Month: May 2017

A Fantasy Tip From History: Doo-Dooing The King

Nicholas C. Rossis

Hand Of The King | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Hand Of The King pin (image: Dark Comics)

In Game Of Thrones, it is the King’s Hand who exerts some real power of the Seven Kingdoms. His symbol, appropriately enough, was a pin depicting a hand.

But in yet another example of reality being stranger than fiction, it was the Groom of the Stool—named for the close stool, the king’s 16th-century toilet—who filled a highly coveted position in the royal house. How powerful were they? Well, historians believe that both James I and his successor King Charles I were so swayed by their grooms’ counsel that political discussions of the king’s privy helped fuel the 17th-century English Civil War.

As Natalie Zarrelli of Atlas Obscura observes, every day, as the king sat on his padded, velvet-covered close stool, he revealed secrets. He asked for counsel, and could even hear of the personal and political woes of his personal…

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Author Interview: Mirren Hogan

No Wasted Ink

When I asked Author Mirren Hogan what she likes best around writing, she replied,  “What can I say, writing keeps me sane!”  Now that is a sentence most writers can relate to!  Please welcome her here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Mirren HoganMy name is Mirren Hogan. I live on the NSW south coast, Australia. I have a dog, cat, rabbits, chickens and too many parrots to count. For relaxation, I walk the dog in the forest behind our house.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing ever since primary school. At first it was just in my head, usually at night, but eventually, I started to put things down on paper. The invention of the word processor and computer helped push things along a little bit too.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t consider myself a writer. I didn’t…

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Rerelease – Crimson Fire by Mirren Hogan


She had power at her fingertips, but the world had other ideas.


Magic was the last thing on Tabia’s mind — until she discovered she could use it. When her father hands her over to the princess of a neighbouring country to pay his debts, she may have the chance to learn how to control her new abilities.

But her new mistress’ enemies have plans of their own. Caught up in a web of divided loyalties, coercion and betrayal, Tabia can trust no one.

Can she find a way to regain her freedom and return home  — or will the struggle cost her the ultimate price?

Crimson Fire is the first book in a fantasy series by Mirren Hogan.

Feel the fire.


What the critics say:

“a brilliant page-turner of an opening volume to her series”

“keeps you engaged throughout the story and leaves you wanting more”


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10 Useful WordPress Tips for Beginning Writers

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a guest post by Patrick Del Rosario. Patrick is part of the team behind 85ideas, where you can find the best templates’ collection, quality tutorials and collections of themes and plugins put together by WordPress experts.

10 Useful WordPress Tips for Beginning Writers

The late 90s gave birth to blogging and since then it has massively progressed to what it is now. A blog is an online journal where people can share his thoughts, views, opinions or experiences and provides links to articles on other blogs. Throughout the years, it has turned into a wide-reaching platform used by millions all over the world for anything from personal to business and even to political use.

If you’re a new writer who wants to start a WordPress blog, build a brand, find your strength in the field and engage followers, this article is for you.


Blogging tips | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksTo assure consistency…

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MASSIVE SFF Paperback Giveaway


Win 52 Science Fiction & Fantasy Paperback Novels

This May a giveaway contest runs where entrants have the chance to win prizes including fifty paperback books. Also, each person will receive two free ebooks just for entering. Additionally, the winner will receive 2 $50 Amazon gift cards, they can share with friends. Enter now:

50 authors of Science Fiction and Fantasy have combined to build a package of books to send out to one lucky winner. Each entrant to the giveaway enters their email address, which will be shared with the authors in contest. Contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada, and each person, who enters, receive two free ebooks. Within a week after entry.

Some books included in the paperback package are Asante’s Gullah Journey, The Chronicles of Aurion, Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings, Configured, Before the Luck Runs Out, Teeth of the Gods, Maliha Anderson 1-3 (one volume), and many more!

This Giveaway Ends June 1, 2017 at 12:00 am MDT, enter now! May the odds be ever in your favor:

World Creation: A Book From a Map

Stefras' Bridge

For fifteen minutes after every lunch when I was in grade six, from her desk in the far front corner of the room, Penny Gwillim read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to our class. I was already a storyteller by then, but those stories read by Penny Gwillim inspired me to write.

Tolkien populated his world with story. Every named element — person and place — had a purpose and story built into it. Every horizon hid a land beyond. Each name and land had a history and significance. This built boundless depth and breadth into Tolkien’s world. And, as these persons and places overlapped, so their purposes and stories intertwined.

Today’s post is about world building. It is about creating endless story potential by mapping instead of outlining.

My favourite Tolkien quote is this.

A story must be told or there’ll be no story, yet it…

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Listening to Bring Peace


People in our country and others constantly divide into groups and fail to communicate across the boundaries of those groups. I’ve thought about this problem all my life and want to find ways to help.

Much of the conflict in the world today results from the inability of people with different opinions to communicate thoughtfully with one another in efforts to find common ground. Each person has a different worldview and beliefs about events, politics, family and lifestyle both in their immediate environment and the world around us. Because of preconceived beliefs and growing tribal polarization, most of us want to have our particular points of view verified and embraced by others. Often time, conversations become one-way dialogues wherein a person has already made up their mind about an issue and is merely defending a position with the end desire being to convert the other party. In this case, the tools of persuasion used to convince others may, in fact, fuel increased disagreement and lead to unintended consequences.

Many of us want to know, ‘how can we communicate with those who disagree with us, so we both win?’ For one thing, we should always remember our goals. If we are interested in peaceful interaction with others, we should seek methods that encourage that result. I want to walk in the world and work for better understanding and resolution of conflict. I hope to advocate for change that makes it possible for everyone to live and strive to achieve their potential.

I believe we should embrace techniques of advocacy which use listening as a key component and use listening can be a major component of advocacy among those who have differing opinions. In my life, I have wondered how to reach across the aisle, how to talk to others. I am convinced listening is the key.

Listening can enable us to open lines of communication with others, in our neighborhood, around the world, and even in our families.  If more people around the country engage in this kind of advocacy, our society can be transformed to one ready to embrace humane social policies at home and constructive engagement in international affairs.

Some links are listed below for more resources, and I have a short booklet on these ideas on Amazon.


The Science Fiction and Fantasy Author and Artist Faire


Monday, May 29th will see the second Science Fiction and Fantasy Author and Artist Faire. This online Facebook event is a unique cross-genre online gathering for authors, readers, and artists who are interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy books, stories, and art. We invite all to join us in to explore fantastic worlds of imagination. During your visit, you will meet new friends, find new interests to pursue, and share experiences with others.

Our virtual Facebook event will run from Monday, May 29th through Saturday, June 3rd. More than 70 authors, and artists will share their excitement with guests.

Authors and artists will present for 30 minutes each. Days will be divided into themes, including, Time, Space, Fantasy, Magic, Shapeshifting, Antagonists as Heroes, Romance, Nature, War, Peace, and others. Training sessions will be held.
Many books, stories, arts, and services will be presented.
Presentations will run from 9 am to 8 pm Pacific Time Monday through Friday. 9 am to 4 pm Saturday.
Join us, starting Monday, May 29 at 9 am for the first session.

Come and play with us

If you are interested in these event please consider supporting us on HeadTalker and by sharing it on Twitter / Facebook / Youtube / instagram / Pinterest / Google Plus – wherever your community is. Your help is much appreciated!

You can read a report from the last event from March, 2017 at: SFF Faire March

As one participant reports, “… what I liked best was the conversation and interactive sessions about writing and art and stories.”

Arrested for Fireworks


Imagine the scene… I’m ten years old, at the beach. Santa Monica Pier. Popular with tourists and locals alike. Jim and I have fireworks. Seems like the time for some fun. We hide near the street side of the pier and start flinging lit fireworks.

The fun doesn’t last! Less than an hour later, we are stuck in two separate police cars. I clearly remember what happens next.

I’m stuffing leaky firecrackers into the cloth and plastic seat cushions of the police car back seat. The smell is of plastic and gunpowder. This 1966 Dodge Polara used by the Santa Monica Police Department is large and solid. The tires are squealing as the police car rushes toward the station. My 10-year old brain is boiling. All I can think about is how to minimize the dangerous anger of my mother and father.

It was so great coming back from visiting Tijuana and having firecrackers. It was great hearing the noise and smelling the smell and having the rush of adrenaline when setting them off. Now I am picked up by the police, and there is a rush, but not a pleasant rush. Emotions are coursing through me like a shaking and quaking earthquake. I have a huge amount of firecrackers in my pockets. I am obsessed with getting them off my body before we get to the police station.

In the police station cell, there is a new surprise. The policeman turns a huge key in a massive lock in a solid metal door. I am not prepared for how solid and impressive the door and walls to the cell turn out to be. The smell is of disinfectant and chlorine, like a hospital. The sounds are muffled through the great walls. I hear distant doors slamming, and a slow shush of the air ventilation.

I am alone with plenty of room to spread out. I touch the walls, they are like a smooth concrete and feel incredibly solid. They seem like they could last for 1000 years. I think of escaping, but there is absolutely no way. I keep looking and examining the walls, door, floor and ceiling. The ceiling is out of reach, but it does not matter. There are vents for air, but they are way to small for any human to squeeze through. The floor and walls have no holes, or openings of any kind, except the one door. I realize that no matter how healthy, athletic and flexible I might be, there is no possible way for me to escape.

I feel like crying but can’t.

I hope you enjoyed this story from my youth. A fictionalized version of this story is included in Feeling a Way.

7 Ways To Build An Email List For Your New eBook

Nicholas C. Rossis

Michelle Deery | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books“How do I find subscribers for my newsletter” is one of the most common questions I’m asked. I’ve already posted a couple of posts on the subject, but here is Michelle Deery with some fresh ideas of her own. Michelle is a writer for of Heroic Search in Tulsa. She specializes in writing about entrepreneurship and is passionate about producing actionable content that adds value to readers.

7 Ways To Build An Email List For Your New eBook Before It’s Even Written

Are you in the process of writing or planning a new eBook? Did you know that you can start making a connection with potential customers before the book is even finished? By building an email list beforehand, you can effectively market your new eBook to a wide range of readers.

According to this survey, email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. This is why you…

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