Tag Archives: Superstars Writing Seminars

Undercurrents: An Anthology of What Lies Beneath

Today is a big day for a few of us here at The Fictorians. Today, WordFire Press publishes an anthology that many of us are featured in! Read exciting stories from Gregory D. Little, Mary Pletsch, and Kristin Luna in Undercurrents: An Anthology of What Lies Beneath!

Photo by Lauren Lang http://jacobinphotography.zenfolio.com/

All of the proceeds of this anthology go to the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship which helps new writers afford to go to Superstars Writing Seminars, a yearly conference in Colorado Springs which teaches the business of writing.

Undercurrents: An Anthology of What Lies Beneath

Fear is primal. Instinctive. Unavoidable. And right now, there is something you fear–and you can feel it. Creeping up behind you. Lurking in the darkness that lives under your bed, or in your closet. A nameless dread.

In Undercurrents: An Anthology of What Lies Beneath, twenty-three talented authors, including New York Times bestsellers Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, and Jody Lynn Nye, have stood on the shores of their psyches and looked out over the ocean of possibility and wondered “What lies beneath?”

The sea creatures and sea monsters that answered their calls range from a giant kraken that rules the deepest ocean to the smallest puffer fish that creates intricate works of underwater art. Creatures of classic mythology–mermaids, sirens, and sea serpents–swim alongside more unusual beasts–underwater cats and singing whirlpools. These stories dive deep into the fears many of us face, including loss, abandonment, death, and physical, mental, or emotional danger. When the fears we keep buried beneath the surface rise up and threaten to consume, we must make a choice: conquer or be conquered.

This anthology is the fourth volume produced by the alumni of the Superstars Writing Seminar, and all royalties benefit the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The anthology is now available online with all major book retailers. You can order your copies here:

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle

Kobo

Nook

More information about the book: https://books2read.com/u/bMrOoV

Thank you for your support!

Meet the Fictorians: Emily Godhand

“Come in, — come in! and know me better, man!” -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

We’d love for you, our wonderful readers, to get to know us better. That’s why, each month, Kristin Luna will interview a member of The Fictorians. We’ll learn more about each member, such as their writing processes, their work, where they live, and what they prefer to drink on a warm summer’s day. We hope you enjoy this monthly installment of Meet the Fictorians.

Meet the Fictorians:

Emily Godhand

Kristin Luna (KL): Hi Emily! How are you and what are you drinking right now?

Emily Godhand (EG): I’m well, doing the same thing I do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world.
…while sipping a hard drink, of course.

KL: You’re one of our newest Fictorians, and I thought this would be a great opportunity for our readers to get to know you. Can you tell us a little about you?

EG: Dark thriller author, former psych nurse, and rat enthusiast. I am an Ambassador for Wattpad.com, where I am the administrator for a profile of international paranormal authors called the “Ouija Board of Directors.”

KL: What inspires you the most when it comes to writing?

EG: I’d have to say music and the nightmares I’ve had for over 16 years now. Lyrics are poetry and music is poetry without words. I’m not sure I’m actually capable of expressing myself without music playing, but fortunately I always have a radio playing in my head. If you see me dancing with my eyes closed, you’re welcome to join in. As far as the nightmares, they were of course surreal, but I couldn’t die in them (because I’m me.) I started to write them down, and then re-write them, and through that I was able to become lucid and redirect the story from inside the dream.

My friends discovered my journal and kept asking, “…and then what happened?”, so I turned them into stories.

KL: You have a great presence on Wattpad. What’s your username/website? Can you tell us a little about that process?

EG: Absolutely. You can find me at https://www.wattpad.com/user/Godhand, as well as the ParanormalCommunity profile at https://www.wattpad.com/user/ParanormalCommunity.

Signing up for Wattpad is easy! All you need is a username and password of course, and then an email, Facebook, or G+ account. As far as Wattpad particulars, I’ve started a book to help new users adjust to the particulars of how to do well on Wattpad. The biggest thing to remember is that Wattpad is mostly a community of mobile readers, so, activity within the comments section will be your biggest way to interact with the community and to draw attention to your story. Wattpad’s biggest demographic is young women, and there is a robust LGBT+ and fanfiction community.

KL: Do you have any books out right now?

EG: I currently have a work in progress on Wattpad called “Fear of the Dark”, about two women who seek freedom, then revenge, on the cult that killed them. I’m also working on two projects for the ParanormalCommunity to teach the community within a frame story so that writers and readers alike can enjoy. Paranormal Academy teaches users about historical/cultural lore and common tropes and Paranormal Powers teaches about such things as ESP, Clairvoyance, Telekinesis, and other such abilities found in paranormal stories. That one I write with my friend and fellow author J.S Bennett, who also wrote a story with me that was published in “A Game of Horns: A Red Unicorn Anthology” that raised scholarship funds for aspiring writers to attend the Superstars Writing Seminar here in Colorado.

KL: Where can we read more of your writing?

EG: At this time I’m currently working on launching my website, www.emilygodhand.com, where I’ll post updates on my works in progress and links to published books. Probably some rat pictures, too.
…Yeah, that’s about guaranteed. My rats are adorable.

KL: I’m friends with you on Facebook, and I love your posts. Specifically, I love your posts about rats. Where did your love of rats come from?

EG: When I was still a psychology major, we studied rats at the lab at the main campus and I became fascinated with how much about them I had learned wrong. They were clean, intelligent, friendly creatures who just wanted to snuggle and eat snacks with their friends. They’re also incredible survivalists, who will not only persevere and thrive in the worst conditions, but care for their colony. They bring food to the infirm, they share treats, they will free a trapped buddy and defend each other.

I guess I really identified with a small, cute, cuddly creature who will sink their teeth into your flesh if you threaten them or their friends.

KL: You have a unique job, and I was wondering if you could tell us more about that and how it’s factored into your writing?

EG: I am still a nurse, and though I’ve since moved out of psychiatric work due to frustrations with the system, I use my writing to help educate and advocate about mental illness, particularly depression and PTSD, or Post-Trauma Stress Disorder. A lot of my characters will often have anxiety, depression, or PTSD due to the things they’ve experienced in the past or things experience during the course of the novel. I was frustrated with reading about heroes who were unaffected by what happened to them, because I feel that reading is a way to learn how to process, adapt, and overcome similar situations in our lives. Reading about the character’s mental process of dealing with these issues and coming out on top can be cathartic and validating to a reader (and to the writer crafting the story). It shows heroes who are afraid, and then act anyway. People who are tired and exhausted but carry on. It also humanizes people with these conditions and I hope will reduce harmful stigma and stereotypes, because it is written in their, or rather my, voice.

I currently work with individuals with physical disabilities, who, like individuals with psychiatric disabilities, I feel are another underrepresented group within literature. While my patients’ stories aren’t mine to tell, I do like to include characters with a variety of disabilities in my stories because they are people who exist in our world, and deserve to exist in worlds we craft.

KL: If you could give any writerly advice, what would you say to new writers?

EG: Writing, or any form of communication really, whether music or art or dance, is a practiced skill that is developed. If your words aren’t perfect at first, keep writing. If you hate everything that comes out, get something down anyway, because you cannot edit nothing. Write sentences where you accidentally leave out the verb because you’re so excited to get the idea out. If you get stuck on a scene or what a character says, write “TK” and come back to it. Don’t lose the momentum. Maybe you won’t feel it’s ‘good enough’ because your first draft is not the same as the edited, polished work of individuals who have worked for years on improving their skill, and that’s okay. Keep working on it.

KL: What has been your favorite Fictorians post that you’ve written so far?

EG: My favorite would have to be my two part piece on conflict. Part One, Perceiving A Threat covered the ways that different people from different backgrounds might perceive, or not perceive, a threat. Part 2, Reacting to the Threat, described the different ways someone of different upbringings and experiences might react differently.

Within our culture and within writing, I feel there is not enough understanding of what constitutes violence and the various and valid ways that people perceive and react to it. The social, cultural, and situational things that influence how we might act or react should be reflected in the stories we tell, because they are our stories, and how we communicate with each other. What we learn from stories influences how we perceive ourselves and contributes to the lens through which we read our experiences, past and future.

***

If you have any questions for Emily, please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading!

A Game of Horns

 

game of horns If you’re one of our newer readers, you might not know that the Fictorians were formed at the first Superstars Writing Seminar in 2010, or that our regular members are all alumni of the course.

There are lots of writing courses out there. I took a creative writing course in university, which was a great way to explore new ideas, work outside my previous comfort zone, and receive feedback from both my fellow students and my course instructor. But this course didn’t do anything to teach me how to sell the stories that I had written.

Superstars is not a course on how to write. It is a course on how to write as a career.

The best way to learn career craft – how to get an agent, how to read a contract, how royalties work, how to present yourself, how to create buzz about your work, how to turn your hobby into a career – is from the people who do it for a living. That’s what Superstars is all about. The instructors are not making a living from instructing; they’re making a living from writing.

Superstars Writing Seminars took me from a fanfic writer with a desire to publish original fiction, to a multi-published short story writer who now has a book contract.

I was able to go thanks to the generosity of those who helped me afford the trip. We know that not everyone is able to afford the tuition fee, and not everyone is lucky enough to have people in their lives who are able, or willing, to help.

That’s why WordFire Press and Superstars Writing Seminars, with Lisa Mangum as editor, launched the Unicorn Anthologies. Inspired by a quote from Kevin J. Anderson – “if you agree to write a purple unicorn story, write the best purple unicorn story you can; that’s professionalism” – the proceeds from these anthologies goes towards a scholarship fund, named for Superstars alumnus Don Hodge, to assist writers who want to go to the seminar and need help affording the tuition.

One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology was the first. Now A Game of Horns: A Red Unicorn Anthology is available!

The second anthology focuses on stories involving strong conflicts. Red is the colour of war; the colour of blood; the colour of passion and will. Conflict is an essential aspect of plot. It drives the story forward; it takes place when characters confront obstacles.

My contribution, Queen of the Hidden Way, is the story of Anpu, a royal daughter whose kingdom is under another’s rule. A third player wants to take the throne by capturing and ensorcelling a karkadann, a desert unicorn. With death and treachery all around, Anpu must choose her conflicts wisely, and in the end, decide what battles are truly worth fighting.

You can pick up A Game of Horns on Amazon in either paperback or ebook. Proceeds will help provide Don Hodge Memorial Scholarships for future Superstars attendees in financial need, and provide you with a showcase of the excellent talent of the Superstars.

I Finally Finished a Novel

Nearly three years ago, I attended Superstars Writing Seminar in Colorado Springs. I had been writing for about a year and was excited to learn how to become a published author.

It soon became apparent that I was ahead of my time in attending. Not that it didn’t totally propel my development as a writer, but one fact kept slapping me in the face—I had never finished a book. I had started several, they had great ideas, great premises; yet I hadn’t finished any of them. I would write a few chapters, get stuck, and abandon the piece indefinitely.

Several in the group claimed to have written terrible novels of which they were too ashamed to let see the light of day. But they had finished them all the same. I envied them.

I left Superstars with the resolve that I needed to finish something, anything, regardless of skill or quality.

Well, three years later, I’ve thrown out hundreds of thousands of words. I almost finished a novel about a year ago and almost completed it, solely out of principle, to be able to claim that I had finished a novel. But after taking a writing seminar from David Farland, I knew it was garbage. I abandoned the 90% finished work for a new project.

This year I did a lot of things and learned a lot of things that have helped my writing. Each of these has a synergistic effect on my writing. First, I took another class from David Farland (this time online). I set monthly goals. Some of these goals required me to submit my short stories for publication. I hired an editor to perfect a couple short stories, and learned from this experience a great deal about self-editing. The culmination of these led to the completion of a novel. I completed a novel.

In February, I’m returning to Superstars, this time having completed a novel. Also, from my goals and endeavors, I am now a published writer. I had no less than three of my short pieces published (one in a paying market). I received my first rejection letter from Writers of the Future. And this year was my first to participate in NaNoWriMo. I wrote about 42,000 words (8k shy of winning).

These are exciting accomplishments, but the grandest of all, the one that will make me a successful writer one day, is the accomplishment of not giving up. I’m still writing.

I’m planning on taking another David Farland class or two, attending Superstars, winning NaNoWriMo, and writing throughout the year, finishing at least one other novel. I’ll submit each quarter to Writers of the Future. And I’m looking for an agent for my finished novel (despite being my first, it’s actually pretty good).

 

jace 1I live in Arizona with my family, wife and five kids and a little dog. I write fiction, thrillers and soft sci-fi with a little short horror on the side. I’ve got an MBA and work in finance for a biotechnology firm.

I volunteer with the Boy Scouts, play and write music, and enjoy everything outdoors. I’m also a novice photographer.

You can visit my author website at www.jacekillan.com, and you can read some of my works by visiting my Wattpad page.