Tag Archives: Paulin Blog

light|dark gets a new look!

ld-new-editionThe April 2012 mega collection light|dark, which introduced the world to the enigmatic monster-hunter Scarlett, the Reptilia virus, and the shadow organization Omega gets a shiny new look this month courtesy of a new cover designed by Ellen Curtis, and the changes aren’t purely cosmetic.

“We’ve worked to combine the two Engen Universe anthologies into one epic volume,” says Curtis, of the collection. “Our series’ are where people can go to delve deep into the characters, but if they just want fun, action-packed stories that introduce them to our Universe and world, the new light|dark is now a one-stop shop.”

Continue reading light|dark gets a new look!

Sam Bauer on Sci-Fi from the Rock

sammyYoung author Sam Bauer, who debuted in 2016’s stellar anthology collection Sci-Fi from the Rock has taken the time to share his thoughts and feelings about his neighboring stories in the collection.

Whitecoat by Kenneth Tam:
“After reading this, I definitely need to pick up a copy of the novel itself. Set in an alternate Newfoundland, with a somewhat nebulous difference from our own, the quality of this story promises great things from the novel.”

Sunny Days by Jennifer Combden:
“I love a good hard sci-fi piece. With this dealing with our own sun destroying us, it certainly fulfills the author’s purpose of informing people with literature.”

The Shoe by Matthew LeDrew:
“A brilliant story. This piece reminds us about how we may be viewed many years from now with other than human eyes.”

Sci-Fi from the Rock (2016)Immune by Jennifer Combden:
“Perspective plays a big role in literature, and the perspective chosen for this piece is excellent. The perspective of a child in a disaster is not one I often see, and it was used phenomenally in this piece.”

Hag Ridden by Tara Murphy:
“I love horror, as can be discerned from the fact I wrote a bit of horror in this anthology. This one is frightening because what happens in it could happen to anyone, without you being able to stop it. Brilliantly done!”

Invasion by Matthew LeDrew:
“Another chilling story by Engen’s resident horror writer. One of two horror stories by Matthew in this anthology, its unnerving tone and final reveal sent shivers down my spine.”

Continue reading Sam Bauer on Sci-Fi from the Rock

Cover Revealed: Sci-Fi from the Rock

Sci-Fi from the Rock 2016
Sci-Fi from the Rock 2016

After keeping it under wraps for far, far too long, Engen Books is proud to reveal the cover to Sci-Fi from the Rock, the anthology collection we’ve been working on for well over a year with the helps of editors, generous contributions from other authors in the field, and artists.

This beautiful piece combining multiple mediums was crafted by Kyle Callahan of Kyle Callahan Photography. It incorporates stunning photography with stylized computer-generated art to bring the themes of classic sci-fi into the iconic landscape of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“Kyle came to me with this amazing concept of one of the classic, long-limbed robots from 60s science-fiction coming down into the Narrows, and I know he understood instantly what we were going for,” said Matthew LeDrew, founder of Engen Books. “We’re exceptionally please with this.”

Continue reading Cover Revealed: Sci-Fi from the Rock

Super Galactic Space Explorers comes to Engen

Super Galactic Space Explorers volume 2Submissions for the 2016 anthology edition of Sci-Fi from the Rock are now closed! Those authors who were accepted by editors Erin Vance and Ellen Curtis have been contacted and will be announced as their contracts come in. The first announcement though, is that Sci-Fi fan favorite Super Galactic Space Explorers author Jay Paulin has brought his space-faring furious felines to the collection in a new prose story titled “Spooky’s Gambit”… with bumper art by series co-creator Ariel Marsh!

The contents of the story are closely under wraps, but fans left wanting more in the wait for Super Galactic Space Explorers vol.3 will not be disappointed.

If this is just the first announcement… what else could be in store? Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out, and pick up a copy of Sci-Fi from the Rock this April!

Continue reading Super Galactic Space Explorers comes to Engen

Reality Check-Up with Dr. Heidi Paulin : Neck Injuries

Welcome to Reality Check-In, in which the lovely and talented Dr. Heidi Paulin dismisses the medical plot-holes created by common writing tropes in movies, books, and television that have affected various levels of the Engen Universe!

This episode’s question: In “Becoming,” a character gets a sword slashed through half of their neck. Can you tell us the plausible health benefits to having a sword sliced half way through ones neck? And also any health risks, should they be possible.

Well now,  that would depend on what part of the neck has been sliced!  Is it the front (anterior), the rear (posterior)  or lateral neck? Ah the lovely lateral neck? Well, a superficial slice may only give you a rad scar, and then you can walk around like a badass. A bit deeper, and you’ll injure or sever the sternocleidomastoid muscle, which allows you to flex your neck and turn your head to the opposite site. An injury to this, of course, gives you a valid medical excuse to avoid turning your head to check your blindspot while driving. Thus, you’re free to drive with abandon!

But you asked about a sword halfway through the neck. Well, a cut that deep and you’ll nick or sever the jugular vein and carotid artery. In the brief time before you bleed out (assuming no medical assistance is available), you can wow onlookers and imitate Jackson Pollack with your spurting blood (a better effect is achieved with only a nick of the carotid. Severing reduces the pressure of the blood spray). If you’re really talented you can maneuver you neck to aim your blood spray at the eyes of your attacker. An injury to the lateral neck will avoid the trachea and larynx, leaving you ability to scream intact (at least theoretically!). Now, some might argue these aren’t really health benefits, but that’s about the most positive spin I can put on such an incident.

I hope that explanation will suffice. 🙂

BecomingBecoming by Matthew LeDrew
Series: Black Womb, #7

Jay Paulin gives a tip of the hat to Legacy of the Full Moon!

Jay Paulin
Jay Paulin

Many of the Engen Authors are active on the literary social-media platform GoodReads, where users can rate, review and discuss books as well as interact with their favorite authors. One such author is Jay Paulin, author of Gristle While You Work, a short story in the light|dark collection, as well as multiple comics from his company Ink’D Well Comics, including Messiah, Super Galactic Space Explorers, and a series of anthologies whose proceeds benefit various children’s charities.

This time around, he chose to review the Steve Lake short story Legacy of the Full Moon, first printed in the now-out-of-print original Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology.

Steve Lake’s Legacy of the Full Moon introduces us to Ryan Murphy, a vampiric, preternatural investigator. In comics, we have John Constantine and Cal McDonald providing hard-boiled, hard-edged paranormal entertainment but Murphy isn’t given similar room to breathe. The tale is fairly straightforward: he is hired by Liam O’Connell, the last of his family’s line, and is requested to visit the hermit’s ancestral home. After some dialogue and a completely unsurprising revelation, there is some brief action but I simply wasn’t pulled into the world. On the bright side, Lake’s ending was intriguing to the point that I await more of Murphy’s adventures. This is just a tiny morsel but next time, I want a full course meal.

Note: This was my introduction to characters I’ve since encountered a handful of times, and I count myself as a fan. Do yourself a favour and — if nothing else — download the eBook. You’ll probably become a fan as well!

Be sure to sign up to GoodReads and join the conversation! As the original volume of Sci-Fi from the Rock is currently out-of-print, Engen Books has made the 19-page short story available for free on the GoodReads website, and we encourage everyone to download, read, enjoy, rate and review!

Legacy of the Full Moon (Full Moon Series, #1)Legacy of the Full Moon by Steve Lake
My rating: Sci-Fi from the Rock

Click to go right to the GoodReads page for this title!

Sci-Fi 2012: Success!

Andrea Edwards
Andrea Edwards

Sci-Fi on the Rock 2012 has come and gone and once again proven to be a massive success for Engen Books and everyone involved!

After getting an early start on Friday, the five Engen Authors in attendance began a record-setting weekend of fun, laughs, and most importantly: bringing new, great fiction to the masses.

Engen-founder Matthew LeDrew was there to launch the ninth book in his Black Womb series: Gang War . Also new to this convention was Inner Child , released at Hal-Con 2011 late last year, and light|dark , an anthology book featuring shorts by LeDrew, Ellen Curtis ( Compendium, Infinity ), Jay Paulin, Andrea Edwards, and Sarah Thompson!

Ellen Curtis and Sarah Thompson
Ellen Curtis and Sarah Thompson

Jay Paulin was there as a double-guest, working in his capacity as founder of Ink’d Well Comics as well as Engen Author. Seated directly north of the Engen booth, collectors had easy access to multiple signatures from authors of light|dark.

“We made new friends, caught up with old ones and promoted Ink’d Well Comics,” said Jay Paulin via his blog. “The thing is, you all know a convention weekend isn’t just what happens during show hours.”

Authors launched for the first time included Andrea Hackett, who wrote Scarlett for light|dark and came by to sign some copies as well!

Engen writing workshops on writing and writers block were open to a packed room of young authors, each ready to overcome whatever is “blocking” them and become the next big thing in the province.

It was a great year for Engen with more to come in the coming months! Stay tuned!

The first of many

Jay Paulin
Jay Paulin

Inspired by friend and fellow writer Matthew LeDrew, whom I first met at Hal-Con 2010, I decided to sign up here and start posting.

The early plan is to post large updates on weekends. From time to time, I’ll post interesting things I stumble across during the week.

The large updates, also taking a page from LeDrew, will focus on my writing process and inspirations.

Hopefully you enjoy these little musings and you find reason to stick around.

edit: I welcome any and all comments, providing they aren’t spam or vulgar. I want to keep this a place where writers and readers of all ages can visit. To help ensure this, I have comments set to be moderated. Hopefully everyone understands my concerns. Thanks!

First (real) post is coming soon!
– Jay

Black Womb book review (again)

Black Womb, 2007, Matthew LeDrew
Black Womb, 2007, Matthew LeDrew

This is shameless, but here is the reprinting of a review of my first novel, Black Womb, penned by Jay Paulin of Ink’d Well Comics, originally published on: The Book Closet

The decision to write an ongoing series is a gutsy one. The creator must feel confident in his or her ability to craft a believable world filled with believable characters; his or her ability to thread a titillating story that grips the reader and has them clamoring for more and, of course, his or her ability to run the grueling gauntlet required to write story after story after . . .

This is what makes Black Womb (Engen Books, 2007), the inaugural book in the eponymous, thriller series, so impressive. Within the first few chapters, we are introduced to evil corporations, powerful foes and people with mysterious identities/pasts. These are archetypes, true, but powerful ones. When placed in a (formerly) quiet, mid-sized town and faced by a group of everyday teens, it becomes relatable – even when the bodies start to pile after a number of impressively written action sequences. In a way, this novel reminded me of the 2005 film, Brick, in that the teens dominate and the adults are secondary. I’ll expand on this point later.

The core characters in the story are Alexander ‘Xander’ Drew — one of the aforementioned everyday teens – and school friends Mike Harris, Cathy Kennessy and Sara Johnson. The latter three are more complimentary at this point, and rightly so. Xander’s journey in this novel is the real draw and author Matthew LeDrew pulls few punches with his lead.

When a fellow student is slashed apart in the street, everyone wonders ‘why?’ and ‘who’s next?’ The answers to those questions cannot come quick enough as the violence zeroes in on the four friends. The search leads them on a quest that becomes very personal – more personal than Xander would’ve liked.

That leads to one of the strongest, but also weakest, parts of the story. Black Womb handles tension, pace and the sensation of fear exceptionally well. The characters? Not so much. What would you do when a merciless, walking weapon lurks in the shadows and slays people within your age group? Gather under one roof, of course! The adults also don’t seem to play too much of a role, which is unfortunately because the world otherwise is fleshed-out and realistic.

The questionable decisions are balanced out by three-dimensionality and full-bodied voices: it is easy to envision each character and location while reading the book, a trait shared by seemingly all of Engen Books’ titles.

Other than the minor quibbles, Black Womb did what all great series openers should: it laid down a strong foundation for the future and provided an entertaining read on its own. 4/5

Not bad, right? Check out the website for further reviews. 🙂

2012 Anthology series information leaks

Engen Books plans the next leg of it’s in-Universe publishing schedule to be released this April, with the publication of an as-yet unnamed anthology collection with stories taking place within the Engen Universe of stories containing the Black Womb series, Infinity, and Compendium.

The anthology will feature many stories taking place throughout the Engen Universe, both with established characters and new ones.

Engen author Matthew LeDrew commented on his blog on September 2nd that he will be writing at least three stories for the collection, and that writing the shorts has opened up some new doors for him.

“Sometimes when I’m writing a short it’s less about story and more about atmosphere, which isn’t the way I normally approach things,” said LeDrew. “I’m usually of the mind that character, above all else, comes first; then plot, and then wherever the chips may fall. But as I write more and more short fiction I’m learning that these rules are often very different between the two.”

In addition to LeDrew, fellow Engen author Ellen Curtis is said to be contributing a tale of her own, as well as Ink’d Well Comics creator Jay Paulin. Other authors are pending, with both newcomers and established authors being rumored to be attached to the project.

“Until the ink is dry, I’m not saying anything,” said LeDrew. “But I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The next Engen-Universe release is Inner Child, the eighth book in the Black Womb series, to be released this November at the second-annual Hal-Con.