Tag Archives: Ali House

“So, What’s Your Book About?” | House Blog

I went to a party a few weeks ago. It was a surprise party for someone’s birthday, but it was three weeks after their actual birthday, which meant it was really a surprise. It was also the type of party where I knew most, but not all of the people there, so throughout the night many an introduction was made.

I’m generally awkward when meeting new people (I’m terrible with faces and names), but for some reason the thing that threw me the most was being introduced as “This is Ali, she’s got a novel coming out.” Why would that throw me? Well, after someone says a thing like that, a polite response would be: “So, what’s your book about?”

…um…

Well… it’s a continuation of my first book, which is set in a future where the Earth’s been mostly destroyed – oh, and all the humans are dead, but there are humanoid beings called Elementals who can have power over one of six elements due to their EDNA make-up…”

Well… it’s a continuation of my first book, but you don’t necessarily have to read the first one – but you can if you want to…”

Well… I don’t want to call it a ‘Chosen One’ narrative…, but it’s kind of that, but times two, ’cause there are these two characters…”

Well… it’s about Kendra, who finds out that she’s got a great destiny, but then there’s another person, Kit, who’s also got a destiny, but her story was the plot of book one…”

So, yeah. That was the night I realized that I wasn’t very good at describing my own book. Sure, I’d written a blurb for the back of the book, I’d managed to write a few lines for a teaser, and yet when asked to tell someone about the story face-to-face, my mind went urgleblargh

Thinking back, it makes sense to me that my brain would suddenly glitch, considering how much of that world resides inside it. When asked about my novel, I find it difficult to focus – do I set up the world? Do I set up the mythology? What about the 99 years of unrest? How much information did I need to give to properly explain the story? I was so preoccupied by the forest that I couldn’t see the trees.

After that party, I made it my goal – nay, my MISSION – to learn how to talk about my books without getting tripped over my own thoughts. It was time to stop being bogged down by details! All I needed to do was hook them with the plot – the actual book would fill in the rest! I merely needed to speak such eloquent and enticing words that anyone who heard them would rush out and buy a copy immediately! (Or, at least they’d hopefully be interested.)

And even if I didn’t come up with a speech of impressive grandeur, it would at least be leaps and bounds better than ‘urgleblargh‘.

 

____

What did I finally come up with?:  “Well, it’s sci-fi/fantasy, set in the distant future, and it’s about a young woman, Kendra, who learns that she has a notorious lineage. She’s expected to keep up the family ambitions, but as she learns more about her world she comes to realize that in order to succeed sometimes you have to walk your own path.”

(and if that got you interested, you can buy the ebook HERE!)

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NaNoPrepWeek | House Blog

The stars have aligned, Mercury is in retrograde*, and I’m prepping for NaNoWriMo!

I say that because this will be the first year I’ve actually done prep work for a NaNo story – and not ‘I’ve got a character name and an idea’ prep work, I mean ‘names, backgrounds, world-building, and outline’ prep work.

My first NaNo was a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ affair, and since I managed to hit my word count I figured that this was the way to go. However, that story was also a really rough draft, consisting of many odd ramblings (when I’m desperately trying to hit a certain word count it’s almost like the ghost of Charles Dickens possesses me and I can suddenly spend paragraphs describing a lamp – good for word count, but not for content). The subsequent NaNos either had similar ramblings or failed to meet the word count**.

 

Nano-meme

Continue reading NaNoPrepWeek | House Blog

How to Blackmail Yourself into Finishing Your Writing | House Blog

Maybe you’re one of those writers who has no problem sitting down and writing a story from start to finish, or maybe you’re more like me and you get side-tracked multiple times before you can get to the end.

Although it’s romantic to think of yourself as a tortured writer who’s utterly desperate to finish that one big novel you have inside of you – which is so eager to come out, but can’t because you’re too weighed down by the massive ennui you feel just by existing – it’s much more practical to actually finish your darn projects.

Here are few problems that I’ve encountered while trying to finish a story/novel, and what I do to try to keep myself motivated*.

Continue reading How to Blackmail Yourself into Finishing Your Writing | House Blog

Short Story: The Vicious Ones | Ali House

Let’s be honest, anything I write today will be overshadowed by the news that Chillers From the Rock is an ebook bestseller on Amazon – and I’m totally okay with that. Woohoo!

In celebration, here’s a horror story that I didn’t finish in time for submission + a tale of how it came to be. And to make it deliberately scarier, I’m posting it late at night!

*Spooky voice*  Read more, if you dare….

Continue reading Short Story: The Vicious Ones | Ali House

The Six Lights | Engen Books

In late December we launched a new ad for the company as a whole on our website and Youtube, to celebrate the completion of our ten-year anniversary year. A lot of people liked it, and we thank them for their likes and comments, but we wanted to take a second to point out one of the features of the video that had special meaning to us: The Six Lights of Engen.

Despite being started by one person and having a three-person board, Engen Books has always been a company based around a hub of collaboration and creatively. We wanted to express in the video that it was all these great, talented people coming together that made Engen what it is… so we had the Six Lights start separate and then come together as one, exploding into Engen Books.

Who are the Six Light?

Continue reading The Six Lights | Engen Books

NaNoWriMo Round 6!

Over the past 7+ years, I’ve NaNo’d 6 times. Some times I’ve been successful, some times I haven’t, and one time I failed so spectacularly that I’m almost proud.

Below are some observations I’ve made & lessons I’ve learned:

* * *

Year 1 – 2010

Project Type: New Novel

Project Info: A werewolf-type story

Final Word Count: 52,000

For this one, I started a brand new story on November 1. I think I did a rough outline beforehand, but mostly just character sketches and a very loose plot. After 2 weeks I hit the wall hard, but a few days later I managed to push past it. I ended up reaching a conclusion around the 40,000 mark and thought I was going to fail this task, but then I thought of a way to make the story longer and managed to get over 50,000 words. I also wrote a really cool back-story scene that I’m super happy with.

This was my first year, and I consider it my most successful so far. I was working 2 jobs and rehearsing 2 plays, so I have no idea how I managed to do it. (Actually, that’s a lie – I’m editing that story now and there’s a lot of nonsensical rambling that needs to be cut down – but there’s also some great stuff that I got from the aforementioned rambling. Swings and roundabouts, my friends.)

Aside from being super determined to rock my first year, I learned how to push myself and that I could actually finish a story. It taught me that I could write a full-length novel in less than 3 years. As someone who had trouble focusing on one single project, it was a great confidence boost. Continue reading NaNoWriMo Round 6!

FREE eBook – Unexpected Stories by Labonté & House!

Five amazing short stories from the talented minds of both Amanda Labonté and Ali House, featuring daring new YA fantasy fiction, links to The Segment Delta Archives, and the enchanting world of Call of the Sea!

 

Unexpected Stories
Amanda Labonté & Ali House

acceptance

Purchase (eBook):
ePub
PDF
Mobi

 

Title Information:

Release Date: October 2017
Status: Available
Book Type: EBook
Cover Price: FREE with Mailing List Signup!
Page Count: 31

Related Titles

Call of the Sea, Amanda Labonte, cover The Six Elemental, cover, Ali House Fantasy from the Rock, cover

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