August 17, 2016

Writing 101: Just Have Fun: a guest post by Glenn Rolfe, author of "Chasing Ghosts"

Chasing Ghosts by Glenn RolfeThe Cobbs were ignorant woods-people that died off and left nothing to fear.. Locals in Naples, Maine think they know this story. But are they wrong?

Luke Howard and his mom move to Naples and Luke’s eager to make new friends. When Jason and Davey invite him out to the abandoned Cobb place for a game they call “chasing ghosts,” he’s ready and willing. However, the boys will come to discover that some vacant houses are better left to die alone.
Meanwhile, a punk band set to play in a rented cabin out of town feel eyes upon them. Somebody’s watching, but not their usual audience. When their lead singer strays too far from the group and disappears, his band mates set out in the darkness to find him.
Police Chief Walt Henderson is about to discover that there’s more going on out in the woods of his town than he ever imagined.
Chasing ghosts is more than just some children’s game.

“Writing 101: Just Have Fun”
By Glenn Rolfe, author of Chasing Ghosts

One of the things about my latest novella, Chasing Ghosts (Sinister Grin Press), that may surprise some people is that it was both the quickest piece I’ve written and the most fun. Like many authors, the tug of war between good/great story versus piece of crap/junk box story is the norm when crafting everything from a short story to a five-hundred-page novel. I am no exception. I find myself hitting quicksand and doing numerous re-writes throughout the entire process. But sometimes…. sometimes things come together in an amazing way. I liken it to songwriting. The best tunes I’ve ever written happened in a flash. When I wasn’t trying too hard, when I was just playing around, when I was just having fun.
I think back through the pieces I’ve written over the last five years and find the same feelings and results as I have from my songwriting days: lightning strikes when you’re having fun. For my werewolf novel, Blood and Rain, it happened when I decided to re-write the story with the big reveal at the front of the book. For Abram’s Bridge, it was when I let go of the idea that it was just a short story. For Chasing Ghosts, it started one summer day when I was trying to decide which book to re-read, Richard Laymon’s The Woods Are Dark or Jonathan Janz’s Savage Species(both excellent novels). I ended up grabbing Laymon’s book just because it was shorter. I think I made it about twenty to thirty pages in when inspiration hit. I used to play in a punk rock band with a couple of dudes named Connor and Ian. I just imagined us getting an offer to play in a cabin in the woods and then wondered what say Laymon or Janz might do to us. The very first thing I typed on my laptop was Dedicated to Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, and Jonathan Janz for all the guts you give me to tear out someone else’s. That set the tone and sent me on an eight-day writing binge. I had the first draft done. I’ve never written a story I love so much so fast. It was a total perfect storm of circumstances. My wife and kids went to bed early all week, I shut the TV off as soon as they went upstairs and pulled this story out, and I just had to know how it all ended.
At the end of the day, I love how it turned out and I’m looking forward to venturing back into the woods to scribble out another piece involving my evil villains, The Cobbs. I hope you guys get sucked in like I did. I hope I toss the match into your gasoline eyes and have you burning through this viscous tale. Who knows, maybe I’ll inspire you! Whatever the case, just remember to have fun.

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, Jack Ketchum, Hunter Shea, Brian Moreland and many others. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.
He is the author the novellas, Abram's BridgeBoom TownThings We Fear, and the forthcoming, Chasing Ghosts; the short fiction collection, Slush; and the novels, The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain.
His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, was released in March 2016.
PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon Sinister Grin Press Also available in paperback!

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