This December: after 10 years, the experiment resumes…
No novel or franchise is without sin — that’s the thesis statement behind popular channels such as CinemaSins and Red Letter Media, who have made careers out of lovingly and painstakingly point out the contradictions and gaffs in their favorite forms of media… so why should the Engen Universe be any different? 🙂
Over the years we’ve gotten tons of comments from fans, reviewers, and professionals of varying fields who have read our books and cared enough — been invested enough — to point out some of the senses-shattering plot holes that Engen Universe titles have to offer. What with all the positive spin we’ve been pumping out preparing for Fantasy from the Rock and the Black Womb 10th Anniversary Edition, we thought it would be good to show the flip-side of promotion an unveil our Top 5 Suspension-of-Disbelief-Shattering Moments from the Engen Universe! 🙂
(mild spoilers ahead) Continue reading Top 5 Suspension-of-Disbelief-Shattering Moments from the Engen Universe
“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 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.
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.
This year’s headliner guests included Peter Williams of Stargate SG-1 and Frazer Hines of Doctor Who fame, and as always the Holiday Inn was filled with representatives from every corner of geekdom: Jay Paulin and Ariel Marsh brought their newest space-opera Super Galactic Space Explorers vol. 2: Royal Pain, featuring the SGSE taking on the evil machinations of Queen Kit-Kat. David Reynolds was there selling his books detailing the wide breadth of intellectual scope that his Problematic Press books cover, including his published master’s thesis: Superheroes: An Analysis of Popular Culture’s Modern Myths. And Scott Bartlett was there with his… is award-winning a genre? Well if it was, Scott would write in that genre. He was there with Taking Stock and Royal Flush, as well as taking any downtime to work on his newest novel, a science-fiction offering.
And of course, Engen Books released the first book in its newest series, Cinders.
The newest book to star the sometimes-hero Xander Drew, Cinders in the first book in the newly-christened Xander Drew series, first glimpsed at the end of last year’s short story collection The Long Road. The novel picks up as Xander has spent some time in Los Angeles, a place he first visited in the 2009 novel Roulette, wherein his one-man war against a mob boss lands him squarely pegged between good cop Thomas Horton and a driven vigilante.
“The book was met with great success, sales wise,” said LeDrew, author of the series. “It’s a great new direction for the Engen Universe. It might not seem like it right now, but this series is going to bring Xander’s character out from the shadows and into the limelight of the Engen Universe, and it all starts here. Now I just need to wait for the reviews to come in on GoodReads and find out what people really thought.”
Did you buy Cinders at Sci-Fi on the Rock 9? If s, be sure to add it on GoodReads!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There was a lot going on last weekend, and I’m sure the second I’m done this post I’ll realize I left something out. The Dysfunctional Writing Panel (not filmed, sorry guys), Ellen’s Early-Bird Panel, Fat Apollo’s Storytime, all that stuff is what makes Sci-Fi great. But the big big big BIG news from this year has to be that we’ve opened up submissions to anyone who has attended the con for next year’s tenth anniversary Sci-Fi from the Rock collection. — Matt LeDrew
As always with Sc-Fi on the Rock, more than just Matthew, Ellen, and Jay were in attendance in the way of Engen Authors. Steve Lake was also there, both in-person and represented with his new avatar, tiny Engen-Cube Stevie Lake, which can be downloaded here. Steve will be helping headline a big project in conjunction with the next Sci-Fi on the Rock Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology, from which we hope to have more artwork, stories, and fiction from the creative minds that helps make this wonderful event a reality: the fans and staff!
It gets bigger and better every year and continuously blows my mind. I’m happy to be a cog in the wheel that makes this festival possible every year, and I’m grateful to the people I work with on the organizing committee for all the help we give each other in getting things done. — Steve Lake
The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel was a big draw once again this year, hosted by Matthew LeDrew, Steve Lake, and Jay Paulin. There were many laughs and not very much writing advice, by all accounts.
The bottom line: Engen Books had a blast and we can’t wait to see everyone next year for the big tenth-anniversary celebration of Sci-Fi on the Rock!
On May 23rd, 24th, and 25th 2014, the Engen-crew of authors once again embarked on their yearly trip to St. John’s Newfoundland for the Eighth Annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention. Every Sci-Fi on the Rock is a special event to the City of St. John’s: what started 8 years ago as a small cult following of fans lead by Darren Hann has become the ultimate in Geek Chic for the province, a three-day celebration of what it is to be a Newfoundland Nerd.
The convention consists of near-round the clock movies, trivia contests, gaming tournaments, lectures, fan-expos, and cos-playing. The event isn’t all fun-and-games though, and has become the go-to place in the province to make connections on collaborative works such as indie comics as with Ariel Marsh of Super-Galactic Space Explorers, meet and learn from professional authors such as Paradise native Scott Bartlett, or attend stunning and thought-provoking lectures by experts in their field, like Dr. Chistopher Lockett’s lecture on all things Tolkien.
As they have been for the last seven years, Engen Books was out in full force with four of its authors in attendance; including Matthew LeDrew ( the Black Womb series & The Long Road), Ellen Curtis (the Infinity series and Compendium), Jay Paulin (light|dark) and Steve Lake (the Full Moon series).
The weekend saw the released of Matthew LeDrew’s latest book, The Long Road, which bridges the Black Womb series (which ended with its tenth book, Chains, released at last years Sci-Fi on the Rock) and its sequel series The Xander Drew series, which is tentatively slated to begin publication in the fall. The Long Road is a book of short stories, in which each story is a different point along the road as Xander Drew makes a life-altering trek from small-town Maine to the big city of Los Angeles, California.
“It’s time for Xander to get out of Coral Beach and interact with the larger Engen Universe as a whole,” said series-creator Matthew LeDrew. “To grow up and stop being stuck in the same thought patterns that small towns can foster. He needs new challenges and new risks in order to remain fresh and interesting, and to grow as a character.”
What this means for the rest of the cast of the previous series is currently unclear, and is not fully explained at the start of the collection. LeDrew was heard explaining to one fan that the new series will be “sans a supporting cast.” When asked to elaborate, LeDrew claimed that in the new series Xander would be alone, and that that would make him “more dangerous” than he’s ever been before.
Also premiering to the excitement of Black Womb fans this weekend was the new international edition of Transformations in Pain, easily the most controversial and polarizing Engen book thus far. This novel follows the international release of Black Womb in October 2012. The next book set for re-release is Ghosts of the Past, with the remaining two Black Womb books to follow soon-after.
Also returning was the Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever, consisting this time of Ellen Curtis, Jay Paulin, and Matthew LeDrew. The four answered questions for a packed room, ranging from topics a varied as dealing with writer’s block to how to prepare a manuscript for publication. Plans had been made to film the panel discussion as the season premiere of the second season of the popular YouTube program, but conflicts between it and Steve Lake’s popular Geek Survivor made filming impossible. New episodes are to begin filming soon.