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Inspiring Fear: Blackwood Crossing

hblf, lfneJason L Blair07 April 2017

Aside from the school-aged protagonists, I wasn’t quite sure if the newly-released game Blackwood Crossing would fulfill the qualifications for Little Fears inspiration—but not long after I wondered that, the trailer showed its potential.

I haven’t played the game yet but I fully intend to. Here’s the description from the official YouTube channel:

Blackwood Crossing is a story-driven first-person adventure game. An intriguing and emotive tale exploring the relationship between orphaned siblings, Scarlett and Finn. When their paths cross with a mysterious figure, an ordinary train ride evolves into a magical story of life, love and loss.

SPOILERS: There are animal-masked people who turn into leaf clouds? Or something? And the game has papercraft butterflies that come to life? I am so in.

Check out the trailer below. Blackwood Crossing is available now for Xbox One, Steam, and PS4.

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Madness. Absolute Madness.

lfne, newsJason L Blair06 April 2017

It’s been almost half a year since I last updated?

That’s awful. Little Fears means too much for me to leave the site languishing this long. So let’s fix that.

I’ve been busier the past year than I maybe have my entire life. The day job continues to be amazing and insane but I should have a pretty chill summer and that means it’s time to get some stuff done for this game about kids fighting monsters.

No grand promises here but I will say:

1. The Middle Grade novel, The Wolf Pact, is done. I held off self-publishing in order to shop it to some agents and publishers who might have interest. Alas, nothing materialized. So I have this completed book that I’d really like to get out there for you folks (and to fulfill some Kickstarter pledges).

2. I would very much like to write the follow-up novel to The Wolf Pact—tentatively titled Fairy Tale Ending—as well.

3. The long-promised Campfire Tales release, The House that Wasn’t There, has been sitting almost-done since September of 2015. I’d like to finish and polish that up for sale.

Alright, I think that’s enough for now.

Oh! And I have ordered a whole bunch of PG-13 horror films so expect some Inspiring Fear posts as well. Including one that will up later this week!

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Inspiring Fear: Halloween Spookies

hblf, lfneJason L Blair31 October 2016

Happy Halloween, everybody! With work and travel, I didn’t have time to put together a proper Halloweek this year but I didn’t want the holiday to pass without at least something.

Thanks, Dread Central, for coming to the rescue! Check out the following link for information on a family-friendly anthology called Halloween Spookies.

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Update on The Wolf Pact

lfneJason L Blair20 July 2016

wolfpact_cover_workup_v2

I sent The Wolf Pact out to alpha readers on the 11th and the response has been amazing! I got some very good notes to help strengthen the story and LOTS of anecdotes that readers from 7 to 12 LOVE the book! It’s great to get feedback from peers on story structure, character development, and plot consistency but hearing that my target audience really likes the story of Nate and Jennifer makes my heart sing.

On top of that, the author of one of my favorite Middle Grade series ever has agreed to read the book for a potential blurb! Exciting times!

I am currently revising the book based on alpha feedback. Then I’ll start a head-down copyedit pass to fix up typos, grammatical errors, etc. Then it’s layout and proofing and then digital release!

I’ve decided to go ahead with a Kickstarter so folks who missed the book the first time around (or who just want the novel and not the RPG) can pick it up—though the focus of the Kickstarter will be funding the follow-up, Faery Tale Ending, which centers on Jennifer and her quest to [REDACTED].

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Inspiring Fear: A Monster Calls

hblf, lfneJason L Blair14 July 2016

I’m kinda stunned by how much I love this.

Most of the kids-plus-monsters movies I post about have the two sides opposing each other. That is, after all, the heart of Little Fears: kids fighting monsters. But the below film, A Monster Calls, is all about a boy who has a monster on his side. I won’t say anything more other than to implore you to watch the trailer below.

It’s based on Patrick Ness’s book of the same name. I plan to pick this one up immediately.

For you fans of Monsters and Other Childish Things, this fits so very well there too.

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Inspiring Fear: Stranger Things

hblf, lfneJason L Blair09 June 2016

A friend just forwarded me the following trailer and I had to update this site as soon as I could.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things, a Netflix Original homage to the supernatural thrillers of the 80s, drops July 15th. I don’t know much about this series—and kinda don’t want to yet—but the trailer has me super intrigued. And it looks like prime inspiration for Little Fears.

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The Wolf Pact: First Draft Complete!

hblf, lfne, newsJason L Blair16 March 2016

wolfpact_cover_workup_v2

Hey everyone!

Just a quick note today to let you all know that I finished the first draft of The Wolf Pact yesterday. The manuscript needs a lot of love still but I’m very happy with what’s there, overall.

I’m kicking off the editing process today. I should have a draft ready for alpha readers very soon.

Once The Wolf Pact is buffed and shined, I’m going to dive into the sequel, Fairy Tale Ending. I’ve never been so jazzed about writing fiction before. It feels good to finally be in a place where I’m comfortable writing novels.

Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I’ll update again when I have more to share.

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The Wolf Pact: Update (with Revised Cover)!

hblf, lfne, newsJason L Blair15 March 2016

Little Fears: The Wolf Pact, my foray into bringing Little Fears into the world of Middle Grade fiction, currently sits at 32k words. I reckon I’m about 4k words from finish. I am to wrap up the first draft tomorrow.

My 8yo is super-stoked to read it which makes me very happy.

Once the first draft is done, I’m giving myself two to three weeks to revise it. Then it’ll go out to beta readers for feedback. More revision will follow. Publication should be early summer? Maybe sooner, depending on how the editing process goes.

I spent some time today tweaking the cover for the book. I’ve pasted the latest version below for your feedback. It’s coming together, folks! Woohoo!

wolfpact_cover_workup_v2

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Little Fears: The Wolf Pact Update

hblf, lfne, newsJason L Blair07 March 2016

Hello, everyone!

After a heated weekend sprint, I hit the 80% mark on the Little Fears Middle Grade novel The Wolf Pact. I can see the first draft wrapping up by the end of the week.

The Wolf Pact Cover Mock-Up WIP
(Cover-in-Progress)

Doesn’t mean it’ll be good to go though. I’ll take it through multiple editing passes before releasing it in digital.

Those of you who pledged for a digital copy of the book during the Blessed are the Children Kickstarter will get your comp copies first. Then I’ll put it up for wider sale on DriveThruFiction, Amazon, etc.

The print copies will follow but I’m considering a Kickstarter to fund a wider print run and to also fund the follow-up, tentatively titled Fairy Tale Ending, which I will have written prior to the launch of the Kickstarter.

I’m just considering this though. I don’t want to hold up those who have been waiting for their print copies but it might be nice to potentially add some interior illustrations to the book (akin to Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always, if you’re familiar).

I’ll follow up once the first draft is done. Stay tuned!

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Inspiring Fear: The Boy

hblf, lfneJason L Blair29 February 2016

The past year or so has been a good time for horror fans, from It Follows to Crimson Peak to Krampus, but I was perhaps most impressed by William Brent Bell’s The Boy.

Here’s the premise (courtesy of IMDb):

An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.

For Little Fears fans, The Boy stands on familiar ground: an old isolated house, a creepy doll, a protagonist nobody believes. In fact, if you age down the main character to 12 or so, you can lift this wholesale for your own Little Fears episode. It is so relevant to the game, that I wrote one of The Boy‘s inspirations, Robert the Doll, as a monster back in Halloweek 2012.

So, consider this one to be a top inspiration. If you get a chance to watch it, I highly recommend you do so. Or, at the very least, check out the trailer below:

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"I love this treatment of the concept of playing kids fighting not-so-imaginary monsters, where belief can be a powerful force for good or for horror." ★★★★★
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