writing

Fantasy Authors Unplugged Featuring Nicholas Rossis

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Today’s featured author is Nicholas Rossis who, in addition to being a fantasy author, is also a finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards for his children’s fiction, Runaway Smile (book link posted below). Congratulations and welcome to Nicholas!!

Q. What’s the plot of your latest fantasy novel?

 

cover_bundle_700That would be Pearseus: Vigil, the third book of my epic fantasy series, Pearseus (fourth if you count Schism; the prequel to the series). It continues the story from where Mad Water left. Compared to the other books in the series, this is an all-out action adventure story. The political games have all been played and in this volume the characters are forced to fight for what they believe in or lose it all. Many of the story lines are wrapped up, with the action carrying on right to the end.

Q. When did you start writing with the goal of being an author?

 

Ever since I remember myself, I have enjoyed writing. At school, many of my classmates dreaded essay-writing, whereas I could count on my essays to be read in class.

In 2009, I felt ready for a career change and decided to try again my hand at writing. A Greek newspaper had a segment called 9, that included a short science fiction story each week. I submitted my story, not expecting much.

They published it, and sent me a cheque for 150 euros. I was ecstatic. Sadly, by the time I had written and submitted another couple of stories, the newspaper had ran into financial trouble and discontinued that segment. So, I sent one of the stories to a short-story competition, and, to my great surprise, won. The story was published in an anthology called Invasion.

I then started working on my novel, Pearseus, which turned into a series. I first published that on Amazon in late 2013, certain that I was missing something: surely it couldn’t be that easy. Sooner or later, someone would call my bluff. Amazon or someone would take a look and go, “hey, you’re not an author. What are you playing at?”

Instead, people bought Pearseus and reviewed it. They said nice things about it and actually paid to read my work. It repeatedly became an Amazon best-seller.

Wow. People liked my work. This really was an eye opener, and I have continued to write and publish ever since. I’ve learned a lot, developed my voice and made scores of wonderful new friends. I now wonder, why did it take me so long to take the plunge?

Q. What interested you in writing fantasy?

 

I grew up reading science fiction and fantasy, so it was a no brainer! Write what you know and all that :)

Seriously, though, I love fantasy because it frees up my imagination for all sorts of wonderful ideas. At the same time, to me, great fantasy comes from strict adherence to the rules of the world. This tension between limitless imagination and grounding in reality is what makes fantasy such a fascinating genre.

Q. What are your fantasy genre inspirations?

 

Thanks largely to Martin, fantasy is experiencing a well-deserved boom as a genre. From urban fantasy to high fantasy to science fiction/fantasy amalgams like David Wind’s Nevaeh world or even my own Pearseus one, there are fantastical influences almost everywhere. This is particularly true of Indie authors, and I have read many excellent works lately – for example Boyack’s Cock of the South, Phipps’ Elf Killers and Heart of the Staff series, Treharnes’ vampiric Relative Strangers,  Bolton’s great mashup of sci-fi/fantasy and of course your very own Black Bag. They have all planted seeds into my mind, which are much appreciated!

Q. What challenges you as an author?

 

Time constraints. There is just never enough time to do everything I want, especially since I also have to juggle a day job on top of everything. I try to remind myself that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but I’m impatient by nature, so I get frustrated when I have the words in my head but lack the time to write them down.

Q. Where and when do you like to write?

 

I try to write at least a couple of hours each day. The best time for that is in the early morning, before the phone starts ringing. I work from home, so I use the same computer for both my day job and my writing. Here, let me show you…

author photo

Q. Do you have any fantasy titles upcoming?

 

I’m currently writing the final book in the Pearseus series, tentatively called Endgame. I wanted to publish it in June at first, but now will be happy if it gets published by the end of the year.

Contact Information

book photo NR_500I’m all around the Internet, but the best place to find me would be my blog, http://nicholasrossis.me/ .

Anyone interested in my books can check them out on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Nicholas-C.-Rossis/e/B00FXXIBZA/

Also, people can read for free both Pearseus: Schism, on Goodreads and

Runaway Smile on my blog: http://nicholasrossis.me/childrens-books/

Other places to connect with me include

Brief bio

Avid reader. Web developer. Architect by training, holder of a PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. Most importantly, author.

Nicholas loves to write. He has published Runaway Smile, a children’s book, and the Amazon best-selling epic fantasy series, Pearseus. The fourth book in the series is currently edited, and expected to be released mid-February.

He has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories that include his award-winning short story, I Come in Peace. This, too, has reached #1 on Amazon.

Nicholas lives in Athens, Greece, at a forest’s edge, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard. Mercifully, all his books are professionally edited.

Thanks to Nicholas for making an appearance in Fantasy Authors Unplugged today. If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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You Blog With What?

TypingScrivener is a widely used software among writers and people who write frequently. Since it is used for a wide variety of reasons the software is extremely versatile. It can be used for developing fiction and non-fiction books. Also it can be used for short stories, articles and other forms of shorter writing projects. You can download a trial copy here.

Additionally, the software can be used to manage writing projects so it’s up to the user to adjust their development habits to suit what they are writing. Scrivener easily allows writers to break their books into chapters and scenes using the Binder. But not only can these be divided easily they can also be moved around in the scheme so that it serves as a functional outline tool which allows an author to re-organize edit by simply moving containers around. This makes for great structural editing on a book.

Among the uses some people put Scrivener to is blogging. After all, a blog is really just an article written for a website. With the research folder in the Scrivener’s Binder writers can develop their ideas with references, artwork and a host of other files that can be added for use later or just reference. I, and many other, use this to “cast” characters with photos of real people to help visualize their fiction.

Scivener BinderBut as a blogging tool, Scrivener is much more powerful than just developing a blog. If you are planning a blog series, Scrivener is very handy for the reasons noted above. Folders can be created in the Binder that represent individual blog posts. It’s a great way to write a post which is what I’m doing now. I’m also using Scrivener in just the way I’m describing to develop two new blog series which I will start this week. I anticipate the work-flow to be very organized and organic so that my posts will flow into one another and read consistently throughout each series.

However, there’s more to this organization than just a simple way to develop a whole series of posts. I can also look ahead with this basic organization to develop the content further than the blog. If I see that the posts are useful and there is more information to cover I can easily add more posts than I’ve already planned – or reduce as needed. Additionally, I have a ready-made outline to further develop these into short e-books for publication. Since Scrivener also compiles content into e-book formats I can save the blog posts as Word, pdf or full e-book formats. Of course there is other pieces to fit with the content such as cover and proper formatting but with Scrivener I have my content ready to develop into something else beside blogs.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

If you haven’t tried Scrivener, why haven’t you? If you already use this powerful software what other tips to you have for its usage? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

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Cover art image licensed from iStockPhoto.com

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

Inspection! What Scrivener’s Other Bar Does

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

On the left side there’s that lovely organizational wonder: the Binder. It provides all the flexibility to arrange your ideas and change the writing structure with ease. It’s one of the features that makes for the wonder that is Scrivener.

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But on the right side there’s nothing – unless you turn on the Inspector Bar. Just click View and glide down to reveal the Layout menu and there it is. Upon turning this tool-bar on you find a number of features that may at first beguile you as mundane functions. However, the Inspector was designed with a purpose: managing your content. You’ll notice that there are several buttons at the bottom of the Inspector as well as several arrows. Let’s take a look at the features available, some of which you may find useful based on your type of writing projects.

Formatting_Page Break Before

Scriv Inspector Notes1. Notes: this first button includes several features that can be collapsed or left open. Synopsis shows the notecard that also appears in the corkboard and it can be closed by clicking the arrow beside the feature title. Next, there’s Meta-Data which allows you to manage the status of the particular document in which you are working and it can also be closed. These two features stay available on the first three buttons. Last is the Documents Notes where you can add all kinds of pertinent information to your work as if they were sticky notes.

Sciv Inspect DocRefs2. Click on the next button over to reveal Document References. This is where you can add Scrivener and external links either of which you may frequently use for reference. This can be especially handy for non-fiction writing where lots of research at the click of your mouse can save you a lot of time.

Scriv Inspect Keywords3. Moving over again you will find Keywords. This is where you can add all kinds of frequently used terms from your project. It’s a helpful location for keeping character and location names organized for quick reference. Writing fantasy, this is a big help for me since you can forget some details and need references in an accessible location.

Scriv Inspect CMD4. The next button over is Custom Meta-Data which allows you to tweak meta-data settings for your project to suite your tastes. This is a great place for c0-authors to designate their tasks by color for differentiation.

5. The next to last button is for Snapshots. If you haven’t used this feature previously, it Scirv Inspect Snapshotstakes a snapshot of your current work which is useful when you want to make changes but might want to revert back to the original. Click the +/- buttons to add and remove snapshots. There’s also the Rollback button available to switch back to the previous version.

Scriv Inspect CF6. Last, there the Footnotes and Comments button which is where you can add these to your non-fiction. The comments feature is similar to the same one in Word and can be useful whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction.

These are all extremely helpful tools for fiction and/or non-fiction writing. They are easily found from the Inspector to allow users to quickly manage content. Some of these functions may bear further discussion in later posts. A number of these features may or may not seem useful at first glance, however you may want to give them a try to see if they help you develop your project more efficiently. If you are c0-authoring a book this is a great way to keep things straight between the two of you.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyHave you use the Inspector bar much or at all? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.