Top Ten Writing Mistakes Editors See Every Day

Eden Royce:

Sharing because I’ve seen it and I’ve been guilty of it….

Originally posted on Blot the Skrip and Jar It:

Goya -The sleep of reason produces monsters (c1799) recut

In addition to writing and teaching, one of the things I do for a living is to evaluate manuscripts for their suitability for publication. I read fiction (and non-fiction) across several genres, and write comprehensive reports on the books. I try always to guide the author towards knocking his or her project into a shape that could be credibly presented to literary agents, publishers and general readers. You know how Newman and Mittelmark introduce How Not to Write a Novel by saying, ‘We are merely telling you the things that editors are too busy rejecting your novel to tell you themselves, pointing out the mistakes they recognize instantly because they see them again and again in novels they do not buy,’ well they’re right; I am one of those editors.

However good the idea behind a novel, when the author is still learning the craft of writing – like any…

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Deadroads: A Review

I love Gothic horror.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I may have mentioned that several (hundred) times.

Unfortunately, I don’t come across it much in new books that I’m asked to read. There’s a glut of shock and slasher horror, splatterpunk, cannibalism, serial killers, and the like.

While that’s fine, sometimes, I like to sit down to a quiet, yet creepy and disconcerting tale. Ergo, I’m pleased to present my Hellnotes review of Robin Riopelle’s Deadroads: A Novel of Supernatural Suspense to you.

Leading ghosts down the Deadroads takes special training...

Leading ghosts down the Deadroads takes special training…


I’m also pleased to have included the word “ergo” in a blog post. Read the full review on the Hellnotes website here:

Hyde: A Review

In sum, Hyde is a story about a quest.  Not the Dungeons and Dragons/sword and sorcery kind.  But the type of quest that many people never even embark on: one of self-discovery. The phrase “finding out who you really are” is featured more than once, and it is used well. Not something I come across often when given an erotic horror story to read.


Vince Churchill's understated cover for Hyde.  Don't let the smooth taste fool you.

Vince Churchill’s understated cover for Hyde.
Don’t let the smooth taste fool you.

For some readers, a few of the subjects may be off-putting.  For me, one of the marks of a good author is how he or she handles writing what can be considered difficult subject matter for the majority of the population. Churchill handles these subjects—kidnapping and voyeurism, to name a few—with a deft pen. (er… keyboard?) But at the conclusion of this story, even the initial feelings you have about Hyde’s actions are turned upside down and inside out.

This is truly an erotic horror, so brace yourself.  Once you’ve decided to strap in, Churchill creates an enthralling experience for the reader.  His imagery is creative, but not over-worked. He used his words craftily, bringing each character’s emotions to the reader in a vivid bas-relief, making reading Hyde an almost tactile experience. Both fear and sexual pleasure are given equal attention and the writing of each is powerfully effective.

Hyde is also peppered with pictures, shown like stacks of Polaroid photos within the text.  I’m pleased to say that each artist is credited with copyright for their work just inside the cover.

One of my favorite terms used in Hyde was “pained satisfaction”. It ties into a neat little bow what most of the characters face. I must admit, I didn’t forsee the ending, as I sometimes do with erotic horror. There’s no way for me to describe it here without giving spoilers, but the finale was a fit ending for this tale and an excellent way to wrap up this quest for self-knowledge.

Hyde reflects its namesake.  Disturbing, yet recognizable.

7 Questions with Eden Royce

So excited to be featured on The Flip Side of Julianne blog today!

I first worked with Julianne Snow when I submitted a short story to Sirens Call Publications for their Women in Horror Month eZine in 2013.

Here’s hoping I’ve done an interesting interview! Click below for the full interview.

7 Questions with Eden Royce.


Women in Horror Month eZine 2013.  Download it free!

Women in Horror Month eZine 2013.
Download it free!

Ruining Science Fiction With Glitter: The Scalzi Chronicles

Eden Royce:

Yes, glitter.

Originally posted on Whatever:

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Bearing Up: A Release

I’ve been focused on writing horror and dark fantasy for quite some time now.  But not everyone knows the first story I had published was an erotica tale.

So when I saw a call for submissions from Changeling Press requesting “weird shifter” erotica stories, I couldn’t resist writing a short story to fit the challenge. (My romance and erotica stories tend to be a bit quirky and offbeat.)

And it was accepted for publication! Here’s the cover:

Teddy bear shifter... the gift that keeps on giving.

Teddy bear shifter… the gift that keeps on giving.

The Blurb:

Hard-working assistant bank manager Ellie is having a hard time getting over getting dumped by her cheating ex. After a particularly tough week, she visits her best friend Tippett at her job, a local carnival.

There, she plays a boardwalk game run by a mysterious and intriguing carnival barker and wins an adorable stuffed teddy bear. Later that night, the bear shifts into a tall, flame-haired lover with the ability to make her forget everything except the passionate games he wants to play.

Pick up a copy of the first in the quirky, sexy Carnival Magic novella series.  It’s  available now on Changeling’s site and coming soon to Amazon and

Eve’s Requiem: A Review

I had the privilege to read an advance copy of Spider Road Press’s release Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery, and Horror.

Eve’s Requiem is a compelling compilation of tales in tribute to the resiliency of women who are placed in dangerous situations.

Many of these tales have paranormal elements, while others are firmly grounded in realistic, everyday situations that spiral out of control. Historically in much of horror fiction, women have been regulated to helpless victims or sexual conquests. This collection of stories places women in positions of power.

Eve's Requiem small

The women in these short stories are relatable: they assert themselves, make choices, and take action. While they feel fear, these women are not stymied by it. I found it heartening that the focus was not on their physical descriptions—the characters could be any of us. The essence of these stories was centered on their strength, their reasoning, their decisions, their need to survive.

That fight for survival is what makes the stories in Eve’s Requiem such an engrossing and relevant read. To purchase, head over to the Spider Road Press Bookstore.

An added plus is that 5% of the proceeds from all Spider Road Press titles are donated to charities which address the issues of sexual assault, supporting American veterans, empowering youth and fighting hunger at home and abroad. I’m sure editors Fern Brady and Patricia Flaherty Pagan would love to have a review from you as well.

Happy Reading!