NaNo Lessons 2018 (So Far) | House Blog

1. Writing every day is good. I’ve been doing a lot of editing lately, so I felt a bit rusty jumping back into novel writing. Pushing myself to write every day is helping get me back in the groove, and I’m finding that I’m more focused on the story as a whole and quicker at solving issues. Even if you can’t write every day, it’s helpful to try to write as often as you can. Just like swimming, if you don’t practice, your skills can get rusty (and you won’t be able to do those cool jump dives from the side of the pool like you used to).

2. It doesn’t matter what you write – WRITE. Some purists may consider it cheating to include writing that isn’t within your novel, but I think that as long as you’re getting words down, it can count. The novel I’m writing is about characters putting on a play, so not only am I writing the novel, but also the play within (I searched for a version online but couldn’t find one). Whenever I hit a brick wall on the novel, I’ll turn around and write the play, so I can stay productive instead of staring at my screen blankly. Sometimes, if I get stuck on both, I’ll do word-sprints to help outline the plot or work through a problem. While these things aren’t necessarily helping the novel’s word-count, it’s still writing and it’s still helpful.

3. Seriously – JUST WRITE. It was only day 2 in NaNo when I decided to pause and write a Kit Sora fiction. Sometimes I get stuck in a project and don’t know where to go next, so I need something else to think about, like an amuse-bouche for my brain. It keeps me writing, and there are so many other things out there to write (like Flying Stories). As a bonus, sometimes while I’m writing something else, my novel will notice that my attention’s elsewhere and get jealous. ‘Remember me? You should get back to me! Here are tons of ideas!

4. Don’t get discouraged if what you write isn’t perfect. This novel is already showing signs of being a good Zero Draft instead of a good First Draft. I’ve got some great scenes and character development, but it’ll need a lot of tightening up. However, instead of going back and trying to make it perfect, I’m writing notes to my future self of what’s needed, before moving on. I won’t finish this novel if I worry about every single word I’ve written, but I will if I keep going forward. As Socrates once said*, It’s better to have a draft that needs work than no draft at all.

5. It’s okay to hold back and wait for inspiration. I find it easier to write when I know what’s coming next or what I want to say. At one point I knew that I wanted to describe a show that was going on, but I didn’t want to write it from my main character’s point of view. So I held off and moved to the next chapter instead of forcing myself to write something I didn’t want to write. Then, that night, I was thinking about the story and I realized exactly who’s point of view I could use. The next day I started writing and SUCCESS! The words came easily and quickly, and the scene was finished in no time.

6. …Just don’t wait too long! Remember that you shouldn’t go too many days without writing. If your inspiration for the next scene isn’t coming along, think of a scene that you want to write and move on to that. If I’m struggling to write something, usually it’s because there’s something off about it. I’ll try to change it, mix it up, or think about it another way. Or cut it out altogether and write something else.

7. There’s still time. November ain’t over yet! Even if you don’t make it to 50,000 words, if you’ve been even the least bit productive, it’s been worth it. And when November ends, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop. Keep on writing! Words forever! Huzzah!


*Socrates totally did not say that.

Introducing Jenn Coish, contributor to Kit Sora- The Artobiography! Preorders open!

img_5627In addition to a slew of amazing, prize-winning talent and all the best authors working in Atlantic Canada today, Kit Sora: The Artobiography is host to some of the hottest emerging talent on the island!

One of those astonishing new authors is Jenn Coish, author of the story ‘Keeper of Knowledge.’

Jenn is a paramedic currently residing in St. John’s, Newfoundland. ‘Keeper of Knowledge’ is her first published fiction.

Kit Sora: The Artobiography

A stunning, hundred-plus page hardcover collection of over 80 of Kit Sora’s most ambitious photographs, paired with short fiction inspired by the art by Canada’s best authorial talents. Includes stories by USA Today Bestselling Author Kate Sparkes, USA Today Bestselling Author Victoria Barbour, and Bestselling Author Amanda Labonté.


Brad Dunne Chapters signing – success!

45890786_1813398202046824_7278585393249779712_nCongratulations to Brad Dunne, who sold out of every copy of After Dark Vapours brought to Chapters Kenmount Road today!

We’ll have more in stock soon, or you can purchase direct from Amazon or the Engen website!

Pictured: Brad Dunne and supporter Juliette Ryan.


After Dark Vapours

Werewolves and a dark family secret in Northern Labrador! Growing up without his father, Tyler had no way of knowing the horrible secret that has plagued his family for generations. To free himself and find the cure, he will have to look beyond himself and into his dark history.



Introducing Rob McDonald, contributor to Kit Sora- The Artobiography! Preorders open!

img_5643In addition to a slew of amazing, prize-winning talent and all the best authors working in Atlantic Canada today, Kit Sora: The Artobiography is host to some of the hottest emerging talent on the island!

One of those astonishing new authors is Rob McDonald, author of the story ‘Antinomy.’

Rob McDonald is a fresh import to St. John’s from a mythic, nevermore Philadelphia. In coffee-fueled delirium he composes chamber opera and musicals, creates and plays games of every ilk, and, to his wife’s perpetual horror, initiates sloppy wet kisses with dogs. But his true secret identity is speculative fiction writer. Or is it? (It is. Or IS it!?).

In 2018, his short story ‘In Medias Res’ won the Postcard short story contest from Newfoundland Quarterly. Continue reading Introducing Rob McDonald, contributor to Kit Sora- The Artobiography! Preorders open!

Elixer | Kit Sora’s Story

May as well make this an annual thing, just wishing I had started it earlier!

I literally had -no- idea what this week’s photo was going to be, and even at 4:00pm yesterday I knew I had the love potion bottle and beyond that I had no idea. Drew was leaving to drop a friend home and told me I had until he came back to come up with something so we could prep whatever we needed to before shooting- and then it hit me!

All the details were up in the air but I knew I wanted to be lying somewhere green with this love potion being forced into me with nothing but these arms coming into the frame. Outfit was decided mere minutes before stepping out the door, wig likewise. Continue reading Elixer | Kit Sora’s Story

Engen Books Facebook like-and-share!

Hey everyone! Our little Facebook page is up to 500+ likes and growing daily… but we’d like to see it grow a whole lot more! So here’s the deal: if we can make it to 1000 likes by January 1, 2019, we’re going to be offering a free, comprehensive manuscript evaluation to two of our wonderful fans!

Please like and share out our page wherever you think people will like what we do, and see if we can make it to 1000 likes by the end of 2018!

Write Like No One’s Reading | Brad Dunne’s Blog

This weekend I will be launching my debut novel, After Dark Vapours. It’s obviously a very exciting time for me; publishing a book has been a dream for me ever since I was a little kid reading Goosebumps. Likewise, I’ve been lucky to have experienced an outpouring of support and enthusiasm from friends and family. Perhaps the most common refrain I hear, especially from bookish friends, is that they too have always wanted to write a book. If you’re reading this and also feel the same, believe me when I tell you that if I can do it, you can do it. So, with that in mind, I’d like to give you all some advice that I wish someone gave me when I started writing:

Write like no one is reading. Continue reading Write Like No One’s Reading | Brad Dunne’s Blog