Trip Advisor Doesn’t Usually Cover This Stuff …. A Review of Glenn Rolfe’s The Haunted Halls, Vol. 1

The Haunted Halls, Vol. I

 

Trip Advisor Doesn’t Usually Cover This Stuff ….

 

Glenn Rolfe is offering up a serialized novel, two of which are available NOW from Amazon, and the first installment of which I read and am offering a review. Set in Maine, The Haunted Halls is a time-bendy tale that leaps between the 1980s (and earlier) and the present day. Even more than that, the tale twists among realities—those experienced in the cold light of day, the colder dark of night, and in the coldest grip of night terrors. At first, I believed this to be a simple “Woman In White” type of ghost story. Who could blame me? I mean, it starts with, basically, a retelling of a Woman In White story. Well, there was the water twist. And the dripping … no, wait, no spoilers. I don’t want to spoil it. Suffice it to say, there were enough twists to keep me wanting to read.

All kinds, past and present, check in to the hotel of Mr. Rolfe’s imagination. Some have pasts that will make you cringe, some have presents that make you want to hold them out at arm’s length and say to the beasties, “Here you go, honey, have at.” Some of the backstory was a bit too graphic for my taste (remember, this is my taste we’re talking about. It doesn’t take a lot for me to “get it,” and I don’t need detail like some people need, but that is always my clearly-labeled bias when it comes to reviewing).

Rolfe also has some nice turns of phrase. Some of his writing is reminiscent of older-style Gothic horror. I like that in a story. I’m one who lives for a lush description, a wedding of words, and the idea that the person writing for me is in love with the language, too.  Any hack can whack you with an axe. It takes style and grace and wit to curl a hand around that hatchet and make the reader welcome every stroke.  That said, there are also several places in the story where I became confused by the action and who was where and when. I’m chalking this up, however, to this being a serialized novel and not the entire story. I’m looking forward to watching Rolfe draw together what seem like disparate threads as the series progresses.

The dialog is well done and believable. The characters are drawn to life and I found myself wondering if these were people Rolfe encountered in his OWN hotel experiences.  It’s an effective beginning to what promises to be a compelling series. The good news is, Volume 2 is out now as well, so if you decide this is YOUR cup of tea, you can get a refill and keep going!

 

 

Without further ado, I would like to welcome Glenn Rolfe to A Diamond In The Dark!

I’ll say what I do know about Glenn is that he is from Augusta, Maine.  As for his writing? How’s about we let him talk about it.

Amy: Hey! Welcome to the blog! We’ll start with the easy stuff.  Ready? If you had to sum up a description of your book in 40 words or fewer, what would you say?

Glenn: The Haunted Halls is a creepy tale that follows a cast of characters through hell. The entity bringing the trouble is a bad bitch. She is not to be messed with.

Amy: Nice! See that? You’ve got your pitch all together now! Where did you get your idea for the book?

Glenn: I work at a hotel. I walked past the pool room one night doing an overnight shift and imagined seeing someone come up and out from the pool. I imagined them being a ghost and chasing me down the hallway. I went back to my desk after that and wrote the prologue.

Amy: O__O Seriously? I mean … SERIOUSLY? You still work there? You still work there after WRITING THAT? Whoa … I know Volume 2 is out now, but when did Volume 1 hit the streets?

Glenn: Volume 1 was up at the end of January.

Amy: We talked about it being part of a series. How many installments can we look forward to?

Glenn: Six parts that will be released roughly every other month through 2013. Volume 2 came out on April 1st.

Amy: Cool! That will keep people reading through Christmas! We all know how tough it is to reach potential readers, so, in this forum with lots of potential readers looking on, what is the most important thing you’d like to share about your book?

Glenn: I love to read horror, but lately, I’ve been less than thrilled by some of the titles out there. I wanted to write something that encompassed all of my favorite authors and would keep me up all night having to know how it ends.

Amy: I agree with that. And, being a series, your readers will lovingly tell you you SUCK if you leave cliffhangers (those are terms of endearment and are meant to encourage you to write FASTER, by the way). Speaking of writing faster … What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Glenn: Time. I work 40 hours a week, go to school part time, have 3 kids, and play in a punk rock band.

Amy: Wow. You are busy! You have, however, hooked readers with a series and they won’t let you off the hook. In addition (I can’t believe I’m asking this now) to all that, what are you planning for your next writing project?

Glenn: I’m currently finishing up a novel to send to an editor, and hopefully get into the hands of a publisher before year’s end. I also have a new serial started on the Jukepop Serials website (www.jukepopserials.com). That one is called, Becoming. And I’m trying to finish up a novella for a May submission. Plus, I’m always working on short stories.

Amy: Wow. Just. Wow. Good luck to you!

And, just so everyone knows where to find Glenn Rolfe and get all addicted to his Haunted Halls series, check out these links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Glenn-J.-Rolfe/e/B00AXYEBTY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Facebook: www.facebook.com/glennrolfehorror

Twitter: https://twitter.com/glennrolfe

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6939496.Glenn_Rolfe

 

The Haunted Halls Volume 1 is available as an eBook from Amazon. To make ordering easy, just click the cover art at the top of the page and it will take you out to Amazon so you can share the terror!

 

And The Winners of The St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop Contests Are……..

Thank you for your patience! I touched base with Paul and Maedhbh of The Irish Ghost Hunters, and we have our winners! These folks have already been contacted, and their prizes will be winging their way (um… does mail “wing?”) as soon as they can get off the island! The winners of the scariest and funniest ghost story win a Raven’s Brew Deadman’s Reach hoodie, and the winner whose comment was chosen at random (thanks to random.org) wins a Raven’s Brew Deadman’s Reach Ball Cap.

The WINNER of the SCARIEST Ghost Story is ….. Maria Pronounced Mariah !! She submitted this story in the comments:

 

Not sure how scary it is but it is true. It was scary when i was a 6 year old little girl!

I lived in a 120 year old refurbished school house with my parents and 8 year old brother. My mother always said that she thought the was a ghost in the house…well one night when my brother and I were sleeping in our rooms that were upstairs our furniture was rearranged. I’m talking I ended up in his room and him in mine with us still in our beds. My dad was not home that night and my mom woke up to scraping noises on the floor. She is very small and has always had back problems so there is no way she could move beds and dressers.

We used to find other things moved around and lights turned on but the night above is the most drastic ever.

Thanks!

The WINNER of the FUNNIEST Ghost Story is ….. Savannah! She left this story in the comments:

Okay I don’t know if this counts but its funny well at least to me.
When me and my hubby first started dating I told him I can’t watch scary movies and go to bed…… he didn’t believe me so that night he rented the grudge and we watched it and went to bed, in the middle of the night I got up to use the bathroom and when I came back a ghost was sitting in my bed……… I screamed and ran forward, knocked the ghost over and tried sitting on it, I was scared in my mind at that moment attacking the ghost made sense. Needless to say after a second or two I was over my panic attack and realized I just attacked my boyfriend, who was being sweet and sat up in bed to make sure I wasn’t scared when I got done in the bathroom. I still lived with my parents so my little sister came running to my room to make sure I was okay my dad came over in his boxers  :-( which was mortifying. My boyfriend who is now my hubby laughed at me and to this day still makes jokes about the grudge ghost coming to get me, on the plus side he now believes me about not being able to watch a scary movie before I go to sleep :-)

(I love that…)

AND, the WINNER whose comment was drawn at random for the Deadman’s Reach Ballcap is ……Pamela Jo!

THANK YOUS go out to Paul Moynihan and Maedhbh Larkin (Maedhbh, I love typing your name!) of The Irish Ghost Hunters and to Raven’s Brew Coffee (Deadman’s Reach: Brewed In Bed, Raises The Dead), to Carrie Ann Ryan, whose amazing cat-herding skills led to the creation of a fantastic blog hop, and to EVERYONE who stopped by and left a comment and read the interview with our fantastic guests!

 

Coming Soon …..

I’m losing my mind and taking up the challenge set by a fellow writer. In between posts about writing and character development and process, I’m going to write a novel LIVE–as in no editing, just OUT HERE, posted as I go (yes, I’m terrified, why do you ask?). The inspiration came from the closing words of an email from IGH Paul Moynihan. I’d seen them all my life, but they didn’t hit my like this. Hope you stop back by and read along (the fun … um … terror..?) starts tomorrow. Trust me, it’s not what you think…. and it’s gonna be great!

 

 

Welcome Spring With A Blog Hop!

Yes, yes, it’s not REALLY a St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop when it’s on March 16th, but, remember, we all intend to be REALLY busy on Saturday the 17th. In that spirit, I’ll go ahead and announce the contest (and release the hounds!) for that day! Ready? Oooooooo…… There’s nothing like a good ghost story. AND, there’s nothing better than a TRUE ghost story. So, here’s the deal. I’ve got a Deadman’s Reach hoodie (size XL) up for grabs to the one who fesses up (in the comments) with their best scary TRUE ghost story! Like what? I dunno, like the video conference camera sweeping the library and following people, and when the guy from UAF called and I laughed and said, “Is that you?” and he said, “Um… I usually get ‘hello’ first.” and I said, “No, with the camera. Did you dial in on the camera?” Silence. “No. And neither has anyone else…” Okay, we spent the rest of the day kinda watchin’ that thing …..  But I digress …. I’ve ALSO got a Deadman’s Reach ball cap (I don’t think there are sizes on these things) for the person who fesses up with the best funny TRUE ghost story. Like the time a book slid off a shelf and …well … if I keep going with these, ain’t NO ONE gonna come into my library!

You get the idea. Hit me with your best spooky otherworldly shot. 10 days to let it fester should do it, and get ready to post and WIN here, on March 16th for our We’re-So-Close-To-St Patrick’s-Day Blog Hop! And, as promised, I have several AWESOME guests lined up. You won’t BELIEVE it, but I know you’ll love it!