Over the last four years, the From the Rock series has become one of the preeminent anthology series’ in Atlantic Canada. We have been home to some amazing established talent and helped some new authors break through that have gone on to dominate their fields, becoming genre bestsellers in their own right. From the Rock is a title readers consistently ask for, review well, and is a great way for avid readers to get introduced to indie talent they might find interesting. In March 2018 the series’ third entry, Chillers from the Rock, went Bestseller on pre-orders alone!
We are currently accepting submissions for the sixth entry in this series: Pulp Sci-Fi from the Rock, to be available in Winter of 2020. Continue reading Call for Pulp Sci-Fi Submissions!
1) Too much exposition can be boring.
If you’ve got an awesome flaming sword (or a Chekhov’s gun), you’re going to want to use it. You won’t want to listen to some NPC drone on and on for hours and hours. Yes, information is important and you’ll never solve the story’s mystery if you don’t talk to people or listen to clues, but eventually you’ll want that local farmer to shut their yap so that you can start doing some things. Knowledge is great, but if your dialogue seems to be going on for too long, toss your character a task that needs completing, even if it’s a simple one.
2) Too much fighting can be exhausting.
Fights are thrilling, but if your character is going from one fight to another to another to another, eventually you’ll get battle fatigue (just like your character). You’ll want to rest and heal up, maybe go to a hospital. Or maybe you’ll just want a quick nap and a sandwich. Either way, action’s great and all, but too much of it and you risk tiring everyone out*. Continue reading Writing Advice I’ve Gleaned from Playing DND | House Blog
I know it’s long overdue but I’m finally posting another blog. I haven’t done this in so long, but I remember the last blog was written in my son’s room long before it was ever going to be his room. So last week I attended Fan Expo in Toronto. I was completely blown away by the entire experience. I’ve never seen so many people in one place before, let alone so many fans of all things geeky. They had everything from Star Wars to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Micheal Myers and everything in between. Paul Gossler, i.e. Zach Morris, John Travolta, Johnathan Frakes, Jeff Goldblum, Brendan Frazier and many more were guests. There were artists and cosplayers for as far as the eye could see. If you are ever in Toronto I’d reccomend attending, there’s something there for everyone. However, since this is the good, the bad and the zombie, this leads me into the bad. Continue reading The Good, The Bad and The Zombie #3
I had started 2019 so full of hope.
This was going to be the year when I wrote more, submitted more, was rejected more, and (hopefully) accepted more. And I was prepared. I had a calendar where I could highlight the dates of deadlines (pink for “hell yeah, I’ll submit” and yellow for “if I have time/an idea”), with a monthly reference sheet for which deadline was for which publisher/idea, plus links to their website and guidelines.
And then May and June happened. Continue reading Getting Back on the Writing Horse | House Blog
This past near has been interesting for me, nostalgia-wise, as Engen Books has been re-releasing my original 10-part urban thriller series as Coral Beach Casefiles with some wonderful covers by Kit Sora. As such I’ve been taking the time to go back and tweak and adjust some goofs in the original texts.
There’s some things you can only write when you’re young I think, and last month and this month were a very anxious time for me because they saw the release of Ghosts of the Past and Ignorance is Bliss… both of which have plots which revolve chiefly around children in peril, and one in which said child meets a (spoilers) very bad end.
This is the type of thing I would rarely do today, and even looking back on it I find it… squeamish. Have I lost my edge? I went back a re-read these books with a kind of half-grimace, because all I remember are the outcomes… but then I remembered, these were actually half decent books. I actually started to like the writing again and get back into the mindset.
All this begged the question for me: why was this plot necessary for young me? Why do kids die in fiction? Continue reading Why we kill [CENSORED] in fiction | Writing and Publishing advice from Engen Founder Matthew LeDrew
I did it, everyone! I managed to wrestle my short story into a first draft!
(click here if you haven’t read my previous post)
Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s a rough first draft, but 1,645 words and a shaky ending are better than 475 words that dwindle off into nothingness. Continue reading On to Round 2! | House Blog
For a lot of us writers working a “real job”, finding the time (and motivation) to sit down to write is a chore. Real jobs are exhausting. If you’re anything like me, coming home from a day at the office leaves you wanting two things: food and sleep. That’s right, I just want to eat and go to bed. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of leisure time. When I come home I have three kids, a wife, a dog, and my wife’s cat. Napping has become impossible, and I’d be lucky if there was any food left in the house by the time I got home from work. Of course then there is supper time, bath time, and bed time routines. Hanging out, homework, and, if we’re lucky, a few minutes to catch up with my wife before sleep drags me down into its sweet, sweet depths. Did you notice I didn’t work in any writing time in there? Yeah, about that…
Continue reading Got the Time? Make the Time! | Dobbin’s Blog
After much deliberation, Engen Books is proud to announce the winner of the April 2019 Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest: Melissa E. Wong with his story, Head in the Clouds!
There were two judges for this month of the contest:
Matthew LeDrew has written twenty novels for Engen Books, Black Womb, Transformations in Pain, Smoke and Mirrors, Roulette, Ghosts of the Past, Ignorance is Bliss, Becoming, Inner Child, Gang War, Chains, The Long Road, Cinders, Sinister Intent, Faith, Family Values, Touch Your Nose, Jacobi Street, Infinity, The Tourniquet Reprisal and Exodus of Angels.
Kit Sora Photography. Kit Sora is an artist and photographer from St. Johns, Newfoundland. Her photography draws inspiration from fantasy, dystopia, and thrillers to create evocative imagrey that startles, inspires, and excites.Kit signed with Engen Books in 2018 as head photographer, producing the thrilling image for Chillers from the Rock and re-imagining the covers to the entire Black Womb series into the Coral Beach Casefiles series. Drew Power is a currently seated member of the Sci-Fi on the Rock committee. He was recently featured as the model on the cover of the bestselling collection Chillers from the Rock.
Runners up include Nimbus by Daniel Burton and I’m Fat by Amanda Evans. Continue reading Winner: “Head in the Clouds” by Melissa E. Wong | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest