Tag Archives: Steve Lake

For the Brave: Steve Lake! | Donate

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 info@shaveforthebrave.ca or call 877-571-7325.

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Atlanti-Con 4: A very successful distraction

Atlanti-Con 4 swept through the city of Corner Brook this past weekend, September 25-27 at the Corner Brook Convention Center and was once again wildly successful. It is to my deep regret that I missed this event in its first two years: it’s a great con run by amazing people, and always a ton of fun that is also — somehow — quite relaxing. There’s something of a very chill vibe that I get from Atlanti-Con that I do not get at other conventions on my standard circuit: Atlanti-Con is the cool surfer-brother of the Atlantic Provinces Convention family.

While many Engen authors, including Steve Lake (author of the Full Moon series of short stories), Darren Hann (author of Time Diamond, Holy Troll, and The Imagination Journals) and Tara Murphy (author of HagRidden) all came out together along with other members of the Sci-Fi on the Rock community, myself and fellow Infinity author Ellen Curtis came out a few days earlier on September 23, carpooling with award-winning author Scott Bartlett (author of Royal Flush, Taking Stock, and Finished with Life) to stay with friend and co-author Sarah Thompson and her wife Erica Green on the west coast of the province for a few days before the convention really geared up.

Light-DarkSarah and Erica are some of my very best friends. Their wedding last year was an amazing night with laughter and friends and fun that will be remembered for years to come, and they are wonderful hosts. Sarah herself is a person of many talents, not only working as an Employee-of-the-Year-winning announcer on K-Rock and helping at the Engen booth with sales, but also penning an amazing short story for the Engen light|dark anthology, Reamers.

After a few days of fun in the surprising amount of sun, with good food and lots late nights, Atlanti-Con took full affect in its new venue, with guests that included Michael McCluskey (also known by his stage name, Fat Apollo), voice-actor Erin Fitzgerald (most famously of the Monster High series), and comic-artist/author Richard Comely.

Now I don’t fan-gush much at conventions. It is very rare that I meet a celebrity that flusters me: I tend to be of the mind that we’re all people, and that getting excited over meeting a celebrity is a little silly: your life-partner, that’s someone to get excited about meeting. But while I don’t think I was nerding too badly at Atlanti-Con, I will say that meeting Richard Comely was a big moment for me.

Captain Canuck Compendium 1975-1981For anyone who isn’t familiar with the name, Richard Comely was the creator and main creative influence on the Captain Canuck series of comic books that ran from 1975 to 1981 and formed a large part of the cultural and pop-cultural heritage and history of Canadians in that time and to the present day. The first issue of Captain Canuck sold over 200,000 copies in 1975, and was one of the first Canadian super-hero comic success stories.

To put it into perspective: that was the same year that Giant-Sized X-Men #1 came out and relaunched the X-Men with Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and the like. And even then, many mainstream comics were not hitting the numbers that Comely’s comics were.

For me personally, I remember finding back-issues of Captain Canuck in a longbox in St. Johns. I didn’t know it then in those pre-internet days of 1990, but I had found almost the entire 14-issue series in one sitting. I remember reading through each issue, and Comely editorials at the end of each one, feverishly. I’d read superhero comics for some time, but even those set in Canada had been written and produced south of the border. Something about reading Comely’s evocative stories gave me, as a Canadian, permission to write and imagine writing in that genre. The series is available now in an Omnibus (called a Compendium) that collects all 14 issues, an previously unrepresented 15th issue, and several one-shot issues leading up to the recent relaunch. Everyone should check it out.

I picked up the 1975-1981 Compendium immediately, and later Richard was interested in what he was seeing across the hall at the Engen booth and proposed a swap: the first three issues of the new series for the anthology title light/dark, which highlights many of the Engen authors. A very good trade. Artist Kevin Kendall and I ended up getting in a bit of a nerd-off competition for who could get more Captain Canuck merchandise, as we’re both big fans.

Black WombSpeaking of Kevin Kendall, Atlanti-Con also was host to some of the best artists in the province, including Kevin’s Kendallight Studios and Kyle Callahan from Kyle Callahan Photography. Both do amazingly detailed work in very different ways, and the body of their work is often stunning. Atlanti-Con is always great for building connections and relationships: I met Kevin at a Convention on the West Coast in 2009, and he ended up doing the cover art for the revamped international edition of Black Womb for us. Keep your ears open for more collaborations between Engen and Kendallight Studios in the future, as well as with Kyle Callahan Photography.

Engen Books sold well as always, with the new-to-the-West-Coast Cinders and Infinity being the best sellers. We can’t wait to start getting feedback from the wonderful, creative people we met at Atlanti-Con this year: art isn’t art without input from the viewer!

Here’s to another great year at Atlanti-Con next year! Special shout-out to Scott Bartlett for driving this year and getting the three of us there (and back) safe and sound in an environmentally-friendly way! 🙂

Never Look Back!

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 on the Rock 9: The Stylin’ Lounge

Steve Lake, author of The Stylin' Lounge
Steve Lake, author of The Stylin’ Lounge

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.

Full Moon Fever: Interview with Steve Lake

Steve Lake
Steve Lake

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.

 

The Authors speak: Darren Hann and Steve Lake

Darran Hann - Engen Bytes
Darran Hann – Engen Bytes

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.