The Art of the Short Story

Okay, so I just finished the third of three short stories for an upcoming, unnamed Engen anthology, and it really got me thinking about the nature of the short story.

Sometimes when I’m writing a short it’s less about story and more about atmosphere, which isn’t the way I normally approach things. I’m usually of the mind that character, above all else, comes first; then plot, and then wherever the chips may fall. But as I write more and more short fiction I’m learning that these rules are often very different between the two.

Anyway, this was a short I’ve been itching to write for some time called Revving Engen. It’s kind of a prologue to the entire Engen Universe of stories, and takes place during what I’ve started to call ‘Black September’… In that both Infinity and Black Womb seem to have started around the same time in September.

Anyway, hopefully it’ll be good. Can’t wait to get some feedback on it. I believe it’s due out in April. We’re getting a host of great authors for this collection. Currently on the list include myself, Ellen Curtis, Jay Paulin and Sarah Thompson. There will be more, we’re just waiting on first drafts to announce.

Later days!

Engen invades Social Media

Engen Books now has pages on four of the major social media marketing sites to help spread the word about its great titles.

Pages have been added on Facebook (left), Twitter, MySpace and YouTube; each of which can provide a specific function for fans of the Engen Universe and are available from the Social Media toolbar located on the main page.

Author interviews and trailers have been available on the Engen Books YouTube for over a year now, and the Facebook page has been a part of our marketing plan from very early on.

The Twitter and MySpace accounts were added recently to round out the Social Media action plan.

“We’re excited about the plans for the social media marketing campaign.” said Matthew LeDrew, head of Engen Books and author of Black Womb and Infinity. “We want to make this an interactive experience for our fans. We’ll be logging on at least once a day to answer questions and reply to posts. In addition, we want to start an online version of the writing panels that go so well at conventions, giving short monthly assignments and feedback on work of young authors.”

Engen Books was started in October 2007 by Matthew LeDrew.

Sci-fi V Celebration!

Ellen Curtis at Sci-Fi on the Rock
Ellen Curtis at Sci-Fi on the Rock

April 15th-17th, 2011 saw the fifth annual Sci-Fi on the Rock at the Holiday Inn, and Engen Books was there in full force to help ring in the anniversary.

Sci-Fi on the Rock is an annual science-fiction, fantasy and horror convention held in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. It was founded in late 2006 and held its first convention in April 2007. This year’s convention saw the implementation of several new elements to the convention, including and third day comprising of a film festival to celebrate the province’s growing independent film community.

This year’s lineup saw a stunning array of authors, artists, and

Ink'd Well Comics @ Sci-Fi on the Rock
Ink’d Well Comics @ Sci-Fi on the Rock

actors from all ranges of the science-fiction, fantasy and horror genres. Guests included Robert Axelrod (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers), Suzie Plakson (Star Trek: The Next Generation), David Nykl (Stargate: Atlantis) and Thomas Gofton and Tom Brown (Synn Studios, Mind’s Eye: The Series), as well as comic creators Kevin Woolridge (The Little World), Paul Tucker (The Underworld Railroad) and Jay Paulin (Ink’d Well Comics).

All seven Engen authors were also present to celebrate the release of two new Engen Books: Becoming (the seventh book in Matthew LeDrew’s Black Womb series) and More Sci-Fi from the Rock, the sequel to 2010’s Sci-Fi from the Rock.

New Authors join Engen Team !
Two new authors were added to the Engen stable at this convention, with the addition of Justin Foley and Mark Todd to our team of skilled professionals. Both authors were featured prominently in More Sci-Fi from the Rock, Todd in the short story Grimspound and Foley in the short Earthdeath.

Book Launch: Becoming and More Sci-Fi from the Rock !
April 16th saw a double book launch featuring Engen authors Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis and Mark Todd.

“The launch was a complete success,” commented LeDrew. “People always seem happy to see a new Black Womb book, and this time an old fan even brought a ten-year old copy of the original Black Womb book to be signed, of which less than 50 exist. It was wild.”

There was also positive reaction to More Sci-Fi on the Rock, and to Mark Todd’s presence at the launch.

“Mark was great as always. We hope to see a lot more of him in later volumes… here’s hoping!”

Engen Books Cake!
Engen Books Cake!

But an Engen launch is more about books and writing… it’s about cake! Ellen Curtis crafted a wonderful cake portraying the Engen symbol in all its glory. Chocolate, gluten-free and frosted in sweet fondant, the cake was enjoyed by all in attendance.

Infinity tour concludes!
After six months, the tour that began at October 2010’s Hal-Con comes to a close as Engen authors Matthew LeDrew and Ellen Curtis conclude their tour of Infinity.

Since its release, the novel has risen to become one of Engen’s top sellers and has been hailed for its power to draw new readers into the company, a high percentage of whom stay and sample other books in the Engen fold.

“I’m happy its been so successful,” said Ellen Curtis, co-author of the novel. “The reaction has been phenomenal. We’re still going to focus on Infinity for a while yet, but it’s a relief to have the brunt of our tour over.”

Engen Books would like to thank Sci-Fi on the Rock for again allowing them to participate in their grand convention, and hopes to see all involved again next year.

More Sci-Fi from the Rock

Five new stories from Newfoundland’s best in science-fiction literature. Featuring stories by Darren Hann, Mark Todd, Justin Foley and Matthew LeDrew, plus the new sequel to the 2010 hit Legacy of the Full Moon, Vengeance of the Full Moon by Steve Lake. Pick up your copy today, you won’t regret it!

More Sci-Fi from the Rock (Paperback)
anthology

More Sci-Fi from the Rock

Purchase:

Canada:
More Sci-Fi from the Rock (amazon.ca)
More Sci-Fi from the Rock (chapters.ca)

US:
More Sci-Fi from the Rock (amazon.com)
More Sci-Fi from the Rock (Barnes&Noble)

Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1-926903-03-3
Release Date: April 16, 2011
Status: Available
Book Type: Paperback (5 x 8 in)
Cover Price: US $7.99 / CAN $7.89 / UK £5.99
Page Count: 69

Related Titles

Reviews

“When the weakest story in an anthology is still a good read, you’ve got a winner on your hands. Based on the two Sci-Fi on the Rock volumes thus far, I eagerly await next year’s release.”
Jay Paulin, Ink’d Well Comics
April 2011

Becoming

BecomingBecoming
Matthew LeDrew (Author)
The #1 Bestselling Superhero series continues!
In the thrilling conclusion to the ‘Peterson Syndrome’ story-arc, a gang has declared all-out war on Coral Beach High School, taking its students hostage and separating young Mandy Peterson from the rest for their own evil plans. Xander Drew must use every power at his disposal and team-up with his friends as every mistake and assumption of the past few months come back to haunt him… including a nefarious and far-reaching conspiracy that results in not only the death of innocents, but in the release of the terrifying serial killer Adam Genblade into this already volatile mix.
Can Xander overcome staggering odds to prevent the deaths of innocents?
Download the stunning chapter of the epic superhero thriller that The Book Closet raves is “best of the saga to date” today!


Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1-926903-02-6
Release Date: April 2011
Purchase: Amazon.com
Amazon.CA
Amazon.UK
Price (CAD): Print: $20 / EBook: $2.99
Page Count: 179

Related Titles

Cinders - novel Black Womb (Matthew LeDrew) Infinity (Ellen Curtis, Matthew LeDrew)

Reviews

“LeDrew’s continued evolution from pure storyteller to writer and a smashing good tale make this 2011 release the best of the saga to date – and arguably the best Engen Books have published.”
Jay Paulin, Ink’d Well Comics, October 2011

“LeDrew’s work is horror that emerges from the urban fantasy tradition — the introduction of a fantastical element into a true-to-life, modern setting.”
The Telegram, Aug 13, 2010

 

Ellen Curtis at 10th Annual M&M Coffee House

Ellen Curtis was a participant in the 10th (and final) M&M Coffee House on March 17th, 2011 at the Holy Heart Theater.

Curtis read from her novel Infinity, co-authored with fellow Engen staffer Matthew LeDrew.

Students with a wide variety of talents performed at the event, ranging from poets, singers, musicians, and artists of all kinds.

“I had a wonderful time,” remarked Curtis. “I’m glad I could be a part of it. It was a great way to end what has become a Holy Heart tradition.”

Infinity was released on October 28th, 2010 to much positive attention from fans and online commenters, and has since risen to rival Black Womb in terms of both sales and success.

Curtis continues her Infinity tour this April 16-17 at the Holiday Inn in St. Johns during the fifth annual Sci-Fi on the Rock.

Full Moon Fever: Interview with Steve Lake

Steve Lake
Steve Lake

This April brings a host of familiar faces back into the limelight as new titles are published, including the new Black Womb novel Becoming and the second edition of the Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology. Featured prominently in the collection with be the sequel to Steve Lake’s highly touted Legacy of the Full Moon, Vengeance of the Full Moon.

Published in April 2010, Legacy of the Full Moon was started when inspiration struck Lake in the form of the character of Ryan. Upon kicking around the idea at an Engen staff meeting, it became a sort of an “Interview with a Vampire” motif with two interesting twists: the interviewer was a werewolf, and the werewolf had a secret all his own.

The concept was immediately popular with fans and reviewers.

“[Steve Lake’s] visit to the age-old conflict between vampires and werewolves is a good one, but too brief,” said Mark Vaughan-Jackson in the May 8th 2010 edition of The Telegram. “I hope [he] will take this tale and develop it, hone it and publish a larger work with this story as an integral part.”

This was a common sentiment, and so plans were put into place quickly to continue the development of the story and characters. Soon a plan for a series of short stories was in place, culminating with the eventual release of a full-length (as yet untitled) novel based on the property.

“[The novel] gives the back story on how Ryan became a vampire and the adjustments he and Frank have to make in their business and in their friendship,” said Lake, on the concept of the upcoming novel.

Lake will also be getting his feet wet with a short story that takes place within the Engen Universe canon shared by Black Womb, Infinity and Compendium.

“Timeline wise I’ll be setting my story just as the first Black Womb book ends, but my story will be set in Europe instead of Coral Beach,” revealed Lake. “It deals with characters who work for Engen, who are examining what went wrong in Coral Beach and what they are developing as the next step in Engen’s research projects.”

In addition to his writing ventures, Lake has been a key figure of the Engen writing staff since the release of Roulette in October 2010, and claims that his favorite Engen story in Falling into Fire, a short from Ellen Curtis’s breakout anthology Compendium.

“It hooks you from the start, the action is very well paced, the characters are nicely developed in such a short amount of time and the story leaves you wanting more. I want to know what happens, I want to know the events that lead up to the start of the story. Ellen’s very good at leaving the reader wanting to find out where the rest of the story is going.”

Now a thriving part of Engen Books, Steve Lake retains his support of fellow independent authors and businesses.

“It’s hard to get ‘traditional’ publishers to wake up and take notice of the excellent work that’s out there. Independent authors and small non-traditional publishers are growing slowly and they need the public’s help and support to get their names out there.

“When you see an author at a convention or a local book signing, take a chance, look at what they’re offering and talk to the author. You may just be pleasantly surprised.”

Vengeance of the Full Moon will be published in More Sci-Fi from the Rock, on sale April 17th 2011.