Posts Tagged ‘Writer’s Haven’

Did you miss these interviews? Then make better life choices.

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Josh Brown and Christa Yelich-Koth are seriously cool.  They have a successful portfolio of interesting and unique stories that are sure to capture your imagination.  When I interviewed both of them they were very down to earth and fun to chat with.  They offered great advice for aspiring creators and have put their work out there for you to enjoy.

I was fortunate in getting to know them through a book review.  Their personalities match their skills.  I highly recommend that you check out who they are and what they’ve done because you owe it to yourself.

I have links for all of Josh Brown right here!


Christa Yelich-Koth be right here!

If you are familiar with them, learned something, or enjoyed these video’s make sure to Comment below!  Also, feel free to share the love.

Interview with Josh Brown

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Josh Brown is an Author, Poet, Writer, and Overall Good Guy.  He has a HUGE resume and a lot of work out there for people to follow and enjoy.  Josh agreed to interview with me after I reviewed a book he collaborated on King of Ages: A King Arthur Anthology.  In fact, his story in there was one of my favorites.  You can read the review here. 

Please enjoy this video in which Josh and I discuss the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Also be sure to check below for links to all things Josh Brown!

    Full Name: Josh Brown

Projects You’re Currently Promoting:

Shamrock  $ free to read online
Lovecraft After Dark (“Flame of Cthulhu”)  $2.99 (kindle version)
Zen of the Dead (“The Tragedy of Dracula’s Daughter”)  $9.95 (paperback)
King of Ages: A King Arthur Anthology  $2.99 (kindle)


Projects Available to the Public:

Short Stories-      
“Republic of Masks”, Dystopian Express, Hydra Publications, forthcoming forthcoming
“The View From the Attic”, Toys in the Attic: A Collection of Evil Playthings, JWK Fiction, 2015
“Binaurals”, The Martian Wave 2015, Nomadic Delirium Press, 2015
“Pirate King”, King of Ages: A King Arthur Anthology, Uffda Press, 2015
Samurai: Cherry Blossoms Fall, Uffda Press, 2015 (with Alex Ness)
“The Ancient Future”, Catastrophic Discoveries: Children of Cthulhu, Uffda Press 2015
“Frozen Flame”, Hunt the Winterlands, 2011
“Arthur no Shi”, Arthur Rex Eternus, 2011
“Loyalties”, Empire of Stone, 2013
Eye of the Dagger (with Alex Ness and Marc N. Kleinhenz), 2011



“Flame of Cthulhu” (Lovecraft After Dark), JWK Fiction, 2015
“The Tragedy of Dracula’s Daughter” (Zen of the Dead), Popcorn Press, 2015
“Goblin Gardener“ (Pixies of Eglantine, Issue 3, Summer Solstice 2015)
“MacGuyver” (Poetry Quarterly, Summer 2015)
“American Hero” (Aberration Labyrinth, Issue #016 (Summer 2015))
“Saved by the Bell” (Aberration Labyrinth, Issue #016 (Summer 2015))
“Red Owl” (Aberration Labyrinth, Issue #016 (Summer 2015))
“Once a Great Warrior” (Abandoned Towers Magazine), 2009
Fanboy Haiku: Volume 1, 2011



Comics- (writer only)  
Shamrock (ongoing)
Shamrock: Origins
“The Pageant”, Horrific Tales Anthology #2, Midnight Horizon Comics, 2010
“Deal with the Devil”, IF-X #8, Hamtramck Idea Men, 2009
“Wolfsbane: Prologue”, IF-X #10 (Vol. 2. #1), Hamtramck Idea Men, 2009
“The Deer Hunter”, Negative Burn #20, Desperado Publishing, 2008
“The Garden”, Alterna Tales Anthology #4, Alterna Tales, 2008
“The Demon”, Mysterious Visions After Hours #3, Dimestore Productions, 2008  
“The Spell”, Mysterious Visions After Hours #3, Dimestore Productions, 2008  


Flash Fiction:

“The Serial Killer”, SpeckLit, 2015
“The Spell”, SpeckLit, 2015


Where Can People Find More of You?



Amazon Author Page

Publication Page





Let Josh and I know what you thought of the interview and his work in the Comments below!

Why you won’t hire an Editor, but need to. #4 is especially compelling.

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So if you’re a writer, or have friends that are writers, ultimately the question of Editor comes up.  There are several (bad) reasons to not hire an editor.  Although all of them sound good in theory.  I’m going to go through some of them, and then rebut the points.  I am not on the New York Best Seller’s list, nor a world-famous author, so don’t take anything I say as gospel.  I will be speaking from my own experiences and research along the way.

  1. Hiring an Editor is complicated, I don’t know where to begin.
    1. Hell yeah it’s complicated.  Just like writer’s there are 7.8 billion Editor’s.  (That may be an exaggeration)  A quick google search will bring up multiple options for finding and hiring editors.  My advice?  Find a freelance editor or use a recommendation from an author you know and trust.
    2. is my go-to for freelancers – I’ve ONLY had good experiences.
    3. and are also reputable sources
    4. You can also find great people using your local Craigslist.
    5. I like the freelance editors because you an compare qualifications, have upfront conversations, and get a feel for mid-range/fair pricing.
  2. An Editor will want to change my story too much.
    1. An Author’s job is to tell a story, an Editor’s job is to fix it.  I believe that sincerely.  That doesn’t mean that an Editor takes over the story though.  If you have found an Editor that you are thinking about hiring make sure to discuss your expectations with them up front and clearly.  If you’re only looking for language errors (grammar, spelling, etc…) make it known.
    2. I don’t recommend that though.  Writing is a labor of love.  That means that the author is a little too well-connected to their story and the characters within.  Something that may make sense in our heads may not translate well on paper.  Just because you know that John like’s to shotgun beer on Saturday nights because that’s what his father and grandfather did before him doesn’t mean that you conveyed that message well to the audience.  In fact, it may seem disproportionately out-of-place for John to do unless you gave that piece of history.  You know who will notice that error?  Your audience and your Editor.
    3. Having a neutral set of eyes on your manuscript is going to give you a better look at any potential pacing and plot line flaws.  That doesn’t mean an Editor can outright change your work (unless you give them that power, many Editors also act as ghost writers).  Any changes that they think should be made should be done as a suggestion with clear reasoning when it comes to the story line.  You can evaluate it and judge whether or not you agree.
    4. Your manuscript is yours, and no one can change that but you.  If you use clear and concise communication between one another you’ll have a positive experience.
  3. I’m good enough to do this on my own.
    1. That may be true.  Many writer’s have a good grasp on language.  Some are even scholars or professional Editor’s themselves.  I bet any of the successful ones will tell you the same thing.  It doesn’t matter.
    2. An Editor’s job is to look for the things you missed, a fresh set of eyes on not only the proper usage of grammar but also story development.
    3. You’re too close to the subject, let someone you trust give you a hand.
  4. Editors are TOO EXPENSIVE.
    1. Yes.  They are.
    2. When was the last time you got some quotes?  It’s asinine.
    3. Kind of.  Hear me out.
    4. There are two types of Editors.  Those working with large publishers and with people who are already successful.  Than there are those working with smaller or no publisher as well as less known or independent authors.
    5. The big Editors charge.  Like.  A lot.  Sometimes they have multiple editor’s doing revisions, making suggestions, and handling corrections.  Every Editor that touches the manuscript you’ll have to pay for, and we’re talking about thousands of dollars.  This is all right for the J.K. Rowling’s and Stephen King’s of the world but not for the average writer.  Again, writing is a labor of love, very few make a living off of it, and if you do, more power to you.
    6. The smaller Editors usually assign one Editor to each manuscript, unless they are a freelancer in which they individually handle it themselves.  No assigning necessary.  They are generally a little more focused on what your goals and tone are also.  They are generally less expensive also.
    7. But you get what you pay for.  Is going to be what any ‘expensive’ editor sells you on.  Don’t get me wrong, expensive, is relative.  $4000 to edit a manuscript may not be much for you, or it may be a heartbreaking amount.  Just because an Editor charges a lot doesn’t mean that they are the ones best qualified to work on your manuscript.
  5. Okay, that was a lot of information and I still don’t know what to do.
    1. Decide whether or not you’re going to use an Editor.
      1. You should.
    2. Decide whether or not you are going to try to submit your manuscript to big players or freelancers.
    3. Vet your potential Editor.
      1. Are they familiar with your Genre?
        1. An Editor that generally works with Romance Novels may not be the best one to work with a Sci-Fi Novel.
      2. Do they have experience/qualifications/a portfolio?
        1. If not, ask why.  Perhaps they are an English Professor that is now doing the work on the side.  If that is the case, it doesn’t mean they’re not qualified, it just means they haven’t built a book of business.
      3. How do they plan on handling your manuscript?
        1. You should be 100% in control of any changes.
        2. If you need assistance and want to use them as a potential ghost writer, you still want 100% control over any changes.
        3. Editors do a great job of making things more precise, eliminating plot holes, and improving flow.  At the end of the day though you still want it to feel like it’s your story.
      4. How do they communicate?
        1. A simple enough question, but a very important one.  If they only communicate through e-mail it may be some time before you can get a hold of one another.  Are they within your country or outside of it?  That may eliminate the ease of phone calls if you want to discuss things further.
        2. Technology has made global reach much easier.  Things like Skype are making it simple to communicate overseas.  It’s all dependent on your preferences.
        3. Communication is THE MOST important part of the editing process.
      5. How much should I pay?
        1. Get some bids, find a median to give yourself an idea of cost and ability to negotiate.
        2. Set a limit for yourself – stay true to it.  Be honest about it.
        3. Pay whatever you can that isn’t going to break the bank, you still have advertising and marketing to do.
    4. Use someone you trust.  If you get a bad feeling, don’t go with it.  Always trust your gut instinct.

We could talk about finding an Editor all day long if we wanted to.  The in’s and out’s of the business are complex and sometimes hard to navigate.  I wanted to offer my two cents on the subject to help give clarity to questions newer authors may have.

Should you use an Editor?  Yes.

Tell me some of your best Editor advice or give some Editor recommendations in the Comment’s below!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly on Language – Fantasy Friday

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So Tolkien was a linguist. In his works (of which there were many) he had developed specialized and peculiar languages to integrate into his world.


Holy shit right? That’s just Elvish, one language, and a brief example of it. A lot of different mediums have now attempted to do the same. For example, Klingon in Star Trek.


Wookiee in Star Wars.


Okay, maybe Wookiee doesn’t count, but who are you to judge? My point here is that some writers have a natural gift for the complexities of linguistics. Other’s, not so much. If you’re an author that is writing about a Sci-Fi or Fantasy setting I think it’s important to know which side of the fence you’re on. You don’t NEED language to make an engaging story, often times by inserting complex and unfamiliar phrases will detract from your tale. If you’re someone that genuinely enjoys creating linguistics (like Tolkien) then you may be able to organically incorporate it into your story successfully.

I bring it up because I think that a lot of writers are intimidated by the success of well known Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors that have some type of linguistic offering. The good news is, you shouldn’t be. An authors job is to tell a story, not invent a new language.

In my personal opinion I think that it IS important to include some type of slang. Something about your world(s) that differs from ours and is used in an organic and simple way. If you write a Fantasy that isn’t based on Earth, don’t ever mention the word Earth. Unless they knew about the planet they wouldn’t define something based on it right? The ground would be dirt, rock, soil, or the name of the planet that they’re on. It wouldn’t be referred to as Earth.

Make sure that people speak in a way that makes sense to your universe, not everyone else’s. What I mean by that is have phrases, profanities, cultures that aren’t defined by Earth Standards. This doesn’t mean you need to completely break the mold, you don’t want to confuse your readers, but make a couple of minor adjustments and you sell the reality of your world. Instead of a character saying ‘Damn it’ maybe they say ‘Zarquon’. I don’t know why I chose Zarquon, it’s what my fingers picked at this very moment.

It’s important that you differentiate your world from others, especially Earth. As long as your tale is based around Earth. It’s not important to completely invent (or reinvent) when it’s not your specialty or prerogative. You can make a perfectly good piece of literature without having to resort to Tolkien-esque Linguistic Creation. Take solace in that.

Tell me how you feel about Fantasy and Sci-Fi languages. Do they intimidate you, bore you, excite you? What are some of your favorites, or least favorites? The Comment’s are waiting.


Have a great Friday!

This Advice for Horror Authors Will Change Your Life (or at least your writing)


Every author is seeking a little advice now and then.  If you’re not, you’re probably a bit too egotistical and sensitive.  No one is perfect (except you, you’re my favorite follower).  Even horror greats would look to one another and lesser known authors for some tips every now and then.

Here is a LARGE list provided by, a horror writers association, containing advice and tips for authors that would like to delve into a spookier world.


Click here to look at the awesomest list of horror advice your eyes have ever feasted upon!

What I wish I would have known


This is for all aspiring and established authors.  What do you wish you would have known before you started the writing/publishing process.  I know that I’ve learned many lessons along the way. I’ll start out with one, of MANY things I wish I would have known.

Dylan Hiler – Wishes he would have known the ins and outs of publishing.  There are a lot of rules and guidelines for formatting that I had no idea what to do with.  Thankfully my graphic designer and editor both had a good grasp on that type of stuff but it caught me completely off guard.  If I would have been alone in this process I am fairly confident that my book wouldn’t be properly formatted, my e-book wouldn’t be anywhere close to looking right, and I would have been embarrassed by the presentation overall. 

No matter what is in between the pages there has to be a certain amount of aesthetic appeal to your work, if only to make sure that it looks professional and of quality.  So many of the major publishers that well established authors work with already have this down to a science, if your novel looks radically different from the ‘accepted format’ it’s going to be hard for the general populace to swallow.

What do you wish you would have known before, during, or after you started writing?  Please comment below!