Let’s talk about writing advice. Nowadays, telling someone not to follow writing advice is as cliché as the writing advice in question. Write what you know – but you can also write what you don’t know (it’s called imagination). Don’t use adverbs – unless they work for the story you’re telling. To make things worse, there are literally millions of “How-To” books out there (okay, not a million, but it feels that way) espousing the best way to write, most of which promise to help you write the next bestseller or be the next Stephen King. It’s all really very confusing.
It certainly doesn’t help that writers are a nervous bunch. Some might say that we lack self-esteem. Maybe we even lack basic confidence in our work. As such, we often just want someone to tell us that what we are writing is okay, that we meet the standard, that we’re not wasting our time and effort. We want someone to tell us how to be successful. So, we search for the writing advice, but we see the contradictions. Does writing advice work or doesn’t it? Continue reading A Few Words on Writing Advice | Dobbin Blog
Okay, so here’s the thing: I’m kinda, sorta stuck in Editing Hell. Yeah, that’s a thing. Crammed somewhere between the Hell of the Upside Down Sinners and the Hell of Being Skinned Alive, I think. You know what hell is like, right? Have you lived in a prison made of your own existential dread? Sure you have. Welp, that’s what Editing Hell is like. And do you want to know the worst part of Editing Hell? It makes you want to quit. Boy, do I ever want to quit. I just want to slam down my laptop cover, douse it in lighter fluid and toss a lit zippo at it and walk away in slow-mo. I’ve also contemplated biting my laptop. Biting it. Yeah, Editing Hell is a real thing. Continue reading Break on Through to the Other Side: Using Batman to fight Editing Hell | Dobbin’s Blog
Save the date for 7pm Thursday May 16 at the newly-established Geeks Public House located at 288 Duckworth Street in historic St. John’s, Newfoundland. That’s where we’ll be having the book launch for The Starving, the newest gem in the crown of excellent Newfoundland-written literature by fresh new author Jon Dobbin.
The Starving tells the western-horror fusion story of Bill Weston, a man from and of the old west, on the hunt for a man named Faraway Sue. That plan changes in Colorado, where Weston comes up against an evil that he can’t explain away by men being the way men are. In Colorado he finds something stranger, something from myth and legend, that if he doesn’t watch out will change him completely. Continue reading The Starving book launch announced
The Starving, the debut novel from Jon Dobbin, hit #1 on the Amazon.ca in the ‘Westerns’ and ‘Occult Fiction’ categories. The novel hit Bestseller status at 2:35PM Newfoundland Standard time on April 18, 2019, peaking at #95 on the overall Amazon.ca charts.
Dobbin has enjoyed repeated success since his first stories, Man of Fire and The Chosen, were featured in the 2018 Chillers from the Rock anthology. Since then, every work attached to Dobbin has gone bestseller.
A native to the St. John’s metro region, Dobbin tied for first place in the 2017 48-Hour Writing Marathon, sponsored by THE Creative Learning, Thrive, and Engen Books. He describes himself as “the father of three, the husband to an amazing wife, an educator, and a tattoo and beard enthusiast.”
Dobbin’s work has appeared in Chillers from the Rock, Dystopia from the Rock, and Kit Sora: The Artobiography.
Engen Books would like to congratulate Dobbin on this achievement, and thank his fans and peers who helps make this possible.
Engen Books is proud to announce and unveil the cover for The Starving, the first novel from award-winning author Jon Dobbin, in stores in May 2019.
This stunning, evocative piece of art embraces the horror at atmosphere of Dobbin’s Western horror was crafted with care by the amazing Jud Haynes.
Haynes is one of, if not the, most talented graphic designers working in the province at this time. His work has enhanced many an amazing project, including album covers, tourism campaigns, and novel covers. To find out more about his work, visit his website.
Dobbin’s novel follows the story of Bill Weston hunting the man known as Faraway Sue.
From the back cover: “Something evil grows in the heart of Colorado.
Bill Weston was a man of the West. He knew it – its land, its people, its stories. It was where he plied his trade, hunting men for money. His life wasn’t easy, but it was predictable. That all changed when he captured Faraway Sue and he was led on a trip through the Colorado forests. Continue reading Cover Reveal: The Starving
“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today/ I don’t know what it is” crooned Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in the band’s seminal 90’s hit Livin’ on the Edge. Those opening lines, a cry against the changing and harsh world, are as true today as they were in that almost 30 year gone decade. Turning on the news, reading a Facebook article, or, perhaps, tuning into the Twitterverse will tell you “somethin’ ain’t right.” And while that’s concerning, even downright scary, the art that is produced in these times of hardship is often beautiful, uplifting, and a call-to-action. It tells us to make a change or else. The writers and editors of Engen’s collection of short stories, Dystopia From the Rock, have certainly embodied this movement. Continue reading Livin’ on the Edge: Engen’s Dystopia from the Rock | Jon Dobbin’s Blog
Listen, okay, writing isn’t easy. Right now, I’m sitting in an uncomfortable chair, balancing a laptop and generous sized tea all the while trying to churn out words that make some semblance of sense. Not easy. Sometimes I feel like Tobey Maguire in that scene from Spider-Man when he grabbed all of MJ’s lunch on the tray before it splattered to the cafeteria floor (not CGI or special effects by the way. Tobey Maguire is just really method). As I was saying, writing isn’t easy. Perhaps the hardest part of writing, besides balancing laptops and hot beverages, is coming up with original ideas, because… there are none. Not really, not anymore. Don’t lose hope though, you’re ideas are still valid, they still work. You are still a writer. It just takes a little tweaking. Every writer has their own way of doing this, and I’m going to tell you about mine.
Ask yourself: What if? That’s it. Simple. Continue reading What If? Do the Mash, do the Genre Mash | Jon Dobbin’s Blog