Author Showcase

Let's get to know ROam Author Erik Therme

February 2017

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa - one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

He is the author of Mortom (Thomas & Mercer, 2015), as well as Resthaven (Kindle Scout/Thecker Books, 2016).

(Q) Erik, your newest offering, Roam, is coming out soon. Can you give us a little sneak peek? What is this story about?

(A) Roam is the story of a young man who believes he's being haunted by his dead father, and the only way to redeem himself is by saving someone's life/ It's a character-friven story and very different from Mortom and Resthaven. The original draft was written many years ago when I was a young, naive author with a hunger to prove myself. It's easily my favorite - and most personal - writing to date.

  • Roam sounds like a book I will definitely enjoy. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy and start reading!

 

(Q) Admittedly, I am a huge monster fan. It is one of the main reasons why I write science fiction and fantasy. In your opinion, what makes a monster scarier, its appearance, intelligence, or motivations?

(A) Motivation, in my opinion, is always the scariest driving factor in monsters or men. The best monsters )or villains) are the ones who don't believe they are the "bad guy" and - in some respects - want the same thing as their protagonist. That said, I'll take a normal-looking villain any day over a creature with eight legs, two heads, and the intelligence of a Sasquatch. Shudder.

  • I agree completely. The concepts of monsters has been used as a means to interpret and understand the darker side of human nature for a long time. My favorite may just be Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. It's one thing to run away and hide from a slobbering beast, but quite another to live side by side with seemingly normal people, dealing with unseen and sometimes monstrous urges or cravings.

 

(Q) If you could adapt any classic tale, what would it be, and what genre would you write it in?

(A) I'd love to see Lord of the FLies adapted as a modern day horror film. Twenty-four kids from all walks of life, locked inside the Mall of America at closing time. From there, they must fight for survival using their wits, iPhones, and parents' credit cards...all the while trying to escape the monster (i.e.:security guard) roaming the hallways. So it would basically be Paul Blart: Mall Cop meets Dawn of the Dead with way more texting and teenage angst. And its own SnapChat filter.

  • I was onboard until "Teen angst". That gave me goosebumps and heart palpitations! Truly terrifying!

 

(Q) The stand-alone novel appears to be an endangered species these days. What drew you to writing stand-alone stories? Is it the more tightly encapsulated story? Or, the ability to capture a person's imagination and let it fill in the story after you've finished?

(A) I'm always jealous of authors who create sprawling, epic tales (let alone a book series) as I can never think of that much to say about any one particular subject. Maybe it's my lack of attention span, but I enjoy crafting "can-be-read-in-one-or-two-sittings" novels that unfold over a short period - sometimes even the course of one night. I like to think of my stories as "snapshots in time," giving readers a peek into extraordinary events that happen in ordinary character's lives.

  • That really is a great approach. I think some new authors are too in love with the epic, sprawling series that inspired them, i.e.: Lord of the Rings, or Narnia, Game of Thrones, and their natural impulse is to emulate. I can see how that would lead to the copying of a lot of ideas. And yet, if new authors focused more on an event, a night, or a scenario, It might change their entire approach, and thus, their project in the end.

 

(Q) As writers, much of our voice is shaped by the books we read early on. What are the 3 books that inspired/influenced you growing up?

(A) Harold and the Purple Crayon was one of my favorite books growing up - a fantastical tale about a child who "draws things into existence" with his crayon. When I graduated to chapter books, I devoured series like Encyclopedia Brown and The Three Investigators. It was in junior high that I discovered Stephen King, and the rest, as they say, is history.

  • It funny how to can trace your writing lineage back to moments like that. I had a very similar experience when I discovered Robert A. Heinlein!

 

(Q) Erik, you've done creepy old houses, abandoned retirement homes, what is next? Do you feel compelled to constantly up the stakes and find darker, creepier settings? And, how do you feel about writing darker, more mature stories for adults?

(A) I do love creepy settings, which clearly stems from years of watching horror movies. As far as writing darker and more mature stories: I'm a huge fan of Gillian Flynn, who creates amazing, dark characters that readers love (and hate) to root for. That takes an incredible amount of talent, and I'd love to find that balance in my own writing.

  • I feel like I have to pick your brain about the horror movies that influence you now! We'll save that for another sit down though.

 

(Q) Erik, thanks again for giving me the opportunity to pick your brain. I really enjoyed reading Resthaven, and Mortom is working its way towards the top on my "to-read" pile. What released do you have planned after Roam. Do you have any designs to dip your toe into other genres in the near future?

(A) I never set out to write a specific genre, but my stories always seem to gravitate toward the dark side. I'm currently on a third draft of an untitled novel, which is about a father searching for his daughter who might - or might not - be kidnapped. The story is told in three parts from three different points of view, which has been a bigger challenge than I originally anticipated. If I'm able to pull it off, I will be as curious as everyone else about the results!

  • As a father of 2 girls, I can definitely say that concept would both intrigue and terrify me! I am also very intrigued by the concept of telling the stories from three different points of view. This sounds like the kind of project I need to get signed up to beta read!
Click here to check out Erik's newest novel, Roam.

Click here to check out Erik's newest novel, Roam.

To learn more about Erik, his other books, and read his blog, visit him here.


Let's get to know Boom Town author Glenn Rolfe

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.

He is the author the ghost/mystery/thriller novella, ABRAM’S BRIDGE (Samhain Publishing, 2015) and his latest novella, a Horror/Sci-Fi mash-up, BOOM TOWN(Samhain Publishing).

His debut novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (James Ward Kirk Publishing, 2014), is available now, as well as his short story collection, SLUSH (Alien Agenda Publishing, 2014).

I was honored by the opportunity to interview Glenn. To dig around in that fantastic brain, and learn what inspires and drives his writing. I was not disappointed.


(Q) Glenn, Boom Town has it all, blue alien goop, UFOs, and evil, disintegrating flesh puppets. What inspired you to tell this particular science fiction tale?

(Glenn) Honestly, it’s a combo of all my favorite things. I knew the ooze was alien therefore it had to be alive. If it’s alive, what are its intentions? What is it capable of? It’s alien, so it had to be advanced. It’s in a horror story, so it had to be sinister. I let my horror mind have fun figuring those things out.

Fantastic! You play on so many fears with that notion. It also keeps us guessing about a great many things. In true horror fashion we are left wondering exactly what the ooze is. Where it comes from, and ultimately, what it wants!


(Q) Admittedly, I am a huge monster fan. It is one of the main reasons why I write science fiction and fantasy. In your opinion, what makes a monster scarier, its appearance, or intelligence?

(Glenn) I think you have to go with intelligence, right? You can maybe get away from a big ugly thing (maybe). But if that big ugly thing is also smart…your already slim chances shrink. And that gives another level of suspense to build on.

Wow, have you been digging around in my brain? Intelligence wins hands down. I always tell people that Dombrangr, my favorite monster in Within, was inspired by the xenomorph from Alien. It isn't necessarily that it can, or wants to kill you, its that it is thinking, calculating, and in all reality, hunting you. Truly terrifying!


(Q) If you could adapt any classic tale, what would it be, and what genre would you write it in?

(Glenn)War of the Worlds, the erotic romance take! No, seriously, I haven’t read too many of “the classics”. I just got into a few of them last summer. I really loved Brave New World. I’d love to bring that into the horror realm.  Maybe replace Soma with something that immediately acts like a bad acid trip and induces visions of hell. All the perfect people suddenly become demons…

That is definitely a book I would read...nudge nudge. It sounds like a 1970's psychedelic spin on Dante's inferno.  


(Q) The stand-alone novel appears to be an endangered species. From your experience writing, which do you think is more fulfilling?

(Glenn)I like the stand-alone, but I can see the allure of doing a series. It would totally depend on how much you love the characters you created and whether or not the world you've created demands more exploring.  I never planned to do any sequels or series type stuff. I like writing different things, different characters, and different monsters. As of right now, I do have a sequel in the works, but there are a couple of other books I have to finish first.

I can definitely agree with that. Stand alone projects allow you to move freely from project to project. Plus writing a series comes with the stress of expectation. It sounds like you are a busy guy. I know from personal experience that ideas can come out of nowhere, and before you know it, you have a handful of projects in the works, with another half dozen seeds already planted and growing!


(Q) As writers, much of our voice is shaped by the books we read early on. What are the 3 books that inspired/influenced you growing up?

Well, you’d have to go back to being a kid. The Bunnicula series pulled me into reading. I loved following those animals through their misadventures.  Where the Red Fern Grows made me cry. That was pretty powerful. I didn’t really read too much after grade school. It wasn’t until a friend gave me a Stephen King book after I dropped out of high school when I was like 17 or 18 that I got back into reading. I always go back to ‘Salem’s Lot when it comes to the biggest impact on me as a writer. That’s what I want to do. That’s the kind of story that I want to write.

I have never read the Bunnicula series, but will have to take a look at that for my own younglings. I agree with you about Red Fern though. It is such a wonderful book, that introduces us to the concept of loss and grief. Truly powerful. I can see some King in your writing. You would be hard pressed to find a better author to inspire your own style!


(Q) Glenn, thanks again for giving me the opportunity to read and share my thoughts on your novella, Boom Town. What releases do you have planned next? Do you plan on sticking with shorter fiction, or do you see some novel length works in your future.

Thanks, Aaron. I have my novel, Blood and Rain, coming out in October, followed by another novella called, Things We Fear. I currently have a number of novels in the works and will focus on those for the rest of the year. Two are almost finished, so hopefully you’ll see both of those at some point next year.


Check out my review of Boom Town.

Check out my review of Boom Town.

You can learn more about Glenn at his website

For more information on his newest novella Boom Town, plus his other releases, check out his Amazon Author Page.