Confessions of my Past, Present and Future
When I think back to reading as a kid, I think of two books: Where the Red Fern Grows and The Howliday Inn. When I was a kid the emotional impact of Red Fern…let me in on the power of writing, the power of words. I was moved to tears. The Howliday Inn (which I just recently re-read to my daughters) was the first book I read in a day. There was a little mystery, a little fear, and a little comedy. I loved all of this. I loved the reach of both books. I loved reading.
Sadly, I gave up reading when I discovered Guns N’ Roses in 4th grade. I didn’t really start up again until a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Dark Half by Stephen King. I followed that with Christine and Misery. Then I picked up Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned. I mixed some Kerouac in there, too.
It took me forever to finish each of these books. Throughout all of them, I had no intentions of writing.
In 2004, I discovered two new names: Bentley Little and Brian Keene. Recently divorced at the time, I found myself searching for an escape. Horror literature gave me that escape. I read more King, discovered Jack Ketchum and, for kicks, scribbled about six or seven short stories of my own in some notebooks. I stopped and started trying to write short stories a couple more times before I tried to get serious.
In 2005, I re-married. I joined the Leisure Book Horror Club shortly after.
You want to know why I started writing. The Leisure Book Horror Club was the reason.
New Keene books: Ghoul- my personal favorite of Keene’s, Urban Gothic, Castaways, A Gathering of Crows… Newly reissued Laymon books: Flesh, The Woods Are Dark… Newer authors John Everson- The 13th (my favorite of his) and Siren. Ronald Malfi- Snow, Wrath James White- The Resurrectionist. Edward Lee-The Black Train, Gord Rollo- Crimson, Nate Kenyon- The Bone Factory….
These writers, and their stories, made me want to read like crazy. After Dorchester Publishing (home of Leisure Books) met their final coffin nail in 2010, I nearly had a panic attack. In December of 2010, my job at the hotel I worked at for two years disappeared. The hotel closed while the owners destroyed the building with plans to build and open a fancy Hampton Inn in its place.
In May of 2011, I began my first novel. I finished the first manuscript in August of that year.
In 2013, I sold my first story, a novella called, Abram’s Bridge, to Samhain Publishing. Samhain Horror’s main man—Don D’Auria. The same man responsible for Leisure Books.
Two of my most recent reads that got me excited are Peter Benchley’s Jaws and Brian Kirk’s We Are Monsters.
Brian Kirk is one of my fellow authors at Samhain Publishing. We Are Monsters is his debt effort. While not perfect (c’mon, it is only his first), I loved it. Brian has it, man. He has a gift. This story had a lot going on. It was bigger than just a psychological tale in an asylum. It’s about us. It’s about redemption. It’s about realizing we’re not bound to our mistakes as long as we see them for what they are and we learn from them. There’s some really special moments in this one. Keep your eyes open for Mr. Kirk.
I just got tickets to see Jaws in the theater in a couple weeks for its 40th Anniversary. I had the book on my paperback shelf and decided to give it a read. I’d just finished the latest article on the film and its impact in the latest Horror Hound issue and it mentioned some gritty stuff that they dropped to keep the movie more action/horror oriented. I picked it up Saturday afternoon and finished it early Sunday morning. Benchley is awesome! Even knowing the majority of the story, I could not put it down. The way he created these characters was inspirational. I mentioned to my friend, Hunter Shea, that I felt like they wrote characters in a similar fashion. They (the characters) feel so real. The story just flows because you are so wrapped up with these people. That’s how it’s supposed to be done, right?
So yeah, read We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk. Read Jaws by Peter Benchley (even if you’ve seen the movie a hundred times), and Island of the Forbidden or The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea. Good stuff.
Hopefully, I’ll still be alive in thirty years!
I hope I’m still writing then. I’ll always write horror, but I will definitely have some other works under my belt by then. I just love horror so much that it takes up most of my time.
As for what I might write in the next thirty years…. I have three non-horror novels prepped in my brain. The problem is, I’m not good enough to write them yet. One is a mystery/thriller, one is a dramatic coming of age (non-horror) story, and the other one I can’t tell you about without giving the idea away.
As for other books I want to write… I have a couple sequels planned (whether I actually go through with them is the question). I also want to write a ghost story about my father who passed away in 1999. There are plenty of things in the works already, but we’re looking down the road here.
Finally, I think I’ll eventually write a book about kids and marriage. Some people don’t understand the effort that goes into making relationships work.
I think I could offer up some good advice.
If I ever got the opportunity to write a biography on someone, I would choose only one person–Axl Rose. He’s probably the most misunderstood rock icon of all-time. He’s definitely got issues, but I think they come from a haunted past. He was molested as a child and that’s where a lot of his anger and aggression comes from. Once he got the money from Guns getting so huge, he was able to lock himself away and hide. His anxieties and social awkwardness make him extremely sensitive. I don’t believe he ever set out to wreck the best rock band in the world, everything just fell apart when they stopped touring after the Illusion albums. If you look at that point in time (the early to mid-nineties) ALL of the biggest rock bands of the time got confused and stupid. When Nirvana came in, they all just freaked out. Anyways, I think Axl is fascinating and I think he has a good heart. Life sometimes makes a mess out of things.
As for reading…I have plenty of classics to catch up on. I’d also like to read every one of Stephen King’s books. I just adore his storytelling so much. I don’t care if he goes off sometimes or his endings fall short. His style is what it’s all about. His voice. His characters. I don’t love all of his books equally, but I enjoy everything he puts out there.
He is the author the novellas, Abram's Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels, The Haunted Halls, and this October's, Blood and Rain.
His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.
He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!
You can see more of Glenn at his website.
Glenn's author page is here.