Getting personal with Ben Jones aka: Benedict J Jones

Benedict J Jones is a writer of crime, horror and western fiction from south-east London.

His debut novel “Pennies for Charon” has been described as a “masterful mix of crime and the occult…”.

His work has appeared in magazines such as One Eye Grey, Pen Pusher, Out of the Gutter and Encounters, on a variety of websites including Big Pulp and Shotgun Honey and in anthologies from Dark Minds Press, Crystal Lake Publishing, Full Dark City Press and Dog Horn Publishing.


Please welcome Ben Jones to Roadie Notes……. 


1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
That’s hard to say. I wrote a lot as a child and then even more when I left school and college but I rarely sent anything out and very few of them have survived. The first story I had published was a horror short about cannibals attacking a tube train called “Goin’ Underground” and that was published in a ‘zine called One Eye Grey in 2008.

2. How many books have you written?
Five with just my name on the cover. Skewered and Other London Cruelties (a novella and ten shorts) which introduced my recurring character Charlie Bars, Pennies for Charon (the first Charlie Bars novel), The Devil’s Brew which followed on from Pennies, Slaughter Beach (a splatter-punk novella and ode to 80s video nasties) and Ride the Dark Country (which collected some of my weird westerns).

3. Anything you won’t write about?
Not if there’s a story in it. I think writing is a great way of discussing social taboos. I can see why readers might not want to read about certain things but I believe a writer should be able to write about anything. Like a lot of things it is all about how you do it rather than what you are doing. I tend to write about the darker parts of human nature and while I would write about anything I would try not to glorify or glamorize it.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
No problem at all. I’m thirty seven and from south-east London. Not married but I live with my partner. I have a little girl from a previous relationship that I see a lot of. I work for a University providing distance learning to students all around the world.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Oh, that is a difficult question! There are elements to them all that I really enjoyed. The one that gave me the most enjoyment to write was probably “Slaughter Beach” but I think the one that I think is the best might be “Pennies for Charon”. Although the extended climax of “The Devil’s Brew” came out exactly as I had imagined it and remains a favorite as well. Ask me again next week and it will probably have changed.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Quite a few different things and people really. I have always loved to tell stories in one format or another. The early writers who inspired me were people like Robert Westall, Arthur Conan Doyle, James Clavell, and Stephen King. I had a real epiphany around the millennium when I read the works of Clive Barker and Chester Himes which made me actually write things myself.

One of my sisters, Geraldine, was a huge inspiration to me. She typed up a lot of those early stories that never saw publication and without that, and the feedback she gave me, I’m not sure I would have kept going with it.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
All sorts really – reading and writing (obviously), cinema and film, cooking, socializing. I really like travelling as well and seeing as much of the world as I can. Exotic locales rarely feature in my work at present but I am working on a few things.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Usually I’ll try and start another story and not be able to get into it. It usually takes a couple of tries to “freshen my palette” and start on a new work after completing a long piece. But no, nothing really – not like the Paul Sheldon character at the start of Misery.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
Usually at the kitchen table with the radio on. I like having something going on in the background, it seems to help me concentrate.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I’d like to get more finished and not worry so much about things not being exactly perfect – I’d be more productive that way. But no, on the whole I’m just happy to be doing things in my own style.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Maybe once, maybe still, but I think aiming to be happy is more fulfilling.

12. Where do you live?

These days I live in west London rather than the south-east. A different place to that which initially inspired me but I absolutely love it.

13. Pets?

No, although I have vague memories of an aged spring spaniel, Jamie, that we had when I was born. One day maybe but city living isn’t really conducive to giving a pet a good life (unless it’s a goldfish or something) if you’re working. Maybe one day…

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

It’s probably a combination of research and world building. I also like to take the reader to places that unsettle them, to reveal things about the world – both real and imagined that may be far outside their own comfort zones.

15. What is coming next for you?

Well, I’m just redrafting the third Charlie Bars novel – a potent mix of politics, crime and secrets from out of the past. I’m hoping to get a joint weird western novella finished that I’ve been working on (for far too long) with my good friend Anthony Watson. There’s a World War two horror novella and some shorts that will hopefully be out in 2018 as well.


You can connect with Ben Jones here: 




Some of Ben Jones’ books: 

Isobel Blackthorn takes over Roadie Notes

One of the things I love is finding out where the ideas for the stories we read come from. Some are real places, some dark dreams but most are from the incredible creative minds of my writer friends! What follows is Isobel Blackthorn telling us all about her newest book, it is one you want to read! The link to purchase this awesome book is following her telling of how it all started……


The Making of The Legacy of Old Gran Parks

Stories come from mysterious places, and are often a combination of a number of factors and ideas that come together and form a synergy. Sometimes the story behind the story is special and worth telling in its own right. I think the story behind The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is one of those.

The idea to write a novel set in a remote town in Australia’s south-eastern corner occurred to me over and again every time I stopped on my regular journey up and down the Princes Highway, a road that tracks all the way around the coast of Australia. That southern-eastern section of highway runs between Melbourne and Sydney and takes in rolling green pastures, mountains and dense forests, rivers and an exquisite and pristine coastline. It’s wild, largely untameable, and was passed over by the colonialists in favour of more accessible locales such as Port Phillip and Botany Bay. I’ve had family connections to that wilderness area since the mid-1970s when my grandmother settled in the small country town of Cobargo, New South Wales.

Back in 2014, I moved from the forested outskirts of east Melbourne and returned to live near Cobargo. It was the fifth time I’d lived there. I bought a cottage and planned picking up the pieces of my life after five years away.

My daughters were living back in Melbourne and every few months I’d make the ten-hour coach trip to visit them.

The coach stops for half an hour in a town called Cann River, a tiny town situated midway along a stretch of the Princes Highway that wends its way through two-hundred miles of forest. Cann River lies on the edge of a UNESCO biosphere reserve, but I didn’t know that then. All I knew was I felt travel weary and happy to get off the coach and stretch my legs.

I had my routine. The coach pulled up in the roadhouse car park at a crossroads in the centre of the town. Across the road was the hotel. I would head off across the highway to use the facilities in the local park. I’d noticed the small church tucked on the corner of another street, go back across the highway to the bakery for a pie, and stroll back to the coach where I would stand and survey my surroundings.

Gum trees towered all around. The road heading inland went straight into the mountainous wilderness. There was nothing much out there for a hundred miles and I was told the road was treacherous, the forest full of deer. I hadn’t a clue what secrets lurked down the road to the south. It turned into a dirt road and disappeared into the bush. I knew the ocean was out there somewhere, but I had no idea how far or even exactly where. Somehow, in Cann, I lost my sense of direction.

Every time I stood at that crossroads I thought the place would make the perfect setting for a thriller. I could smell death in the air. Although that probably had a lot to do with the music I listened to every single trip I made. To while away the hours travelling that lonely stretch of highway, I played Nick Cave’s ‘Murder Ballads’. I would play it twice. It put me in a gritty mood.

My life didn’t work out in New South Wales and after two years, I moved back to Melbourne. I didn’t give Cann River another thought. Then in early 2017, a former neighbour who’d moved to Cann made a comment on Facebook that went along the lines of, ‘Isobel, you should write a novel set here.’ Something went click and I messaged her and told her I would do it.

Cassarndra Skarratt, who could well be a name to look out for when she finally has a chance to learn the craft and put pen to paper herself, was bursting with ideas and suggestions. She told me all about the local environment. She sent me photos of key areas I’d never heard of, like Tamboon inlet and Point Hicks lighthouse. She told me she’d field dressed a deer. I asked for a full description. She kept bees. She has a market stall. She knows how to fish. Above all, it was her devilish and infectious sense of humour that merged with mine and we had a hilarious time developing the characters as a result.

Others were involved in the novel’s creation. My daughter, Liz Blackthorn gave shape to the male characters in the story in her typically astute and conceptual fashion; and my mother, Margaret Rodgers, was my sounding board when it came to developing a plot. Margaret is a former police officer who has lived in the region for over forty years. She’s also an avid reader of thrillers. She was the perfect litmus paper.

With these three powerful women invested in the work, I wrote and wrote. Each day I became a different one of the four protagonists: Miriam, Frankie, Pearl and Emily. I wrote in first person and became each one in turn. Never had a story been easier to write and I loved every minute of its composition.

For a long time the work had no title. It was just my ‘Cann River book’. Then another character emerged with the help of Cassarndra and Margaret, one that had been haunting the story all along, and once she appeared I had the title. She was Gran Parks, and she had left a legacy.

I kept Cassarndra in the dark for a few months as I wrote the first and second drafts. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. When I finally let her read the results of her huge contribution to the work’s genesis, I was nervous as hell. What if the plot didn’t work? What if I’d captured the setting all wrong, or the vibe was off kilter somehow? What if she simply didn’t like it?

Days later she gave me her feedback. She was blown away. She later told me she read that draft five times. In her imagination, I’d managed to install Miriam, Frankie, Pearl and Emily in Cann River, and she was seeing those women everywhere she went. I thought if she’s the only person who ever reads my book, it will be worth it just to have given her so much pleasure. She made some crucial suggestions too, ones that demonstrated to me a deep engagement with the story and hinted at her own creative potential.

We now argue over who is going to write the sequel.

My gratitude to Cassarndra is boundless. To Margaret and Liz as well. There is something that binds us four women, and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the spirit of Gran Parks.


Getting personal with Xtina Marie

Xtina Marie is an avid horror and fiction genre reader, who became a blogger; who became a published poet; who became an editor; who now is a podcaster and an aspiring novelist—and why not? People love her words. Her first book of poetry: Dark Musings has received outstanding reviews. It is likely she was born to this calling. Writing elaborate twisted tales, to entertain her classmates in middle school, would later lead Xtina to use her poetry writing as a private emotional outlet in adult life—words she was hesitant to share publicly—but the more she shared; the more accolades her writing received. She is also someone you will absolutely adore. Someone near and dear to my heart!


Please help me welcome Xtina Marie to Roadie Notes……


1. How old were you when you wrote your first story?

I was around 12 when I started writing stories. The first one was about twin sisters who shared a connection even in death.

2. How many books have you written?

3 poetry books. Although the 3rd has not yet been released.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

I suppose that would depend on what I was interested in writing about. If it interested me, even if it was controversial, I’d still write it.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I am a 43-year-old mother of 2 in a serious relationship. I work as an editor for HellBound Books Publishing, and other various freelance proofreading and editing jobs.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

This is kinda like asking me what child is my favorite. Wait, no it’s not. I don’t either of my kids. J/K LOL. The poetry books I have written are all very close to my heart, but I think that Dark Musings will always be my baby.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I loved to be scared. Loved scary movies, and all things creepy. When I first started reading, there really weren’t too many scary books that were any good. This was before I discovered Christopher Pike and RL Stine. So, I think that is what inspired me to write. I wanted to write the kind of books I wanted to read.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

Fun? What’s that? I’m too busy for fun! Uh, I love to read, of course.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?​

No. But I soooo need to get some! I’m thinking something Hank Moody (Californication) style. Whiskey, weed and Warren Zevon.​

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

Usually on my laptop, so that I can write whenever the mood arises. And it depends on what I am writing. If it’s a story, I can really crank the music and just let the words flow. If It’s poetry, I need silence.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Change? No. Improve up? Always.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

Tropical island with my sweetheart, (mainly because he will not agree to my log cabin in the snowy mountains dream) a fruity cocktail with a colorful umbrella to sip from, and no worries.

12. Pets?

I have an ankle biter named Charlie.

13. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Creating. Making something from nothing.

14. What is coming next for you?

Oh, who knows? I do suffer from whimsy artist syndrome. I fly from one thing to the other (I’ve been told I flutter, LOL) with breakneck speed. I have a romance novel started, and also a horror novel about a succubus in the works.

15. Where do you get your ideas?

That’s a difficult question to answer. And one I asked on the radio show every week. It’s strange what will make an idea pop into my mind. Sometimes the most normal of things. And BAM! An idea for a story or poem. So, sometimes I think, I do not come up with my ideas, I am given them by the universe. Deep, huh? LOL

You can connect with Xtina Marie here: 

Panic Room



Some of Xtina Marie’s books:

Getting personal with Luc Vors

Luc Vors is a native Texan with education in Art, Psychology, Biology and Music, and with advanced education in Clinical and Industrial Psychology. He describes himself as “an artist, first, and a scientist, second,” and “obsessed with finding the truly unique.”

“I kind of never stood a chance at being normal,” said Luc, who champions his parents as creative and educated in multiple forms of science, computer engineering and art. “Growing up, I was constantly exposed to creative ways of thinking and seeing things. My father is a computer engineer, known for his inventiveness, and was instrumental in solving several computer programming problems that major industries are still using today. My mother, a potter and a nurse, comes from a long family history of artists and writers… and while they insist that they are boring and mundane, they are both quite weird.”

Growing up, Luc’s parents encouraged him to explore and experiment, whether in science, music, theater or art. As an artist, Luc has applied his talents to a multitude of media, including professional works in photography, graphic design, drawing and painting. And in science, he contributed to academic studies in human consciousness, free will, and creativity theory, furthering the understanding of such hot topics as synchronicity, ecological consciousness, aesthetics, existentialism and the fate versus freewill dichotomy.

Luc is currently working on his books, Tether, and The Prophet, and putting the finishing touches on two board games, Conspiracy and Quadrangles.


Please welcome Luc Vors to Roadie Notes……


1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

Seventh or eighth grade, so around 12. It was about a kid who lost her legs in a car accident and a dolphin just died. They used the lower half of the dolphin to replace her legs and she became some kind of Frankensteinian mermaid.

2. How many books have you written?

Two down, ten to go. So far, that is.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

I doubt it. My goal is to do something incredible for each genre, as well as literary fiction and non-fiction. I’m in the pursuit of the truly unique, so my mind is open. At one point, I thought I’d never write a zombie novel, but all these zombie books that are coming out made my mind wonder. Now I have this badass idea. It’s still a zombie book, but with a major twist.

Twists are an absolute must.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

Not married, no kids. And, yeah, my age is somewhere between 32 and 56, depending on whether I’ve worked out in the last few days. My current job is complicated. I do a lot of consulting. Business, marketing, people, research. I really enjoy consumer psychology and how people relate to one another.

I’m still a kid, at heart. My indulgence is Legos, usually the Star Wars and Technic kind. I’m a popcorn moviegoer, and a Pitchman. Yes. I’m not ashamed. Anna Kendrick is as beautiful as she is smart and hilarious… and talented, and precious, and unique, and… Well, you get the picture. She’d be my dream date. I’d take her on a mission to have the goofiest date possible.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

Lord! What a question! Where Sleeping Dogs Lie was really fun and complex. I got to put my creativity to the test. Hopefully, people will see it as unique within it’s genre, and qualify it as a piece of creative literary fiction. It has a lot of research in it about PTSD and the addictions.

Tether, however, was more fulfilling than fun. It was a lot of hard work, and took years just to research. I had to learn everything from Buddhism to quantum physics, to neurophysiology and artificial intelligence, to psychology and art history. Did you know Freud, Carl Jung, Einstein, Salvador Dali, and Picasso all hung out together? What a mix. Art, physics and psychology, all in the same room. When time travel gets invented, that’s where I’m going.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

This is going to sound really cocky and superficial, but bear in mind, I’m a popcorn moviegoer who can’t stop creating and gets bored really fast. The answer is no one inspired me to write, and, here we go, I have a confession to make. I’m not a reader. I don’t have the patience. So the ‘what’ part is really the creative process. I have a huge bucket list when it comes to creativity. I want to have a real art show one day, an album of my music, and write the great American novel. Writing was a strategic decision. I can sink my teeth into it, because of the creative process, and should I truly make it in the industry, it can afford me the time to fulfill the others.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I’m not kidding when I say I’m a kid. Legos are the shit; I love a good adventure; and finger painting on a big, fat canvas is straight-up cathartic. The big one is off-roading. My Jeep is a bad boy Transformer, on account of it’s rag top, removable doors, and the fact that it’s got the widest range of customizable features than any other vehicle, and goes anywhere. There is nothing like dominating a trail full of rocks and ridges, or going down a ravine with twenty other Jeeps, and of course, splashing around and doing donuts in the mud. See? Kid.

Aside from that, I’m a traveler and a cruiser. I love the beach and the water.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

Yes! I do as little as possible for several days, vedge out in front of the TV, and return to my friends. And off-roading. I go off-roading.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I love going to La Madelaine with a pad of paper and my ear buds. When I wrote Tether, I got the opportunity to go to Hawaii for two weeks. Sitting on the beach or in a straw hut restaurant while writing, was a cliché dream come true.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Yes! I’d write faster, and have a larger toolbox of sentence structures. I still feel like I’m painting with only two colors right now, and I will take a creative writing course when things slow down a bit.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

I really do have big dreams. If I had my druthers, I’d have the fame thing, but specifically as an artist of many disciplines.

12. Where do you live?


13. Pets?

Not right now, but I’m looking.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Creativity, baby. New ideas.

15. What is coming next for you?

I’m hoping to publish the next two within this same year. Tether: On Fate vs. Freewill and The Prophet: On Love. Then it’s off to leaning more about the craft, and getting to know Logic Pro for mixing music.

16. Where do you get your ideas?

The treadmill, on my bike, hitting the pavement, and when I can’t sleep.

Anything else you would like me to include please feel free to tell me!

Yes. Should you decide to read Where Sleeping Dogs Lie, go back to the beginning and see if you don’t find yourself reading it again. I designed it with a very specific purpose in mind, both in terms of introducing a new style of creative writing, and raising awareness about an important topic.

The novel is a murder mystery, which by nature involves violence, but that’s on the surface. The original title was Where Sleeping Dogs Lie: On Addiction. It is actually a commentary on the psychological roots of violence, sex, substance abuse, and what I term, ‘dysfunctional habits of the mind’. How do you spread awareness about the psychological baseness of human nature? How do you get to the cause of what makes this world so fraught with hate? Answer: Find the angst, and create an artistic statement, one that makes sure the audience doesn’t go to sleep. Then, hit them with a deeply philosophical book on the solution. Tether and The Prophet are those next books, and they are decidedly not violent. Please keep that in mind when deciding to read Where Sleeping Dogs Lie. There’s a whole other story going on, both in the construction of the book and its twists, as well as the story’s undercurrent. People diagnosed with PTSD and any addiction will know what this undercurrent is. I’ve already been approached by several who have read it in it’s entirety, and they are either saying they identify with it, personally, or ask me if my intentions were to write such a deep novel. So, I know the message is being seen. It was, in fact, intentional.

There is a way for us to move to the next stage of human evolution. Mass demonstrations of kindness. Want to protest something? Get mass associations of groups to assemble and carry out what you long for, instead of focusing your energies on fighting. Achieving what you want covers both the desired goal and covers the thing you’re protesting against.

Protests are old school. Get that same crowd to make demonstrations of the desired hope. I think we’re on the cusp of that, because people are getting more and more used to charity and getting involved in a cause. We just need to take that next step.

You can connect with Luc Vors here:

Here’s a quote:
“A strengths-based approach is not blind optimism or looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses. We don’t ignore problems, or pretend they don’t exist, but see them within a broader context.”

4 Easy Ways to create Social Impact Right Now by Anita Leffel



Twitter:  @LucVors



Glenn Rolfe takes over Roadie Notes

Some of my Favorite Short Stories

I’m a fan of short stories. I started with the likes of Stephen King’s SKELETON CREW, and the novella that kicks that collection off, “The Mist”. How could you not fall in love after reading that perfect story? Is that fair though, a novella? It opened the gate for me into the world of short fiction, so I’m going to say “yes”.
Here are a few short stories that I love that deserve some time in the spotlight.

KING: “Night Surf” & “Strawberry Spring”
I followed SKELETON CREW with EVERYTHING’S EVENTUAL, and then (eventually) NIGHT SHIFT. I want to keep the King part of this post short and sweet, so let me just mention two pieces I loved from NIGHT SHIFT:
King is an expert at stories of all lengths. “Night Surf” is the story that inspired my piece, “Fire” (from LAND OF BONES).
“After the guy was dead and the smell of his burning flesh was off the air, we all went back down to the beach.”
It features good old Captain Trips, that wonderful Hong Kong Flu from King’s THE STAND. A pack of teens or early twenty-somethings hanging around a beach in Maine living in a dying world. They assume they’re immune to the flu, but soon find out that may not be true. Love this one.
“Maybe a need for one desperate and passionate romance with the warm night, the warm fog, the smell of the sea, and the cold knife.”
A strawberry spring and Springheel Jack. This story is one of my all-time favorites that I haven’t heard too many folks talk about. Serial killer story, but in King’s wonderful voice. Win-win!
MCCAMMON: “Nightcrawlers” & “Pin”
I first discovered Robert McCammon’s “Nightcrawlers” in a paperback copy of the DARK MASQUES anthology. And it has stuck with me ever since. I’m fascinated by all things Vietnam-related, and this was an interesting way to explore the possible effects of the war on the men that made it home.
“The nightcrawlers began to ripple and fade. I saw the flames of the burning cars through their bodies.”
I love stories based in diners (I brought Veronica from “Welcome to Paradise” to one). This story has a Twilight Zone feel to it and brings a new definition of “bring the war back home”. One of my Top 3 favorite short stories ever. It also appears in BLUE WORLD.
“It has to be in the center. In that black part. It has to go in deep. Real deep, and you have to keep pushing it until you see the inner sun.”
“Pin” is another story from BLUE WORLD. Very short, very effective (“Henry” from my first collection, SLUSH, came about after reading this one). I can’t say much without giving it away, but this one is fucked and will make you squirm while reading it. Brilliant.

“A Thing” by Barbara Malenky
I came across this amazing story via a paperback copy of FROM THE BORDERLANDS.
“You take him,” I whisper barely above the sound of the wind in the trees, “’cause I got no more use, and you can feed him until you get well enough and then you pass him on to another near dead.”
If you can find a copy of this one, do it. It’s an interesting story about getting a second chance.
“The Visitor” by Jack Ketchum
Zombies are in this one, but Ketchum takes it from another angle. An old man’s wife is bitten and he sits at her bedside in the hospital as she turns and eventually dies. No one can make a zombie story this touching. #Legend From PEACABLE KINGDOM
“Colt.24” by Rick Hautala
This is a fun story of a man making a deal with “Old Scratch”. One that’s been told a million times, but Hautala’s version is great. I read this one in his collection, BED BUGS.

“The Texas Chainsaw Breakfast Club, or I Don’t Like Mondays” by Bracken MacLeod
Most amazing title ever. The story is awesome, too. MacLeod is one of the best (relatively newer) authors out there. This one is in his collection, 13 VIEWS OF THE SUICIDE WOODS. A group of kids from high school are kidnapped and tied up in a basement. Who is their captor? You’ll have to read to find out. A very good horror story.
“Johnstown” by Brian Keene
“The dream dies, as all dreams eventually do. Cindy and I didn’t know that back then. We were young and in love, and dreams were meant to last forever. We spent nights making love down by the river and the flood never touched us.”
One thing I share with the Grandmaster of Horror is a love for The Boss. This story from BLOOD ON THE PAGE was inspired by “The River”, “Spare Parts”, and “Johnstown”. Three terrific, if not dark and depressing, Springsteen songs. It’s a story that follows the life of a young couple that start off a thing of shining beauty, but end up swallowed in darkness on the edge of town (sorry, I had to). This story isn’t a straight-up horror tale, but that’s what makes it special. Brian just writes a story that would make The Boss proud.

Maybe you know and love these stories too. Maybe you read them and weren’t impressed. Whatever the case, they all mean something special to me. They each inspired me. One of the wonderful things about collections is that, like albums, each track speaks to the reader in its own language. Either you understand it or you don’t. That’s one of my favorite things about reading reviews for my own collections. Seeing which stories hit or miss with each reader. It’s always different.
I hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of my latest collection, LAND OF BONES. And if you do enjoy it, I hope you’ll take a minute to toss-up a review, and maybe mention the standouts for you.
Feel free to stop by my Facebook page and say “Hi” or share your favorites with me.






You can find Glenn Rolfe here: 



Twitter:  @GRolfeHorror







Getting personal with Patrick James Ryan

First, let me offer some thanks to you, Becky for this great opportunity to be interviewed by you for your blog! You are awesome! ~ Patrick

Patrick James Ryan is a native of Columbus, Ohio and the popular author of the diverse short story collection, “Blood Verse,” the best-selling novel at Black Bed Sheet Books ~ “The Night It Got Out” and his most recent release, “The Maggots Underneath The Porch.” Patrick has appeared in numerous radio interviews and blogs and is a recognized as a popular new voice in the horror/suspense/thriller genre. Patrick and his wife, Molly enjoy their three children ~ Colleen, Michael and Patrick, Jr. An avid sports and music fan, Patrick enjoys Football, Basketball, Baseball, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and most hard rock. In addition to writing, Patrick is a voracious reader, taking in an eclectic swath of fiction and non-fiction across many genres, with horror being a favorite. A practitioner of martial arts for over 25 years, he holds a second degree black belt and is a huge fan of Bruce Lee and is considered an expert with Nunchakus. He is currently finishing up a second short story collection and a mainstream detective thriller for 2018.


Please help me welcome Patrick James Ryan to Roadie Notes…….
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I was 24 years old when I first wrote “Road Kill,” one of the short stories in my collection titled ~ BLOOD VERSE. We then had three children and writing took a major step to the back burner in life, with sports and activities taking precedence as we lived somewhat vicariously through the kids. It was resurrected again back in 2007 when I lost my father and I began to write again in earnest.

2. How many books have you written?
I have three published works at present: BLOOD VERSE, THE NIGHT IT GOT OUT, & THE MAGGOTS UNDERNEATH THE PORCH. A second short story collection will come out in 2018, and I am working on four books at present.

3. Anything you won’t write about?
I struggle at times writing sex, especially if it is graphic and gratuitous. While I am certainly not a prude, I’d much rather write a suspenseful scene that grips and shocks the reader, making them want to flip the pages to see what happens next!

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I don’t mind. I am forty-six and try very hard to keep myself in shape. I am married and we have three wonderful children. I work in the Financial Services industry by day as my primary income, hoping to make it big in the publishing/screenwriting/movie industry a-la John Grisham and others who have transitioned successfully from their day jobs to full-time writing.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
I have received the most commercial success and accolades over THE NIGHT IT GOT OUT, but it was the short story & poem collection, BLOOD VERSE that first caught the eye of a publishing house and opened the opportunities I have now. I wrote that collection with tremendous drive and passion, and I would love to think readers view the stories not only as thrilling, but very original.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
My Father was a huge believer in my writing, and I am often driven to succeed in the industry as a tribute to him! I also have a former English Professor who loves my writing and is now committed to assisting with editing, a highly valued commodity in this business as we make our own worst proof readers as writers! I have also been highly inspired by the works of Stephen King, John D. MacDonald, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, Lee Child, John Grisham, and many other wonderful authors.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
I have been in martial arts since I was a kid and hold a Second Degree Black Belt in a 5 Animal System of Kung Fu. I am a HUGE Bruce Lee fan! I obviously love to read, listen to Rock music, love College Football and spending fun time with the family!

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
None at present, but I love the idea. It makes me think of the fictitious character in Stephen King’s book, MISERY, who always smoked a cigar upon completion of a book!

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
We have a small little spare bedroom where I’ve got the computer set up along with tons of family and inspirational pictures. I BLAST rock music when I write. Bands from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin to Kansas/Journey/Foreigner/Styx/Motley Crue to Guns n Roses, and at times even some light rock.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Probably more character development in THE NIGHT IT GOT OUT and having the self-awareness of a great editor much earlier in my career.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Of course the standard dream of any author would be: Best selling author with books being a conduit to the Silver Screen! But, it goes deeper than that ~ the most rewarding thing for me is when I am told a person has enjoyed reading a story. It is very rewarding to know that you created something that impacted someone and allowed them to have a few hours out of their life that they enjoyed from your contribution as a writer. Income is good and no one works for free, but you cannot put a monetary amount on the ability to please and provide enjoyment to another human being!

12. Where do you live?
I am in Columbus, Ohio.

13. Pets?
Other than the kids (LOL!), yes we have two cats ~ Daisy and Darby. Daisy is a Tortie while Darby is a grey Tiger. Darby follows me around incessantly, everywhere as if I am her mother. She cries for attention for me. Licks my arms and always has to be by my side! She greatly diminishes my macho martial art image! LOL!

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Like athletics, when I am really cruising with ideas and words it is like when athletes say they are “in the zone.” The autonomy and opportunity to be creative and craft something from scratch is awesome!

15. What is coming next for you?
In addition to the next short story collection coming out this year, I am currently working on four more books. One is a martial arts fiction thriller. The second is a homicide detective thriller geared for a huge mainstream audience. The third is the first in a series of novels about a warrior who battles evil things, and last but not least in response to huge fan demand, I am going to write a sequel to THE NIGHT IT GOT OUT.

16. Where do you get your ideas?
Anywhere and everywhere! Driving in the car sometimes on business. Watching a TV commercial or show. Here is an example: One night I was watching THE EXORCIST on cable and commercial after commercial was a relentless stream of erectile dysfunction medication ads. I got so sick and tired of watching them. I mean, seriously, if you took one of those pills why would you and your special person be in separate tubs if you’re ready to get it on? LOL! Anyway, it hit me to write the story, LITTLE SWIMMERS in BLOOD VERSE. If I say any more, I will spoil the story, but once you have read it, you will remember the answer to this question and probably laugh!

Any advice for new writers?
For anyone seeking to be a writer, I would offer this advice: Write with passion. Believe in yourself. Be committed to working hard. Don’t pay attention to naysayers and harsh critics. However, do listen to sound advice as we all have blind sides and sometimes constructive criticism can be a great learning tool to help you continue to hone your craft. I personally believe school is never out in this industry, and I am always open to input, feedback, and opinions from both readers and fellow authors.
You can connect with Patrick James Ryan here:

Twitter: @PjrRyan





Some of Patrick James Ryan’s books: 

Getting personal with Chris Hewitt

Chris Hewitt is an incredibly talented poet. I ran across his writing accidentally but it was definitely a happy accident. If you love dark poems then his writing will never disappoint you. He has a great sense of humor and is very smart. He loves his family very much. There is a link below that will take you to his Facebook page where his poems are published. Please visit the link, like his work and share his page. Also send him a friend request and tell him I sent you!


Please welcome Chris Hewitt to Roadie Notes……


1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

I have to say the earliest I remember writing was probably around the age of 14 or 15. At the time I was in the medieval sci-fi fantasy dragons and Warriors type of thing. I didn’t really get into writing poetry until my later high school years.

2. How many books have you written?

I actually haven’t written any books yet I have a pile of writing ready for a book and I even have a title in mind, I just haven’t gotten to that point yet. Life seems to have a way of getting in the way of things for me.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

I don’t really think there’s anything I won’t write about. For me it’s more of a release, a way to express myself. I suppose that’s why to me most of my writing seems repetitive I actually get bored with it at times and try to freshen it up in certain ways.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I’ll be 47 this year so I’ve been writing for roughly 33 years. I have two daughters and two sons, all of whom aren’t at home anymore. I live in northern Pennsylvania with a beautiful woman (Norma) who must be a saint for dealing with me at times ha ha. As far as work believe it or not, I’m a mechanic and I put windshields in.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

Well, since I haven’t written a book yet I have to say a few of my poems are my favorite.
I’d say, Mind On a Pallet and touch are two of my favorites.


6. Who or what inspired you to write?

Edgar Allan Poe and Langston Hughes as well as Thoreau are huge influences.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I’m a huge stereo nut, I love vintage stereos anything hi-fi. I also love riding my Harley.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

When I get off my rear end and finally publish a book I see myself as the glass of captain and ginger ale type and a cigarette as far as a tradition goes​ haha


9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I can pretty much right anywhere I really have no preference. I’ve written everywhere from work to listening to music at home to in my work van. I was always huge on writing everything out but the last few years it seems like everything goes on the notes on my iPhone.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

I think I’m very restricted in my abilities as far as talent goes. I feel my writing is very repetitive I just don’t know if I wish I had more education in the subject or if I could branch off as far as my writing subjects if that makes sense.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

My dream would be for my writing to be acknowledged on a large basis. I don’t know if I necessarily want to be famous I would just like to know that everybody loves it and that it had helped people and some certain way. What am is very graphic my work is very graphic and real to me.
I don’t know if I would like to be famous so much as I’d like my writing to be famous I suppose.

12. Where do you live?

Northern Pennsylvania

13. Pets?

About 7 Fish haha

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The release it gives me. It’s a way for me to say things without actually having to speak them. Allows me to be open when I don’t want to be.

15. What is coming next for you?

Within the next 12 months I’d really like to publish my book.

16. Where do you get your ideas?

From my life experiences, things I’m going through at the time. love, loss and addiction. Sometimes things I see other people go through motivates me. I’m really into the romantic feel of writing I think just about everything I write has a little hope and faith no matter how dark it may seem.

Anything else you would like me to include please feel free to tell me!

I think it would like to say that I feel that writing is art in every aspect and that it should be an extension the person creating it. I feel that anybody can get an education on a certain subject or write a book on it that doesn’t make it art. When a piece of you or a piece of something you’ve lost goes into creating something that you are emotionally tied to and personally affected by, that is when it becomes art and so much more for me.


You can connect with Chris Hewitt here:


A couple of Chris Hewitt’s poems: 



There is no lord
No soul to keep
No lay me down
For such sweet sleep

The devil white
And dreams of lies
Have left me broken
No dry eyes

I’ll always be
What you see worse
In this life obsessed
Of delusion cursed

Take this powder poison
Covered blood stained
Rest easy in denial
Precious love waned

I did my best
Not near the key
Seen as obscene
Shattered forever I’ll be
Copyright © 2018 Chris Hewitt all rights reserved


My Place

Coming down hard
Brace for the hit
By my own hand
Alone I sit

Drifting aimless
Lost with no light
Just my demons remain
To hold all night

Breath labored
Feel my heart race
Self loathing and regret
Now my permanent place

I’m shame and sorrow
I haven’t got a clue
How to find my soul again
To be what I was to you
Copyright © 2017 Chris Hewitt all rights reserved