Tag Archives: Black Womb

Kevin Kendall exhibit approaches!

Black Womb (Matthew LeDrew)In this industry, nothing is for sure until it’s at the printers. Actually, the rule around the Engen office is that nothing is certain until it’s actually in your hands, a lesson we learned this time last year, but we digress.

After much anticipation, the re-tooled and re-launched international edition of Black Womb hits the market this month, with the appropriate re-launch occurring at Hal-Con 2012 from October 26-28th.

The book has been revised and expanded throughout, so even existing readers can find something new and exciting within the text: all this to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the original Black Womb, published in October 2007.

To mark the occasion, Newfoundland artist Kevin Kendall supplied beautiful new cover art for the book. Kendall works out of Kendallight Studios in Abraham’s Cove, and is known for his photo-realistic renditions of portraits and people.

Kendall will be holding his first solo exhibit at the Arts and Culture Center in Stephenville (Newfoundland) on October 3rd, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

“I will be displaying various illustrations and fine art paintings and look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones,” said Kendall. “Come out for an evening of art and conversation, with a touch of humor.”

Kendall has also been teaching his trade at the College of the North Atlantic Bay St. George campus this year, “Introduction to Drawing,” where lucky students have learned:

• Materials/Techniques
• Perspective/Basic forms
• Warm ups/Sketching/Negative space
• Learning to see/Contour drawing/Line drawing
• Gesture drawing/Measuring/Grid drawing
• Still Life drawing
• Landscape drawing
• Animal and people drawing

Be there October 3rd to support Kevin Kendall, and on October 27th-29th to support Engen Books!


Black Womb book review (again)

Black Womb, 2007, Matthew LeDrew
Black Womb, 2007, Matthew LeDrew

This is shameless, but here is the reprinting of a review of my first novel, Black Womb, penned by Jay Paulin of Ink’d Well Comics, originally published on: The Book Closet

The decision to write an ongoing series is a gutsy one. The creator must feel confident in his or her ability to craft a believable world filled with believable characters; his or her ability to thread a titillating story that grips the reader and has them clamoring for more and, of course, his or her ability to run the grueling gauntlet required to write story after story after . . .

This is what makes Black Womb (Engen Books, 2007), the inaugural book in the eponymous, thriller series, so impressive. Within the first few chapters, we are introduced to evil corporations, powerful foes and people with mysterious identities/pasts. These are archetypes, true, but powerful ones. When placed in a (formerly) quiet, mid-sized town and faced by a group of everyday teens, it becomes relatable – even when the bodies start to pile after a number of impressively written action sequences. In a way, this novel reminded me of the 2005 film, Brick, in that the teens dominate and the adults are secondary. I’ll expand on this point later.

The core characters in the story are Alexander ‘Xander’ Drew — one of the aforementioned everyday teens – and school friends Mike Harris, Cathy Kennessy and Sara Johnson. The latter three are more complimentary at this point, and rightly so. Xander’s journey in this novel is the real draw and author Matthew LeDrew pulls few punches with his lead.

When a fellow student is slashed apart in the street, everyone wonders ‘why?’ and ‘who’s next?’ The answers to those questions cannot come quick enough as the violence zeroes in on the four friends. The search leads them on a quest that becomes very personal – more personal than Xander would’ve liked.

That leads to one of the strongest, but also weakest, parts of the story. Black Womb handles tension, pace and the sensation of fear exceptionally well. The characters? Not so much. What would you do when a merciless, walking weapon lurks in the shadows and slays people within your age group? Gather under one roof, of course! The adults also don’t seem to play too much of a role, which is unfortunately because the world otherwise is fleshed-out and realistic.

The questionable decisions are balanced out by three-dimensionality and full-bodied voices: it is easy to envision each character and location while reading the book, a trait shared by seemingly all of Engen Books’ titles.

Other than the minor quibbles, Black Womb did what all great series openers should: it laid down a strong foundation for the future and provided an entertaining read on its own. 4/5

Not bad, right? Check out the website for further reviews. 🙂

Looking ahead: Smoke and Mirrors

Over the past few weeks we’ve gotten a number of letters with regard to the highly anticipated third book in the Black Womb series, Smoke and Mirrors . Rumor has circulated ranging in topic from the books premise and plot (and of course, who will survive); to more technical questions such as what this title means for the series as a whole and perceived delays in publication.

“This book is very much a ‘third act’ of sorts,” commented Matthew LeDrew, author of the series. “There are plots that have been running through both Black Womb and Transformations in Pain, some of which people are aware of and some of which they aren’t. This book brings many of those plots to a close.”

Online speculation has lead many fans to wonder the fate of the series and its characters after this novel… with more than one post questioning the fate of Black Womb itself.

“The series itself is going strong. We’re nowhere near ready to call it a day yet. As to the fate of the characters, well, you’ll really have to read it to find out. I can tell you that anything can still happen, and that I really don’t think anyone has seen this particular ending coming yet.

“As for the delays with the production of the novel itself, that’s partly to due with me and partly to do with market fluctuation. It’s no secret that the economy in general and the publication economy in specific has been going through a rough patch at the moment, so the novel was delayed slightly to try and ride out that wave as much as possible. The delays that are my fault rest in the editing process. I failed to alert the editors to the fact that this novel was over double the size of the previous two, rendering their estimates for when edits would have been complete inaccurate. The good news is: Smoke and Mirrors is coming soon, and it will be worth the wait.”