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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


The Virtual Real

August 23rd, 2012

by Lawrence C. Connolly

I am inspired by the curvature of space. Not necessarily by the vast, physical manner that Einstein postulated early in the last century, but in a more personal, immediately perceivable way. There is something in each of us that allows (and sometimes forces) us to bend the hard-edged realities that we move through and interact with every day.

Fred Astair--ROYAL WEDDING

Surely you’ve experienced this. Fall in love, and the world seems brighter. Smells intensify. The most mundane things become wondrous, and the world’s ugliness melts away. This is the condition that philosopher Slavoj Žižek refers to as the virtual real. It’s what gives Fred Astaire the ability to dance on the ceiling in Royal Wedding, and if you haven’t experience it at least once, you need to get out more often.

The converse happens when we experience pain, whether physical or emotional. On painful days, reality curves like a funhouse mirror, distorting our perceptions so that the ugly things of life become disproportionally large, and beauty and joy shrink or vanish altogether.

I’ve written about such things in a number of stories and novels, and it seems to me that such magical transformations lie at the core of all fantasy—whether it is the kind we encounter in our daily lives or in the worlds of fiction. Thus, when Fantasist Enterprises asked me to ponder where I encounter magic in my daily life, I began wondering where it was that I first realized that my sense of wonder is rooted in the real. That’s the nice thing about writing prompts. They help you discover things you don’t know you know, and I’ve evidently known about the virtual real for quite a while.

Here’s a story.

Levittown, Pennsylvania.

Aerial view of suburban Levittown, Pennsylvania.

I’m nine years old and living in Levittown, Pennsylvania, sitting around with my friends Tommy and Tommy. We’re sitting on the sidewalk outside one of our houses. It doesn’t matter whose house because the houses are all the same in Levittown, just as all the mothers and fathers and siblings and pets are all the same. Just like Tommy and Tommy are the same. There’s not much variety or excitement in that ticky-tacky town circa 1960, but there are Popsicle sticks, and if you rub them just right you can turn them into swords.

We used to chase each other all over the neighborhood with those sharpened sticks, playing Count of Monte Cristo, poking and parrying and pretty much ignoring our moms when they shouted: “You kids are going to jab your eyes out.” We knew that couldn’t happen. Nothing like that ever happened in Levittown. At least, we never imagined it could, and that counted for a lot. See, we lived in a world of imagination.

Here’s another.

TV

Television in the late ’50s and early ’60s was a lot more interactive than it is now. These days, it’s all there for you in a million pixels. Back then, an old black-and-white cathode-ray set with a pair of rabbit-ear antennae was more like radio than television. You couldn’t see for crap when the reception was good. And when it was bad, say when an airplane was going over the house or someone was running a vacuum cleaner, all you got was static.

To give you an idea how bad it was, one of my Tommy friends used to play superman by stripping down to his underpants, tying a sheet around his neck, and drawing an S on his bare chest. I can still hear his mother shouting: “Get in here before you get arrested!”

Back then, I remember thinking that the costume looked pretty authentic. Later, I was surprised to learn that George Reeves had actually been wearing a unitard (a wrinkled one at that), and that the big bullet-repelling S on his pecs was not tattooed directly onto his skin. Somehow, realizing that made him a bit less super.

Likewise, it was years before I really knew what Godzilla or King Kong were supposed to look like, and then I was amazed to discover that the images I’d imagined were so much better, richer, than the ones that were actually in the movies.

So how do these things play into my creative process?

I suppose it’s that my friends and I learned early on to find wonder in sticks and static. We learned that the things we could create on our own were as good as or better than the ready-made wonders the world served up. Knowing that set me on the course to being a guy who bends reality and writes stories.

What awakens my wonder? That’s easy. It’s knowing that I have the ability and license to transform the ordinary.

It’s imagination.

About the Guest Author

Lawrence C. Connolly


Lawrence C. Connolly

Lawrence C. Connolly’s books include the novels Veins (2008) and Vipers (2010), the first two books of the Veins Cycle. Vortex, the third book in the series, is due to be released in 2013. His collections, which include Visions (2009), This Way to Egress (2010), and Voices (2011), collect his stories from Amazing Stories, Cemetery Dance, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Twilight Zone, and Year’s Best Horror.

Website Blog Facebook Twitter Amazon

VOICES CoverVISIONS CoverVEINS CoverVIPERS Cover



I Hear Voices Sale Extended

February 18th, 2012
In celebration of the fact that Lawrence C. Connolly’s Voices: Tales of Horror is now an official Bram-Stoker-Award-nominated collection (see our previous post), we are extending the I Hear Voices Sale for another month.

Through March 15th, everything on the FE site is an extra 10% off—including combo deals such as Visions & Voices, Veins & Vipers, or various Fantastical Visions deals.

Just type “IHearVoices” in the promotions box in the shopping cart, or copy it from the announcement bar above.

Voices is a 2011 Bram Stoker Award™ Nominee

February 18th, 2012
VOICES Cover

Lawrence C. Connolly’s Voices: Tales of Horror has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in a fiction collection.

Here’s the official release. Congratulations to everyone!


For immediate release: February 18, 2012

Contact Lisa Morton, HWA Bram Stoker Awards Event Organizer
lisa@lisamorton.com

Horror Writers Association announces
2011 Bram Stoker Award™ Nominees

Each year, the Horror Writers Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards™ for Superior Achievement in the field of horror writing, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work Dracula. Since 1987, the approximately 700 members of the HWA have recommended, nominated and voted on the greatest works of horror and dark fantasy of the previous calendar year, making the Bram Stoker Awards the most prestigious award in the field of horror literature. For the first time in 2011, half the nominees were chosen by juries.

The awards are presented in eleven categories: Novel, First Novel, Young Adult Novel, Graphic Novel, Long Fiction, Short Fiction, Screenplay, Fiction Collection, Anthology, Non-fiction, and Poetry Collection. The organization’s Active and Lifetime members will select the winners from this list of nominees; and the Awards will be presented at a gala banquet on Saturday evening, March 31, at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL

A Matrix Of Angels by Christopher Conlon (Creative Guy Publishing)
Cosmic Forces by Greg Lamberson (Medallion Press)
Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi (Medallion Press / Thunderstorm Books)
Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney (Pinnacle Books)
Not Fade Away by Gene O’Neill (Bad Moon Books)
The German by Lee Thomas (Lethe Press)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A FIRST NOVEL

Isis Unbound by Allyson Bird (Dark Regions Press)
Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs (Night Shade Books)
The Lamplighters by Frazer Lee (Samhain Horror)
The Panama Laugh by Thomas Roche (Night Shade Books)
That Which Should Not Be by Brett J. Talley (JournalStone)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

Ghosts of Coronado Bay, A Maya Blair Mystery by J. G. Faherty (JournalStone)
The Screaming Season by Nancy Holder (Razorbill)
Rotters by Daniel Kraus (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Candlewick / Walker)
This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel (Simon & Schuster / David Fickling Books)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A GRAPHIC NOVEL

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (First Second)
Locke & Key Volume 4 by Joe Hill (IDW Publishing)
Green River Killer by Jeff Jensen (Dark Horse)
Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine by Jonathan Maberry (Marvel)
Baltimore Volume I: The Plague Ships by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden (Dark Horse)
Neonomicon by Alan Moore (Avatar Press)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN LONG FICTION

7 Brains by Michael Louis Calvillo (Burning Effigy Press) “Roots and All” by Brian Hodge (A Book of Horrors)
“The Colliers’ Venus (1893)” by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Naked City: New Tales of Urban Fantasy)
Ursa Major by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
Rusting Chickens by Gene O’Neill (Dark Regions Press)
“The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine” by Peter Straub (Conjunctions: 56)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN SHORT FICTION

“Her Husband’s Hands” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed Magazine, October 2011)
“Herman Wouk Is Still Alive” by Stephen King (The Atlantic Magazine, May 2011)
“Graffiti Sonata” by Gene O’Neill (Dark Discoveries #18)
“X is for Xyx” by John Palisano (M is for Monster)
“Home” by George Saunders (The New Yorker Magazine, June 13, 2011)
“All You Can Do Is Breathe” by Kaaron Warren (Blood and Other Cravings)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A SCREENPLAY

True Blood, episode #44: “Spellbound” by Alan Ball (HBO)
The Walking Dead, episode #13: “Pretty Much Dead Already” by Scott M. Gimple (AMC)
The Walking Dead, episode #9: “Save the Last One” by Scott M. Gimple (AMC)
Priest by Cory Goodman (Screen Gems)
The Adjustment Bureau by George Nolfi (Universal Pictures)
American Horror Story, episode #12: “Afterbirth” by Jessica Sharzer (20th Century Fox Television)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A FICTION COLLECTION

Voices: Tales of Horror by Lawrence C. Connolly (Fantasist Enterprises)
Red Gloves by Christopher Fowler (PS Publishing)
Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan (Volume One) by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
Monsters of L.A. by Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates (Mysterious Press)
Multiplex Fandango by Weston Ochse (Dark Regions Press)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN AN ANTHOLOGY (EDITING)

NEHW Presents: Epitaphs edited by Tracy L. Carbone (NEHW)
Ghosts By Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers (Harper Voyager)
Blood And Other Cravings edited by Ellen Datlow (Tor Books)
Supernatural Noir edited by Ellen Datlow (Dark Horse)
Tattered Souls 2 edited by Frank J. Hutton (Cutting Block Press)
Demons: Encounters with the Devil and his Minions, Fallen Angels and the Possessed edited by John Skipp (Black Dog and Leventhal)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN NON-FICTION

Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America’s Fright Night by Lesley Pratt Bannatyne (Pelican Publishing)
Reflections in a Glass Darkly: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu edited by Gary William Crawford, Jim Rockhill and Brian J. Showers (Hippocampus Press)
Starve Better by Nick Mamatas (Apex Publications)
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies by Matt Mogk (Gallery Books)
The Gothic Imagination by John C. Tibbetts (Palgrave Macmillan)
Stephen King: A Literary Companion by Rocky Wood (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A POETRY COLLECTION

How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend by Linda Addison (Necon Ebooks)
At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned & the Absinthe-Minded by Maria Alexander (Burning Effigy Press)
Surrealities by Bruce Boston (Dark Regions Press)
Shroud of Night by G. O. Clark (Dark Regions Press)
The Mad Hattery by Marge Simon (Elektrik Milk Bath Press)
Unearthly Delights by Marge Simon (Sam’s Dot)

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More information on the Horror Writers Association is at www.horror.org.
More information on the 25th Anniversary presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards is at http://www.stokers2012.org.