Praise for AIP's Non-fiction

by Jennifer 4. October 2016 11:02

Industry Talk by Jennifer Brozek
"This is a clear, informative, and insightful guide. I enjoyed the conversational tone and was reassured by its professionalism. Jennifer Brozek has a broad range of experience in a number of facets in the industry and she's packed a lot of wisdom into this collection of essays. It isn't going to tell you every little thing, but it does provide excellent points of focus."

Jay Lake's Process of Writing by Jay Lake
"There are so many fascinating details & process gems in Jay's writing book. I've seen a lot of this stuff in his blog over the years (it’s mostly composed of blog posts), but reading it all in one place is mind-blowing. It's an unconventional writing book, but definitely worthwhile to study the evolution of Jay's writing process and his various other ruminations on the subject. Write more!"



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Author Etiquette - Reminders on Professionalism

by Jennifer 27. September 2016 09:14

For those of you who have been writing for a while, you are probably going to find yourself nodding quite a bit and maybe mentally adding a few more bullet points to our discussion. Go right ahead. In fact, if you’d like to leave comments, we’d love to hear them.


Today’s Author Etiquette is all about professionalism. Professionalism is a certain set of manners and polite actions that indicate you are an adult and a professional in your field. While it varies from place to place, there are some underlying factors such as common courtesy, minding personal and professional boundaries and not being a d*ck.


There’ve been quite a few incidents over the past few months that leave many authors with their mouths hanging open wondering what the heck happened to things such as manners and being polite. About every author has stories about unprofessional actions that they’ve witnessed. So unfortunately, it’s time for another reminder on how to act in person, in email and in social media situations.


Rule #1 of Professionalism

Mind Your Manners

When we were kids we learned several rules about interacting with other people. It’s mostly things like don’t talk with your mouth full or interrupt someone when they are speaking. But it’s also more complex than that. Manners is a guide on how to interact with people you know and don’t know. It’s a good thing to follow whether you are at a convention or at home on your own computer.


Some simple manners to follow are:

  • Respect other people’s space: This has several aspects. While some people enjoy crowds and physical contact, not everyone does. When you meet someone for the first time, wait to see if they’d like a hug or if they offer you a handshake. Watch how close you stand to someone. Most people like a little distance between them and the person next to them but some like more space. Try to watch for little clues such a someone backing away which might indicate they are feeling uncomfortable with someone in their personal space.

  • Don’t interrupt:  In a personal setting such as a conference, there are many varieties of conversations you might want to participate in and interesting people you might want to meet. It’s really easy to get carried away and barge in. However, it’s not a good idea unless you have a good reason. A polite “excuse me” in the pause of a conversation is often enough to let you slide into a conversation especially if you have more information on the subject or if you need to speak with someone.

  • Don’t say things to deliberately hurt someone:  That old adage that states “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all,” should always be kept in mind. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like someone or if you don’t agree with what they are wearing or their looks, if what you say could be construed as hurtful or misinterpreted don’t say it aloud or type it publicly on social media. And always use caution when in a discussion. Expressing your opinion is great, but always remember someone out there is going to disagree with you. When discussing a subject keep the conversation on point, don’t attack the person with the opposing view and don’t feed the trolls.

  • Apologize: Everyone at some point or another has put their foot in their mouth and said the wrong thing at the wrong time. It happens. So long as it is not intentional, it can be forgiven, but you have to apologize. Do it in person or privately and as soon as possible and do be sincere.

  • Say please and thank you: This should be a no-brainer, but some people still have trouble with this one. Most children realize that please and thank you can get you a lot further than a demand, but some adults just don’t get it. Nor do they get the satisfaction of saying thank you to someone who has helped them. This is rude behaviours that are relatively easy to correct. There’s no excuse folks.

  • Share the attention: We all know someone who’s loves being in the spotlight all the time. These people like to dominate conversations and either won’t let anyone else say anything or constantly interrupt the discussion for their own gain. A simple “how are you today?” is a great opening for another person to join a conversation if they’d like to.


Rule #2 of Professionalism

Be Aware of Boundaries

The next rule of professionalism is boundaries. We aren’t talking about physical lines such as country borders or city lines, but those invisible lines that separate one person from another. Sometimes they are difficult to see but they are there.


I’ve already mentioned personal boundaries above, but let me expand a bit here. Personal space is a very real thing and standing too close can make someone feel very uncomfortable. It’s an imaginary circle around each person. Some have a very small personal space and enjoy having people close. Others prefer a very circle with lots of room. If you are unsure, stand about an arm’s length away. If someone is comfortable they’ll move in closer.


Another boundary to be aware of is professional boundaries. Unlike personal space, professional boundaries are more of a set of rules of politeness. Mostly they are things you should, may or do not do while interacting with other authors, illustrators, editors and publishers.


Some things you should do:

  • Introduce yourself and what you do

  • Exchange business cards

  • Ask if they have time to speak about business (if that is your reason for contact)

  • Listen and participate in panels and discussions

  • Go back and learn about what’s being talked about/Listen to those with experience

  • Ask where someone got something

  • When emailing, state your name, why you are emailing and if you’ve met in person


Things you MAY do (depending on the situation and people involved):

  • Hug or give other signs of affection

  • Exchange personal information

  • Politely insert yourself into a conversation

  • Respond to social media conversations in a polite manner


Things you SHOULD NOT Do:

  • Follow editor/publisher to bathroom/elevator/room to ask about rejection/critique/pitch your work

  • Touch someone without permission

  • Demand someone listen to you/tell you something

  • Get angry when author/publisher/editor/artist doesn’t have time to meet with you personally

  • Respond hatefully to a rejection (or respond at all to a rejection)


I’m sure that there’s many other things that could fill the page, but these are some that are on the top of my head today.


Now to the really fun part.


Rule #3 in Professionalism

Don’t Be a D*ck

This really should be self explanatory, but apparently it’s not. These are actions that go way beyond being rude or being socially awkward. This is behaviour that will get you blacklisted on review sites, conventions and in the publishing world. Continuation of these types of behaviors will ruin your career.


Seriously, if there’s anything on this list you are considering doing or if there’s any way people will think you are a d*ck because you did something like this. Just DON’T.*

  • Don’t ask a reviewer to make sure they are on their meds/be in a good mood/or not read your book during that time of the month.

  • Don’t threaten or pressure anyone for a good blurb or review.

  • Don’t join in conversations and derail so that it focuses on you, your personal opinion, or hurt feelings.

  • Don’t publically trash a review site or publication because you received a bad review or a rejection.

  • Don’t belittle other authors, artists or publishers because they don’t share your views or have rejected your work.

  • Don’t harassass anyone (sexually or otherwise) in person or online EVER.

  • Don’t touch, ogle, or make rude comments to cosplayers.

  • Don’t behave in a manner that is against convention or group policy.

  • Don’t complain when you act badly and then are called out for your behavior/ejected from a group/banned from event.

  • Don’t act badly and then pull the socially awkward card especially when other people know you act accordingly most of the time.

  • Don’t take advantage of other people. Especially those who may be young, impressionable or unable to determine your motives.

  • Don’t blame someone or something else for your actions.


These are all actions that are inexcusable, and we see them happen again and again. Most of these have been from the past few weeks but there are so many more. If you are doing or thinking of doing something on this list, don’t. Authors, editors and publishers speak with each other. If they hear of people acting badly and even worse see someone behaving badly, it will be taken into consideration when they receive a submission.


People should be polite to each other and work together to make the publishing world a great place for everyone. Unfortunately, some people missed the memo about being polite and/or respectful to others. With social media, it’s easier for people to misbehave. On the other hand, it’s much easier to spread the news about people being d*cks.


Remember, professional behavior is always welcome. If you aren’t sure what that means, watch and learn from many of the upstanding people in publishing. Go to a panel or class that focuses on professional behavior or on authors behaving badly. Read books on manners. Have someone go with you to social engagements to help you with social clues or look over your letters before you send them so that you can have a different viewpoint. Change any behaviours you can that are questionable. It’s difficult sometimes but being seen as a professional is important.


*If things like this have happened to you, please accept our sincere apology on behalf of all of the good people out there.


Praise for the Cross Cutting series by Wendy Hammer

by Jennifer 21. September 2016 10:22

The Thin
Starting a new series from a new author can be a scary situation, thankfully The Thin, is a well-written, fast moving, tension-filled read that leaves the reader craving more. Urban fantasy readers will enjoy this new take on Wardens and Guardians in a new setting. Plus you get a kick ass woman lead! Wendy Hammer doesn't leave you much time to guess what happens next. So if you are looking for your next quick read, I advise you to pick this one up.

The Hollow
How do you follow up a great story? Well if you are Wendy Hammer, author of the Cross Cutting series, you start with focusing on a secondary character in book 1. My only complaint was this book is over way too quickly. The quick action, development of a thing between Ache and Trinidad and the world building pulls you in quickly and doesn't let go until the end. Can't wait until book 3 comes out.


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Praise for the Karen Wilson Chronicles by Jennifer Brozek

by Jennifer 8. September 2016 10:31

Karen Wilson Chronicles
"This urban fantasy (with a little bit of a dark edge) collection is a series of connected and related short stories, but each one is complete in itself. There are gaps of time between them. Characters allude to events that have taken place in those gaps, without actively spelling any of them out. This is actually a strength of the work—we get to skip to the "good bits" without having to sacrifice the sense that there's a larger world out there where things actually take time to happen. While there's a lot of worldbuilding and some really interesting twists on classic genre themes, it feels like there's even more going on. It feels like there's a world beyond the page." —Steven Saus

Caller Unknown
"I was surprised at how well this was written. It was complete in and of itself while fitting into a series (or so it is advertised—I plan to find out by reading the series). You can read more than enough about the plot or the setting. I just wanted to confirm it is carried off well without gratuitous sex or other miscellaneous material. Two thumbs up." —S. Marsh

Children of Anu
"Seldom does an author execute storytelling with an effective immersive flair. This book was responsible for many nights lost of sleep, but well worth it. Also you will want to buy the protagonist, Karen Wilson a drink, many times. Heck I've wanted to be like, 'Here's a fifth of rum, you've gonna need it.'" —A. Mayor

"With each chapter, Keystones builds more and more tension as the characters realize everything they've worked for in the past is crumbling. And while the magical community is crumbling, Karen Wilson has to figure out a way to bring them together as one to defeat the darkness that threatens them all. Karen is a very strong character and dives the story line. Jennifer combines many characters with many different traits and flaws into her series. She's convincing enough that even non-humans such as gargoyles seem very human." —S. Hendrix

Chimera Incarnate

"Most importantly, the saga of Karen Wilson herself has come full circle. The beginning of the book sees her at her lowest point, but she manages to pull herself back from the brink. Initially, I was bummed that the Master of the City had less of a role to play in this book, but then I realized how important that was. Karen has to be her own person, not the Master’s puppet, and this book shows how far she’s come into her own in this regard.

"The author deftly ties up so many loose ends in so little time, while also introducing more interesting characters and ideas in order to heighten the tension of this last battle! The “serial novel” concept continued to work well over the course of all four books, even when so many characters and events needed to be balanced and maintained." —JL Gribble


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Praise for the Gentlemen Ghouls series by Ivan Ewert

by Jennifer 16. August 2016 08:28

Gentleman Ghouls
"Ivan Ewert inks in the people and the isolation in this rural horror so darkly and so well that you'll never complain about traffic or strip malls ever again." - Kenneth Hite, TOUR DE LOVECRAFT

Famished: The Farm
"It's a horror book that is well written, has a story line, and characters that are much more than "Next Victim" or "Guy with Spooky Mask." A shocker with all of the "Saw"-like movies, stories, and books out there. The cheap shock, the cheap scare ... that's what's big. But if you like horror that is actually well written and a good read? Here's your book." - Daniel Glovier

"Ivan Ewert's FAMISHED: THE FARM is some fun, old-school horror.  Ancient gods, cannibalism, and more than a little madness.  Ivan Ewert is a seriously twisted writer." - Stephen Blackmoore, DEAD THINGS

Famished: The Commons
"This story is phenomenal. I could not put it down. This book is horror mixed with adventure, with a great cast of characters along for the ride. Linh is my favorite - smart and tough with a functioning brain in her head. She reminds me of Rose Daniels from Rose Madder, one of my favorite novels. You won't stop cheering for her and Gordon. If you love creepy, smart horror that just begs you to sleep with the lights on and trust no one, read Famished: The Commons. You won't be disappointed!" - Blanche Devereaux


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FAMISHED: THE RANCH Has been released!

by Jennifer 15. August 2016 08:44

Apocalypse Ink Productions | Amazon
DriveThruFiction | Barnes&Noble

Destiny, manifested.

Having defeated the Gentleman Ghouls of the Farm and the Commons, Gordon Velander—and his attendant spirits, Orobias and Sylvie—head west. They seek to destroy the most remote branch of the cannibal cult that founded America and gnaws at the roots of the free world.

However, Gordon now fights a battle both within and without. His contentious allies first struggle, then revolt, following their own agendas. At the same time, Rancher Dylan Wildye has chosen a new tactic to preserve the family bloodline.

Warring for mastery of his own body, mind, and soul, Gordon must choose not only sides, but also his fate.

Famished: The Ranch is the third and final book in the Gentleman Ghouls series from Ivan Ewert and Apocalypse Ink Productions.


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by Jennifer 12. August 2016 11:10

FAMISHED: THE RANCH, book 3 of the Gentlemen Ghouls trilogy by Ivan Ewert, will be released on 15 August 2016.

Destiny, manifested.

Having defeated the Gentleman Ghouls of the Farm and the Commons, Gordon Velander—and his attendant spirits, Orobias and Sylvie—head west. They seek to destroy the most remote branch of the cannibal cult that founded America and gnaws at the roots of the free world.

However, Gordon now fights a battle both within and without. His contentious allies first struggle, then revolt, following their own agendas. At the same time, Rancher Dylan Wildye has chosen a new tactic to preserve the family bloodline.

Warring for mastery of his own body, mind, and soul, Gordon must choose not only sides, but also his fate.

Famished: The Ranch is the third and final book in the Gentleman Ghouls series from Ivan Ewert and Apocalypse Ink Productions.


(Photo by Amber Clark, Stopped Motion Photograpy.)


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Praise for the Sheynan Trilogy by Dylan Birtolo

by Jennifer 11. August 2016 09:48

The Sheynan Trilogy

"Within in mere moments of opening this book, I have been hooked, unable to put the book down. Many hours of sleep have been lost in reading such a gripping tale of one exciting adventure after the other. I highly recommend this trilogy to all as the story is really well rounded, which each character given such depth that you will like them all.

This modern fantasy kicks all the sparkly vampire books in the spine as it takes you on an amazing ride into the world of the unseen and unknown, leaving you breathless and wanting more. Every chapter pulls you deeper, making it difficult to stop and tear yourself away from the mastery that leaps from each page, creating this fantastical world to lose yourself in."

The Shadow Chaser
"The Shadow Chaser is an exciting, original novel about a young man who discovers a power that will transform his life forever. Repeatedly losing consciousness for no apparent reason and waking up disoriented in strange places, he embarks on a journey into realities he never knew existed, and he must figure out the changes in his life to survive. A suspenseful saga of self-discovery and the struggle to adapt to supernatural abilities, forces, and enemies." - Midwest Book Review

The Bringer of War
"What will happen to my friends Darian, Richard and Susan? Wow! When I have to forgo sleep to finish a book than it definitely has my attention. I was immersed in the modern world, yet I was thinking about previous times. The twists made me scream in frustration and laugh at the same time." - B&W Photogeek

The Torn Soul
"The Torn Soul is the final book of the Sheynan Trilogy and I was sad to see it end. It keeps you turning pages well past bedtime. For all of the shapeshifter fans, give this series a try."


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Author Etiquette - How to be a Good Panelist...or Audience Member

by Jennifer 9. August 2016 14:40

A few months ago we talked a little about conventions. They are great places to meet other writers, editors and fans. While many people go to have fun, others go for business related things such as networking. No matter what your reason for going, it’s also best to always remember to remain professional.

One of those professional opportunities that authors, artists, publishers and editors get to participate in and listen to are panels. Panels are discussions between selected professionals on topics that interest those who attend the convention. They can cover a wide variety of topics such as costume designs or editing. The panelists speak about the topic, answer questions about the subject and try to encourage people into discussions. They are great fun, and you can learn a lot. But what does it take to be a good panelist or a good audience member?

A Good Panelist
First, we are going to look at what makes a good panelist. For those who have been to conventions and listened to panels, you know there are some fantastic ones and some well, not so good ones. At times, it’s the subject but other times it’s the speakers. A panelist who is prepared to discuss the topic, engages the audience, is courteous, and doesn’t make more than the obligatory point to their books, is often one of the better panelists in the room.

Be prepared
To be a good panelist you must first be prepared. Most of the time when you are invited to speak on a panel, you are given the topics that will be discussed. Most of the time you are put on discussions that you are familiar with. But sometimes you get tossed into an arena you’ve never stepped in before.
If you are given a topic you aren’t familiar with, it’s time to do some research. It’s something we writers are probably very familiar with. Get to know the topic, the history and try to think up some questions that might arise. Who knows, you might just have the answer someone was looking for!

Show Up
Many a fan has been disappointed when they sit down for a panel and their favorite author or artist isn’t there. If you are asked to be on a panel, it means that someone believes you are a professional. And being a professional sometimes means doing duties you either don’t want to do or aren’t exactly comfortable doing (like talking in front of an audience.) If you are sick or there’s been an emergency, you can be excused, but notify the convention staff  and a few of the other panel members to let them know what’s happened. Your fans will understand you being sick, but they might not forgive you not showing up.

Engage the audience
Now that you know the answers, or think you do, it’s time to wow the audience with your brilliant mind. Not really. If you are spitting out facts and names and facts that are causing the audience’s eyes to glaze over, you are doing paneling wrong. I know it’s kind of terrifying being up there in front of people, and the default brain setting is to stick with safe stuff, but take a look at your audience. If they are nodding and agreeing, go right ahead, but if they look a little lost, ask one of them a question.

Maybe they are in the wrong room. Maybe they are dying to ask you a question that may or may  not be related to the topic. By interacting with the audience they have a sense of being a participant not just a listener. And for some, that makes quite an impression and sometimes a fan for life.
Don’t hog the spotlight but don’t try to hide from it either

Panels are timed events. Most of the time they last about 45 minutes but sometimes longer depending on the discussion. That’s not a long time to discuss complicated topics especially when there’s four (or more) people plus a moderator*. While there’s no way to split up the time officially, each panel member needs to be aware of how long they speak.

Some panel members like to talk a lot while others might be more shy. But each person should try to take control of the discussion for a little bit.


Because people are put on panels because they have different experiences, worldviews and ideas. It’s the combination of those that gives audience members a well-rounded experience.

Be attentive
While on the panel, be attentive to the other speakers. Don’t just give your opinion, then sit back and fiddle with your phone. Instead, look at who is speaking. Nod in agreement or raise your hand or get the speaker’s attention when you want to disagree. Participate in what’s going on.
Disagree as few times as possible (unless it’s really important)

Not everyone is going to share the same opinion on every subject or topic. Panels sometimes become sparring matches between two opposing ideas, especially on hot topics. When a point is brought up that you disagree with get the speaker’s or moderator’s attention and state your point but avoid a tennis-match type of discussion.

Except when it’s really important. If someone is saying things that could cause harm to others or is spreading verifiable information, then it’s up to you on how to proceed.

Laud your own work in moderation
While panels are a place to show writing muscles when it comes to certain topics, it’s also a way to promote yourself and your work. While the people in the audience might be interested in your book, they aren’t interested in hearing about it every other sentence.

When you are introduced, point out you have a new book, when it’s available and where. That should be about all of the pimping you should do. Unless of course, you can answer a question by pointing out a segment of your book.

Sometimes it’s best to go with the flow
While many panels run smoothly, sometimes there’s hiccups. You might be a last minute addition to a discussion topic you know nothing about. Or you might have a small audience and want to have a more informal panel. Panel coordinators can get mixed up and leave a room full of devoted fans but no speakers. And sometimes you find an audience member or two who are much more qualified to speak than you are.
In these cases, it’s okay to just go with it if the other panelists agree. Sometimes having a relaxed organic discussion is much better than digging through the few notes you were able to print off the internet.

A Good Audience Member
It goes without saying, if you aren’t on the panel, you are an audience member. Whether you are attending because you are a fan of one of the speakers, are interested in the topic or are curious about something, being a good guest makes the experience pleasant for everyone. Much like being a good panelist, a good audience member needs to remember a few things.

Arrive on time
The first thing everyone needs to do is arrive on time. Whether you are a speaker or an audience member, arriving early helps the panel run smoothly. Arriving early means you can take your seat and get comfortable before the show begins. Plus you might just have a moment to get a word in with your favorite author!

If you do arrive after the panel starts, do so as quietly as possible. Try not to disrupt the discussion.

Be attentive
This goes without saying, be attentive to the discussion. Turn off the ringer on your phone and pay attention. Don’t start a conversation with your neighbor. While not everything on a panel is going to interest you, being respectful and paying attention means a lot to the panel members.
Wait your turn
Many panels have a few minutes for questions from the audience. It’s often difficult to wait your turn when you know the clock is ticking but don’t rush to the head of the line or blurt out your question without being asked to.

After the panel
Often 45 minutes is not long enough to completely discuss a topic. If you or your group would like to continue talking about it, that’s great, but make sure that you clear out the room incase there’s another panel setting up.

If you’d like to speak with one of the panel guests, ask if they have time for a cup of coffee or if you could meet them at another time. But don’t be upset if they simply do not have time. (Remember, the guests are here for business purposes and they may have a full schedule.) If nothing else you can grab a business card and continue your conversation via email.

Being a good panelist and audience member allows everyone to have a good time at conventions. With just a little bit of courtesy, preparation and  attentiveness, everyone can have a good time.


Praise for the Flotsam Trilogy by Peter M. Ball

by Jennifer 3. August 2016 09:47

Flotsam Trilogy Omnibus
Cracking open this book was like walking into a movie theatre. Peter's descriptions of the city and characters made it possible to visualize them. The action was crisp, fast-paced and never over the top. It's certainly not  an easy book to set down and I found myself reading until almost dawn.

Excellent noir yarn with well interwoven demonic and supernatural aspects. Really good worldbuilding and I'm keen to read the next one. - Alan Baxter

This action-packed supernatural thriller improves on the previous volume in Peter M. Ball's Flotsam series, Exile. Continuing its deep dive into the hard-boiled supernatural underbelly of Queensland's Gold Coast, the action in Frost centers on grimy, compromised monster hunter Keith Murphy's bargain with a demonic crime boss and a brewing gang war with a bikie gang. - Dave Versace

Peter Ball's trilogy of dark urban fantasy novellas comes to a very satisfying close. This low-key epic of guns, demons and Fimbulwinter on the Gold Coast was a fun, pulpy adventure, but with unexpected moments of emotion and pathos scattered here and there. - Patrick O'Duffy


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Apocalypse Ink Productions

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Latest Releases
Cross Cutting series #3
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Famished: The Ranch
Gentlemen Ghouls #3
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Karen Wilson Chronicles

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The Sheynan Trilogy
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