Many, if not most, of you will have fond memories of Judi Rohrig. She ran Hellnotes after I burned out and she volunteered to take it over. This was before it was a blog, back in the days when it was delivered in several different formats to horror fans who subscribed to the newsletter. Hellnotes has always been a labor of love, and Judi worked incredibly hard to bring you the very latest in the horror genre.
Eventually, however, it overcame her as it had overcome me. She wanted to spend more time with her family and pursue her own writing. So she stepped away. That was a few years ago now, but I still receive regular inquiries about Judi and what she’s been doing since leaving Hellnotes.
Well, here you have it. Straight from Judi’s mouth …
What have you been up to within the genre recently?
I try to stay current in all things horror, but honestly, I simply try to stay up on all things writing. But I have recently stumbled on writer Chelsea Cain who’s written three damned fine novels about a serial killer in Portland, OR. Cain just happens to be a member of a peer writing group that includes Chuck Palahniuk. Boy, to be a fly in that room. Though maybe a fly wouldn’t be the best creature to be in a room with that pair.
Anyway… my short answer is that I’m reading, but find the lines rather muddy when it comes to what horror is. I’ve also polished off everything written by Dennis Lehane. Very dark. The area of horror I enjoy is psychological horror anyway. Shutter Island, Mystic River, and all the Kenzie/Gennaro detective novels fall well into that category. I can’t wait to read Moonlight Mile (a follow-up of sorts to Gone Baby Gone) which will be released next month.
And what are you up to in your personal life?
That’s personal. Seriously, I have a personal life? Wow.
Actually, I’m desperately seeking Susan and Jim and anybody else out there, and I understand Facebook is the place to reconnect. Hence, I am now on Facebook. You Facebookers know how to find me, don’t you? I also blog at Judi Rohrig.
Do you ever miss doing Hellnotes?
Every single day. I’m a news junkie, but not in the way you might think. A lot of people think writers and publishers send news to places like Hellnotes. Sadly, they don’t. Even authors who have big book deals aren’t very good at trying to put information out there about their work. So I do find myself writing little newsy things and posting them places.
Most of all, I miss the contact I had with writers. It’s nice to see how many Hellnotes subscribers have books out there in the bookstores I visit. And I’ve saved a few subscription letters. Like the one from Joe Hill.
Would you ever consider starting up your own horror-related newsletter?
I’m not one to go back. I get my ticket punched and move ahead. Hellnotes ran at about 8,000 words a week. That was a back-breaker. I try to do half that word count now on my own fiction.
What do you have on your plate at the moment?
I’m shopping a novel right now which means I’ve been hammering the hell out of the dreaded synopsis and pounding on perfecting query letters. Writer and agent Anne Mini has a gold mine at her website. But talk about scary…
As for new fiction, I’m revising another novel and writing a third. And in my free time, I’m reading like crazy. As I said, I polished off Lehane’s works, but I’m studying how he beat the bushes for The Given Day, and I’ll be watching as he hits the road for Moonlight Mile. (He’s already on the road BTW).
What do you have coming up?
I have a story being considered for Mort Castle’s Best American Horror, and I have a couple of short stories out there in contention for publication in a couple of college lit journals. I haven’t been writing much short fiction because I’m working in novel length.
Hellnotes needs someone to do interviews, would that interest you at all?
This was my favorite question actually. The answer is maybe or depends. I don’t know what you have in mind exactly. I know I’ve had an idea to do mini-innies. Short interviews that always begin with the dreaded “What is your story about?” but really asking writers how they are handling these tough times.
Note From The Editor: So there you have it. Judi’s been a very busy lady. And though we haven’t discussed the possibility at any length, I’m keeping my fingers crossed she’ll return to Hellnotes to do mini-interviews for us. I hope you cross your fingers as well.