Today’s the last day of 2013. This website has been through some changes this year and the lost of a good friend, horror author Rick Hautala. We are looking forward to a much brighter 2014 where we hope to continue providing you with some great content.
Here are the top 5 most read website entries this year.
It’s that time of year again when people start thinking about what their resolutions will be for 2014. According to Wikipedia, resolutions are a secular tradition more common in the West. The U.S. government even has a page on its website mentioning some of the most popular resolutions. Some of the more popular ones are quitting smoking, volunteering to help others, getting a better job, managing debt, and saving money. You can see the entire list here.
The biggest one that people choose for their resolution is to lose weight. If this is yours, I would suggest finding a 24-hour gym to add to your routine. I belonged to Anytime Fitness a number of years ago and the flexible hours were perfect for my schedule. Like the name implies, it’s open 24/7 for its members. I went at 4 a.m. a couple of times and there were a few people there even then. It was convenient and I didn’t have to wait to use the machines I wanted to use.
This year my resolution isn’t to lose weight, but to read more, a resolution I’ve made in the past. 2013 was not a big reading year for me; in fact, I read more in 2012. Here are just a few of the authors I want to read in 2014: Stephen King, Dale T. Phillips, Vlad Vasyln, Stacey Longo, Joe Hill, Jeff Strand, Clive Barker, Bracken MacLeod, Daniel G. Keohane, Rob Watts, David Price, Monica J O’Rourke, and Melissa Crandall. It won’t be the first time reading some of these authors, but all have been on my author-to-read list because I either know them or someone has recommended their work to me.
My other resolution is to get a full-time job to get cracking on managing my debt. Do I want to make that resolution and face that challenge? Just thinking about it gives me a headache; so I would rather just think about the magical places the authors on my list will take me when I crack open their books and start reading.
Happy New Year!
Have you finished your Christmas shopping? If you haven’t, I know what makes a great gift. Books are the perfect gifts. Find a local independent bookstore and purchase your books through them. You accomplish two things by shopping local. You purchase a gift and you help your local independent bookstore at the same time.
By helping your local bookstores, you help the local authors that live in your towns and states. These author’s books are not always given the needed space on the Barnes & Nobles’ bookshelves. We need the independent bookstores to do this. They often have consignment agreements with authors to sell their books.
Here are a few independent bookstores:
Annie’s Book Stop, Worcester, MA
The Book Barn, Niantic, CT
Books & Boos, Colchester, CT
The Book Club, East Windsor, CT
The Book Shop, Somerville, MA
Curious Iguana, Downtown Frederick, MD
Dark Delicacies, Burbank, CA
Monte Cristo Bookshop, New London, CT
Seek Books, West Roxbury, MA
These are only a few bookstores that I know of, but there are many more out there. If you know of one, please leave a comment with the name of the bookstore. Please search for your own local bookstore. They are out there and need our support so we can continue browsing the stacks and finding local authors.
by Jason Harris
Before she began her horror writing career in 2010, she was selling articles to newspapers and magazine such as The Island Crier and The Works. She was also a humor columnist for the Block Island Times. She has also just been hired to review B horror movies for the Cinema Knife Fight website.
The habits of a successful writer include writing a lot, Longo said. A writer should be setting realistic deadlines and goals. If these deadlines and goals are not realistic, you will just be defeating yourself and setting yourself up to fail. Stephen King writes 10 pages a day. Ernest Hemingway wrote 500 words a day.
“Thomas Harris took 10 years to write the sequel to Silence of the Lambs. Robert James Waller wrote The Bridges of Madison County in 6 weeks. Both were NY Times bestsellers.”
One shouldn’t use Harris as an excuse not to write every day or at least a few days a week, she said.
A writer should even read more than they are writing. Reading is always good, but it should be well-written book,s not poorly-written books such as the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, she said. There are two books every writer should read. They are The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White and On Writing by King. A writer needs to know the rules of writing before choosing to break those rules.
If you want to write, you should seek out workshops, conventions, and writers’ groups so as to meet other writers. Longo states that writing is a lonely profession and meeting fellow writers is always a good thing. Other writers can help you or you may be able help them with editing, a potential market, or even with a story problem. “The best way to learn about the craft of writing is to talk to others who have been successful at it.”
Longo met Ken Wood, publisher of Shock Totem, in 2009 at the Northeastern Writer’s Conference (NECON). In 2011, he asked her to write-up an anecdote she had told him about her father so it could be printed in the magazine’s holiday issue.
When it comes to editing, it’s very important to Longo. Everyone needs to learn the basics of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and verb tenses. If you can do these things in your story, you won’t do it in a query letter, which will lead to no agents or publishers reading your story. This is where your fellow writers or your writer’s group comes in handy. Let them read your first draft and listen to their suggestions. Your first draft isn’t going to be publishable.
Another important fact for a writer to learn is the need to be prepared for rejection because the publishing world is all subjective, Longo said. One publisher may reject a story while the another one will accept it.
For more information about Stacey Longo, click here.
Author Rob Watts and illustrator Susan Saunders will be on hand from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday night at Bobby’s News & Gifts located at 521 Main Street in Boonton, New Jersey reading and signing Snowpolcalypse. You can find out what happens when Walter wishes for a snow day.
Don’t miss this chance to meet them and to pick up a perfect Christmas gift for your children.
Author Stacey Longo will be at the Douglas Library this coming Wednesday, Dec. 11, to discuss finding the path to becoming a published writer. Some of the topics she will be covering include writing habits, editing, successful query letters, the importance of editing, and recognizing unscrupulous publishers.
Longo is a former humor columnist for the Block Island Times and the author of Secret Things: Twelve Tales to Terrify and Pookie and the Lost & Found Friend. Her stories have appeared in dozens of anthologies and publications including Shroud magazine, Shock Totem, and the Litchfield Literary Review. She has also edited a number of books including the anthology Wicked Seasons: The Journal of New England Horror Writers, Volume II.
Longo’s presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. The library is located at 22 Main Street in Hebron, CT. Any questions, call the library at (860) 228-9312.
For more information on Longo, check out her website here.