The amazingly kind-hearted Steve Lake is once again donating his time and his luscious locks to the “Shave for the Brave” effort, 2017.
“Some of you have liked my long hair, some of you have hated it,” says Lake. “I’ve liked the way it’s turned out over the last three years, but now it’s time to say goodbye to it. March 25th, 2017 I’m shaving it all off and donating my hair, along with whatever money I can raise.”
Steve Lake has penned the ‘Full Moon’ series of short stories for Engen Books and Ink’d Well Comics, a series of noir-style detective stories with a supernatural twist.
You can donate to Steve’s “Shave for the Brave” effort here.
“Wanna donate to a great cause and see me bald? Of course you do.” — Steve Lake
All donations to the Shave for the Brave help Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) provide programs to help this “forgotten generation.”
For more information, check out shaveforthebrave.ca and youngadultcancer.ca. Have a question? Email YACC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-571-7325.
You saw it first at Sci-Fi on the Rock 9, now you can download and print off your very own Steve Lake Engen Cube! Just print him out and cut him out! He folds together along the dotted lines. No tape! No glue!
Bring your Steve Lake with you everywhere! Take his picture in weird places! Embarrassing situations! Go wild! 🙂
Well here we are, one week removed from the biggest celebration of all things geeky and nerdy that St. John’s has ever seen. I’m talking of course about Sci-Fi On The Rock. Man what a time. It gets bigger and better every year and continuously blows my mind. I’m happy to be a cog in the wheel that makes this festival possible every year, and I’m grateful to the people I work with on the organizing committee for all the help we give each other in getting things done.
I still can’t believe it’s only been a week and that as I type this I’m back working my regular job, instead of running around the Holiday Inn making sure things are running smoothly, or talking with friends I haven’t seen in a while, or meeting the guest actors. Three days out of the year my life gets very surreal and I love every minute of it. I’d do it year round if I could, and if my liver would hold up (kidding, just kidding… maybe)
I didn’t see everyone I wanted to see, I didn’t get to do nearly half of what I had tried to plan to do, but as we all know, no plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy. Being second in command of the event, I know I’m not going to get to see and spend time with everyone I want to, but I did get to meet up with a lot of people I haven’t seen in too long and gods help me, I even managed to dance, or as close an approximation as I can get to dancing.
I did pick up a couple of new, nerdy trinkets, some new games and I was even made into a cubecraft figure thanks to my friends Matt & Ellen at Engen Books. Also, I’m told that I was seen in at least 7 places at the same time, so I broke my old record and the space/time continuum in the process. I also ruined the soles of one pair of sneakers from excessive amounts of walking. You think I’d learn to use the elevator but no, I used the stairs as much as my knees would let me.
Nope, still can’t believe it’s over again. I didn’t check out until Monday afternoon and I walked around the hotel before I left. The place seemed so empty without tables in the halls, the committee running around and Easy Side Mario’s seemed so different without people in costume having lunch. That’s when the post con blues really set in. Seeing the hotel without the Sci-Fi crowds and not having anything to do. Yes I missed having to do 20 things at once, I’ve got my insanity, you’ve got yours.
There’s so much I want to say about the planning that goes into this beast and about the work we’re already doing for Sci-Fi On The Rock 10, but it’s drawn out and boring and no one wants to read about that. What’s that? SFOTR10 you say? Yes I say! The committee is already working on it, hell work started a couple of months ago near the end of planning for SFOTR9. Can’t get the committee to take any time off, myself included. The committee work so hard and care so much about Sci-Fi On The Rock, we don’t even notice we’re not getting paid. That’s right, we’re all volunteering our time and energy to try and bring something amazing to the public.
But Steve, you say, that’s crazy. Maybe it is, I’ll reply, but speaking for myself, I get paid something better than money. I get to see the smiles on people’s faces when they find that perfect something with one of the vendors, or I see a child’s face light up when R2D2 beeps for them or they get to hug a Disney Princess. I hear the laughter that goes along with friends playing a Super Smash Bros. tournament and see the excitement of a team winning Geek Survivor. I get memories, awesome, fantastic memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I’ve also met some of the nicest, most genuine people that it has been my pleasure to get to know. That’s what brings me back year after year, the people that make the whole experience awesome.
Along the way I’ve gone drinking with a Klingon, screeched in a couple of Ferengi and sang songs in a bad Irish accent with a Starfleet Lieutenant. I even had Chewbacca himself approve of my Wookie voice. Then there’s the guy who runs around in a shirt and cape made from Battlestar Galactica bed sheets, giving out buttons, chocolate bars and soap. I said it gets surreal sometimes.
I think I’m rambling now and I don’t really care, it’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I want to. Actually no, I’ll end this piece here. But before I go, I’d like to say thanks one more time to everyone involved in planning and everyone who attended Sci-Fi On The Rock 9, you’re all an amazing bunch of nerds and I’m lucky to count myself among you.
Well I finally finished another project. What I mean by that is I’m finally satisfied with something I finished writing a while ago but have been tweaking ever since. My third short story featuring Ryan and Frank, who I’ve mentioned before is done, dusted, closed out and sent to my publisher.
It’s the shortest of the three “Full Moon” stories, but it feels right to me. I didn’t want to drag it out and I didn’t want it to feel rushed, and for my tastes it doesn’t. I have an opening, a middle, a climax and an ending. Also an opening to revisit the story or elements of it as I go on. I like these characters too much to let this be the end. I’m still working on the novel that is the prequel to the “Full Moon” series and I’m going to keep the short stories coming. Ultimately I’d like to have a book made up of a bunch of the short stories all in one collection.
I don’t know if I’ll have another novel in me after I finish the one I’m working on now, but I will keep writing. I like the short story format, maybe because one of my favourite authors is Spider Robinson. Seriously, if you’ve never read Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon then you really should. It is, in my opinion, some of the best Sci-Fi ever written. It’s a collection of short stories but the characters and a minor theme draw the narratives together. It’s brilliant. Yes I know I’m gushing but I don’t care.
Anyway, Shadows of the Full Moon is now destined for Sci-Fi From The Rock 3, to be released this April at Sci-Fi On The Rock. It’s one of five stories by some very talented people and I hope it does well. I’m happy to be back in it again, I missed out on a collection that Engen Books put out last year because I couldn’t get a story finished in time. Won’t let that happen again, matter of fact now I have to start in on another story for a charity collection my friends at Ink’d Well Comics are putting together. Should be a fun project. Maybe Ryan and Frank have another case to handle, who knows? I have to see what they tell me.
Before I go I should hype my own existing wares.The first two installments of the “Full Moon” series are available for purchase through Engen Books.
Legacy Of The Full Moon is available as an E-Book if you click here
Vengeance Of The Full Moon is available as part of More Sci-Fi From The Rock if you click here
So far I’ve been holding my own in the NaNoWriMo challenge. I’ve met or beaten the daily word goal for the fist 8 days of the challenge. Today is Day 9 and Houston, we have a problem.
Today is my Birthday (YAY ME) celebrating 34 trips around the sun on this universe amusement ride called earth. I’m not planning on doing any writing today or tomorrow. Today I’m spending relaxing and hopefully meeting up with friends that I haven’t seen in a while and maybe tonight having a couple of beverages.
Tomorrow I’m sleeping late and then meeting up with more friends that I haven’t seen in a while for more drinking and good times. The overall theme of relaxing and drinking defeats my inner writer. I just want to take a couple of days off from it and everything and chill and just enjoy my birthday weekend.
The goal is 1667 words a day and I’ve been surprising myself with how well I’ve done with that goal. But now I’m gonna drop 2 days, that’s 3344 words that I’ll fall back.
Can I catch up? Will I catch up? Will my brain explode as I try to catch up? Can I possibly write coherently after a 26er of rum?
So I’m writing a book, well I’ve been writing it for the past two years. It started at a Sci-Fi convention. One of the authors, a friend of mine asked those of us on the committee if any of us would be interested in writing some short stories for a collection from the convention. We said yes and Sci-Fi From The Rock got published.
For my part, I created a story with the classic Vampire vs. Werewolf angle and Legacy Of The Full Moon was born. It turned out well and got good reviews and led to a sequel, Vengeance Of The Full Moon. I kept my two main characters, Frank Kennington and Ryan Murphy and decided to try and put together the story of how Ryan became a Vampire. Yeah my main character is a Vampire, but a classic one, not one of those emo, pseudo-vampire wannabes that books and movies are filled with these days. Ryan harkens back to characters like Barnabas Collins, Jander Sunstar and Nick Knight.
I crafted a world where the monsters are real, things do go bump in the night and Vampires are legal citizens. I also point out that I did that before I, or the world knew about Sookie Stackhouse, trying to figure out how to make them legal was not an easy task either. None of this synthetic blood either, willing donors or blood banks work just fine in my world.
Anyway, after two short stories, one with Ryan as the focus and one with Frank as the focus, I decided to write the story of how Ryan became a Vampire. It started with creating his sire, Kenna Moore. I created her to be a quick note in the book, meant to have one scene and then get killed all within one chapter. Problem is the more I developed her, the more I wanted to keep her around as an antagonist/big bad for the boys to face off with. Now I’m at the point I don’t know where to go or how to proceed with the story. I’m at a lull in the action and I’ve got to get to the next action beat. Putting in the non action in the middle is where I’m stuck. Dialogue and exposition and minutia are slowing me down and causing roadblocks.
If that wasn’t confusing enough, I have a second, side story developing that I have even less of an idea about or the direction that it’s taking. At the beginning of every chapter I have hints about a larger event coming together, a quick description of something starting to stir, things ready to happen. The strange thing is, at least to me, when I write those parts it’s almost automatic. There’s no conscious thought from me to direct how that’s going to unfold, it just seems to start working out on its own.
I’ve got the four parts of that unfolding story copied here, partly to put them in the open and partly for me to see them all laid out close together and hopefully see the next step that I’m going to take with them.
Something was waiting in the darkness. Something old, older than time, older than the darkness itself. It had been waiting when there was nothing, and it watched as the universe came into being. It watched as galaxies were created and worlds were formed, and it waited. Decades turned into centuries, centuries turned into eons and still it waited. Nothing lasts forever though, and on one tiny planet in one little corner of the galaxy, events were unfolding that could shake the pillars of creation. And in the darkness, something was beginning to stir…. Patience is a virtue they say, but could something devoid of virtue have patience? It waited because it had been content to do so, to watch nothing become everything and become nothing again. The cycle repeated countless times and would continue for countless more, and through all of those changes it had been the only constant. But now there was no more contentment in watching, there was a growing need to act, to influence events. To become both cause and effect and relish the resulting terror and chaos. The need was there and it was growing, the time was not right yet to act, but it soon would be…. Hunger is a powerful force. Hunger is an incredible need. Hunger divides groups into hunter and prey. But there are different types of hunger. There is the hunger sustenance, the hunger for knowledge, the hunger for power and many many more. The different hungers started to gnaw away at it from the inside. It needed to feed, it needed to learn, most of all it needed power. In the time before time it’s power had been absolute, but now it held just a fraction of that power, much had been lost. These hungers would only be ignored for so long before they became unbearable. Soon the hunters and the prey would start to take notice that things were changing. The darkness they each relied on for concealment and safety was changing. Soon they would take notice that the darkness was also hungry…. Fear, everyone knows it, everyone feels it at some point. From the hooker turning her first trick to the mouse sneaking past the sleeping cat. Fear, we evolved it as an early warning system, an alarm that danger is near. It heightens our senses, puts us on guard. We are taught not to fear the darkness, but to be wary of what may be concealed within. Hunters learned to use the darkness to hide their movements while stalking prey. Some even take comfort in the darkness, finding solace in the shadow after the harsh light of day. But now that is all starting to change. Darkness is no longer safe. Hunters are on their guard, prey is now terrified and everyone is starting to flock to the light. Fear is no longer about what is hiding in the shadows, it is now a fear of the shadows. It is now fear of the darkness and the darkness is fear and the darkness is starting to enjoy the power it is gaining feeding off people’s fears.
That’s all I’ve got for that so far, and the actual main story is at four chapters at this point. I’m hoping to get further, I’ve got to create the time to sit and concentrate on writing. I’ve got to get this book finished and in print. I want to see it through and I want to hold the actual book in my hands before this year is out. I’ll have to see how it goes, and more importantly, what Ryan and Frank tell me they want to do next.
The Pitch: The original Sci-Fi from the Rock book is currently out-of-print, but Steve Lake’s original short story — and introduction to his universe — lives on on GoodReads! Download the story for free there, rate and share!
So apparently I have readers. Hello readers, welcome to my little corner of the net, my piece of insanity that is The Stylin’ Lounge.
I suppose an introduction is in order.
I’m Steve, your author and host here in the lounge, there are numerous comfortable chairs around to relax in, feel free to curl up and get cozy.
As the song lyric goes; I’m a Newfoundlander born and bred and I’ll be one till I die. Newfoundland being an island off the coast of Canada in the middle of the North Atlantic. I’m thirty five years old, overweight but working on it. I’m a child of a broken home, but hey, shit happens. Dad lives here and Mom lives in England. I’m a brother to one sister and an uncle to two amazing nephews and I have three awesome step-sisters. I like football and porno and books about war… Wait that was Dennis Leary. I read, I write, I watch tv and movies that I find interesting. I seem to always be online. I’m a first class nerd and proud of it. I work as a night auditor in a hotel, that’s the regular job. On the side, I’m on the organizing committee for Sci-Fi On The Rock, a yearly Science Ficton convention here in St. John’s. I’m an author and part time editor for Engen Books and I have three short stories in collections they have put out. Legacy of the Full Moon, Vengeance of the Full Moon & Shadows of The Full Moon, in Sci-Fi From The Rock, More Sci-Fi From The Rock & Sci-Fi From The Rock Return respectively. All three can be bought in the Engen store, check them out and their other titles.
I also co-host a Blues themed radio show on our local University station CHMR on Monday nights. From 9pm-11pm it’s The Blind Lemon Blues, featuring the best in blues from the Mississippi Delta, to The Great White North. You can listen online at the station link above and find more at http://www.facebook.com/BlindLemonRadio or on Twitter.
If that wasn’t enough, I also host a weekly podcast, The Whostorian, all about Doctor Who. It’s expanded recently to include the podcast itself on Mondays, a video review on Fridays and a written blog posting on Wednesdays.
Lastly, I’ve decided to commit myself to posting as much as I can here in The Stylin’ Lounge. It can be anything that’s on my mind, a part of a new story I’m working on, a poem, a limerick or just a general rant. It could be complete and total nonsense or something very nerdy, I don’t know from one day to the next what I might say. But it’s fun finding out.
So that’s about it, that’s me in a not very small nutshell.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your stay here in the Lounge.
This April brings a host of familiar faces back into the limelight as new titles are published, including the new Black Womb novel Becoming and the second edition of the Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology. Featured prominently in the collection with be the sequel to Steve Lake’s highly touted Legacy of the Full Moon, Vengeance of the Full Moon.
Published in April 2010, Legacy of the Full Moon was started when inspiration struck Lake in the form of the character of Ryan. Upon kicking around the idea at an Engen staff meeting, it became a sort of an “Interview with a Vampire” motif with two interesting twists: the interviewer was a werewolf, and the werewolf had a secret all his own.
The concept was immediately popular with fans and reviewers.
“[Steve Lake’s] visit to the age-old conflict between vampires and werewolves is a good one, but too brief,” said Mark Vaughan-Jackson in the May 8th 2010 edition of The Telegram. “I hope [he] will take this tale and develop it, hone it and publish a larger work with this story as an integral part.”
This was a common sentiment, and so plans were put into place quickly to continue the development of the story and characters. Soon a plan for a series of short stories was in place, culminating with the eventual release of a full-length (as yet untitled) novel based on the property.
“[The novel] gives the back story on how Ryan became a vampire and the adjustments he and Frank have to make in their business and in their friendship,” said Lake, on the concept of the upcoming novel.
Lake will also be getting his feet wet with a short story that takes place within the Engen Universe canon shared by Black Womb, Infinity and Compendium.
“Timeline wise I’ll be setting my story just as the first Black Womb book ends, but my story will be set in Europe instead of Coral Beach,” revealed Lake. “It deals with characters who work for Engen, who are examining what went wrong in Coral Beach and what they are developing as the next step in Engen’s research projects.”
In addition to his writing ventures, Lake has been a key figure of the Engen writing staff since the release of Roulette in October 2010, and claims that his favorite Engen story in Falling into Fire, a short from Ellen Curtis’s breakout anthology Compendium.
“It hooks you from the start, the action is very well paced, the characters are nicely developed in such a short amount of time and the story leaves you wanting more. I want to know what happens, I want to know the events that lead up to the start of the story. Ellen’s very good at leaving the reader wanting to find out where the rest of the story is going.”
Now a thriving part of Engen Books, Steve Lake retains his support of fellow independent authors and businesses.
“It’s hard to get ‘traditional’ publishers to wake up and take notice of the excellent work that’s out there. Independent authors and small non-traditional publishers are growing slowly and they need the public’s help and support to get their names out there.
“When you see an author at a convention or a local book signing, take a chance, look at what they’re offering and talk to the author. You may just be pleasantly surprised.”
Vengeance of the Full Moon will be published in More Sci-Fi from the Rock, on sale April 17th 2011.
This weekend saw the release of the first in a new series of webisodes from Engen Books, titled (appropriately) Engen Bytes.
The series was created by Engen founder Matthew LeDrew to help give fans sneak peeks into upcoming projects, as well as delve deeper into the creative minds of our authors and editors.
The inaugural episodes featured interviews with two authors from the upcoming Sci-Fi from the Rock, launching in April. Darren Hann spoke extensively on his story Time Diamond, while Steve Lake teased about the nature and tone of his short, Legacy of the Full Moon.
“It’s not set inside the Engen Universe,” commented Lake during the interview. “But of all the stories [ in the volume] it fits the best, I think.”
Sci-Fi from the Rock is a collection of short stories from three new Engen authors, and launches this April 17-18th at the fourth annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Engen Books author Matthew LeDrew (Black Womb, Roulette) leaked information recently regarding the highly-secretive project, Infinity, while appearing on the first episode of Sci-Fi on the Rock TV.
“(Infinity) is actually a project that I’ve been working on with a gifted young author,” said LeDrew. “It’s being set in the same universe as Black Womb…. it’s our own kind of ‘mature readers’ approach to the team book. It’s going to be a lot of fun, actually.”
When asked to comment on leaking the information on the internet-broadcast program, LeDrew responded: “Oops.”
Sci-Fi on the Rock TV is produced by Hann Made Productions and features hosts Steve Lake and Ellen Curtis.