The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.
Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man's terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen. Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can't even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.
Gef: So how did Blood and Rain come about? Was it as simple as "Dang it, I want to write a werewolf novel!" or something else?
Glenn: Actually, it kind of was. I’d just finished reading Cycle of the Werewolf and sort of realized that there wasn’t that much werewolf fiction out there (this was circa 2004—and there was plenty out there, but I wasn’t aware of it). My older brother, Greg, LOVED the werewolf. I remember him showing me The Howling, Silver Bullet, and Wolf (w/Jack Nicholson). Those stuck with me.
I started writing after he passed away from cancer in 2010. That next summer, I wrote the first draft of Blood and Rain.
Gef: What's the allure of the werewolf legend for you? Is there a book or film that captured your attention as a child perhaps?
Glenn: Silver Bullet was the first werewolf movie I remember loving, but I’d say for a young Glenn, it was the intro to Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video that captured my attention. It was so frigging scary to watch gentle Michael transform into this wicked beast.
Gef: Is there something particular about Maine that just lends itself so well to the horror genre?
Glenn: Lots of woods. Lots of crazy weather. Lots of isolation. Lots of small towns. I live near the state capital (Augusta, Me). It is a small city. There really is no big city out here. I think if you add all of those things up, you wind up with a lot of perfect horror settings.
Gef: Now the first draft of this novel was the first novel-length work you'd ever written, but not the first to get published. Did the time removed from it help it honing it into what it is now? Were you set to leave it as a trunk novel and tackle something brand new rather than revise it?
Glenn: The time helped immensely. The first draft was horrible. I had no idea what I was doing. In the meantime, I bought as many writing books as I could, enrolled in an online college, and just kept writing. In 2013, as I was starting my next novel (The Haunted Halls), I pulled the Blood and Rain MS back out, cleaned it up a bit and sent it to an editor. I pitched it to a few places and often found that during my pitch, whether it was my pitch itself or the questions asked by the editors, certain pieces didn’t make sense. I set it aside again and worked on my two novellas that would eventually land with Samhain. By the time my editor from Samhain asked me for a novel I knew I wanted it to be Blood and Rain. I rewrote a giant chunk of the story in the summer of 2014 and wound up with the draft that’s out there now.
I cared too much for these characters and my beast to let this one die. I always figured that when I was good enough, I would find a way to make the MS work. I just wasn’t a good enough writer yet. I’m still just getting started.
Gef: How would you gauge your progression as a writer thus far? You've been getting the thumbs up from some talented cats in the horror community, Ronald Malfi and Nate Kenyon to name a couple.
Glenn: I’m starting to get a good feel for it. I think with each piece, I get a little bit better. The cool thing is that neither Ron nor Nate are bull shitters. Nate told me up front when I first approached him a few years ago about a different piece that he wouldn’t sugar coat his review. That scared the piss outta me and I never went back to him with that one. Once Ron came back with his say on Blood and Rain, only then did I dare to reach out to Nate again.
Basically, I’m still a baby in this industry. I have a shit ton to learn. What I am is persistent and highly motivated. I think that shows in my progress and in my catalog. I’m eager to learn and I’m excited that anybody out there enjoys what I’ve created thus far.
Gef: Werewolf or Vampire: Who ya got?
Glenn: Gotta go wolf! Bigger, stronger, and single-minded. It just wants to shred whatever stand before it.
Gef: Christmas keeps trying to horn in on Halloween's action earlier each year. What's to be done about this effrontery?
Glenn: I think Christmas really got pissed when Jack Skellington came along. I don’t know what to do about it. I do know that horror and Halloween seem to be growing, too. It felt like we really celebrated it for the entire month of October, didn’t it? That’s something. But Christmas is still a juggernaut. We just have to live with it.
Gef: What other irons do you have in the fire? And how can folks keep up with your Blood and Ruin blog tour?
Glenn: You can follow the publicity tour here at Hook of a Book: https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/blood-and-rainglenn-rolfe-publicity-tour/
As for what’s to come? My next Samhain novella (Things We Fear) and my Samhain novella collection (Where Nightmares Begin) will both be out in March of 2016. Samhain will also be reprinting my other novel, The Haunted Halls, in November of next year.
There is a lot more coming behind those ones, but I never know which ones will be ready first.
People can keep up with my nonsense at www.glennrolfe.com
Thanks for having me, Gef!
Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.
Praise for Blood and Rain
“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” –Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One
"With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we're in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!" -Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase
“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre
“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” — Horror Underground
“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” – Horror Novel Reviews
“The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.”–Horror After Dark
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-and-rain-glenn-rolfe/1122198363?ean=9781619229853#productInfoTabs
For a chance to win a print copy of Glenn Rolfe’s short story collection, Slush, or a chance to win your choice of any of his titles in e-book format, go to the link below for the Rafflecopter sign-up. Good luck! The print copy is only good for those in the United States. Questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.
Stan Springs stared at the curse in the night sky. His curse. He clenched his jaw, and bit back the grunts that demanded release from within his sweat-covered body. His muscles tightened and took turns throwing fits. He could feel his heartbeat’s thunderous barrage at work inside his heaving chest. It was only a matter of minutes before the changes would come.
He ripped his gaze from the clouds, moved away from the window and knelt down next to the bed against the concrete wall. He slipped one shaky hand beneath the mattress and found the small incision he’d made when he first arrived at the institution. He had traded a guard, a heavyset fella by the name of Harold Barnes, his prized Ted Williams rookie card in exchange for a copy of the key. Parting with this gold mine had been necessary. Stan Springs had nothing else of value with which to barter. Harold trusted him enough to make the swap; he told Stan there were crazies here by the dozen, but he could tell that Stan was not one of them.
No, Harold, I’m something far worse.
Key in hand, Stan stepped to the unlocked door and cracked it open. The hallway was clear. He moved down the corridor, as stealthily as during his heydays working on the force in New York. Hearing footfalls ahead and to his left, he fell back and pressed his large frame against the custodial door. Hidden by the entryway’s shadow, he watched Nurse Collins—a tall, thin woman with a dark complexion—pass fifty feet from where he stood, before she disappeared into the nurses’ break room.
Barefoot and dressed in only a Red Sox T-shirt and his sleeping shorts, Stan made a break for the staircase across the hall. His breaths were coming faster now. If he didn’t hurry, he wouldn’t make it outside. He crept down the steps leading to the main hallway.
Through the small window on the stairwell door, he could see Harold Barnes’s haunted jowls illuminated by the laptop screen in front of him. The old man’s eyes were closed, his mouth open. Harold hadn’t even made it an hour into his shift before he was out. Stan knew Harold also ran his own antique shop in the neighboring town of Hallowell. He’d told Stan that working both jobs on the same day, which was sometimes unavoidable, made it difficult for him on the night shift. It was another shared nugget Stan had stored away for nights like this one—the nights the beast in him needed to get out.
Easing the door open, Stan skulked his way along the shadows on the wall, and tiptoed to the main entrance door. Despite the cramps now rampaging through his calves and thighs, he slipped the procured key into the lock, slow and steady. The door clicked open, and he stepped out into the night.
As the cool breeze brushed against the sweat of his brow, the tendons and bones in his face began to shift. The rest of his body followed suit. He dropped to one knee and cried out. His skin, his scalp, his eyes, his muscles were all too tight. He reached behind him and managed to push the door shut.
If you could see me now, Harold.
The private roads out front were deserted. He launched from the building’s stairs and landed on the lawn below, making a beeline for the woods to the left of the large property.
He was twenty feet from the forest when the change hit him like a massive wave, crashing him to the ground. His muscles clenched and squeezed and tore, while the bones of his face continued to crack and grow. His teeth began to fall out in place of the monster’s. Down on all fours, he crawled to the tree cover and vomited. A mix of last night’s cafeteria meat loaf, black coffee, loose teeth, and blood splashed the ferns before him. Stan’s fingers extended as his claws dug into the soft soil of spring’s floor. He moaned and grunted his way through the rest of the fluid process.
In full beast mode, Stan Springs stood and howled at the cloud-covered sky. The creatures of the night became ghosts among the trees. He felt the strength flowing through him and the hunger begging to be sated.
He burst forward, headed north. Despite Stan’s best effort to control the beast’s killing zone, he found himself heading home.