Authors: Michael Recto, EK Gonzales, Pau Castillo, and Mark Manalang
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When justice calls, heroes rise. Follow the journeys of a fire programmer, two very unique detectives, and an unlikely partnership between a mortal and a ghost as they fight for what they believe in and even their very survival in this action-packed bundle of four stories from up-and-coming writers.
Eleven by Michael Recto
Detective Randall Dela Rosa is hot on the trails of a string of unexplained murders halfway around the world. There have been 7 victims so far, all of them murdered in creatively horrible methods, had the number 11 carved on their corpses, and were made to recite a cryptic in Filipino before their murders: “Mayroong isangdaan at dalawampu’t isang dahilan kung bakit hindi para sa iyo ang kuwentong ito ngunit…” The latest victim, number 8, has lead him back to his father’s home country, the Philippines. As an Interpol agent, he expected that his presence will not be welcomed. The local police deemed his “meddling” as unnecessary and a blow to the local force’s pride. However, Detective Dela Rosa is ready to place everything on the line to stop the murders and finally stop the nightmares haunting him.
Expendable by EK Gonzales
Corespasa is a fire programmer, drifting and drinking through his aimless life. But during a fire of his own making, he is saved by a stranger, a scholar running away from the rival region. As their paths and lives join, their individual paths will change the other. But will he destroy their joint world?
Between Two Worlds by Pau Castillo
At the age of 5, Sam Lawrence discovers a peculiarity which changes her life forever. Along with three others who share a similar curse, Sam eventually finds herself caught up in a mishap involving a family, a mansion, and a spirit who continues to haunt its walls. With Sam’s perseverance, an unlikely friendship forms between Sam and the infamous White Mansion ghost, Lucian Malliarch. Together, they try to stop a greater and more sinister force which connects Sam and Lucian in ways no one had expected.
The Seven-Day Detective by Mark Manalang
Insp. Gene Bello is no stranger to rape cases, or speedy investigations. As a cadet, he was known as “The Seven-Day Detective”, having solved a serial rape incident in seven days. So when an NBI official asked him to handle a similar case, he was ready to take on the job… or so he thought. The case: a serial rapist targeting call center agents from Bonifacio Global City. Luck is on Gene’s side, though. Four PUV drivers plying the EDSA-BGC routes have seen and interacted with the fifth victim. Each of them knew her well. Each of them, perhaps all of them, may hold the key to stop the next attack and find the suspect before he strikes again. But they have to hurry… All they have is seven days.
[Guest Post] 4 Slightly Odd Things I Do to Spark My Writing Powers by Pau Castillo
4. If they were here, what could they be doing? This, for me, is the test on how well you know your characters are and when you know how they’d most probably be in certain situations, the flow of your piece would be smoother and consistency will come in easier. So how do I do this? Wherever I may be, I wonder who and how my characters would be. For example, I’m at a coffee shop. I’d look around and wonder, “if character A were here, who would character A be? Will he be the silent guy at the corner? Will he be the one perpetually on his laptop while draining the coffee shop’s power source? Will he be the one taking a hell lot of photos of his cup?” In turn, I think some people end up thinking that I’m judging them but really, I’m just wondering if my character would fit what the person is doing.
3. Questions? The most effective way to get information is by asking questions. Then again, this may be a little weird for us spec fic writers / paranormal writers. Still, I ambush-ask even the most random and slightly horrifying questions for people who aren’t exactly a fan of the genre. Example of said questions I actually asked were:
- If you have an Ouija board, what would you do with it? What questions would you ask?
- Would you allow a poltergeist to host himself on you?
- You think evil spirits are just misunderstood spirits?
- Could ghosts be handsome?
2. My genre is my drug. It’s pretty common for writers to read through other novels, stories, or articles online but what I did was I binged-read a lot of related articles and stories. The fact that I mostly write under the paranormal genre, well, I have a slightly questionable browsing history. No worries, my Google searches containing, “how to call on demons” are purely for fictional use only (or is it?). By doing so, you get in the mood of your genre while simultaneously getting additional information which you can possibly use in your piece. (Pinterest and Viralnova are my best friends for this)
1. My character is real. All characters are real because, as writers, we have the responsibility to make them real not only in our minds but also in the minds of the people who will eventually read our works. One of my main characters, Lucian Malliarch, is actually the realest figment of my crazy imagination. I talk to Lucian. I see Lucian. I can hear his voice, I can hear how he talks. I can see him approving or disapproving on the things I’m making him do in the novelette. I don’t know if this is a helpful technique for others, but to me, it served as a motivation to finish primarily because Lucian would be there beside me, telling me to stop being lazy and finish his story already. So, don’t let your character stay confined in the pages of your piece. See him or her, hear him or her, even in the most mundane activities you do