Writing Advice I’ve Gleaned from Playing DND | House Blog

1) Too much exposition can be boring.

If you’ve got an awesome flaming sword (or a Chekhov’s gun), you’re going to want to use it. You won’t want to listen to some NPC drone on and on for hours and hours. Yes, information is important and you’ll never solve the story’s mystery if you don’t talk to people or listen to clues, but eventually you’ll want that local farmer to shut their yap so that you can start doing some things. Knowledge is great, but if your dialogue seems to be going on for too long, toss your character a task that needs completing, even if it’s a simple one.

2) Too much fighting can be exhausting.

Fights are thrilling, but if your character is going from one fight to another to another to another, eventually you’ll get battle fatigue (just like your character). You’ll want to rest and heal up, maybe go to a hospital. Or maybe you’ll just want a quick nap and a sandwich. Either way, action’s great and all, but too much of it and you risk tiring everyone out*. Continue reading Writing Advice I’ve Gleaned from Playing DND | House Blog

Winner: “Cycles” by Melissa Bishop | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest

After much deliberation, Engen Books is proud to announce the winner of the July 2019 Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest: Melissa Bishop with his story, Cycles!

Melissa Bishop lives in St. John’s but spends a lot of time at her cabin in Georgetown, where inspiration is often discovered on woodland walks. She likes finding the magic in everyday, mostly through reading, writing, hiking and spending time with family and friends.

We had one spectacular guest judge for this collection:


TraceyWaddletonTracey Waddleton is a Newfoundland fiction writer who splits her time between St. John’s and Montreal. A draft of her collection Send More Tourists… the Last Ones Were Delicious shortlisted for the 2013 NL Credit Union Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers. In 2014, stories of hers won both second and third place in the Cuffer Prize Competition, and she was the recipient of the ArtsNL Lawrence Jackson Writer’s Award in 2015. Waddleton is working on her first novel. Her first book of short fiction, Send More Tourists… the Last Ones Were Delicious, is on sale now. Continue reading Winner: “Cycles” by Melissa Bishop | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest

Swamp| Kit Sora’s Storytime

For the first time in a while! Gosh! Drew abandoned me for Gander, and I’ve been busy shooting, editing, prepping to stand, and prepping for my own wedding! I’ve also completed artwork for an upcoming show (tonight/tomorrow @ vertical xpression actually!), shot a Mer’By’s month for the new calendar (y’all are gonna die when you see it!), attended a bachelorette, worked my regular dayjob & slept a little in between! The hecticness isn’t gonna go away anytime soon, so you get extra snaps this week to make up for the lack of updates!

This weeks image started with a sketch on the back of a gallery business card- it just came to me! Why be a mermaid when I could be a strange humanoid tentacle creature thing? Mixing it up a little is okay, right? So the same day I came up with the sketch we adventured to find POOL NOODLES, and I was determined to make them look like tentacles (They were bright orange, and more photos of that exist,… somewhere..Thanks to Louisa for the single one I have so far!~ )! I youtubed for a good while before I found something -similar- to what I wanted, and along the way it was modified! Continue reading Swamp| Kit Sora’s Storytime

Amazing Fall releases from Engen Books!

2019 has been a roller-coaster so far for Engen, but we’re in no way through yet! We’ve got huge new titles, sequels to some of your all-time favorites, and shocking new reveals coming your way!

First, as many of you already know and have preordered, Zombies on the Rock: The Republic of Newfoundland will be released on September 6 to eBook and print platforms. This astonishing third entry in Paul Carberry’s Zombies on the Rock series brings Eric and Dana closer to the destruction of the community they’re established than ever before! Who will live — and who won’t — in this third volume? Read to find out! Continue reading Amazing Fall releases from Engen Books!

The Good, The Bad and The Zombie #3

The Good 

I know it’s long overdue but I’m finally posting another blog. I haven’t done this in so long, but I remember the last blog was written in my son’s room long before it was ever going to be his room. So last week I attended Fan Expo in Toronto. I was completely blown away by the entire experience. I’ve never seen so many people in one place before, let alone so many fans of all things geeky. They had everything from Star Wars to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Micheal Myers and everything in between. Paul Gossler, i.e. Zach Morris, John Travolta, Johnathan Frakes, Jeff Goldblum, Brendan Frazier and many more were guests. There were artists and cosplayers for as far as the eye could see. If you are ever in Toronto I’d reccomend attending, there’s something there for everyone. However, since this is the good, the bad and the zombie, this leads me into the bad. Continue reading The Good, The Bad and The Zombie #3

Getting Back on the Writing Horse | House Blog

I had started 2019 so full of hope.

This was going to be the year when I wrote more, submitted more, was rejected more, and (hopefully) accepted more. And I was prepared. I had a calendar where I could highlight the dates of deadlines (pink for “hell yeah, I’ll submit” and yellow for “if I have time/an idea”), with a monthly reference sheet for which deadline was for which publisher/idea, plus links to their website and guidelines.

And then May and June happened. Continue reading Getting Back on the Writing Horse | House Blog

Why we kill [CENSORED] in fiction | Writing and Publishing advice from Engen Founder Matthew LeDrew

05_GhostsThis past near has been interesting for me, nostalgia-wise, as Engen Books has been re-releasing my original 10-part urban thriller series as Coral Beach Casefiles with some wonderful covers by Kit Sora. As such I’ve been taking the time to go back and tweak and adjust some goofs in the original texts.

There’s some things you can only write when you’re young I think, and last month and this month were a very anxious time for me because they saw the release of Ghosts of the Past and Ignorance is Bliss… both of which have plots which revolve chiefly around children in peril, and one in which said child meets a (spoilers) very bad end.

This is the type of thing I would rarely do today, and even looking back on it I find it… squeamish. Have I lost my edge? I went back a re-read these books with a kind of half-grimace, because all I remember are the outcomes… but then I remembered, these were actually half decent books. I actually started to like the writing again and get back into the mindset.

All this begged the question for me: why was this plot necessary for young me? Why do kids die in fiction? Continue reading Why we kill [CENSORED] in fiction | Writing and Publishing advice from Engen Founder Matthew LeDrew