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Bold new essays on how to craft a thrilling read--in any genre--from the bestselling author of The Dead Lands Anyone familiar with the meteoric rise of Benjamin Percy's career will surely have noticed a certain shift: After writing two short-story collections and a literary novel, he delivered the werewolf thriller Red Moon and the postapocalyptic epic The Dead Lands. Now, in his first book of nonfiction, Percy challenges the notion that literary and genre fiction are somehow mutually exclusive. The title essay is an ode to the kinds of books that make many readers fall in love with fiction: science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, horror, from J.R.R. Tolkien to Anne Rice, Ursula K. Le Guin to Stephen King. Percy's own academic experience banished many of these writers in the name of what is "literary" and what is "genre." Then he discovered Michael Chabon, Aimee Bender, Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, and others who employ techniques of genre fiction while remaining literary writers. In fifteen essays on the craft of fiction, Percy looks to disparate sources such as Jaws, Blood Meridian, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to discover how contemporary writers engage issues of plot, suspense, momentum, and the speculative, as well as character, setting, and dialogue. An urgent and entertaining missive on craft, Thrill Me brims with Percy's distinctive blend of anecdotes, advice, and close reading, all in the service of one dictum: Thrill the reader.
Seasoned advice for pastors facing the weekly challenge of preparing sermons For pastors, a new sermon comes every week. Conventional wisdom says that pastors need to sequester themselves to prepare their weekly sermon without distraction. But veteran preacher Frank Honeycutt suggests just the opposite: prepare your sermons as part of a daily, lived experience in the community. Using the days of the week as a framework, Honeycutt describes practical and essential tasks leading up to the writing and delivery of the Sunday sermon—habits that will provide lasting spiritual nourishment for pastors who plan for a long career in parish ministry. With humor and candid acknowledgment of his own mistakes and doubts, Honeycutt reflects on the joys and hazards of ministry and explains how a faithful process of preaching shapes pastors for a lifetime of healthy ministry. Monday: Listening Tuesday: Hearing Wednesday: Exegeting Thursday: Naming Reflecting: A Pastor Looks Back Friday: Writing Saturday: Rehearsing Sunday: Offering
Learning to write starts with learning to do one big thing: pay attention to the world around you, even though just about everything in modern life makes this more difficult than it needs to be. Developing habits and practices of observing, and writing down what you notice, can be the first step away from the anxieties and doubts that can hold you back from your ultimate goal as a writer: discovering something to say and a voice to say it in. The Writer's Eye is an inspiring guide for writers at all stages of their writing lives. Drawing on new research into creative writers and their relationship with the physical world, Amy E. Weldon shows us how to become more attentive observers of the world and find inspiration in any environment. Including exercises, writing prompts and sample texts and spanning multiple genres from novels to nonfiction to poetry, this is the ideal starting point for anyone beginning to write seriously and offers refreshing perspectives for experienced writers seeking new inspiration.
The Promise of Failure is part memoir of the writing life, part advice book, and part craft book; sometimes funny, sometimes wrenching, but always honest. McNally uses his own life as a blueprint for the writer’s daily struggles as well as the existential ones, tackling subjects such as when to quit and when to keep going, how to deal with depression, what risking something of yourself means, and ways to reenergize your writing through reinvention. What McNally illuminates is how rejection, in its best light, is another element of craft, a necessary stage to move the writer from one project to the next, and that it’s best to see rejection and failure on a life-long continuum so that you can see the interconnectedness between failure and success, rather than focusing on failure as a measure of self-worth. As brutally candid as McNally can sometimes be, The Promise of Failure is ultimately an inspiring book—never in a Pollyannaish self-help way. McNally approaches the reader as a sympathetic companion with cautionary tales to tell. Written by an author who has as many unpublished books under his belt as published ones, The Promise of Failure is as much for the newcomer as it is for the established writer.
A spine-tingling new collection of stories from the acclaimed author of Thrill Me and The Dark Net Benjamin Percy is a versatile and propulsive storyteller whose genre-busting novels and story collections have ranged from literary to thriller to postapocalyptic. In his essay collection, Thrill Me, he laid bare for readers how and why he channels disparate influences in his work. Now, in his first story collection since the acclaimed Refresh, Refresh, Percy brings his page-turning skills to bear in Suicide Woods, a potent brew of horror, crime, and weird happenings in the woods. A boy in his uncle’s care falls through the ice on a pond and emerges in a frozen, uncanny state. A group of people in therapy for suicidal ideation undergoes a drastic session in the woods with fatal consequences. A body found on a train and a blood-soaked carpet in an empty house are clues to a puzzling crime in a small town. And in a pulse-quickening novella, thrill seekers on a mapping expedition into the “Bermuda Triangle” of remote Alaska are stranded on a sinister island that seems to want them dead. In story after story, which have appeared in magazines ranging from the Virginia Quarterly Review and Orion Magazine to McSweeney’s and Ploughshares, Percy delivers haunting and chilling narratives that will have readers hanging on every word. A master class in suspense and horror, Suicide Woods is a dark, inventive collection packed to the gills with eerie, can’t-miss tales.
Lust Games: An Essay on Honor, 58, 000 words, an examination of power, honor, the will to conquer, to endure. Time, passion, bloodlessness; concepts of survival, integrity, victory, two lovers, a muse........Knowledge is good, understanding sublime. Honor is to be cherished, defined, fought for, worked through, taken as prize, as gift. Honor is to be handled, recognized, acted upon against all powers, all odds. Good and true becomes good and true.......Power hungry bastards, cynical chiselers, low rent power plays, high rent power vacuums, parades of fools, saps, territorial battles in abundance. Lust driven temptresses, dream driven suckers, inherently weakened dunces run around for fun and profit. Worlds in flux, merciless masters, useless strivers, besotted clowns. Striving gnomes define their way........ The guts of daily battle. The guts of blood and guts, blood and tears, sentiment, pretense. Life on the lam. The guts of the price of admission......... Heathens more wonderful than words trip the light fantastic. Things good and true, right and sublime embrace the noble soul. Worldly playmates, worldly playgrounds, muddled motives bring stars to the party. Conflict, grace, achievement ride to the ends of time. A story of wit and romance, mystery and challenge........ Cynical, tough, resplendent in awe. The hero. Wary, beauty of the night, femme fatale, too smooth for words; friend and confidant, charming creature, protagonist and antagonist. The heroine. Ecstasy and economy. Enemy and lover........ A heathen's home, paradise lost. Whims wished, worlds in play, mothers' milk. Honor; the wicked master. Time, the wicked mistress. Crippling legacies. Wrenched saviors. Redemption, a tough and unforgiving act. The fun in the journey........“I offer you sleep at night, warmth in contemplation, dear boy,” Amy said. “I offer you stunning charges to be made by rancid outlaws and fairy princesses,” she said. “You could be the backdrop for the haunting sides of viral poisons careening through times and weak demeanors,” she said. “Limber up the rewards for action, play, being, purpose, dear little boy blue,” she said........ “I'll dance to the piper,” she would say. “I'll dance and I'll blow him a damned kiss,” she would say. “I'll blow you a kiss, too, baby,” she said. “A nice to big kiss, baby,” she said. “Just for you,” she said. “A nice to big kiss,” Jo said. “I love each and every one connected with this farce,” she said......... There are rewards for the rancid, the exemplary, choreographing movement, action, yearning, drive. Territories are up for grabs. The finish on the edifices of hope and story dries slowly, sloppily, drips in puddles of toxic waste.......Useful pawns, iconic creatures. Walking iconic traps for all manners of lust, craving, envy, foam dripping fools. The beat beat beat of relentlessly primed virtue and want, desire and thrill........ “Tears were what I offer,” she said. “A trade among new friends is always brokered. Your killers kill, your owners own, your breakers break and if that were not the case then,” she said, “you would be just out of the ordinary,” Jo said........ “Smooth over negligent strains of endeavor and come up working easy, always easy, little Stephen,” Amy said to me. “Set the sun on wry killers and deal with them in good stead, Stephen,” she said. “Sometimes not,” she said. “The simple and easy plays, the simple and easy setups ride the cresting waves of forbearance Stephen,” Amy said........The road to hell is paved with sour intentions. The foils of the game game those who are too damned tired to really give too much of a damn. Cynical, snide rules the game........ Happy little gnomes scamper about the rivers and eddies of rancid muses, fallen idols, Pharisees of honor, decrepit absences of godly wonder. Panoramas of endless beauty highlight the emptiness of standing, the mirage of talk, the grandeur of lust.
Dean Koontz started his career as a science fiction writer before he left the genre to ultimately become one of America's best-selling authors. In this volume, author Munster looks at Koontz's horror and dark suspense fiction.

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