Call for Scary submissions!

After the colossal success of Sci-Fi from the Rock and the sheer amount of amazing submissions we got for Fantasy from the Rock, Engen Books has decided to continue the From The Rock line with Chillers from the Rock, to be available in Spring 2018 at the 12th annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention. Continue reading Call for Scary submissions!

Gettin’ in the Mood (for Writing)

I find it easiest to write when I’m inspired or when I’m bored. If I’ve thought of a really cool/interesting scene, then I have to write it as soon as possible or I risk forgetting about it. If I’m bored, then my brain goes into thought-overdrive and comes up with a bunch of scenes and ideas, and since I have nothing better to do, I might as well write them down.

But what about when I’m not inspired or bored? What about when I need to write something, but the words just aren’t coming? How do I make myself write? What’s my secret?

Most of the time: music.

The right music can help put me in the “mood” of what I’m writing, which makes it easier for me to fall into the world of the story. A few months ago I was working on a fantasy short story* and I found that listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack made it much easier to find the tone of the story, which made it easier to write and edit.

Music is also great in helping drown out the voices – I mean, distracting my brain. Sometimes I find it difficult to focus, so I need to distract part of my brain so that the other part can concentrate. That’s why I need the right music, because the wrong music will distract all of my brain and nothing will get done. It’s also why I can never watch TV or movies while I write (the visuals are super distracting).

The music changes for each story, depending on the plot and the characters. One story works best with Muse; another Imagine Dragons. Another story requires a mix of Joan Jett, Garbage, Pat Benatar, Hole, and Nine Inch Nails. The fact that each story uses a different playlist actually helps me focus on one particular story and not want to jump around to something else.

The downside to this process is that it might take a while to get the playlist figured out. Sometimes the music is obvious, but other times I might spend more time than I should trying to find the right sound – time that could be spent writing. Although I’d probably get just as distracted by the internet or Netflix or even making a family tree. (I definitely spent 2 hours working on an Erikson family tree last month, just for a casual one-line mention in something I was writing. I regret nothing.)

It can take a bit of effort, but that one moment when you find a song that fits perfectly with a scene or a character… It’s the best**.

______

*This story can be found in Fantasy From the Rock, launching April 2017!

**There’s a scene in Chapter 18 of The Six Elemental which is set to “Run” by Snow Patrol. The song has to be cut a bit, but I’ve got the movement and lines all timed perfectly. So if this book ever gets made into a movie, someone had better work on getting those rights.

Cinders review by Amanda Labonté

Cinders - novel“Set in the extreme heat of a Los Angeles summer, Cinders fairly sizzles with mystery and crime drama. With great attention to detail, Matthew LeDrew tells a tale that deals not only with good and evil, but also the gray area in between. Weaving through multiple perspectives, the story culminates in a satisfying conclusion that leaves the reader wanting more from these characters. A great addition to any thriller library.”


Amanda LabonteAmanda Labonté lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she gets much of the inspiration for the characters and places about which she writes. Though she knew she wanted to be a writer since the eighth grade, it was many years before she finally walked into a creative writing class and found a new home. As the co-owner of an educational business and mother of two she spends much of her day with kids of all ages. They give her some of the best reading recommendations.

Minor Event Time Update | Writer’s Circle #LOLAnl

The Writer’s Circle event hosted as a part of #LOLAnl will be from 630pm -8pm on Feb 22 2017 at the Arts and Culture Center, not from 6pm8pm as originally advertised on this site. previous references to this have been changed. Apologies, it was a clerical miscommunication. The event will be at  95 Allandale Rd, St. John’s, NL A1B 3A3. To join the Facebook event and get more information, click here.

So I killed you… don’t be offended | Blog of the Dead

This novel is a work of fiction. All of the characters, places, and events are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, businesses or events is entirely coincidental.

These words, or some variation, are at the beginning of every piece of fiction. Whether it be a book, a TV show, or movie. So is it a coincidence that one of the characters or events in my book reminds you of yourself. Definitely not. It would be near impossible to write a character that people would care about if they did not have actions and responses that we can relate too. So when I created the characters of my novel, each one is based on a friend. Then I put them in situations and let them react the way I think they would when faced with that challenge. Continue reading So I killed you… don’t be offended | Blog of the Dead

For the Brave: Steve Lake! | Donate

The amazingly kind-hearted Steve Lake is once again donating his time and his luscious locks to the “Shave for the Brave” effort, 2017.

“Some of you have liked my long hair, some of you have hated it,” says Lake. “I’ve liked the way it’s turned out over the last three years, but now it’s time to say goodbye to it. March 25th, 2017 I’m shaving it all off and donating my hair, along with whatever money I can raise.”

Steve Lake has penned the ‘Full Moon’ series of short stories for Engen Books and Ink’d Well Comics, a series of noir-style detective stories with a supernatural twist.

You can donate to Steve’s “Shave for the Brave” effort here.

“Wanna donate to a great cause and see me bald? Of course you do.” — Steve Lake

All donations to the Shave for the Brave help Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) provide programs to help this “forgotten generation.”

For more information, check out shaveforthebrave.ca and youngadultcancer.ca. Have a question? Email YACC at info@shaveforthebrave.ca or call 877-571-7325.

Paul Carberry announced as a “Fantasy from the Rock” author!

Zombies on the Rock, Paul Carberry

The epic author of the fantastically entertaining 2015 novel Zombies on the Rock, Paul Carberry, lends his considerable talents to the fantasy genre as one of the authors in the upcoming 2017 anthology, Fantasy from the Rock.

Paul Carberry currently works as a pharmacy assistant and will soon be enrolled in the Reserves with the Canadian Armed Forces. He has always enjoyed the whole horror genre and has always had a special interest in zombies. He is currently living in his hometown of Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, with his wife, Leah. His dream is to finish this story that he has started and to travel around the world selling his books.

Continue reading Paul Carberry announced as a “Fantasy from the Rock” author!

The 48-Hour Novel Writing Marathon

This June, a growing number of participants from the writing and business communities, are working on a novel writing marathon for writers and would-be writers in the St. John’s region!

Two years ago I attended a writing conference in Orillia, Ontario. I really enjoyed attending workshops and networking with other writers, but one of the things that really stuck with me was all the talk about novel writing marathons.

Prior to this conference, I had never heard of a novel writing marathon. Maybe you haven’t either. A novel writing marathon is pretty much what it sounds like. Writers gather under one roof and work on a brand new manuscript for a period of time (in this case 48 hours). The participants can work straight through, take a break and go home, or sleep under a desk. The only rule is that the work submitted at the end must have been completed during the marathon.

Now, other than 48 hours of dedicated writing, what’s in it for the writer? Well, at the end of the marathon, all participants are encouraged to submit their working manuscripts to a team of judges. Not only will you get feedback on your work, the winner will also get a chance to submit their full, completed manuscript to a publisher!

Who is the marathon aimed at? Any writer or potential writer who is looking for an opportunity to get a good start on a manuscript, wanting to network with other writers or looking for a break in the writing industry. The winner will be announced at a special event in August (announcement coming soon!) . All participants will be invited.

The cost for participation in this event is a charitable donation to the event’s chosen not-for-profit (TBA). There is no set minimum, so whatever amount you can get in sponsorship from family and friends will be enough.

Sound interesting? Join the Facebook event for updates and announcements, including when to register. facebook.com/…/amandalabontewrites/events

Hope to see you there!

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