100 Free Books of Fall, a popular horror duo’s new release, and how it feels to improvise a novel

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief

A Letter from the Editor

Welcome, readers and writers, to the October 2023 issue of Books & Buzz Magazine!

First thing’s first: our brand-new annual event, 100 Free Books of Fall, is kicking off today! Sign up to enjoy free e-books throughout the fall season.

If you’re an author, you can submit your own Kindle e-book for a chance to win one of our beautiful indie publishing packages along with our Book of the Year award.

This month, we’re serving up a double feature: our cover shines the spotlight on authors Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence. In a fascinating interview, these longtime friends and co-writers talk to me about the latest book they’ve released in a series that follows a clever premise: deep-diving into the science behind some of our favorite scenes in iconic horror and mystery stories. “We wanted to know about the history, mythology, science, and so much more behind our favorite films, shows, and books,” they say. “So it made sense to write a book series that brought readers along for that ride.” In the interview, you’ll hear about the tee shirt that sparked a decades-long friendship, the hardest part of writing true crime, and the very relatable reason they started the podcast they host together, Horror Rewind.

Then, award-winning author Martine Noël-Maw reveals the two approaches she takes to writing her novels: “The first one is systematic and involves a lot of planning,” she says, “while the second one is pure inspiration, or improvisation.” As she was writing her classic young adult novel The Ghosts of Spiritwood, for example, she describes how the story came to her through the voice of one of her characters. “It was as if the story already existed and I had only transcribed it,” she says. “I wrote the entire manuscript in just ten weeks.” Martine discusses the ins and outs of each method and explains why they each have their place.

Next, Matthew Hughes, award-winning science fiction and fantasy author, introduces us to a concept you may have never heard of: confabulation. It’s the ability of the human mind to fill in details about a scene or situation that were never specified—or even make them up out of whole cloth. And it’s also good news for writers, because it means we don’t have to concoct long-winded descriptions of every single thing. “Instead,” Matthew says, “we need only concentrate on the few details that will become the dots our readers connect for themselves.” Learn more about this phenomenon and how to put it to work for you in your next novel.

Finally, we hear from Ben Monroe on the importance—and difficulties—of keeping an online presence as an author. The biggest challenge, as he sees it, is trying to stand out in all the random chatter and cluttered feeds of the people you want to reach. “Take a moment to think about the last time you took a walk, went for a drive, or even just did chores or errands,” he says, “and how much extraneous information you were bombarded with along the way.” While it’s no easy task to attract attention these days, Ben explains how to get the most out of social media, which pages are must-haves on your website, and how to keep it all fresh and engaging.

Before you dig in, don’t forget to sign up to receive 100 Free Books of Fall. Then come on back, settle in, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

Brilliant authors. Free books. Sign up to get it all!

We have a strict no-spam policy. All e-mails are sent through MailChimp, a reputable e-mail service. Unsubscribe anytime.

Are you a writer?        

Share this article! Select your favorite social site below: