Tag Archives: House Blog

Why Editing Matters | House Blog

Confession Time: Not so long ago, I used to be SUPER pedantic about grammar and spelling in books. If I found a word that wasn’t spelled right or an ellipsis that was only two dots, I would feel so superior and want to shout it from the rooftops (even if it was the only mistake in the entire story). I think it mostly came from my secret desire to be an editor – like, “Hey, I found this error! And this one! See how good I am! Hire me! Hire me! HIRE ME!”

But that’s not what writers want to hear. Honestly, it’d be weird to have someone come up to me and say “I found a misspelled word on page 54” and then walk away without saying anything else. But what about the 59,999 other words that were spelled correctly? Did you like any of them?

Over time, I’ve learned that I’m perfectly capable of forgiving an error here and there. If I read a line and think “That should be gasp instead of gas”, I’m able to move on. After all, writers and editors are human, and humans miss things. Even big publishers sometimes get things wrong. And, yes, even I make mistakes (I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s one or two in this post). If you’re writing a 50,000 word novel, there’s absolutely nothing wrong if a few mistakes accidentally make it into the finished project.

But don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that editing isn’t important, because it is. Continue reading Why Editing Matters | House Blog

Helpful Things That Aren’t Writing | House Blog

There are times when I find it difficult to write. Sometimes I’ll sit in front of the computer with the best of intentions, but the words don’t come and the page remains blank. Yes, I want to be writing – I desperately want to create – but I feel stuck. Usually it’s because I’m stressed or finding it difficult to think, or trying not to focus on the other things I should be doing instead (i.e. cleaning).

So when the words won’t come, I try to think of other things I can do that will help push my ideas in a forward direction, instead of letting them swirl in an eternal vortex of hesitation. Such as…

Outlining. I never used to be big on outlining. I would sometimes know specific scenes and maybe how I wanted a story to end, but I always got there organically. Sometimes I even wrote out of order, having to find ways to cobble scenes together coherently. But when I’m having trouble writing I find that jotting down a rough outline of how I want the scene to look will help me. This especially helps with stress-brain, as now I know what I’m looking for and working towards. [This probably counts as writing, but it’s still different than actually writing the story.]

Creating Avatars. My visualizing isn’t always the best, so sometimes I’ll go online and create an avatar so that I have a quick reference to what a character looks like. What was their eye colour? Hair colour? Skin colour? Just look at this photo and you’ll know. And you don’t have to stop at avatars – create or find reference photos for places or buildings, too.

Reading a Great Book. When I was in high school I had two friends who were writing stories and they inspired me so much that I wanted to write one of my own. To this day, I can easily get inspired just by reading something amazing. It makes me want to create something just as wonderful. [Note: I can also sometimes be inspired by a book I find not-so-amazing, as it inspires me to write a story that doesn’t have all those things that bothered me in it.]

Reading or Watching Something Similar. If I’m having trouble slipping back into the world I’ve created, I’ll sometimes find something that’s similar in genre/character/tone, to help ease me into the world. It’s not always a book – it can be a television show or movie or graphic novel. Usually I go back to the thing that inspired me in the beginning. Whether it’s a musical that brought about a short story or a television show that I’ve spun into a series, taking another look can help me re-discover my original inspiration.

What are some of your favourite helpful non-writing activities?

‘What’s My Motivation?’ | House Blog

This line is usually used as a joke to indicate that an actor is high-maintenance, but motivation is a very important factor for actors and characters. Motivation is what compels a character to do (or not to do) something, and if it’s not clear enough, then the audience might have trouble believing in that character’s actions – and maybe even the character themselves. Continue reading ‘What’s My Motivation?’ | House Blog

‘From the Rock Stars’ becomes Amazon Bestseller!

This isn’t why we did this by a long shot, but From the Rock Stars just became a Amazon Bestseller on the Amazon CA free titles list.

With COVID-19 in full swing and the world in isolation, we thought of no better time and way to show our thanks than to offer this collection of short fiction for free during the course of the crisis, and at no more than cost for the print book. Please enjoy these stories at no cost, and we hope that the worlds they bring you to are brighter ones. Continue reading ‘From the Rock Stars’ becomes Amazon Bestseller!

‘Pulp Science-Fiction from the Rock’ becomes Amazon Bestseller!

Pulp Science Fiction from the RockPulp Science-Fiction from the Rock, the sixth volume in the modern From the Rock series, hit #1 Bestseller on March 31, 2020 at 1:14 PM Newfoundland Standard Time.

The eBook is being released ahead of schedule due to shifts in schedule surrounding COVID-19. Purchasers will have it delivered on April 3, 2020.

It reached #1 in the category of ‘Science Fiction Short Stories (Books). As of this writing it has held that #1 spot for nearly 24 hours, and topped out at #522 on the overall paid Amazon ca charts.

A century ago, pulp magazines brought the fresh ideas of science-fiction and exploration to the masses with its rough, inexpensive format, and lit the imaginations of a generation on fire. Those inspired became the greatest storytellers of their time, producing stories that would shock, awe, and inspire. That legacy of the new, the different, and the strange lives on today in the minds and pens of genre writers all over the world.

Pulp Science-Fiction from the Rock seeks to honour that legacy with twenty-two short stories highlighting the best of the modern interpretations of Pulp Science-Fiction, from minds like Ali House (The Segment Delta Archives), Jon Dobbin (The Starving), and Sherry D. Ramsey (Beyond the Sentinel Stars)! With introduction from sci-fi legend Kenneth Tam!

Engen Books would like to congratulate editors Ellen Curtis, & Erin Vance on this achievement, and thank its fans and peers who helps make this possible. We also extend gratitude an congratulations to authors and contributors: Peter Foote, Ali House, Matthew Daniels, Nicole Little, Sherry D. Ramsey, Jeff Slade, Chantal Boudreau, Shannon Green, Jennifer Shelby, Jon Dobbin, Melissa Bishop, Brad Dunne, Corinne Lewandowski, JRH Lawless, Lisa Daly, Andrew Pike, Julie Aubut Gaudet, Daniel Windeler, Alissa Hickox, Andrew McDonald, CS Woodburn and Steve Power!

Bestselling author Ali House named as a Pulp Sci-Fi from the Rock author!

Ali House Lightbulb ForestEngen Books is proud to reveal that Ali house will be appearing in 2020’s Pulp Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology!

A native Newfoundlander, House is a graduate of the Fine Arts program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College (MUN). She currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she works in arts administration and spends more time than a person should in and around theaters.

Ali is one of only three authors to have been featured in every modern From the Rock volume.

House is an avid traveler and foodie, and uses her adventures for her inspiration when she writes. Continue reading Bestselling author Ali House named as a Pulp Sci-Fi from the Rock author!

“Top 10” Stories from The Lightbulb Forest | House Blog

I’d like to start off by saying that as an author I love all my stories equally, and that there’s really no such thing as a “Top 10”, just as there would be no “Bottom 10”. After all, if I didn’t care about some of these stories I wouldn’t have wanted them in this anthology.

That being said, here are 10 of those stories that I’m really excited to share with you. Continue reading “Top 10” Stories from The Lightbulb Forest | House Blog

Looking Ahead: Engen 2020

2019 was an amazing year with a plethora of new titles from Newfoundland’s fastest growing publisher, culminating in the release of our first Young Readers book, The Last Tree. It’s been an incredible year, but we’re here to let you know: 2020 is going to be even crazier.

We have a metric ton of titles coming out, a great deal of which we can’t even tell you about yet. But there are 15 that we can tell you about, and they’re gonna be nuts.

Sarah Thompson The Love of SummerFor the Love of Summer
Author: Sarah Thompson
Genre: LGBTQ+ Romance
Our first book of 2020 is a bold new romance from Sarah Thompson, following Summer and her journey through young adulthood to find herself, and realize that the person she’s been searching for has been her best friend all along. Available January 2020! Continue reading Looking Ahead: Engen 2020