Tag Archives: House Blog

WorldBuilding Step #2: Create Life!

For some stories you’re going to spend a TON of time doing research and answering questions that seem less important than your plot: and sometimes not a single bit of that information is going to make it into the final draft. But doing the research is helpful. It can ground your idea, make you sure of your choices, and give you confidence to move forward with a strange concept.

Or, if you’re like me, you find research fun, and eventually have to remind yourself that you need to stop researching and actually write the story.

For my characters’ powers, I’d originally planned on five Elements : Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spark (later renamed Electricity). I wanted the first four because I’m super original, and also because they’re literally the four elements of western culture. I included Spark because – if Dr. Frankenstein taught me anything – it’s that you need a ‘spark’ to create life.

Then I started wondering how my characters would get these powers. Mutation? Gamma radiation? Mutant insect bite? Could there be a mutant beaver* biting people, giving them the power of water? And if so, what kind of animal would give fire? Fire ants? Fireflies? Dragons?

Continue reading WorldBuilding Step #2: Create Life!

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Engen asks: What books are you most looking forward to in the first half of 2017? | Top Ten Tuesday


Ali House The Six Elemental authorAli House: A native Newfoundlander, Alison is a graduate of the Fine Arts program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College currently residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her first novel, The Six Elemental, was released in October 2016.

Fantasy from the Rock, of course. Also, The Wicked + The Divine: Volume 5 by Kieron Gillen.  This series has a terrific concept, & I never know what they’re going to do.


Amanda LabonteAmanda Labonté: As the co-owner of an educational business and mother of two she spends much of her day with kids of all ages. They give her some of the best reading recommendations. Her first novel, Call of the Sea, was published in 2015 with sequels scheduled for 2018 and 2019 through Engen Books.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. The next book in the Dark Artifices series. What can I say? It’s addictive.”


Ellen CurtisEllen Curtis: a writer and web TV personality born and raised in St. Johns, Newfoundland; whose aptitude for the written word began at a young age, when she began writing short stories, poetry, lyrics and novellas. She writes the Infinity series and edits the From the Rock series for Engen Books.

Fantasy from the Rock. I love working with all these different authors and everything coming together in such a special way. We’ve got some great stuff lined up this year.”


Matthew LeDrewMatthew LeDrew: Matthew holds an Honours Degree in English from the Memorial University of Newfoundland with a minor in Anthropology and studied Journalism at College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville, Newfoundland. He has written sixteen novels for Engen Books.

“I’m looking forward to King’s Cage from Victoria Aveyard, the newest in her Red Queen series. The End of Oz by Danielle Paige also looks interesting, and the next volume of The Vision by Tom King. If you aren’t reading Vision, you’re missing out on something really special.”


paul-pic

Paul Carberry: currently works as a pharmacy assistant and will soon be enrolled in the Reserves with the Canadian Armed Forces. He is currently living in his hometown of Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, with his wife, Leah. His first novel, Zombies on the Rock, was released in 2015.

I know they’re not novels but the next 12 Walking Dead comics! The comics are better than the show

That’s okay Paul! Half the Engen Authors picked comics! 🙂

WorldBuilding Step #1: Destroy the World!

It was early in the year 2000, and I was standing in my aunt’s kitchen, trying to destroy the world. No, I wasn’t having a premonition about all the terrible things that would happen in 2016, I was trying to come up with a new world to write about.

See, I had friends who were writers, and they were writing about these crazy, complicated futures, with technology and people with amazing powers. Meanwhile, I was writing about assassins in present day. As much as I liked the story I was writing, I also wanted to write about people with cool powers, so I decided to push myself to come up with an interesting new world.  Not an alien world, but an Earth that was different from the one we had now.

For some reason (I forget why), I wanted to avoid big cities. If I was destroying the world, maybe I could do it in a way that smashed the land into bits, and the biggest pieces left over were the size of small cities. Then these islands could be grouped together based on proximity, and joined by overseas highways, and people could travel between them!

But it would be difficult to build up all these new cities if the entire world had been smashed to pieces, so maybe I should keep one large bit intact. Then, once the remaining people had recovered from the huge war that had decimated their world, they would have the resources to go out and build up the islands for habitation.

Yes… this could work…

Continue reading WorldBuilding Step #1: Destroy the World!

Engen rockets into its 10 year anniversary starting tomorrow

On October 31, 2006 the first (and now extremely rare) ashcan edition of Black Womb hit the Newfoundland independent publishing scene with just 500 copies. The publishing company, Engen Books, saw its full release in 2007 with the release of Transformations in Pain at the second annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.

In the 10 years since, Engen Books has become a force to be reckoned with in the indie publishing market. It has produced over thirty titles in that time and brought over two dozen Atlantic Canadian authors  to print. The original Black Womb series completed its 10 book run, as intended, as spun off into the Xander Drew series. The Infinity series was launched, as well as the broader Engen Universe with light|dark, and the From the Rock series, which highlights local upcoming and established talent side by side.

And we’re just getting started.

Continue reading Engen rockets into its 10 year anniversary starting tomorrow

So you’ve written a story!

So you’ve written a story!

Now what?

Let’s be honest – trying to get your work published can suck. You write a really awesome story, but when you go looking for somewhere to submit it you realize that publishers are a lot pickier than you expected, and your story doesn’t fit. Maybe it’s not enough words. Maybe it’s too many words. Maybe they’re only looking for vampire romance stories at the moment and you’ve written a really awesome Sci-fi story. What is a writer to do?

What I like about the “From the Rock” series is that Engen isn’t picky about what they’re looking for. They take submissions from new writers as well as published writers, and their parameters are pretty wide open. Just look at the submission requirements for their “Fantasy from the Rock” collection (stories due December 31, 2016).

Their guidelines are:

  • Fantasy stories
  • a PG rating
  • fewer than 20,000 words.

For those of us with a backlog of unpublished stories, it’s like submission Christmas.

And who knows, you might send Engen a story, and they might go “Wow, this world and these characters are really interesting. Do you have any more stories like this?” and then you might go “Yeah, I’ve got a few more stories!” or even “I’ve actually written an entire novel about this universe! Would you like to read it?” Then you send them your novel and they read it and the next thing you know you’re talking about covers and release dates, and you’ve got a novel coming out on October 31! (The Six Elemental – available in paperback and ebook format!)

So dig out your fantasy stories (or get writing them)!

You can’t get published if you don’t try.

The Six Elemental — Available for Pre-Order!

There is a legend that in times of great need, a person wielding the power of all six Elements will come forth to bring peace to New Earth. The myth of the Six-Elemental is almost seven hundred years old, and the possibility of someone having the power of more than one Element has been thoroughly disproven by science.

None of this matters, however, when Kit Tyler receives the power of all six Elements on her twenty-first birthday. Unsure of how the world will react, or how to wield her powers, Kit keeps this information a secret, swearing that she will reveal it when she is stronger and more worthy. After all, the only thing worse than being a walking myth is being a disappointing one.

Continue reading The Six Elemental — Available for Pre-Order!