Author: Jennifer Griffen

Epeolatry Book Review: The Guide of All Guides by Angelique Fawns

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Title:The Guide of all Guides
Author: Angelique Fawns
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Angelique Fawns
Release Date: 8th Jan, 2021

Synopsis: Acclaimed as one of the most original voices in modern literature, a winner of the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement, Raphael Aloysius Lafferty (1914-2002) was an American original, a teller of acute, indescribably loopy tall tales whose work has been compared to that of Avram Davidson, Flannery O’Connor, Flann O’Brien, and Gene Wolfe.

This ultimate guide answers all your questions.
Which magazines, ezines, and podcasts pay the most?
What are the editors looking for?
How long do I have to wait to hear back?
What sort of rejection letter will I receive?
Easy to use and organized in order of who pays the most, find out which magazines, ezines and podcasts are buying in today’s market.

Angelique Fawns has submitted, been accepted and rejected by many horror, sci-fi and fantasy editors over the years. 500 rejections. But 30 of her pieces have found homes. She puts that knowledge to our use in her book. Not only does she share places that she has submitted to but she also shared possible venues for the writer that she hasn’t. The venues she has submitted to she shared her experiences with them. But with all the entries she gives a complete and concise listing of what the editor and publication are looking for as well as what the writer can expect in return. That isn’t just monetary return either. This included response time as well as if the editor gives helpful suggests versus sending a form letter rejection.

The entries are complete and concise. The digital copy includes a direct link to the site being discussed so if you feel that your piece is a fit for that magazine you don’t have to do a cute and paste into your search engine. Fawns has done an excellent job of pooling her resources to share.

In the preface she lays out what the reader/writer can expect from her book. From there on it is up to the reader/writer to pick and chose what to read. She has listed the top paying markets (as of the writing) as well as suggestions about the best way to go about submitted your work to each venue.

My only complaint is purely aesthetic. I have my copy on my Kindle and since I read mostly in bed with it my Kindle is set up in dark mode (black background with white type). In that mode the links and table of contents are barely readable as they show up in a red font. However if I change back to traditional background (white with black type) everything shows up perfectly. All in all it is a well written and researched book. I highly recommend it!

Available from  Amazon.

Publisher’s Weekly Is Hosting A Virtual Book Fair In 2021!

Though the pandemic seemingly rages on Publisher’s Weekly has given some hope and light to writers and readers alike. Publisher’s Weekly has announced that they will be hosting a new American trade fair May 26th -28th. How so? It will be run virtually. The U.S. Book Show will be limited to 5 hours a day to help with possible internet connection issues as well as time constraints since this will be available worldwide.

There will be exhibitors, presentations, and networking just like at the live event. Prices start at $35 (with a $3.77 fee) for librarians and booksellers, the Early Bird pricing is $89 (plus a $7.05 fee) and $149 (plus a $10.71 fee) for general admission (that starts on April 2nd). The tickets are all-inclusive so the purchaser has access to everything. The hard part will be to pick and chose what to do.
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WiHM 12: An Interview With Grace Kimball

As the month for Women In Horror comes to a close I was able to catch up with Grace Kimball. Her latest collection Twisted Anatomy, which she co-edited with Sam Brunke-Kervin, Tracy Robinson, Lilyn George, and Oliver Clarke, was released on February 19th. You might recognize her work from Sci-Fi and Scary where she does reviews on horror books, movies, and games.

JG: Hi Grace! Thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview! I was so pumped when I found out that not only were you a horror writer but you also had a collection coming out! Congrats on that!

GK: We have a great team of people in the Kali Krew, and several of them pulled together and pooled resources to make twisted anatomy happen. It has been an interesting experiment, considering the only thing we outsourced was the cover design.

Well, I’m not actually an author, lol. I write for Sci-Fi and Scary and have a reoccurring series called Focus on the Frightful where I talk about all things horror-related.

JG: How long have you been in horror?
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Get Ready For Fantasy Writer’s Week at ProWritingAid In Late Feb!

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Have you been fantasizing about going to a writer’s conference this year? Do you write fantasy? Then you wish has come true! ProWritingAid is hosting their first (and hopefully not last) Fantasy Writer’s Conference. It will be from February 22nd to the 26th in your living room. No masks required and it is free! All you have to do is sign up!

There will be 11 training sessions including ones from best selling authors David Farland (Writing Wonder- How to Create a Fantasy World and Magical Systems), Stephanie BwaBwa (How to Write Page Turning YA Fantasy That Keeps Readers Up At Night) and Angela Ford (How to Organize Your Story Ideas and Write a Fantasy Novel).

Looking for feedback on your writing? There will be a World Building Write In (something that ProWritingAid members can do every month) that will feature short world building prompts that you can share for feedback with other attending writers.
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Check This Out: A Free R.L. Stine Program!

R.L. Stine has been called “Stephen King for kids.”  Always looking to interact with his readers this Thanksgiving Stine has given students and instructors a writing program.

 

For free!

You can check it out at: http://rlstine.com/writing-program

 

In it, Stine gives suggestions ranging from where to get ideas all the way to how to overcome writer’s block.  There is an overview for instructors as well as suggestions for using the course material.  But at the heart of it all is Stine helping writers be writers, especially young ones.

   However when reading through the program, even though it is geared toward grades 3-8, any writer could benefit from doing his exercises.  Some of the activities include finishing a story that Stine has begun, using your memories to create a story, playing what if? for story ideas, how to develop characters for your stories as well as basics such as outlining and revision.

Even though the program is only 17 pages long it packs in a lot of information without being overwhelming.  Reading through the prompts and suggestions the would be writer is never talked down to.  If this doesn’t work then try this or this is Stine’s philosophy.  He gives the reader a tour of his creativity then shows us our own and how to use it.  Stine begins with one of his own journal entries from when he was 10 years old.  He then shows how to edit and rewrite it to be a solid story.  He encourages the reader to take their own journal entries, use the same editing process and turn it into an actual story.  The whole program makes the reader feel as though Stine is right there helping guide you through it all, encouraging you with every word you write.  Stine encourages all writing genres, not just horror.

This program is a fine addition to any teacher’s rubric but it is also an excellent find for anyone who has ever wanted to write.

Thoughts On The Penguin/Random House Merger With Simon & Shuster

On November 25th The New York Times dropped a bomb on the publishing world. Penguin/Random House Publishing is potentially buying Simon & Shuster Publishing. There are three other possible buyers but Penguin/Random House seems to be the closest to the prize. Simon & Shuster was put up for sale back in March with the closing down of book stores due to the pandemic being the last nail in the coffin of a bad beginning of the year.

If the sale happens then it could make it even harder for new authors and small publishers to exist. Despite assurances that Penguin/Random House would keep each company running as a separate entity, no one feels safe. The Authors Guild has opposed the sale and asked the Justice Department to help prevent the deal from going through. The merger still needs to be seen and approved by Biden’s officials and it is hoped that they will be more understanding of the needs of writers. If this merger happens then it will be harder for new writers to become published let alone get a decent advance on their work. Bigger houses have more connections to potential outlets to sell books than the smaller publishers but they can be pickier about who they publish and for how much. If they are the only game in town they can potentially lowball the advance and there is nothing the author can do. With fewer connections than the big houses, the smaller publishers can not only lose authors but sales as well.

If this sale happens then that would give Penguin/Random House Publishing a scary 30% of the U.S. book market. Some possible remedies that could be imposed on the company could be that they have to sell off parts of the company to keep them from having too much leverage in the publishing world. Stay tuned to see how this page-turner finishes!

A New Year Perspective: How do you inspire others when you aren’t even inspired yourself?

How do you inspire others when you aren’t even inspired yourself? The words start and stutter like water trying to come out of an old faucet that hasn’t been used in years. But there are words. That’s the important thing.

As the words dribble and drip in to the paper I try to find a way to neatly arrange them to make sense. And be inspirational. Which is no mean feat after this past week. But what can you do when tragedy strikes but get up and keep trying? Each day, each hour, each moment is a step away from the tragedy. The further you get away the less it hurts, the less it overwhelms.

I have thought more than once these past few weeks about throwing my hands up and chucking it all in. Then I thought about those I love and how it would affect them. Was I being selfish if they wanted to help by throwing it all away? Yep. But no one can help if no ones knows.

So I tried to share my story with friends and family to let them know I was hurting. This is hard if you are an independent person and just want to be left alone. There are times I feel like I’m looking for sympathy when I tell people things like that even though I’m not. I just want people to know why I am acting the way I am.

Not very inspiring I know but I also know that the day will come when it doesn’t hurt so much. The sun will be shining and it will be a balmy 80F.

It will happen.

I just have to take that first step toward the sun.

The Horror Tree Presents… An Interview With Carissa Ann Lynch

Jen – I am grateful to be able to talk with you!  You have such an amazing collection of work published!  How hard was it to get started in writing?  I know some authors have been writing since they were little while others discover it later in life.  Is this something you have done on and off in your life or just something you found yourself doing one day?

Carissa – Getting started was the easiest part– I’ve always loved books and journaling, but the decision to write a full-length novel came to me on a whim out of sheer boredom in my late twenties.

It was keeping the momentum going, and finishing the project, that was so difficult for me.  I had no idea that writing a book could be so hard!  It took me more than a year to finish my first book.  Once I received my first publishing contract, I felt a boost of confidence that kept me going…writing is always tough, but it’s gotten easier over the years now that I know I have readers who are eager to enjoy my stories.

 

Jen – Goodreads says that you never really considered yourself a writer until recently.  Do you consider yourself one now or just lucky?  I have a few friends that are published and they still think it was a fluke.  People see the outside and the finished product.  They don’t see the blood, sweat and tears it can take to just get the words out!

Carissa I consider myself a writer now, but I felt like an imposter at first.  I’ve always loved books and never considered writing my own stories…but now that I do, it just feels RIGHT.  I love that I get to spend most of my days reading and writing—it’s a dream job!  If luck is defined as “factors outside of one’s control”, then yes—I do think there is an element of luck in publishing.  For example, you could write an incredible book…but if that genre isn’t selling right then, or if the editors already bought a similar project…well. Your book might never see the light of day.  You can’t control the market, so all you can do is focus on yourself and your stories.

I think the real keys to success in publishing are stubbornness, patience, passion, and the willingness to accept feedback.  You have to be stubborn and patient in the business because you will hear a lot of “No”s before you get that “Yes”.  You have to keep going no matter how many times you’re told no…and the publishing process is incredibly slow, so buckle up and get ready to wait some.

And when one book doesn’t sell, write another.  And another.  And another.  Keep going until others have no choice but to finally sit up and pay attention.

Also, if you get criticism or feedback, USE IT!  There’s always room for improvement, and there’s no such thing as the perfect book…readers are fickle creatures; we don’t like everything we read, and it’s ok if some people don’t like my books…  One of my goals this year is to shake off that “imposter syndrome” and give myself more credit—I’ve worked really hard to get where I am in my writing career.  And I hope I can keep pushing harder and getting better and growing my confidence.

 

Jen – If you weren’t an author what would you be (even if you had no qualifications to do it)?

Carissa – Before I wrote, I worked in social work and corrections. I enjoyed it but the burn-out…yeah, the burn-out…it’s draining.  If I wasn’t a writer, I think I would do something else…but still something related to books—like working in a bookshop or becoming a librarian.

 

Jen – What do you want people to remember about you?

Carissa – I want people to remember that I am a reader first, and my number one goal is to create stories that keep them turning pages into the night…and also: I adore my readers.  I want them to know how much they mean to me and how excited I get when I know they are reading my work!

 

Jen – Do you have any favorite books?  Have they helped you with your writing?

Carissa – Honestly, I can’t pick a favorite book because it changes all the time!  My favorite genre is psychological thriller, but I’ll read anything that looks good.  I recently finished The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage. All three were fantastic! Reading is part of my job and I DEFINITELY think I’ve been influenced by all of the books I’ve read. Especially other female thriller writers—their books inspire and excite me!  Books are tools—every single one I read improves my craft in one way or another, even the ones I don’t like… I truly believe that.

 

Jen – What is the scariest thing you’ve written (even if it never got published)?

Carissa – The scariest thing I’ve ever written…hmmm.  I’m not sure.  All of my books scare me ma little—if my own heart isn’t pounding a little during a scary scene, I know I need to turn up the heat!  My Sister Is Missing might be the one that scared me the most…writing some of those scenes left me feeling rattled.

 

Jen – I was able to meet a few of my writing heroes over the years.  Have you been able to meet any of yours?

Carissa – I live in a small town in Indiana, so I haven’t had many opportunities to meet other authors.  I would like to change that though!  I did, however, meet Chuck Palhniuk once in Louisville, Kentucky.  I waited in line for hours to meet him, and when I got up there, I just blanked out completely.  I honestly have no idea what I even said to him.  So embarrassing!

 

Jen – Carissa thank you so very much for your time!  I really enjoyed talking with you!

Carissa – Thanks for the questions!  I hope I didn’t ramble too much!

 

To find out more visit:

https://www.harpercollins.com/9780008324490/my-sister-is-missing/

https://www.harpercollins.com/9780008324506/without-a-trace/