Category Archives: writing

“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.

 

Multiple Author Social Events | The Writer’s Block | Avalon Expo

Along with all the great writing panels at The Writer’s Block this month, there are also tons of great opportunities to relax and be social, and talk one-on-one with your favorite authors! They’re listed below!

Friday Aug 25
6:00pm-8:00pm – Author Social

Saturday Aug 26
10:00am-10:50am – Breakfast Write-In

Sunday Aug 27
10:00am-10:50am – Breakfast Write-In


Continue reading Multiple Author Social Events | The Writer’s Block | Avalon Expo

Fairies, Mermaids, Vampires, and Zombies, OH MY! | The Writer’s Block

The first Writer’s Block course we’d like to announce as happening during Avalon Expo is Fairies, Mermaids, Vampires, and Zombies, OH MY!, which is tentatively scheduled for Saturday August 26th from 4-4:50PM!

This panel will be a fun and informative look at the staples of genre fiction — tried and true literary trends like fairies, mermaids, vampire, and zombies, some of whom have been with us since the oral tradition of storytelling. This panel discussion, aimed at authors, interested parties, and fans of genre stories, will be headed by an all-star cast of authors who have taken these pillars of fantasy and horror and used them in fun, exciting, and innovative ways! The panel will include: Ellen Curtis (editor of Fantasy from the Rock and author of the Infinity series), Charles O’Keefe (the spellbinding author of The Newfoundland Vampire and its sequels), Paul Carberry (author of the Zombies on the Rock series), and Amanda Labonté (author of the mermaid-inspired Call of the Sea series and the Vampire-Werewolf medical drama Supernatural Causes). Continue reading Fairies, Mermaids, Vampires, and Zombies, OH MY! | The Writer’s Block

Attention ALL people wanting writing advice! | Avalon Expo 3 | The Writer’s Block

In just a little over a month, August 25-27, an epic science-fiction, fantasy, and genre fanbase event will be happening at the Mile One Stadium and Convention Center in St. John’s: Avalon Expo 3! It’s going to be an all-out extravaganza of all things geek, featuring Ali House (author of The Six Elemental), The Six Doctor Colin Baker, Guardians of the Galaxy star Sean Gunn, Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars voice actors Linda Ballantyne and Katie Griffen, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Rene Auberjonois!

That, combined with lots of awesome artists, authors, and vendors like Baddy Vinyl and Midnight Tailors, makes this an event no one can miss out on… but there’s an extra something-special for people hoping to get into writing and publishing… Avalon Expo is proud to be hosting a week-long series of workshops, lectures and panels aimed to take you through the process of writing your novel or short story, getting it ready for publication, and marketing it, with a new series of panels called: THE WRITER’S BLOCK!

The Writer’s Block will be a series of panels arranged in chronological order for those keeping notes, with the first panels on Friday being aimed towards coming up with ideas and starting your manuscript, and the final panels on Sunday being about getting your work published! We’re going to take you through it all!

In total, The Writer’s Block will be nearly twenty-three hours of writing-and-publishing related help, of the sort that would normally be valued at hundreds of dollars, all for the low-cost of an Avalon Expo 3 ticket. Continue reading Attention ALL people wanting writing advice! | Avalon Expo 3 | The Writer’s Block

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)

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

Engen 10th Anniversary Announcements | Late 2017 Releases!

Supernatural Causes 01: Critical Condition

As we’re about to head into June, we feel it’s time we announced the second half of our amazing 10th anniversary plans! We have some more incredible title to announce, as well as appearances at some of our country’s greatest conventions and some special events of our own as well!

New Titles
Supernatural Causes: Critical Condition by Amanda Labonté. The second novella in the ongoing adventures of College freshmen Liesel Andrews as she interns at St. Benedict’s Hospital for the Underworld. Releasing June 15!

Jacobi Street by Matthew LeDrew. LeDrew returns to his horror roots with this supernatural thriller stand-alone novel that sheds light on the most dangerous and disturbing corners of the Engen Universe, and is the last novel to take place during ‘Black September,’ the loose collection of events that span Black Womb, Infinity, and Transformations in Pain. See LeDrew’s twisted take on some of horror’s most sacred icons. Releasing August 25, 2017 as a part of Avalon Expo!

Supernatural Causes Episode 3 releasing August 2017!

Zombies on the Rock: The Viking Trail by Paul Carberry. Carberry returns to his violent and gore-filled world where the evil Pharmakon corporation have let a plague of zombies loose upon the world, and we see this through the eyes of normal rural Newfoundlanders just trying to survive. The ultimate clash of culture and pop-culture! Releasing December 2017!

Faith by Matthew LeDrew. We couldn’t round out our tenth year without returning to the character that started it all. In the third book in the Xander Drew series, Xander sees the return of some of his oldest and most feared enemies and the demons of his past come back to haunt him in Los Angeles… and for those waiting for all-out Womb action over the last two books, you’ll get it! Releasing December 2017!

Events

Central Pop Con: June 11-12 2017. Includes appearances by Ellen Curtis (Infinity, From the Rock), Amanda Labonté (Call of the Sea, Supernatural Causes), & Heather Reilly (Fantasy from the Rock)! In the area? Join the facebook group for a special panel!

International Small Island Culture Conference: June 15-19, 2017! Nearly 60 presenters will be attending from Newfoundland and Labrador, elsewhere in Canada, Australia, Cayman Islands, France, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States. The topics are just as varied, and will include presentations on island identity, narratives, music, legends, mythology, literature, migration, gender, fisheries, tourism, creative industries, geography, health and wellness! Engen Books has been invited to take part in this event to celebrate the changing landscape of Newfoundland Culture!

NGX: July 21-23 2017. Includes appearances by Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis, Amanda Labonté, Matthew Daniels, Melanie Collins, Scott Bartlett, Christopher Walsh & Heather Reilly!

Atlanticon: September 15-17 2017: Includes appearances by Paul Carberry (Zombies on the Rock), Matthew LeDrew, Nicholas Morine (Fantasy from the Rock, Kowloon Walled City), Sarah Thompson (light|dark), Heather Reilly, and Scott Bartlett! One day only appearance by Amanda Labonté!

September 20, 2017: Novel Writing Foundations: Starting Right to Make sure you Cross the Finish Line, presented by T.H.E., a 6-week adult learning course aimed at making sure authors writing for both pleasure or publication start off with the right tools to ensure their work reaches fruition. This course will feature a mix of short instruction and group feedback on your work led by Matthew LeDrew, the author of 17 novels and partner at prominent local fiction publisher Engen Books.