Category Archives: The Six Elemental

“So, What’s Your Book About?” | House Blog

I went to a party a few weeks ago. It was a surprise party for someone’s birthday, but it was three weeks after their actual birthday, which meant it was really a surprise. It was also the type of party where I knew most, but not all of the people there, so throughout the night many an introduction was made.

I’m generally awkward when meeting new people (I’m terrible with faces and names), but for some reason the thing that threw me the most was being introduced as “This is Ali, she’s got a novel coming out.” Why would that throw me? Well, after someone says a thing like that, a polite response would be: “So, what’s your book about?”

…um… Continue reading “So, What’s Your Book About?” | House Blog

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The Stories That Didn’t Make It | House Blog

Whenever a submission call crosses my path, I usually end up with multiple story ideas. This is a good thing, because while some of these ideas work out and get developed into fully-written short stories, others aren’t so lucky.

For Chillers From the Rock, I was about ¾ of the way through a story about a writer selling their soul to the devil, when I realized that I didn’t like it very much and abandoned it. Shortly after that, I had the ideas for The Taste of Copper, based on a story my grandmother told me about living in a remote town in Northern Newfoundland, and The Deal, which came about because I was trying to think of scary concepts and came up with ‘trees’ (so spoooooky!).

My first idea for Flights From the Rock fizzled out after 1.5 pages. I put a lot of work into those pages, but I just wasn’t getting the story I wanted. Even after spending months thinking about it, it wasn’t clear enough. So, I decided to give up and concentrate on a different story.

There are a lot of unfinished stories on my hard-drive. And I mean, A LOT. Continue reading The Stories That Didn’t Make It | House Blog

Cover Reveal: The Fifth Queen by Ali House

Rising from the ashes of The Six Elemental comes the next epic chapter of the Segment Delta Archives: The Fifth Queen by Ali House!

Kendra Chen thought she knew the direction her life was taking, but when her Uncle revealed a secret about her family, she finds herself on a new path, one that seems to be headed straight for the legendary Six-Elemental.

In this new Dystopian YA Epic, Award-Winning author Ali House will take you on the rise — and possibly, the fall — of the Fifth Queen.

Hear Ali House talk about her newest achievement here on the Write Project Podcast!

You can pre-order the eBook of The Fifth Queen now on Amazon, with physical orders coming soon leading up to its March release! And be sure to check out the author’s amazing short fiction in the upcoming Dystopia from the Rock!

Scary Stories for Writers | House Blog

Gather round, writers both young and old, for I am about to tell a tale that will chill you to your very bones…

 

Once upon a time there was a writer who had finished the first draft of her novel. She sent it off to her editor, who returned the novel with some notes. Upon reading these notes, the writer realized that there were three big problem areas that she needed to fix – one at the beginning, one near the middle, and one at the end.

The writer wracked her brain for ways to correct the problems. It required a lot of thought, but eventually she came up with fitting solutions and fixed everything that wasn’t working. After those three changes were made, she started going through the rest of the novel, working her way through other, smaller problems.

A few nights later she realized that she was nearing the end of her editing. Soon she would be finished and the novel could be sent off again. However, when she scrolled down to the bottom of her novel, she realized that something was terribly wrong. Continue reading Scary Stories for Writers | House Blog

Ali House, author of The Six Elemental, to write for ‘Dystopia from the Rock’

The Six Elemental, cover, Ali HouseEngen Books is proud to announce that Ali House, author of 2016’s The Six Elemental, is returning to the From the Rock collection this year in Dystopia from the Rock with two all-new short stories, “Authentic New Island Experience” and “Untitled.”

Ali’s 2016 collection entry, “Twenty-One,” was heralded as one of the gems of the collection and led to a novel based on the concept and characters later that same year.

Her 2017 book of short fiction, Unexpected Stories (coauthored with Amanda Labonté), is available for free with signup to the Fantasy Files newsletter.

“Kit Tyler is brought to life quite vividly and her journey through the fantastical, dystopian world filled with magical super-humans delves into subjects that run parallel to issues faced by young adults in our own world.”
Christopher Walsh, author of The Gold & Steel Saga Continue reading Ali House, author of The Six Elemental, to write for ‘Dystopia from the Rock’

Trusting Your Brain | House Blog

Sometimes it seems like my brain knows more than it lets on.

Even when I don’t notice, it’s back there – constantly churning out story ideas, thinking about writing projects, and generally working in the background. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

The thing that amazes me is that I think my brain is smarter than I am.

When I wrote The Six Elemental I was writing about Kit’s journey of coming to terms with being a living mythical being. It was only after I’d gone through my third draft that I realized there was an underlying theme of how outside influences can effect* how a person grows up. There’s a big difference between the person Kit is (growing up on Briton with a Humanist step-father) and the person Kit could have been (with a more accepting influence).

When I wrote The Fifth Queen (still in it’s editing stages), I was writing about a different character’s journey (plus a few familiar ones). After I’d written the first draft I realized that I’d done another parallel theme – this time, about accepting responsibility. One character accepts that they have a duty to uphold, while another character rejects it.

But I’d never thought about that when I was writing the story. That parallel hadn’t crossed my mind once while I was writing. Instead it was something that just happened to appear when I was going through the first draft.

My brain put it there because it’s smart, y’all. Maybe too smart…

So if you’re writing something and you’re not sure where your story’s going or what it’s all about, don’t worry about it. Just keep writing and eventually you’ll figure something out. Sometimes you won’t know until the end of your first draft (or maybe even the fifth), but as long as you’re telling a compelling story with interesting characters, eventually it’ll all become clear.

Trust your brain.

It knows – even if you don’t.

_______

*It’s too late** for me to care whether effect/affect is right, so this is the word I’m using. I’ll figure out if it’s wrong/right sometime maybe never.

**It’s only 11:54pm AST, so I’m not late! It’s still Sept 18th over here!

12 Hours | House Blog

On Wednesday at 1pm, I sat down in front of my computer, opened up the latest draft of the novel I’m working on*, and got to work. Other than getting up to refill my water glass, grab a snack, etc, I only took one actual break – around 8pm I took a half-hour to go get Taiyaki.

When I was finished, it was 1am. Over the past 12 hours, I had gone through the entire novel – almost 60,000 words.

Continue reading 12 Hours | House Blog