All posts by justinalcala

GHOSTS OF THE PAST 4 Days Ago Have you ever opened up some of your long forgotten poems, short stories or novels? Painful right? The document is probably littered with vague pronoun references, unnecessary shifts in tense and fused sentences. Even worse, there are sections of the story that don’t contribute to the plot, insignificant characters and mawkishly sentimental underlying messages. If you’re like me, the first thing you do is plant your face in your hands (a.k.a. the “Face-palm”) and try not to cry. Afterwards, you stare at the Delete button, tempted to obliterate all proof that this story or poem was once yours. Finally, after waging a war with your conscience, you decide to live and let live, leaving the document alone, but lamenting about how terrible your writing once was. But wait, that’s not fair. Your old work shouldn’t be some dark secret that needs to be hidden from the world. It should be a testimony of what you’ve accomplished. Not only did the “old you” put a lot of effort into that story, but the work is a reminder of who you as a writer once inspired to be. It’s a roadmap of your writing life. Sometimes, we as writers are very hard on ourselves. We have to be because we’re constantly pursuing perfection. However, we forget that we didn’t just learn how to write overnight. There wasn’t some magical gift bestowed upon us by a divine being. No, we had to start somewhere and work at it, and those old documents are a symbol of that. For me, once the shock wears off of how bad my writing once was, I realize how beautiful these works really are. Because behind the jungle of grammatical errors and turbulent plot hooks is a vision I once had. I see Justin Alcala, the writer who wanted to give readers a little scare with his horror stories. I see Justin Alcala, the yarn spinner who wanted to give a fresh perspective on legends and folklore. I see Justin Alcala, the young man who wanted to make people happy by telling great stories. All too often, we authors get swept away by the power that comes with having your works published. I know I get a real kick out of talking to my publisher about cover art or sending new ideas to my editor. It’s fun to put your work onto bookshelves. But we can’t forget about the fundamentals. We need to remind ourselves why we started writing in the first place, and those old tales are just the thing. So the next time your dusting off an old manuscript, remember what those pages really mean. The words may tell a bad story, but the history of its creation is its own sort of autobiography.

Help Kids: We Bring the Wizards. You bring the magic.

Generous crusaders unite to help us HELP CHILDREN!!! We are working w/ Wizards of the Coast and Extra Life to help kids who can’t afford hospital services. Please, if you’d be so kind, donate even $1 to the cause to show your support. We appreciate it!

And as always, thank you to the dozens who’ve supported us so far. We bring the wizards, but you provide the magic.

Help us help them

Donate Here: https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=56749

Meet Dothur of A DEAD END JOB

Let me tell you what I love about Parliament House. They go the distance to ensure this book is perfect in every way…including ensuring our villains (or perhaps antiheroes) are fleshed out just right. We are in the late stages of publication for “A Dead End Job.” Still, there’s a long way to go. From a second round of line edits to content reviews, we are working hard to get you this book. So please, preorder today. Every preordered book helps with Amazon marketing tiers, sales strategies and other presale details.

Preorder today and join Dothur’s Movement of Madness

Heroes! We need your help!

Hello Heroes!

We’re on a mission to play role playing games in order to help heal kids. We’ve chosen our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Augusta. With 170 hospitals to chose from, each location treats thousands of kids annually, regardless of their illness, injury or family’s ability to pay.

We need your help!

Your donation is tax-deductible and will make miracles happen for families who desperately need them. Simply click on the “Donate” link in my bio or use the link below to help. And as always, we thank you!

https://www.extra-life.org/team/56749

Justin Alcala’s “A Dead End Job” Cover Revealed

Here it is. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Our talented artists at Parliament House Press have put together a fantastic book cover. This enticing book calls to me as a reader and I hope it does to you too. There’s lots of information packed into the art that gives you small clues about what our story, and our chief character, is all about. I can’t wait to hear what people think, and thanks again to the publisher for months of hard work creating this masterpiece. Readers, get your limited discounted preorder of “A Dead End Job” now on #amazonkindle #booknook and .#kobobooks. A DEAD END JOB HITS SHELVES OCTOBER 5th, 2021 in digital book, paperback and audio book. www.justinalcala.com

2021 Justin Alcala Schedule Released

Well, there’s always a silver lining to any adversity, and 2020 was no different. While it’s globally unanimous that 2020 was like skidding down a razor bladed playground slide, there were some benefits. Beyond the zenith of all joys, the birth of my son, Ronan, I could also get a lot of writing projects ready for their 2021 debut. So, strap on your helmet, squeeze into your short shorts, and grease those rollerblades, because we’re skating through 2021 with conviction. Here’s a look at the Justin Alcala schedule for the upcoming year. 

JANUARY 2021

  • Final edits for “A Dead End Job” were put together by Parliament House Press and myself
  • Production Meetings began for the future graphic novel, “Apollyon” with talented producers/creators James Rock and Alex Gomez
  • “Taming of the Cthulhu” 1st proof reaches 30,000 words. 
  • “A Dead End Job” cover artist completes project for acceptance 

FEBRUARY 2021

  • “A Dead End Job” cover reveal on February 25th 
  • “Magic of Motivational Quotes” by Wingless Dreamer publishing is released, featuring a Justin Alcala excerpt 
  • Cover reveal for the new anthology, “Citizen Survivors: The Red Book” released by BLK  DOG Publishing. This historical fiction piece about the world had Nazi Germany been victorious features a short story by Justin Alcala titled “The Entrepreneur” 

MARCH 2021

  • Proofreading for the Middle Grade book, “The Last Stop” begins. This young reader horror story follows seventh grader, Morrigan, and her little brother, Asher, as they explore the frightful history of their new town, and the connection with their eerie new bus driver. 
  • “Taming of the Cthulhu” manuscript should reach the halfway point for creation
  • Two new short stories will begin for Halloween distribution
  • “Citizen Survivors: The Red Book” hits shelves

APRIL 2021

  • “The Last Stop” will sent off to agents and publishers 
  • Short Horror Stories “A Horse for Us All” and “Buried in the Rain” hit anthology and literary magazine shelves
  • Finishing touches for the first proof of “Taming of the Cthulhu” complete and sent out to editors

MAY 2021

  • “The Last Stop” proposed to agents and publishers 
  • “Apollyon” finishes proofreads and illustrators begin early sketches

JUNE 2021

  • Early reviewers get their “looking-balls” on “A Dead End Job”
  • Interviews on podcasts, radio stations and literary journals for the premiere of “A Dead End Job”

JULY 2021

  • Early announcement about “The Last Stop” publication
  • Short Horror Story Projects Cut Off for Submission 
  • We will take part in the “2021 Charity Drive for the Extra Life for Kids” program 

AUGUST 2021

  • We will start the countdown for “A Dead End Job” with great giveaways, including e-books, t-shirts and other great 

SEPTEMBER 2021

  • “The Last Stop” continued publication announcements
  • “Taming of the Cthulhu” hits submission phase
  • “A Dead End Job” preorders completed 

OCTOBER 2021

  • “A Dead End Job” released (Woo hoo!). Parliament House PRess will release physical copies and ebooks starting October 5th, 2021.
  • Podcast interviews to continue in promotion of Parliament House Press in conjunction with “A Dead End Job”
  • Halloween Short Stories hit publication 

NOVEMBER 2021

  • “The Last Stop” begins editorial phase with new publisher
  • “Taming of the Cthulhu” early publication announcements 
  • Justin Alcala short story and novel contest results announced

DECEMBER 2021

  • Christmas Giveaways for “A Dead End Job” gifted for select readers 
  • “Apollyon” publication announcement updates 

“The Lantern Quietly Screams” Wins Award

“The Lantern Quietly Screams” won third in the fantastic town of Saugus, Massachusetts’s 2020 Ghost Story Contest. There were thousands of entries from amazing authors, and it is beyond cool that “The Lantern Quietly Screams” terrified the judges.
When four history students researching the Underground Railroad can’t find records on the old network near the Blue Ridge Mountains, they put out an ad in the paper. Luckily, an archivist, and descendent of a former slave-gone-guide ,agrees to drive up to tell her grandmother’s tale. However, as the group waits along the base of the dark mountain, ghostly lantern lights flicker in the wood line. Luckily, their source arrives before anything else eerie can happen, or so they think. Interested in checking out “The Lantern Quietly Screams”? You can find the short story in the Castabout Literature: October 2019 Edition:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1702629465/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2
or in the 101 Proof Horror Anthology:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1989225306/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i7
And please be sure to leave your review. Every review helps all the authors involved in keeping you horrified.

Turn the Page by Justin Alcala

You hear it all the time. Goodbye 2020. What a yearCan’t wait for 2021. We yearn to move on. We ache for a better tomorrow. And in the literary world, the uncertainty from the last twelve months drives a similar desire. 

According to Guardian journalist, Alex Clark, 2020 was a mixed year for the publishing life. While bookshops closed, literary festivals cancelled and hardback sales shrunk, digital books surged in the face of the pandemic. Lockdowns and work-from-home environments gave readers more time for books. Racism, COVID-19 and a divided nation drove authors to their keyboards, congesting the market. As a result, many established writers, such as novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls, are bowing out, focusing on other projects. 

But is stepping down the answer? Is it time for career writers to walk away in the face of a flooded environment? Unless you’re well established, even the best rising stars in the literary world will face a noisy market. Getting your voice heard and your book in front of an audience will be more difficult than ever. Should budding authors, columnists and screenwriters retire?

The answer is a simple sentence word. No. Writers run a parallel struggle with the rest of the world. Confusion, mistrust and disorientation fog the future. There are new hurdles. But one thing is for certain in these turbulent times. They will change. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

The fingerprint of the literary world will never be the same. Digital books, who were already on the rise, have clinched a large part of reading retail. Bookstores and libraries will need to change the way they do business, focusing on alternative ways to sell physical copies. Top tier publishers will have to be more selective on how they sift through thousands of authors, and independent writers will need to get creative with getting books in readers’ hands. What doesn’t change though is a writer’s desire to create.

Storytellers are storytellers. Journalists need to report. Artists can’t cease the call for expression. Fresh stories, no matter what the temperature of the market, need writing. An author shouldn’t ever compromise their work because of business complications. Once the book is ready, then one can worry about market strategies, sales profits, and whether they need to find other ways to help establish income. It won’t be easy, but there’s no wisdom in trying to take the fire from a dragon. 

We may want to move on from the past. The future may be confusing. But in the literary world, one thing is for certain. Readers need books. There will always be a desire to read insightful columns, inspiring stories, and other forms of written art. Authors are going to need to think of novel ways to get their work into readers’ hands, but it can never deny the call to write. 

Preorder “A Dead End Job” Today and Dive Into the Absurd

One of my favorite parts of “A Dead End Job” was taking a classically ominous figure like Death and making him into a funny, likable guy. Early readers seem to love it too. Preorder “A Dead End Job” on Amazon today to guarantee your copy. It’s a wild ride through the absurd.

Death needs a vacation. Badly. But there’s a catch: There are certain people who just seem to cheat the system, always falling through the cracks and not ending up dead like they’re supposed to—who’s going to take care of them while he’s out?

The answer is simple. He needs an intern. So, with the help of his I.T. guy, Jumbo, he starts scanning through a list of potential candidates.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that one prospect—Buck Palasinksi, a bankrupt hitman with a roleplaying addiction—could have what it takes. After he’s drilled in the forehead by a bullet while scoping out his next target, he falls right into Death and Jumbo’s laps.

If they shove him back into his body, he’ll have a few weeks to prove that he has what it takes to be Death’s right-hand man…That is, if he can take out Public Enemy Number one, John Dillinger, while he’s got a werewolf sidekick and tries to quit smoking.

A Dead End Job https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08LQXMY5C/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_D-E6FbZQJ0SMQ

“A Dead End Job” Releases to Bookshelves October 2021