manochio, Hannahwhere by John McIlveen, Bag of Bones by Stephen King, Sacrificing Virgins by John Everson…and I think that’s it for right now.

Into The Macabre: Top 5 horror movies?

Glenn: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing, Jaws, Alien, The Howling

Into The Macabre: Another great list. How about music? I hear you might be a metal head?

Glenn: Music is awesome. I wouldn’t classify myself as a metal head. I’m all over the map. I like great songs. My five favorite artists?
Bruce Springsteen, Guns N’ Roses, Taylor Swift, Green Day, Rancid… for real.
I love all the hair metal era stuff, too. I love Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, KISS. I love Metallica, Megadeth, Garth Brooks, Katy Perry, Kasey Musgraves, Cobra Skulls… so many great artists.

Into The Macabre: What are you working on now and what can we expect to be coming down the pike in 2016 and beyond?

Glenn: Working between my next novel, Window and a new novella. Those will probably come out in 2017.
Just finished edits with Samhain on my next novella, THINGS WE FEAR (March) and will have the reprint of my first novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS in November. There’s also another finished novella with a different publisher called, THE LAST SHOW. That will see the light of day eventually. As for most of 2016, I plan on releasing my next collection. It will contain short stories and at least two new novellas. Aiming for the end of next summer on that one.

Into The Macabre: Plug your stuff here. Where can we find the great literary works of Glenn Rolfe?


Barnes and Noble
Samhain Publishing
Audio Realms Publishing

Search my name, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…. all that good stuff.

Into The Macabre: I really appreciate you letting me grill you for my blog and look forward to chatting with you in the future. Take care, my friend.

Glenn: Thanks, Ken. Great talking with you, too. Cheers!