Book Review: Circle City Publishing Presents: Fun Size – A Sample Anthology

Some may see this review as a little self-serving, seeing as how I created the theme, crafted the call for submissions, reached out to several authors to gauge interest, then collected, edited, and organized all the stories before formatting them all for the printer. Those people may be right. However, the point of this review is serving the same mission as the point of this collection, which is to benefit the authors and readers alike.

One of the biggest challenges for any independent author is getting readers. The cost of marketing your books without the resources of an established publishing company is prohibitive for most authors who are trying to break out. People who aren’t familiar with the subject matter and writing style aren’t typically willing to risk the money for a book from somebody they aren’t familiar with.

That’s where Circle City Publishing and the Fun Size Anthology comes in. By featuring a wide array of authors from all genres (minus romance), the idea is simple: the more readers this collection can appeal to, the more beneficial for everyone. The concept of this collection is to offer a sampling of stories from existing novels and series, so readers can learn about the writing styles and universes that the authors have created. Continue reading

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Kids Corner: My Ship Don’t Sink! Reading

My favorite thing about this time in our world right now, is seeing the creative community come together and offer multiple different ways to consume their material.  Last week, I shared some Circle City Publishing coloring sheets.  This week, I’m happy to share a reading of my children’s book, My Ship Don’t Sink!  Continue reading

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Kids Corner: Circle City Publishing Free Downloadable Coloring Sheets

Hey there, everybody!  With the current condition of the world, it’s time that we all band together and get creative with how we fill our time.  It’s easy to get sucked into the couch and endlessly binge whatever shows or movies we can find.  Movie studios are making that even easier by putting brand new releases straight out for digital consumption (which is really a pretty cool move on their part during all of this turmoil).  Unfortunately, that may not be the healthiest way to spend our time.

Some of us may draw into working from home and become a productivity beast, which has its own benefits and drawbacks alike.  The flip side of that coin though, involves the countless number of youth who have had their school years completely disrupted, suspended, or even outright cancelled in some cases.

Finding physical activity and engaging our brains is super important during this time of crisis.  While I will leave the physical part up to each of you, I have been working on some activities to engage the creativity centers in our brains.  I did this primarily for the kids who need some help with their schedules and structure, but there’s no reason adults can’t enjoy this as well! Continue reading

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Author Spotlight: Cait Marie

Folks, I don’t know how else to introduce this next author other than by saying that she is an absolute force of nature in the independent publishing world. She founded the marvelous website, Functionally Fictional, and uses it to highlight indie authors on a daily basis. Her support of the self-published writing community alone makes her a-okay in my book! So without further adieu, let’s gets to know Cait Marie!

(Editor’s note: This interview was completed prior to the release of her debut novel, The Lost Legends.  If some of the responses don’t line up with the timeline of reality, that would be why.) Continue reading

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Fun Size: A Sample Anthology Available Now!

The time has come!  Circle City Publishing is proud to present our first anthology.  Fun Size: A Sample Anthology presents nine wide-ranging stories from nine great authors.  At this low price, how can you pass up this incredible offer?  Learn about new series, familiarize yourself with the author’s writing styles, then stock up on some exciting, new worlds!  Click here for the full array of available formats.  Check it out and help spread the word!

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Comic Books; Real Literature or Juvenile Comic Strips?

Comic books typically come with a juvenile stigma attached. When people ask what you’re reading and you say Faulkner, you get a nod of respect. However, If you say Ghost Rider, you will likely get an eye roll. (At least, that’s how it was pre-Big Bang Theory, anyway. That show made being a nerd acceptable, and whether you enjoyed the show or not, I think we can all be thankful for it bridging the gap between the cool kids and the geeks.) Most people have no idea that the latest run of Ghost Rider follows a Hispanic teenager/young adult, working as a mechanic to support and care for his disabled younger brother who’s bound to a wheelchair. The character development in most comic books is phenomenal. Iron Man has had struggles with alcoholism, and Green Lantern & Green Arrow have had to deal with the death of a sidekick due to a drug overdose.  The story arcs are broken up into small chunks, but they’re enthralling. They must be entertaining, or they wouldn’t still exist. Just like “regular” books. Besides, they’re called comic “books”, doesn’t that automatically give them credit for being real books? What about graphic “novels”? Any difference there?  The article at this link does a nice job of touching on all of these questions, so I won’t rehash what they’ve already covered.

Let’s take a look at the cover of “Pumpkin Heads” by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks. The first thing to notice is that Rowell is clearly labeled as a #1 New York Times bestselling author. That is a massive achievement for any author, and automatically gives legitimacy without even opening the book. The second thing worth noting is the part where it labels itself as a graphic novel. It very plainly identifies as a novel, but recognizes that there is art involved, which is why they shoehorn the word “graphic” in there. This is obviously just one example of the countless graphic novel offerings, but it makes quite a compelling argument I’d say.

Consider a couple other reputable authors who have ventured over into the graphic novel side of the publishing industry.  Chuck Palahniuk, most notably of Fight Club fame, decided to use comic books to tell his story for Fight Club 2 instead of writing another novel for the sequel to the massively successful book.  While there was a lot of criticism for that series, it hasn’t stopped Dark Horse Comics from announcing plans for Fight Club 3, which Palahniuk will maintain creative control over.  Kurt Vonnegut’s timeless classic, Slaughterhouse Five, is also getting the graphic novel treatment.  How’s that for legitimacy?? Continue reading

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The CKFiction Dictionary: Creative Cursing – Alternative Curse-Nasties

Sometimes you really need to get a point across and normal vocabulary just doesn’t seem to cut it.  Sometimes, you want to pack a little extra punch with your delivery and unload with some four-letter favorites, but then other times you don’t want to disappoint your mother or be compared to some salty sailing sea dog.  Sometimes there are small children around and you don’t want to be accused of tainting their virgin ears.  Sure, sometimes those small children are even yours and you don’t want your wife to blame you for setting a bad example.

That’s where this list will come in handy.  Simply plug in my top tried and true cuss word alternatives, and you’ll be sounding like a huge cheeseball in no time! Continue reading

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