Book Lovers, Writers, It’s Finally Here!

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It’s been months in the making. Our lovely and talented marketing leader, Jaime Dill not only convinced us to give her a job at Endever Publishing Studios, but also that Endever needed a home. So, I’m proud to announce…

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…The one stop home to Endever’s increasingly growing library!

This is our launch week, so keep stopping by for added material every day this week. On our website you’ll find a blog, a podcast, our library of books, bios on our present and upcoming authors and their books, Endever merchandise, and more!

Check out our site and please share it with your friends and readers. And keep stopping by this week for added material!

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An Update on Endever Publishing Studios

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It’s been almost a year since Endever Publishing was born. And what a year it’s been.

We have a full house of authors we’ve signed on to publish their books with us in multiple genres from young readers to teen fiction to speculative fiction to horror/thrillers.

Last year we published our first two books and we’re gearing up to publish our third with a tentative release date of March 30.

I am proud to say that in a year, through all the unexpected twists and turns, we are remaining true to our core values of publishing innovative works by aspiring authors. Our books continue their legacy of featuring a short story by another in-house author, and we are tightening up our methodology of producing books through collaboration.

I’m proud to announce that we will be launching a website, a home-base, in March, which we are working very hard on. Our hope is that it proves to be enlightening, entertaining, and informative for both authors and readers alike.

In case you haven’t heard about us yet, here are the two books we have published:

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Both are available on Amazon (links below). A Deathly Compromise is available in both ebook and paperback version. These Great Affects will be available in paperback soon, but it’s ready for those of you who prefer ebooks.

So keep a lookout for more Endever news as we continue to plow forward into a great and exciting new year full of endless potential and possibilities that stretch into forever.

Check out A Deathly Compromise

and These Great Affects

Why Stories Matter

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As we grow older we lose interest in stories and prefer cold, hard facts. To a degree facts are necessary.

But it’s when we lose sight of the importance of Story that it becomes an issue.

To lose interest in stories is to lose touch with humanity. Let me explain.

Stories, whether they’re true or not, are used as one of the most powerful tools to extract emotion. And emotion is what drives not only ideas, but movement.

Fishermen are driven to catch larger fish because they’ve heard of others who have caught large fish. They heard a story.

Humanitarians are moved to go across seas to feed and care for orphans because they saw a video of starving kids. They saw a story.

My kids go to sleep because we read them stories.

Stories, since the beginning of time (think papyrus and cave drawings) have aided in informing us, teaching us, moving us, and challenging us. Stories are the gears that churn ideas into movement.

Now, to be clear, not every story is a necessity. If we’re honest, we could have done without Dumb and Dumber, as hilarious as that movie is, but it doesn’t really do much to enhance our lives.

But think about how stories can be helpful. Think of the stories that have helped you in your own life. A few come to mind for me both in movie and book form:

The Bottom of the 33rd by Dan Barry is a literary example of how the right person can take possibly the world’s dullest subject and make it invigorating, exciting, and entertaining. This is one of my all time favorite books.

Cinderella Man is a movie that demonstrates that even in the face of something as harrowing as the Great Depression, we can overcome many things by using our natural-born talents and a butt-load of tenacity.

Toy Story proves that being the first doesn’t mean it has to be experimental. This movie broke new ground and still lives on today as one of the greatest movies ever made (if you’re not counting the sequels).

Did these stories change my life? I wouldn’t say that exactly, but they did help shape the way I think and view myself and the world. Therefore, I persevere, I fight, I explore, and I strive for greatness. Every time.

What are some stories that have shaped you and your life? Share below how you think Story can be an effective tool to better the world we live in.

If You’re a Writer, You’re Probably Making This Mistake

Rewriting. As writers we tend to get hung up on getting it right the first time, simply put. In fact, if you’re rewriting your opening chapter for the tenth time in the last three months, you need to do something: Go to the nearest ice cream store and treat yourself.

Seriously, get the biggest chocolate Sundae you can and gorge.

When you’re done with it, ask yourself, “Do I want another?”

As much as you loved it, you probably don’t want to subject yourself to an even bigger stomachache.

It’s the same thing with rewriting the first part of your book. Why go back and write it over and over? You’re going to get so sick of it that you’ll lose focus and before you know it, a year’s gone by and you’re lucky to be halfway done with your novel.

Write it all out from point A to point Z first (or point A to L to B to Y to 3 to Q, however you write). Because you’re going to do something to the book halfway through that’s going to require some changes be made to the beginning anyway.

And at that point you’ll really be pissed because you would have spent all that time polishing your opening up to perfection.

Don’t worry about getting it right until it’s done. 

Then and only then can you stand back and look at your project as a whole and determine where the changes need to be made.

Also, by rewriting the same thing repetitively, you’re not learning and growing. And without learning and growing, there’s no room or chance for improvement. Instead, you’re the Griswolds in European Vacation circling around the roundabout. You’re essentially just moving words around.

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My wife stopped reading one of my manuscripts years ago because she said, “I can’t remember which version is which.”

It’s imperative that you write something to completion so that you can experience and learn about the writing process as a whole. What good is mastering the opening if the rest of your book sucks? You’ve got to train yourself and put yourself through the dreary middle and perfect the ending.

You’ve got to learn to pace the action, keep the pages turning, and learn how to find the answers when you’ve written yourself into a corner. Circling the roundabout, you’ll never discover new streets or actually get anywhere.

Write that book to completion. Take it all the way through, even if your opening is weak. The trick is, having confidence that it’s not so weak that it’s a hopeless cause.

And by God, that is a trick! So good luck with that one! Just kidding, I’ll address that later.

Poll: How Can We Please You?

As you know my publishing company Endever has just released two books in ebook form. One, a teen romance novel about a girl who falls in love with a guy after he dies. (You can check it out here.) The other, a mainstream novel about the Angel of Death, named Dee, who’s got an attitude and a playlist to match, always on the lookout for the next victim of an accident or crime to take into the great beyond. (You can check that one out here.)

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They’re both up on Amazon. I want to thank each of you who has bought our books and hope that you will write an review of them and pass them along to your friends and family. But to those who have not purchased your own copies, I’d like to politely ask why. I’m not mad. I’m just curious.

As the owner of Endever, I sincerely want to know what will catch your attention. What will it take to get your support, for you to purchase our books? I’ve created a poll for you to participate in if you would like to provide feedback.

I provide feedback to my employers all the time and they kind of get annoyed by me. I’m not that employer. I genuinely want to know how to grab your attention. So if you have not purchased our books from Amazon yet, please tell me below, either utilizing the poll tool or via a comment in the comments section.

Books for Just $3!

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving and is loving the hustle and bustle of Black Friday. I wanted to drop a little tip. If you happen to be on Amazon, stop by and pick up my book These Great Affects, and another incredible indie book, A Deathly Compromise by Coral Rivera. Both are just $3 instead of $10 this weekend. Here are the links:

These Great Affects by Andrew Toy – The story of a fifteen-year-old girl who meets a guy and fall in love with him just a little too late. Like, after-he’s-dead-too-late. Click here to check out more!

A Deathly Compromise by Coral Rivera – Dee is the queen of the underworld incarnated into the form of a young woman who has taken up residence in a Portland hospital. With a killer attitude and a playlist to match, she spirits away the souls of the dying for their journey to the great beyond. Click here to read more about it and purchase it!

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How My View of the Horror Genre Has Changed

517n7y7xjulI used to be adamantly against anything that fell into the horror genre. Unless it was something by M. Night Shyamalan. Because M. Night movies are to horror shunners as Will Smith’s albums are to white guys who don’t listen to rap.

Then I started watching The Walking Dead. And obviously, like everyone else in the Western world, I was hooked.

I always thought the gratuitous blood and gore would get in the way of the storytelling, and sometimes it does a little bit, but the show proved to me that horror can work as mainstream. Why? Because, to quote Adelle Hitchens from my teen book, These Great Affects, “It’s the blood and guts with a little bit of heart.”

It’s those lovable, admiral characters  that draws me in.

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I just finished reading the monster of all monster books, It. It’s the first Stephen King book I didn’t hate (well, I liked Under the Dome, too). I had no idea it was so widely received.

Everywhere I walk I have a book in my hand, especially at work. While everyone is hunched over their cell phones, I’m hunched over my latest book in the elevator.

This is the only book I’ve read where I was consistently stopped and told how good the book I’m reading is.  (It was awkward when I was reading the weird and unnecessary scene with the kids in the sewer in the dark and someone says, “What part are you at?” … “Um…the kids are playing?”)

paavpdqsbtggtmn4smxsBut other than that, the book was spectacular, and I almost even teared up in a couple of spots. The book had violence and creepy stuff, but the heart and soul of the story was the love these seven protagonists shared with each other. I’m just really hyped up about the remake now!

Even before my  evolving love of horror set in (actually, it’s still a reluctant like to tell the truth), I always loved the darker movies. I love Pixar because their movies are generally darker than their competitors.

The darker the story is, the brighter and more exultant the ultimate victory is at the end. The harder the battle, the darker the foe, the more loss that’s suffered, only makes the survivors that much stronger, which serves as a more triumphant, feel-good ending.

Our world is so dark and gloomy anyway, and it’s rare we see evil defeated. I think that’s maybe some of the subconscious point of the horror genre. To shed a little light on a dark and disturbing world, and the satisfaction we feel when evil is trumped (no political pun intended…seriously.)

So please! Share your favorite horror stories that you’d like recommend to me.