Why Are Certain Stories Timeless? What Scrooge Can Teach Us About Great Writing

J. S. Collyer:

Another great article about storytelling from Kristen Lamb

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

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One of my all-time favorite movies for the holidays is The Muppets Christmas Carol. I believe I’ve seen this movie a few hundred thousand times. I’ve worn out three VHS tapes and at least three DVDs. I play the movie over and over, mainly because, well, duh,  MUPPETS! I drive my husband nuts playing this movie over and over…and over.

I’m worse than a three-year-old.

Muppets aside, I also can’t get enough of the music. I love the story of A Christmas Carol no matter how many times I see it, no matter how many renditions, and I am certainly not alone. Charles Dickens’ story of a redeemed miser is a staple for holiday celebrations around the world and across the generations.

This story is virtually synonymous with “Christmas,” but why is it such a powerful story? Why has it spoken so deeply to so many? Why is it…

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Book 2 of the Orbit Series: ‘Haven’

Hello everyone. I hope this season finds you well!

I’m posting today as yesterday, in my interview for Dagda Publishing’sMeet The Author’ feature, I took the opportunity to announce details of my next release.

I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about this next book. My first nobel, Zero, a SciFi romp with space pirates, politics, drama and motorbikes, was released in August this year by Dagda Publishing and has been doing really well. I have been overwhelmed with the great responses and the reviews, especially those that have said it is a good story, one fans and none-fans of SciFi can enjoy. My first priority has always been to tell a good story, so learning that people who wouldn’t normally pick up a science fiction book enjoyed it just as much as lovers of the genre, really put a smile on my face.

So, on the wings of this success, and being unable to resist the draw of these characters, I can now announce that I have written a sequel. Book Two of the Orbit series will be called Haven and those who have read Zero may therefore have some idea what to expect.

‘But what is Haven about?’ I hear you ask.

Well…that would be telling.

Further details, teasers and info will be released over the coming months, but I can say that Haven is currently due for blast off by the end of 2015.

If you are intrigued by the Orbit series, so far described as ‘Firefly meets James Bond’, Zero is available in paperback or for Kindle through Amazon. You can also read reviews on the Goodreads page and, if you’re really keen and live in the UK (or are keen enough to buy a flight), get yourself a ticket to Yorkshire Cosplay Con 2015. Not only will this be a great day for all the family and anyone who loves SciFi, Fantasy, computer games, costumes and fiction, but I will be there selling and signing copes of Zero and some exclusive goodies only available from the stall.

I do hope to see some of you there! In the mean time, keep an eye here on The Path and/or like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter to be kept in the loop and find out more about Haven, my other upcoming projects and more events and fun.

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J. S. Collyer Meet The Author & Announcement of my Next Release

Greetings all.

Short and sweet post for you today, but one, hopefully, packed with flavour!

Dagda Publishing, the company behind the release of my SciFi Debut Zero have interviewed me in their latest ‘Meet the Author’ feature.

Click this link to be taken to my interview to learn more about my influences, my experience so far and a big announcement about what is to be my next release!

Fans of Zero will want to check this out :)

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Tuesdays are always better when You have an Interview with J.S. Collyer

Recently I got together with the delectable Helena Hann Basquait to chew over life, the universe and Alien.

Read on for stuff about my writing, my books and my plans for the future!

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Gearing up for 2015

Greetings all fellow folks in internet land. My brain has just started to settle since finishing the first draft of my latest novel (details to be announced the very SECOND I’m allowed to) and I’m using this time spent away from actual writing to be thinking about the bigger picture.

For me, this means promo, events, agents and, yes that’s right, the next novel.

Those laurels are dangerous, after all. Avoid them like the plague.

So, whereas it’s great to feel I have a breather from a novel draft for a while, I can’t afford to not be making other things happen.

First things first, keep an eye out for an incoming interview from author, blogger and diletantte, Helena Hann Basqauit! We talk Alien, anime, Joss Whedon and zealots!

Let the agent hunting begin!

Let the agent hunting begin!

And further to this, my copy of the Artist’s and Writer’s Yearbook 2015 has a arrived! This is officially my first step to trying to find an agent. I already have a few names picked out and I’m going to start putting queries together soon. Yikes. This is scary.


(Tips, advice, survival guidance all welcome)

I know this will take time. But it will never happen unless I make it so onwards and upwards and time to start really think about what I want to achieve, as well as strengthening my rejection-walls.

I’m also booked on my first event of 2015. I will be attending Yorkshire Cosplay Con Sat 4th April 2015! This event looks like it’s going to be amazing fun and a great day for anyone with a love of fantasy, scifi, computer games or just good old-fashioned dressing up! 2015’s event is happening in Sheffield and with earlybird tickets at just £7 each for adults and £5 for children, the event is certainly going to be value for money.

I already have at least one glamorous assistant confirmed, who will be dressed as a character from my first SciFi novel Zero (which, incidentally is available on Amazon in paperback and for kindle and raking in the good reviews at the moment!) so do come along and say hello, get your copy signed or pick up a new one and some exclusive Zero merch (details soon I promise).

There is oh so much more to reveal, but I am a big believer in teasing. Stay tuned for more news and fiction in the coming weeks

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Books on Tyne Festival

J. S. Collyer:

Anyone in the North East area of England who likes their fiction weird and wonderful, grab yourself a ticket to this! You can hear Horror Writer M J Wesolowski reading one of his own short stories, as well as many others!

Originally posted on Beyond The North Waves:


I am pleased to announce I shall be doing a reading of my short horror story ‘Ellie Hill’ as part of this year’s literary festival ‘Books on Tyne‘, which has a huge series of events including discussions and workshops including appearances by north east based authors and publishers. If you live in the area and have an interest in literature or writing, this is really worth checking out.

The loose theme of the festival is ‘on the edge’ and I am personally very excited to be attending a crime writing discussion with not only Ann Cleeves and Mari Hannah, but one of my favourite authors Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.

My story will appear in an anthology published collaboratively by Iron Press, Red Squirrel Press and Tyne Bridge Publishing which resulted from a workshop with several up and coming North East authors, led by the inimitable Peter Mortimer.

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Publications everywhere and plenty of stuff to read!

buried-under-a-pile-of-wordsGreetings all!

A lightning post for you all. I’m currently still buried under 100,000 words of a first draft of a new project which is why this is going to be a quickie, as it were, but just so you don’t forget me or feel starved for affection, or fiction, thought I’d stick my head above ground to wave at everyone.

*waves* Hello, there!

Whilst I elbow my way to the end of the first edit of my WIP, don’t forget I have TONNES of stuff already available, some to buy, some for FREE, for you to plunder for all your science, horror and speculative fiction needs.

My first novel, Zero, a science fiction romp about a crew of space pirates is out now as paperback or for kindle on Amazon (for international link click here). It is doing amazingly well and I have been bowled over by the feedback it has received so far. For synopsis and reviews and to add to your ‘to-read’ lists, here’s the Goodreads link. If you are a fan of Firefly, Serenity or stuff in the general Joss Whedon vein with a *touch* more in the way of politics and intrigue, I have been told this is for you.

As for short fiction, check out my publications page for a list of collections I have so far been fortunate to be featured in, including the newest release Jessica, collaborative horror novella conceived and made flesh by dilettante blogger & writer Helena Hann Basquait. There also more horror, scifi and dystopian joy for all and with the wealth of quality new talent featured alongside my own humble contributions, I’d highly recommend having a click and finding out more.

And for FREE, shiny stories, check out my short and flash fiction pages right here on The Path. There’s something for everyone on there: ghost stories, detective stories, twisted fairy tales and more.

Now the nights are drawing in, there’s nothing quite like drawing the curtains, grabbing a brew and curling up with a pile of fiction, so do help yourself to any and all I have to offer

I hope you enjoy what you find and I look forward to emerging from the other end of this draft with more news, fiction and fun for everyone.

In the mean time, watch out for a couple of interviews I have coming up as well as some book reviews and reports from the drafting front, just to let you know I haven’t been crushed under the avalanche of edits.

Peace out, WordPress land!

Oh, and good luck to anyone tackling NaNoWritMo this year!

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A great big shout out not to everyone else who was involved in the collaborative effort to attempt to answer the question: ‘who is the mysterious Jessica Bell?’, but also to everyone who has followed the adventure! See this post for details on how to get the paperback and ebook of this collaboration with exclusive bonus material :D

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The House on Beaumont Grove: The End.

J. S. Collyer:

For Halloween, the last instalment of ‘The House on Beaumont Grove’ by horror writer M J Wesolowski. This is an extremely intense story as it happens to be true.

Links to all previous sections in this post. Be sure to read them all, and get in touch with the writer to see if you have Ny explanations

Originally posted on Beyond The North Waves:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

What the priest must have thought when three half-dressed and hysterical teenage girls, with bare feet, tangled hair and makeup streaming down their faces came clattering into Beaumont Grove Polish Orthodox church as the congregation filed out after Sunday mass is anyone’s guess.

By Sunday morning, the regular occupants of Wynwood house had left early; Carla, Marney and Rose remained.

“I don’t pray.” Rose said.

“Me neither.”

The ding of the telephone handset still resonated from when Marney had put it down. She looked to the others, back and forth.

“My grandma’s a medium,” She said, frowning. “She knows what to do.”

The others looked at their feet. Chipped toenail polish. The stained, threadbare carpet beneath.

“She said we have to. If anything happens, we have to pray.

Rose tried not to think of the flame that flickered from beneath the grill this…

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Who is Jessica B. Bell? Find out, if you dare…

J. S. Collyer:

More on Who Is Jessica

Originally posted on The D/A Dialogues:

Jessica Promo 6Who is Jessica? It’s the collaborative story taking the interwebs by its creepy storm. It’s a hashtag – heck, it’s a Twitter handle, and soon, it will also be a website.

Check out the ongoing serial over at Helena Hann-Basquiat’s internet abode. There are four parts so far for your reading enjoyment – but be warned: you’ll want to start at the beginning to fully appreciate the abyss you’ll be staring into in order to understand the question: who is Jessica B. Bell?

JESSICA: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

And, while you’re over at Helena’s, check out her exciting news on that upcoming website . . .

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