Category Archives: The Six Elemental

“We were on a break!”

I’ve been a bit neglectful.

See, I started to panic about the progress of a story I was writing. I was wondering if it was going to be long enough; if I had enough plot; if I was only writing things for the sake of filling up the word-count; if I’d taken the right direction or if I was way off course.

Doubts, man, they can really get in your head sometimes.

So I took a break. I stopped staring blankly at the screen, writing half a sentence and then deleting it. Instead, I worked on a couple short stories. Then a couple more. Then I was chatting with someone who’d read The Six Elemental and that gave me an idea for another short story. Then I got distracted by an old novel I’d written a few years ago and sunk WAY too much time on that (long story short: I decided to move from first person POV to third person, and now I’ve basically got to re-write the entire 50,000 words).

But last week I decided to go back to that first story, and you know what? I started to fall in love with it all over again. I was getting new ideas, fixing problems, making motivations clearer… It was like meeting up with an old friend.

When I’m in between edits, I’ll try to take a break from what I’m working on. It gives me a chance to come back to it anew and see things that I might have missed because my face was jammed so close to it. But there are times that I need to take a step back from a project because something isn’t working, and I need the space to realize what the problem is.

It can be tough to step away. It might feel like you failed your work or your characters, or that now you’ll never get it finished. But the best part is that you can always go back to it. And sometimes, when you come back, you might see that you were actually doing a pretty great job.

 

Dude, Where’s My Character Sheet…? (AKA I am the worst at titles)

I have a very long To-Do List when it comes to writing projects. It’s so long that I’ve had to separate it into sub categories:

  • Ideas to develop further
  • Stories to start writing
  • Plays to start writing
  • Stories/Plays I’ve started writing and need to finish
  • Finished works I need to edit
  • What even is this idea/story/play and where is it going?

And, finally:

  • Reference binders to create

Continue reading Dude, Where’s My Character Sheet…? (AKA I am the worst at titles)

HUGE Lineup Changes for Avalon Expo 3!

Big news today for fans of literature and genre fiction in the province! Avalon Expo is pleased to be bringing a new guest to their Avalon Expo 3 lineup: none other than Ali House, author of The Six Elemental!

The big news for fans of Engen Books is that that this will be the first time that our entire 10th Anniversary cast has been in one place at one time! Saturday August 26 2017 only, you can see Ali House, Paul Carberry (Zombies on the Rock), Ellen Curtis (Infinity), Erin Vance (From the Rock), Amanda Labonté (Supernatural Causes) and Matthew LeDrew (The Xander Drew series) all on one stage at one time! Continue reading HUGE Lineup Changes for Avalon Expo 3!

How (NOT) To Write A Blog Post

Step 1)  Think of a topic and start writing.

Step 2)  Realize half-way through that you don’t like this topic as much as you thought you did.

Step 3)  Think of new topic and start writing.

Step 4)  Wonder if maybe the first topic was better and consider returning to it.

Step 5)  Wonder if maybe there’s a third topic out there that’s even better than the previous two*. Continue reading How (NOT) To Write A Blog Post

The Six Elemental | Review by Christopher Walsh

the-six-elemental_fireworksThe Six Elemental is suspenseful and engaging YA novel by Ali House. It’s so engaging that I started reading it in the airport in Windsor, Ontario en route to Newfoundland and had it nearly finished by the time the plane touched down in St. John’s. That included a flight change in Toronto!

The setting and plot are both realized quite well and the political spectrum of the island nations has surprising depth for a YA novel. (Or at least the ones I’ve read) The main character, 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. Continue reading The Six Elemental | Review by Christopher Walsh

Supernatural Causes by Amanda Labonté | Review by Ali House

020Fans of True Blood*, the Anita Blake series**, and other stories with tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome vampires, should definitely pick up Supernatural Causes by Amanda Labonté.

Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches live in harmony with humans, although the majority of humans don’t realize it. Liesel Andrews is a pre-med student who can see supernatural beings for what they truly are, making her the perfect choice to work at the local supernatural hospital. However, her busy-yet-mundane life gets interrupted when she’s called upon to investigate a mysterious illness affecting the vampire community.

Labonté adds to the pre-existing mythology of vampires, giving it some new blood (pun intended), and adding a level of curiosity to the virus (just… how?). As the first installment, Going Viral sets up the world and introduces key characters, giving you enough information to understand what’s going on, while leaving enough unanswered questions to keep you curious. Continue reading Supernatural Causes by Amanda Labonté | Review by Ali House