Blog-related

May 2014 Writing Update + Mega-Giveaway Ends Soon!

Happy Saturday, fellow bloggers!

Just thought I’d do a quick writing update for anyone interested in how my assorted projects are going. In no particular order …

Chasing Nonconformity (sequel to Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It)

The manuscript is currently in the hands of my mother/editor/life coach. She’s reading it through right now, and has promised to return it to me by the end of May. We’re actually meeting up for my friend’s wedding, so I’ve kindly informed my mother that she’s not allowed to attend the wedding unless she brings me the edited manuscript as tribute. Muahahahahaha.

Assuming she doesn’t suggest any crazy, sweeping changes to the story, I’m hoping to have this book out and published by the fall. Fingers crossed!

D.Y.S.C. (working title)

This is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian YA trilogy I’ve been working on for a while now. I actually wrote half a first draft a few years back, scrapped it, re-wrote it, and scrapped it again. Now that the weather’s nice again, I’ve started going on daily walks with my little brother, and we’ve been planning out the full trilogy. We’ve got the first book pretty much planned, the second one’s in fairly good shape, and the third one’s a mess. But we’re making good progress!

In terms of actual plot, the story will follow Victoria, a teenage girl who lives on an asteroid colony out in the belt (the Earth was destroyed about a century earlier, so this is the last outpost of humanity). Crime runs rampant on the asteroid colonies, and she lives in a poor sector, so she joins a street gang. An arms deal goes horribly wrong, and she ends up getting arrested. In this world there are crazy rules for what happens if you’re a criminal, and Victoria ends up being drafted to a DYSC team (DYSC is the sport that everyone follows — it’s sort of like a gladiatorial arena, except with more sport-like elements [scoring systems, teams, branding, sponsors, etc.].) So she joins a team, has to risk her life in the arena, has to deal with her psychopathic teammates (who are also criminals), has to deal with the team owner lusting after her, etc. Fun!

Those are the big two I’m working on right now. I have a couple of other projects off to the side, but they’re sort of on hold while I play around with these two projects.

In Imminent Danger news, I’ll be attending the “Gathering on the Green” festival in London, Ontario next month and selling my book. I’ll have my prize wheel out and ready for kids to spin, I’ll have a bazillion bookmarks and stickers to give away — and, of course, a big box of books to sell. If for whatever reason you happen to be in London, Ontario on June 7, stop by and say hi!

 

Mega Giveaway Ends Soon!

My mega giveaway for Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It ends on Monday! It’s really easy to enter (almost too easy) — just do something (literally anything) to promote my book. Tweet a link to it, Facebook share it, buy it, write a review, write some fanfiction and post it in the comments, draw some fanart … sky’s the limit! And you can enter multiple times — if you want to tweet about my book every day for the next three days, that’s 3 entries! Wow!

Ahem. Check out the original giveaway post for details. Prizes include a signed copy of my book, plus possibly more awesome prizes if I get enough entrants. Now go forth and conquer!

 

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New Imminent Danger Fanfiction!

As you may or may not know, I’m currently holding a mega giveaway for my novel, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It. One of the ways you can enter is by writing up a bit of fanfiction for the book. Now, the esteemed Misha Burnett sent me a tiny little fanfiction piece for funsies, but I think it’s awesome and I’m therefore sharing it with you all!

Here it is, in untouched glory (for reference, Grashk is a six-armed lizard man):

Varrin buried his face in Grashk’s scaly chest, breathing in the musky reptilian odor.

“If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right …” the Raskorsian husked.

“What about Eris,” Grashk asked. “Have you told her?”

“Her?” Varrin sniffed. “I am so over the whole human thing. Once you go Ssrisk, you’ll never go back!”

That’s all for today! Have a glorious weekend, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Oh, and if you decide to write me some fanfiction, yes, you will 100% be featured on this blog whether you like it or not. Ahahahahahahaha.

 

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Cover reveal! “The Song Caster” by Danielle E. Shipley

Cover reveal time! Danielle E. Shipley’s fourth book in the Wilderhark Tales series, The Song Caster, is coming out on June 24th. Check out the cover below!

Song Caster Cover, front

 

Back o’ book blurb:

The dull doom of impending marriage at his back and a reticent royal at his side, remarkable minstrel Gant-o’-the-Lute is off in search of adventure, and you can be sure he finds it – complete with much music, magicked maidens, and a dangerous power so great, Lute might for once find himself outmatched.

The Song Caster

Book Four of The Wilderhark Tales

 <> ~ <> ~ <>

 An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

 You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes, and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

 

danielle_author photoAbout the Author:

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it at www.EverOnWord.wordpress.com. Her first novel, “Inspired”, is now available through J. Taylor Publishing.

 

Book Details:

Full Title: “The Song Caster (Book Four of The Wilderhark Tales)

ISBN: 978-0-9891846-3-2

Genre: Young Adult Fairytale

Length: Novella (212 pages)

Release DateTuesday, June 24, 2014

Future availability: Paperback (Amazon.com) and eBook (Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com)

 

Add “The Song Caster” to your Goodreads shelf today!

 

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The Writing Process Blog Hop

It’s been awhile since I participated in a Blog Hop, so I figured, no time like the present!

So let’s start off with a big thank you to Andrew Toynbee, who tagged me for this blog hop and wrote some really sweet words about me. You, sir, are a class act.

On to the blog hop!

1) What are you working on?

So I have two projects in the works right now:

  1. Chasing Nonconformity (sequel to Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It) — I’ve finished the rewrite, and have now set the book aside for a few weeks to give it time to mature (books are like wine/cheese, right?). Once the maturing process is finished, I will go back through the manuscript and rip it apart, in the hopes that the beta readers I eventually give it to won’t be too disgusted when they read it.
  2. The Elemental Guard — This is a fantasy novel I’ve been working on for a couple of years now, and I am in the process of figuring out how I want to rewrite it. I do technically have a first draft, but it’s suffering from an extreme case of “Not enough happens-itis”. So I’m going to rework the story from the ground up and make it awesome.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Well, Imminent Danger and Chasing Nonconformity are different from mainstream YA novels in that they’re not entirely focused on a love triangle. I know that’s generalizing a bit, but it’s also a fact that the vast majority of YA novels currently on the market are just obsessed with doom and gloom and tragic love triangles. The Imminent Danger series does not have love triangles, and I don’t think it ever will — well, it might, but the love triangle would be extremely nonviable, and more in there for comic relief than anything else. I also try to put a lot of humor in my stories, because A) I enjoy laughing and making people laugh, and B) whenever I write dark, dramatic things, I get kind of depressed.

3) Why do you write what you write?

I’ve loved fantasy and sci-fi since I was a kid. My parents indoctrinated me young — technically from the moment I was born, actually, as my middle name is Lothlorien (the Elvish woodlands from Lord of the Rings). So I tend to write a lot of fantasy and sci-fi because those are just the kind of stories I enjoy. I’m currently dabbling in a darker, slightly anarchic story, but even that still has some sci-fi/fantasy elements to keep it interesting. For me, I get enough of reality from living in it day to day — when I pick up a book, or sit down to write, I want to go somewhere new!

4) How does your writing process work?

Oh, it’s a complete mess. Sometimes I get an idea and immediately sit down and start banging out words. Sometimes I’ll get an idea, write it down, and then forget about it for years. Sometimes I’ll do elaborate planning for a story, with character backgrounds and histories and so on, and then get bored and never look at it again. My writing process is really just about what’s working for me at the time. Right now, I’m in a “do some high-level planning first, write the first draft from start to finish, and then re-write until you go completely batty and have to take up tai chi as a calming exercise” type phase.

——–

Nailed it! Okay, moving on to part 2 of the blog hop — tagging four authors to follow in my glorious footsteps. I’m not going to give them advanced warning on this because, quite frankly, I don’t have the patience to send out emails and wait for responses. So they’ll just have to deal with the free advertising, and decide for themselves if they want to participate in the blog hop.

Audrey Driscoll — This wonderful lady is the author of one of the best self-published books I’ve ever read, The Friendship of MortalsIt’s haunting, and beautiful, and thought-provoking, and has a dash of Lovecraftian horror that will absolutely blow you away. Also, the book has a fancy new purple cover!

Danielle E. Shipley — Aside from being a sweetheart, Danielle blogs all about writing and fairytales, and occasionally even about writing fairytales (gasp!). She has a great little series of novellas out called The Wilderhark Tales.

Kate Sparks — First of all, Kate reads all my posts and leaves awesome comments, so that alone makes her one of my favorite bloggers! Her blog is also quite excellent — all about writing, publishing, etc. She’s also recently posted a few pictures of Loki and his adventures with a pink pony, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Celeste DeWolfe — You know her as the talented artist behind all the Imminent Danger fan art I keep posting, but Celeste has many other talents! Her blog is really fun, with a huge variety of topics — ranging from web comics to music to books. And she’s currently posting her first novel, Life of Gaiaon Jukepop Serials (i.e., she posts it chapter by chapter, and you can read for free and leave comments).

Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a fabulous Friday!

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Unrelated media of the day:

Two sentence horror stories! It’s a thing! Check out more here: http://imgur.com/gallery/aHrf8

 

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Cover Reveal! Danielle Taylor’s “Falling For You”

Technically I was supposed to post this about twelve hours ago, but better late than never! Without further ado, I present to you the cover for Danielle Taylor’s new romance novel, Falling For You.

FfYgood (2)

Julia Burns can’t remember a day in her life when she didn’t have to work. So the ad in the paper sounds perfect to her – even if she does have to marry a complete stranger.

Nicholas Steele isn’t used to being around people since the accident that left him disfigured. Having a permanent house guest isn’t his idea of fun, however, the press would have a field day if they found he and his new wife weren’t residing together.

On paper, their ‘fake’ marriage fits both their needs, giving Nicholas a wife and Julia the security she’s always dreamed of having. In reality, every moment Nicholas and Julia spend together brings them closer to falling for each other.

* * * * * *

About the author:

Danielle Taylor is the author of the Captive Hearts Series and the WattPad sensation Falling for You, which broke 100,000 reads in less than a week.
You can find Danielle on:
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Happy New Year!

Okay, okay, I’m a little late to the party — six days late, to be exact. But I’m here now, so Happy New Year, my lovely blogging friends!

Like all bloggers, one of my resolutions this year is to blog more — specifically, I intend to read other people’s blogs more, and try to update my own blog a few times a week. I’ve been doing fairly well with my ‘eat healthy’ resolution thus far, so hopefully I can carry that success over into the blogosphere.

A quick review of 2013 (only the good things)

  • Published my first novel! And it actually has good reviews!
  • Published my first short story!
  • Got my first fan art and fan fiction!
  • Became VP of the London Writers’ Society!
  • Didn’t screw up being VP of the London Writers’ Society!
  • Got a raise!
  • Finally moved out of my mother’s apartment! (well, sort of — actually, she moved out and transferred the lease to me)
  • Got a car! (again, mother’s doing — she gave me her old car and bought a new one)
  • Got asked to be a bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding!
  • Learned how to walk in nature for more than half an hour without having a nervous breakdown over bugs being freakin’ everywhere!

I’m sure more awesome stuff happened, but those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. I haven’t had my morning tea yet (one of my 2014 resolutions is to drink more tea), so my brain isn’t working at 100% capacity yet.

Looking ahead to 2014

My re-write of Chasing Nonconformity, the sequel to Imminent Danger, is going slower than I would like … but it is progressing, so I’m cautiously hopeful about getting it done in the next month or so. I finished revising chapter 14 last night (out of 48), so I still have a ways to go, but several of the upcoming chapters don’t need to be changed at all, so that should make life easier. My announced plan last year of a January 2014 release date for Chasing Nonconformity was wildly optimistic, and definitely won’t be happening. Maybe I can still swing a spring 2014 release? We’ll see. Fingers crossed!

Other than that, I have a few other things coming up. My best friend’s wedding is in August, so lots to do to help her prepare for that. I believe we will be getting together once a month to watch Disney movies and make invitations and place settings and whatnot. And then there’s our possible move to Nova Scotia, which may or may not be happening after the wedding. My brother is graduating this spring, which I’m super proud of him for accomplishing … my mother bought a new house, which she’ll be renovating over the next two years or so … I may or may not be publishing another short story, assuming I ever get it back from the depths of my mother’s unread inbox …

 

So a big thank you to everyone who followed my ramblings in 2013! I’ll try to do better at following your own adventures this upcoming year … promise! Happy New Year to all!

 

Unrelated media of the day

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Guest Post: Do Not Despair — the Digital Age is Here!

Today’s guest post comes to us from Tom Dale, a writer over at sainsburysebooks.co.uk, who was kind enough to offer some insights on the current state of digital self-publishing. Read on!

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Do not despair; the digital age is here!

The digital age has changed the world. It has transformed the way we do almost everything, from the minute to the massive. There are valid arguments claiming that technology has enhanced our lives and those that say it has detracted from it. Personally I sit somewhere between these two camps, but on the whole I believe it has made life better and broadened possibilities for many people on the planet. The greatest achievement of the technological age, I would argue, is the enhancement of global interconnectedness. That may sound a little wordy but think about it for a second; in that second you thought about it millions of people communicated with millions more people.

eBook agains books

This greater connectivity has one key benefit for authors the world over; self publishing can be done by anyone and distributed globally in an instant. Not only that but your content will sit alongside works which have had thousands of pounds thrown at them for publication, with no distinguishable difference. When Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, a tool for authors to self-publish their books to Amazon’s Kindle store, was launched alongside its famous e-reader, the Kindle, vast new possibilities were created for authors without the resources or support to get their work published. This format has been reproduced by many other eBook publishers such as Apples iBook or Barnes and Noble’s Nook publishing services.

Gordon Willoughby, Director of Kindle EU, has had to say of these platforms: “[It] enables ‘ordinary’ Kindle authors to compete on a level playing field with the giants of the literary world and we’re so excited to see it succeeding for both readers and authors.” Mr Willoughby’s words ring true in light of the thousands of success stories that have come out of eBook self publication.

Amazon_Kindle_3Despite some controversy around Amazon’s publication service and rumours of excessive ‘delivery charges’ added onto Amazon’s fee for eBook sales, the KDP tool is an invaluable one for aspiring authors. If you are sitting on your first book – receiving rejection letters from traditional print publishers – do not be disheartened; it has been hailed as a cure for the depression of rejection from publishers. The tales of self-publishing success often tell of multiple rejections, only to receive multiple offers once a name was made on the eBook market.

There are a plethora of alternatives to Amazon’s KDP and I would suggest maximising your potential sales by exploring all these other avenues to ensure maximum reach. However, despite the controversy around the two royalty levels that Amazon offers, you should not exclude yourself from that market. Consider that people who own Kindles are unlikely to use other eBook purchasing services (although from I what I hear competitors such as Sainsburys’s eBooks are beginning to challenge this) and that just under half the e-reader market share is held by the Kindle, it would make no business sense to back out of such a vast market on principle or otherwise.

The HelpKathryn Stockett, author of the bestselling novel The Help, who was famously rejected dozens of times before getting her work published, has been quoted telling fellow authors: “What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60?” And how many did stop at 40, or 50, or 60? It takes an incredibly strong person to still believe in your work after so much rejection but it would seem that this rejection has no bearing on the merit of your work.

So, in short, this new age of self-publication bypasses the depressing, even soul-destroying, world in which the fickle choice of another affects your very existence as an author. The global connectivity that has been gifted to us by the digital age has brought with it other gifts. The ability to jump straight from author to published author in a matter of hours and to see one’s work sat on the shelves, albeit digital ones, of a global bookstore alongside the best bestsellers and the most successful storytellers work. It gifts new self-confidence to demoralised authors and a road to success to those who had never broached the barrier of the ominous publisher.

Long live digital!

 

Tom Erik Dale is a freelance journalist, writer, and lover of all things literary. He has long been an enthusiastic reader of both fiction and non-fiction, and is a keen believer in the digital reader revolution.

 

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Guest Post: Back to Creative Writing School (Bridget Whelan)

Today we welcome fellow author Bridget Whelan to tell us about her new creative writing how-to book! Take it away, Bridget!

Following Michelle’s excellent example of shameless self-promotion, I jumped at her invitation to guest post about my new ebook BACK TO CREATIVE WRITING SCHOOL and how you can get hold of a free copy.

back-to-creative-writing-schoolWhat’s it about?

It’s about finding ideas and developing them through a programme of 30 practical writing exercises that range from magic for grown ups to humour and horror writing. It’s about playing around with language and injecting a little rhythm into prose. There are lucky dip exercises that fling strange ideas together and formulas for creating characters that will walk off the page and start throwing their weight around. There are story prompts and poetry exercises for writers who do not want to write a poem, alongside exercises that will help you to start a memoir or look more closely at the world you live in.

All the exercises in the book have been tried and tested on real students. I’ve selected the most popular ones that offer an interesting challenge and have the potential to push you in new directions. And the ones that are fun. Writing is hard work: it doesn’t have to be punishment.

I’ve developed these ideas over nine years while I’ve been teaching creative non fiction at university, fiction in adult education and worked as Writer in Residence at a community centre serving the unwaged and low waged. In that period I’ve had one novel published by a mainstream publishing house and won $US4000 in an international short story competition, but no writer knows all the answers. Every time I am in a classroom I learn something new about creative writing. Every time I pick up a pen. Or read a book that grabs my imagination.

However, fair warning, this book will not tell you how to:

Bridget facebook 1 (2)

Bridget Whelan (author)

  • write a bestseller next weekend
  • win competitions
  • become rich and famous as a novelist.

Nor is it a guide to finding an agent or selling a short story. There are other books – good books – that can help with all that (except about being rich and famous, never trust a how-to book on that subject) but BACK TO CREATIVE WRITING SCHOOL is about creating the material that could become a prizewinning short story or the novel you’ve always wanted to write.

And for 24 hours it is free.

Download it from midnight Sunday December 1st (tonight!) to midnight Monday December 2nd (Pacific time) from your most convenient Amazon.

 

Amazon.ca

http://www.amazon.ca/Creative-Writing-School-Bridget-Whelan-ebook/dp/B00GJN576E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385418878&sr=8-1&keywords=Bridget+Whelan

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GJN576E

Amazon.uk

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-Writing-School-Bridget-Whelan-ebook/dp/B00GJN576E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385399583&sr=8-1&keywords=bridget+whelan

 

And come over and say hello on facebook. I’d love to see you! https://www.facebook.com/creativewritingschool

 

Unrelated link of the day:

The tone matrix! Make beautiful music with no musical experience whatsoever!

http://tonematrix.audiotool.com/

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Guest Post: 10 Safety Tips for 10 Fictional Cannibals (London McGuire)

Today’s guest post comes to us from London McGuire, who has a fun, cannibal-themed post to keep us entertained on this dreary Wednesday!

 

10 Safety Tips for 10 Fictional Cannibals

Cannibals – they truly are what they eat.  Perhaps the most terrifying thing about them is you don’t know what they are until it’s too late. You don’t know what’s truly inside until you ARE inside … literally. However, for being such sinister figures, we sure do love to watch them work.

Turn on the television and there’s a show about a cannibal. Open up a book and there’s a cannibal. And, of course, there are the movies – both new and old – all featuring humans with a hunger for other humans. There’s just no getting away from it but, lucky for you, there are some tips* to avoid becoming part of the cannibal’s carnivorous cuisine.

*DISCLAIMER: These tips are for the 10 fictional cannibals listed below. There is no guarantee that these will work with any of the real-life cannibals you likely encounter in your day-to-day routine without even knowing it – the barista at Starbucks, the mailman, perhaps, your next-door neighbors, etc.

 

1. Recognize Wordplay Early into the Game

Hannibal Lecter – you knew he’d show up at some point, so let’s get him out of the way in this first tip. Whether you’ve read him in the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon, seen Anthony Hopkins manifest him in movies, or caught Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal in the television show Hannibal – one thing fictional man-eaters have taught us is that they love some good old-fashioned verbal repartee.

Whether it’s something subtle like:

“… I’m having an old friend for dinner.”

Or something a little more obvious:

“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

If someone says they want to “have you for dinner, sometime” or they compliment you with things like “your house is simply murderous,” that’s probably a red flag. Recognize the signs! Some of these playful predators can’t help but telegraph what’s going to be on the menu.

 

2. Try Not to Be Such a Loner

In the Walking Dead comic series, Rick and his band of world-weary survivors had cannibals of the undead variety to deal with. Things, however, took a much darker (if that were possible) turn when they encountered Chris and the hunters in the 2009 story arc Fear the Hunters.

Fan favorite Dale lost his leg after a zombie bite, which was a real bummer. However, that failed to compare to what happened next when the cannibalistic hunters found him wandering off on his own. Rick and his superior numbers got the drop on Chris’s group, but the damage had been done and Dale was no more. The thing to remember about cannibals is that, as terrifying as they are, they are by no stretch of the imagination the majority. Strength in numbers.

 

3. Get to Work on Your Cardio

It might seem like poor counsel to make yourself healthier (or more wholesome) when dealing with cannibals, but then how else would you be able to outrun Fat Bastard? Ah, yes, Fat Bastard – the comical antagonist from Austin Powers the Spy Who Shagged Me. He was fat, he was obnoxious and, oh yeah, he craved the taste of baby flesh. Yeah, when it comes to fight or flight, sometimes flight is your best bet … so get to work on your cardio!

 

4. Identify the Exits Before You Enter

Even the humblest lodge can seem like a twisted, endless maze when you’re being pursued by a cannibal. It’s funny how the mind can really play tricks on you when overwhelmed with thoughts of being devoured bite by bite. This was proven time and time again throughout the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise which featured an entire family of cannibals – the Sawyers.

Of course, one of the more notable Sawyers that managed to outshine the notorious Leatherface was Chop Top. Ol’ Chop Top Sawyer was especially scary because of his otherwise personable mannerism.  A Vietnam vet who took a few too many to the head, his actions and attitude resembled that of a flower power hippy … that ate people.

Whether it’s Chop Top, Leatherface, or any other childishly-named nightmare creature “inviting” you in, get a feel for the exits if you can.

 

5. Try to Be Wary of the Help

Sweeney Todd gave new meaning to “taking a little off the top” when he went on a murderous rampage with a straight razor and a wise idea – turning the bodies into meat pies. Granted, not every barber with a straight razor is out to get you (probably) but, when faced with a service that puts you in a compromising position, such as a shave, it’s prudent to remember that it’s 2013 and you can buy decent razors almost anywhere. No need to tempt fate.

 

6. Leave a Note Before You Leave

It’s usually wise to leave a note if you plan on going somewhere – especially if that somewhere happens to be a rural town in the Welsh countryside. The members of the hit TV series Torchwood learned this lesson the hard way when they were investigating mysterious disappearances in the country village of Brynblaidd in the infamous Countrycide episode of Season 1. The Torchwood team soon discovered the source of the Brynblaidd disappearances – the cannibalistic villagers.

Stranded in the middle of nowhere, they were cut off from outside communication and absolutely NO ONE knew where they were. Luckily, as they often do, the team managed to come out of the ordeal intact … physically.

 

7. Don’t Overlook or Underestimate the Quiet Ones

Silent but deadly is one way you could have described Sin City‘s iconic human-monster “Kevin.” Looking to make a clean break from the “nice guy” image he built in the Lord of the Rings films, Elijah Wood decided his next big role would be the silent cannibal of the 2005 Sin City film. What made Kevin particularly memorable was the complete lack of anything obviously resembling a human soul. Whenever you DID see his eyes past the obscuring glare of his glasses, the gaze was vacant, and whenever he fought, his moves were agile like an animal and lacking any mechanisms or mannerisms resembling humanity.

What really sold the creep factor on this cannibal, though, was when he finally got his comeuppance at the hands of equally creepy vigilante, Marv. Even with half his body eaten by a wolf and his head slowly hacked away with a saw, Kevin never ONCE utters a sound and smiles serenely the whole time.

 

8. Don’t Waste Time Appealing to Their Humanity

The only thing more dangerous than just any old cannibal is a cannibal who actually thinks they’re right with God and, frighteningly enough, most of them have reached this point. How do you think they go on living with themselves? It’s probably cheating, but we’re going to list off another cannibal from Sin City – Patrick Henry Roark.

Not only did he keep silent about Kevin’s actions, he willfully joined in on the feasts. The really messed up part about it, though, is that they both, especially Patrick, believed they were inheriting the sinful souls of all the prostitutes they cannibalized. They believed they were delivering them to salvation. Try reasoning with that? You can’t. When faced with a cannibal, indicting them on their actions may not be the best use of your time – they are fully aware of what they’re doing.

 

9. Be Careful Who You Tell Regarding Cannibals

While we mentioned, earlier, that cannibals do not make up the majority of humanity (and hooray for that), that doesn’t mean they don’t stick together. Probably the largest group of fictional cannibals around is the Soylent Corporation. They not only regulated cannibalism, but made it mainstream.

You often hear about people mysteriously disappearing when they stand against the corporations. In the case of the Soylent Corporation, however, they aren’t going to simply “make you go away.” That would be wasteful.

 

10. Never Ever Leave the House Again

Among their litany of devious qualities, cannibals also carry another quality – their ability to blend with the rest of us. Many of the cannibals we’ve listed demonstrate this quality, but probably one of the more iconic ones is Patrick Bateman. Now, forget what you know about American Psycho and forget EVERYTHING you’ve seen of the Nolan Batman films.

Take one look at Patrick Bateman and tell me you think he’s a cannibal. That’s the real horror behind these “unique” individuals – they know how to blend. That’s why, if all else fails, maybe the best piece of advice on this list is to simply never leave the house. You just can’t tell.

Besides, you can buy pretty much everything you need online from groceries to cars. Who needs to socialize? Who needs to date? Some of us like being single and uneaten …

 

London McGuire is a freelance writer and blogger for WeLoveTVMore.com. In addition to the horror and thriller genres, she enjoys writing about sports, great food and anything related to television or movies. Follow her on Twitter @londonmcguire.

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Guest Post: Charles Yallowitz on Sequel Writing

Tips on Writing a Sequel

First, a big thank you to Michelle Proulx for letting me write a guest blog in honor of the July 31st debut of my second book, Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.  I think that covers the shameless self-promotion part of the program.  Wait.  Feel free to buy and read Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero, so you’re ready for the sequel.  There.  That should do it.

So, you want to write a sequel.  It’s a common malady for fiction authors.  You love your characters and you have subplots that need more time to run their course.  You have a new villain that you want to use. That infomercial at 3AM gave you the best idea for another story with the same characters.  There’s also the chance that you had a series planned all along and this is the natural progression of your career.  In the end, the sequel is there and you’re ready to write it.

My story is that my books are based on a college Dungeons & Dragons game.  I knew from the beginning that a series would have to happen.  Each semester had a different quest as the heroes moved through the dice rolls.  Then I realized I had to put some work in and altered a lot before I sat down to write.  The big difference is that characters don’t evolve too much over the course of a single adventure in a game.  In fact, many players have their characters stay the same in terms of mentality and emotions.  I had to shake things up and put growth into the story, which is why I take sequels very seriously.  You need all of your main characters to change in every book even if it’s minor.  For example, one character might go through a life-changing event while another learns a new skill.  Both are growth, but one is definitely heavier than the other.

I would say one of the most difficult parts of writing a sequel (and I’m writing the 5th book of the series here) is balance of characters.  Specifically, your old characters versus your new characters. You have your original heroes that you need to keep some focus on and retain what they had in the first book.  You must also put them in situations that test their strength and develop them beyond their original forms.  This takes a lot of work because you don’t want to go too far or spend all of your time on it.  Yes, these are the characters you started with and they have seniority, but they also have fans and reputations that your new characters are setting out the gain.

The balance with new characters is that you need to highlight them without overshadowing your old characters.  They need to merge into the preexisting group, but not so flawlessly that it’s unbelievable.  Think about how you make new friends and try to work off that.  You might even want to go with a new character that the old ones have trouble getting along with.  I introduce a very powerful spellcaster named Nyx in my new book.  She is temperamental, rude, and difficult to get along with at first.  It makes for an interesting story because she butts heads with the main hero of the first book, Luke Callindor.  This gave me the opportunity to delve into the tolerance and friendship making ability of these two characters.  In the end, I create a very tight and clear dynamic between them.

Here are some simple tips about writing a sequel:

  1. Change is good and necessary in terms of characters.  Yet, you must always stay true to the character.  If one of them goes evil then it has to make sense that they do it.  The noble Paladin going evil on a whim won’t win you any sales.
  2. Reference past books, but don’t harp on it.  You need to find a way for the new characters to learn about past events.  I write in present tense, so this is done through dialogue.  I also use the occasional ‘told off-camera’ trick when it can be used.
  3. Never be afraid to check back to your first book to make sure you have your facts straight.  If you mention that a city has a specific symbol in the first book then double check when the characters actually go there.
  4. Give the villains a reason to hate or fear the new characters.  You need your villains to acknowledge your new character instead of holding onto the old grudge.  Otherwise, your new hero becomes a secondary character.
  5. Spell the series name correctly.  You think I’m joking here?  Well, I am, but better safe than sorry.
  6. Don’t be afraid to shake up the foundation.  The fun of a second book is that you can change things in the overall world.  A city can be wiped out or a secondary character from the first book can be killed.  The fun of a sequel, which can lead to a series, is that you now have the reach and time to do world-changing events.
  7. Most important!!!  Have fun.  Don’t look at writing the sequel as a stressful situation where you need to outdo the first.  Have fun with the writing and exploring your beloved characters.  You’ve given them more than a spotlight, but a life path that can go on for a few books if you wish it to.

Those are the big points about writing a sequel.  If this inspired you to write a sequel or plan a series then I’ve done my job.  Again, have fun and enjoy yourself!

Book 2 Final Flat

 

 

 

 

 

You can check out Charles Yallowitz’s debut novel, Beginning of a Hero, by clicking here.

 

And you can check out the sequel (release date: July 31, 2013), Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, by clicking here.

 

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