Site Maintenance: Deleting Accounts

June 19th, 2014

In order to get the FE site running more smoothly, we’re doing a fair amount of maintenance and optimization, from improving code and reexamining which plugins we are using to culling user accounts from the site.

Until we installed a couple of extra security plugins a few months ago, we were being hit with fairly constant SPAM user account signups. We need to reduce the drag on the database, so we’re going through and removing potential SPAM accounts. Unfortunately, there’s no good way of differentiating the real users from the fake ones, so that means we have to eyeball the list. Chances are, we might delete a real account, so if you do happen to attempt to log in with no success, chances are your account got caught in the net.

If that happens, we apologize and hope that you’ll take a few moments to sign up again. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

VORTEX Cover Painting

July 7th, 2013

Posted by W. H. Horner, Editor-in-Chief

Author Lawrence C. Connolly and artist Rhonda Libbey with the painting for the cover of VORTEX: Book Three of the Veins Cycle.

Author Lawrence C. Connolly and artist Rhonda Libbey with the painting for the cover of Vortex: Book Three of the Veins Cycle.

Last week, while Lawrence C. Connolly and I were in Greensburg, PA, for the June residency of Seton Hill University’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program, we had the chance to meet with Pittsburgh artist Rhonda Libbey, who surprised us with the finished painting for the cover to Larry’s forthcoming conclusion to the Veins Cycle: Vortex.

I was blown away to see the art in person, and I kept staring at it over lunch. Some of the other patrons of the restaurant were curious as well, stealing glances from time to time.

We spent a couple of hours going over our list of twenty interior illustrations, hashing out details and making sure that everyone was on the same metaphorical and literal pages.

Rhonda brought a few sketches, and Larry even had the opportunity to flex his artistic muscles and transformed his words into rough drawings and diagrams that Rhonda will be able to reference in the weeks to come.

Larry doing a quick sketch while Rhonda looks on.

Larry doing a quick sketch while Rhonda looks on.

All in all, I’m very excited about this book, the fabulous art that will grace its pages, and the chance to bring another amazing tale by Lawrence C. Connolly to the reading public!

Warning:

June 24th, 2013

Vortex: Where terrors converge.

VORTEX Sign

Gen Con 2013

June 24th, 2013

Planning on attending Gen Con Indy this year? Author Lawrence C. Connolly (The Veins Cycle, Visions, Voices) and editor-in-chief W. H. Horner will be presenting their Fiction Fundamentals workshop series.

Fiction Fundamentals:
Author Lawrence C. Connolly and editor W. H. Horner, both lecturers and faculty mentors with Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program, will walk attendees through nine fundamental aspects of writing fiction over the course of three intense workshops roughly analogous to the three stages of writing: planning, drafting, and revising/editing. Attendees are encouraged to come with a new idea for a story, and through activities and handouts they will explore those ideas and expand upon them. While the workshops are geared towards novels, all of the skills and techniques can be transferred to short story writing. Attendance of all three workshops is encouraged, but not required.

Handouts and worksheets to be provided. Attendees should bring a three-ring notebook and plenty of paper to take notes.

Fiction Fundamentals Part 1: Plotting and Planning (Event ID: WKS1345344)
Have you ever wasted time writing rough drafts of stories as you wandered from scene to scene, unsure of how to connect the dots, and only realizing who your protagonist is after you reach what you think is the end of the story? Did you then need to go back and make massive revisions, reworking characters and scenes to make everything flow from the beginning? We can show you how to avoid much of that heartbreaking and time-consuming work. While it may seem like extra work, planning your story, its characters, and the world they inhabit from the beginning will save you time and effort in the long run—and knowing what you need to include will save you a great deal of trial and error.

Fiction Fundamentals Part 2: Creating Scenes (Event ID: WKS1345345)
You have a clear direction for your story as well as an understanding of its main characters and its world. Now it’s time to breathe life into your creation. Effective scenes need to grip the reader and keep him or her engaged. You’ll learn how to improve your pacing and how to inject your scenes with emotion. You’ll learn what constitutes quality dialogue and how it operates, and you’ll learn how to truly bring stories to life and how to fill your writing with the details that matter. Exercises will walk attendees through crafting a rough draft of a scene.

Fiction Fundamentals Part 3: Putting on the Polish (Event ID: WKS1345346)
You’ve completed the first draft of your story, and since you worked through all the steps of planning and carefully crafting each scene, that means you’re done, right? Not quite. Now’s the time to add layers and make sure that your themes ring true. Only by re-seeing your work can you discover the hidden wonders that your subconscious was working on throughout the drafting process. You probably have a fair amount of grunt work to do as well. All first drafts are littered with mistakes or weak writing. By becoming aware of common pitfalls, you can fix issues in your completed first drafts and begin to avoid them more effectively in future drafts.

VORTEX Coming Soon!

June 12th, 2013
Lawrence C. Connolly

We’re now hard at work on Lawrence C. Connolly’s latest novel.


Vortex

Where Terrors Converge

The final hours have come.

Rocks burn, floodwaters rage, and serpents take wing as a storm of fire and rain threatens the world.

Amid this chaos, a young man named Axle lies near death in a shuttered bedroom. He has the power to save the earth, but to do so he must retrieve something from his dreams, an artifact of memory that he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With a single ally standing guard, Axle’s spirit searches the terrors of his past, following clues that may unlock a second chance for the human race.

All he needs is time.

Enter Samuelle, a woman whose touch can raise the dead and kill the living. Axle’s rivals have given her a mission: find the dreamer, administer the killing touch, unleash the storm that will destroy all of humanity.

Fasten your seat belts for the concluding arc of the Veins Cycle, where cosmic forces play out on a human scale, and where the mind may yet prove to be the most powerful spirit of all.



Rhonda Libbey

We’re also pleased to be adding to the FE family with Pittsburgh artist Rhonda Libbey, whose wonderful art will help bring the final arc of the cycle to a thrilling conclusion.

Rhonda Libbey is a western PA native, best known for her work in the science fiction and fantasy genres in both games and literature. Her work has been published in numerous properties, including Call of Cthulhu, Legend of the Five Rings, Conan, Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, Red Dragon Inn, A Game of Thrones, Starship Troopers, and Middle Earth Quest.

Rhonda has written and directed a few award-winning film shorts. In 2012 she worked as Art Director on the full-length motion picture Scream Park (Dir. Cary Hill, ProtoMedia), creating the storyboards, posters, postcards, and DVD case as well as assisting in wardrobe and makeup design. Details about the film and its Pittsburgh premier can be found on the website www.screamparkmovie.com.

When painting, she works primarily in oil paint due to the vibrancy of the color and the permanence of the paint. She believes that what she says with her art is as important as how she says it. Research, color psychology, and composition all play a critical role in every image that she creates.

Rhonda is a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators and is the current chairperson for their Scholarships Committee. Her work has been exhibited in several museums throughout the world. In 2005 her illustration and conceptual work done for Starship Troopers won the Origins award for Best Science Fiction Art.

We’ve included a couple samples of Ms. Libbey’s previous work to give you an idea of what’s in store. For more, visit her on the web at http://www.rhondalibbey.com.

The Lure

The Lure

Illustration from BADASS 3: ULTIMATE DEATHMATCH

Illustration from Badass 3: Ultimate Deathmatch

Saint Michael vs. the Dragon

Saint Michael vs.
the Dragon