Hey all, Ellen here! It’s been a looooong time since I’ve blogged or been super present in online Engen activities. That is about to change though! Put on the kettle, and let’s settle down with a cuppa and catch up!
I was blessed to begin my publishing career at a very young age; Infinity was published when I was 16. Getting a formal education to prepare me for a career in writing was still important to me despite this success, and so I pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Pursuing my education has been, at times, very frustrating. There have been many moments over the past four years where I have felt that my education has been a detriment to my attempts at pursuing my writing career. The sheer amount of time consumed by my studies left me with very few hours in the day to write fiction, and when I was able to write I often felt that I was ignoring other priorities in my life.
School was my first priority, and to support that I needed a day job, which had to be my second priority. Sheer exhaustion prevented me from focusing on much else, including my health. There are only so many times you can spend sleepless nights researching and studying, say “screw the gym” when you’re too tired to go the next day, and pick up a bag of chips and a chocolate bar on the way home as ‘fuel’ before heading to work and repeating the cycle before all of it catches up with you. I’m goal oriented to a fault; in my pursuit of my education I let the rest of my life fall to the wayside.
Over the last year, I hit my breaking point and decided I was not going to continue on in the rut I had gotten stuck in. I decided to re-prioritize. I put a greater focus on my health and tried to find more time for writing. Heading into my last semester of university, I decided to focus more on making myself happy. Part of that was returning to writing and publishing.
Matthew founded Engen Books in 2007, and in 2009 I published my first short story in the now out of print NewFoundSpecFic. I was eager then to pursue my career, which led to printing my own short story collection, Compendium, and to co-authoring the Infinity novels with Matthew. In small business, you need to wear many hats, and as a publisher and author in his own right, Matthew was doing just that. As Engen Books grew though, it became necessary for publication work to be divided. With my workload, I couldn’t match the level of support he needed to grow Engen as much as all involved parties would have liked, but I helped as much as I could.
Nearing the completion of my degree, Matthew and I decided that the time was right for me to take a new step in my career. A full-time staff member for Engen would mean a greater volume and quality of material could be published in the span of a year.
To officially let the cat out of the bag, I have accepted a full-time position as partner in Engen Books. The challenges of running a small press part time have inhibited Engen’s growth over the past number of years, but in the coming months we hope to be able to expand operations.
There are lots of great new things to look forward to in late 2015 and early 2016. In addition to the titles that have already begun appearing on Amazon as e-books, the entire Engen library will soon be available electronically. For everyone who has asked for e-books in the past, your wish has finally been granted!
Matthew and I will be appearing at Avalon Expo on August 29th and 30th, where along with Steve Lake we will be hosting a brand new Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel, as well as joining in on writing panels with other great authors. New Dysfunctional vlogs are due up soon, after a few months of experiencing one technical difficulty after another. As usual, Steve, Matt, and I will try to answer your writing questions without resorting to battling each other to the death.
The international edition of Roulette by Matthew LeDrew is finally set to go on sale in late September at Atlanti-Con in Corner Brook, which will also be the location for the debut of his latest novel Sinister Intent. Sinister Intent picks up where last April’s hit Cinders left off, and is sure to be a must have for fans of LeDrew. Atlanti-Con will take place September 25th-26th at the Corner Brook Civic Center, and is sure to be a blast.
More store shelves should soon be stocking Engen Books titles as well. Over the next few months, keep an eye for announcements concerning new locations across Newfoundland selling Engen Books. Stores are also welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on stocking titles.
April 2016 will start with a celebration of Newfoundland’s premiere science fiction convention, Sci-Fi on the Rock. Sci-Fi on the Rock celebrates its tenth anniversary April 1st, and to celebrate Engen wants to promote Newfoundland authors who have been touched by the convention. Contributions from past convention guests, local authors, as well as the debut short stories of con attendees will be collected together in one title. Submissions in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction are welcomed until December 31st, 2015, however selection is limited. For more information on submissions guidelines for Sci-Fi From the Rock’s 10th anniversary edition, please contact email@example.com.
Short story fans will also soon have access to new content on a regular basis. As part of our initiative to provide fans with more content on a more regular basis, I will be beginning a new short story program in the coming months. On a rotating basis, stories from the Engen Universe as well as sci-fi and fantasy stories will be released as e-books. This will include stories about some of your favorite (or most hated) Engen Universe characters, as well as completely unrelated stories I’m proud to finally be releasing.
With all of this on the go, you might think the much-anticipated third Infinity novel, Exodus of Angels, would face more delays. It will, in fact, be ready for release in 2016. The adventures of the enigmatic Victor and the gang will continue with glimpses into Victor and Theo’s backstories, as well as shocking revelations that are sure to divide fans of the Engen Universe.
It’s shaping up to be a great year, and I can’t wait to see all of you at conventions! Much love from the Engen family!