“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
Dystopia from the Rock, the fourth volume in the modern From the Rock series, hit #1 Bestseller on February 21, 2019 at 8:22 AM Newfoundland Standard Time: a full month before its release. It reached #1 in the category of ‘Science Fiction Short Stories,’ and ‘Cyberpunk.’ As of this writing it has reached #1086 on the overall paid Amazon ca charts, #7 in Cyberpunk Science-Fiction, and #10 in Genetic Engineering Science-Fiction.
Dystopia from the Rock features thirty-two short stories written by a diverse mix of some of the best speculative fiction and thriller authors in Canada, including both award-winners, veterans of their craft, and brand new talent. Continue reading ‘Dystopia from the Rock’ becomes Amazon Bestseller in multiple categories!
Engen Books is proud to announce one of the authors that will be returning in 2019’s Dystopia from the Rock collection: Jon Dobbin!
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 placed second during the WANL Nightmare on Water Street event in October 2018. He describes himself as “the father of three, the husband to an amazing wife, an educator, and a tattoo and beard enthusiast.” Continue reading Award-Winning Author Jon Dobbin announced as a ‘Dystopia from the Rock’ author!
2018 was a banner year for Engen Books, but 2019 has all the potential to surpass it: in spades! Those looking for a sneak peak into just some of our upcoming projects are in the right place! From returning entries in favorite series, remastered bestsellers, and brand new talent breaking for the first time: Engen Books is the thing to follow in 2019!
For months we’ve kept it a secret, slowly amassing the best short fiction from the best authors working in the field, via industry contacts and the Kit Sora Flash Fiction Contest. Now it’s all coming together in Kit Sora: The Artobiography, a 100-page hardcover anthology celebrating one of the greatest photographic artists of our time and the authors she inspired.
This stunning collection will be available from Engen Books in Fall 2018, and features over eighty high-concept images photographed and selected by Sora herself for this collection.
Along with Kit Sora’s tremendous artwork, the collection features accompanying short fiction from some of Canada’s bestselling, award-winning authors. Some include Kate Robbins (Bound to the Highlander), Carolyn R. Parsons (Charley Through Canada), Chelsea Bee (London Calling), Jon Dobbin (The Starving), Candace Osmond (Love & Magic), Michelle Churchill (The Last Tree), Ali House (The Six Elemental), Brad Dunne (After Dark Vapours), Ellen Curtis (Infinity), Matthew LeDrew (Jacobi Street), Kate Sparkes (At Any Cost), JJ King (My Brother’s Keeper), Amanda Labonté (Drawn to the Tides), and USA Today Bestselling author Victoria Barbour (Hard as Ice).
The collection will also feature numerous prize-winning stories, including Frigid by Catherine Rector, Starling by Cristina Ozon, Sweet Sixteen by Nicole Little, Tarnished by Jennifer Combden, Bubbly by Sara Burke, Running by Georgia Atkin, Extinguished by Jeff Slade, and Sea Monkeys by Peter Foote.
The collection will be available in both hardcover print and eBook formats.
Image copyright © 2018 Kit Sora Photography, used with permission. Logo and distinctive ‘oval spike’ design copyright © 2007 Engen Books.
The 48-Hour Writing Marathon, which happened from June 23-25 2017 at the T.H.E. Tutoring Center, was a well-fought competition between peers to see who could get the closest to writing a full novel in 48 Hours of near non-stop authorship! It was difficult: there was little sleep, much junk food, any many distractions. f over twenty participants, only six went on to enter their work to be judged by a panel of three judges in a double-blind process to be crowned the first 48-Hour Writing Marathon Winner!
Via an alternate-vote process, the top two authors were so close in their scores (with a difference of only one point!) that we decided to make them both eligible for the prize! The first place winner was currently-serving WANL Secretary Kelley Power, whose submission (currently titled Milestones) blew the judges away with its intricate character dynamics and atmosphere. The runner-up, Jon Dobbin, penned an amazing (and yet Untitled) epic Western, giving the genre much-needed attention and an update for modern storytellers. We can’t wait to see what both do with their amazing starts! Continue reading WINNER(s) of the 48 Hour Writing Marathon: Kelley Power & Jon Dobbin!