Livin’ on the Edge: Engen’s Dystopia from the Rock | Jon Dobbin’s Blog

Great review of some talented authors, can’t wait to read my copy.

Engen Books

“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today/ I don’t know what it is” crooned Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in the band’s seminal 90’s hit Livin’ on the Edge. Those opening lines, a cry against the changing and harsh world, are as true today as they were in that almost 30 year gone decade. Turning on the news, reading a Facebook article, or, perhaps, tuning into the Twitterverse will tell you “somethin’ ain’t right.” And while that’s concerning, even downright scary, the art that is produced in these times of hardship is often beautiful, uplifting, and a call-to-action. It tells us to make a change or else. The writers and editors of Engen’s collection of short stories, Dystopia From the Rock, have certainly embodied this movement.

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Punching above your weight

The writing community has been a huge asset as a writer. Not only has it allowed me to interact with other writers and learn from them, and share my experiences, but it has given me one of my biggest eye openers.
I was chatting with a writing acquaintance and he asked if I had submitted a certain short story to a top-tier Science fiction & Fantasy publisher, and I had replied I hadn’t, I KNEW the story wasn’t good enough for that market, my skills as a writer were still growing.

I could visualize his hands reach through the inter-webs and shake me as he told me never to self-reject. Perhaps I was right that the story wasn’t what they were looking for, but to always aim high because you might get a pleasant surprise.

Until this point I had been aiming for markets, I thought I could crack into and make a sale. I’m a plotter in my writing and in life, so having a firm foundation to build upon felt like the right course for me. It was only after I visualized my writing “career tower” did I realize that if you put your smaller blocks on the top, you’ll never be able to support the bigger ones.

I realize this knowledge is isn’t new or earth-shaking for many authors, but I don’t think I would have realized this on my own. So if you take anything from this blog post, is that you should punch above your “weight”, and listen to advice in the spirit they intended it.

dystopia rocks

It’s always worth read a blog from Jenn, my friend who just found her writing “voice”.

Jennifer Shelby

Today a book containing stories from a few friends and critique partners is dropping for pre-orders: Dystopia From the Rock. This is a collection of short dystopian stories from Canadian authors. I reviewed the last From the Rock book, Chillers, a few months ago here. If this one is anything like Chillers, it will be stuffed with quality short stories. Especially the ones my friends wrote *wink* Go check it out!

2019-02-21 15.41.50.png cover art by J.J. King

I’m still making my way through Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass. Both of my girls have had birthdays in the past few weeks and I had a few deadlines which slowed my progress. That’s the beauty of an online class, you can schedule it to fit your life.

Something amazing DID happen regarding the class. I heard my writing voice. A non-writer friend recently asked me what a writer’s voice is and after some…

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Help us make BESTSELLER?

“Dystopia from the Rock” is NOW available on preorder for $2.99 and we’re aiming for BESTSELLER status today!!!

31 authors from the Atlantic region have stories in this new anthology including yours truly with my little story called “Final Edict”.

I’m asking all my friends to share this on Thursday February 21, 2019, with your help our dreams can come true!

Author’s Hat Trick

January is ending off with a bang for my writing “career”.

I pushed myself and wrote three pieces this month, two flash fiction stories and a “proper” short story but that isn’t the Hat Trick I was referring too.

I submitted one of the short stories I had published last year to the “Sunburst Awards”. The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic are awards given to the best Canadian speculative fiction novel, book-length collection, or short story published in the previous year. I have no illusions about my chances, but it felt good to put myself in front of the judges.

The Write Project” radio show on CHMR 93.5 interviewed me, where I got to talk about writing, creating an authors support & network group, and what books influenced me. I babble talked my way through the interview and gave good answers though I’m not sure if they were to the right questions…

And finally, the “Itty-Bitty Writing Space” anthology selected my short story “Moonberries” for their collection of 100 authors telling 100 stories. This project is something new for me in that it’s funded through Kickstarter and it was an “all or nothing” effort. Enough people thought it sounded like a good idea and fully funded it in just 2 hours and at 300% funding after 2 days.

I don’t know what February will bring, but I’m ready to find out.