Thursday, May 29, 2014

10 Questions with Thriller Writer Jennifer Chase (@JChaseNovelist)




This Author Spotlight features award-winning author and criminologist Jennifer Chase.


Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s in criminology.  In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She’s a member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.


Jennifer is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and a criminologist.  She has authored four crime fiction, thriller novels: COMPULSION, DEAD GAME, SILENT PARTNER, and DARK MIND.  She has authored a non-fiction book HOW TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY incorporating a step-by-step process to write a screenplay.  She currently assists clients in publishing, ghostwriting, book reviews, blogs, articles, screenwriting, editing, and research.


Jennifer's novels can be seen below.


DARK MIND (see above), SILENT PARTNER


DEAD GAME


COMPULSION


and HOW TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY.



1. How did you get into writing?

I’ve always had a love affair with books.  Writing was a reward for me and I’ve taken on that challenge for as long as I can remember.  Originally, my life took on a more business aspect into the corporate world, but writing was always calling to me.  In 2008, I decided to take a serious look at writing crime fiction and I haven’t looked back.

2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?

I love the fact that story inspirations and ideas can come from anywhere and at any time.  The novel possibilities are endless and drive me forward to produce books, along with a little bit of fear too.  I find some of my most interesting ideas and characters when I’m relaxing, walking my dogs at the beach, or housecleaning.  

3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?

I’m one of those annoying writers that must have an outline – more than just a basic couple of pages.  It actually turns out to be a choppy first draft and it’s a way for me to see the overall story, pacing, subplots, and suspense level.  I can tweak anything at any time, but it’s nice to have a roadmap before you begin any journey.  I try to stick to writing a minimum of 2,000 words per day, except Sundays.  Afternoons seem to be the most productive time for me, so I delegate mornings for my consulting and errands.

4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

I love most thriller and mystery authors, whether they are mainstream or indie published.  I admire the writing style and sometimes interestingly unique story lines of Dean Koontz.  I would love to get a peek inside his head sometime and see what else I could learn about writing.  He’s been one of my favorite authors for a long time along with Jeffrey Deaver, David Baldacci, John Grisham, and Tess Gerristsen.  All of these writers have an incredible way of layering and developing in-depth characters and making you care about them.  

5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?

Outside – but ask me again tomorrow and I might answer differently.

6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?

I think I was at the same frat party with Ox when I was in college.

7. What is your book Dark Mind about and how did it come to fruition?

Dark Mind is part of the Emily Stone thriller series, but it can easily be a stand-alone novel.

A Serial Killer Plagues an Island Paradise…


Vigilante detective Emily Stone continues her covert pursuits to find serial killers and child abductors, all under the radar while shadowing police investigations.


Emily searches for an abducted nine-year-old girl taken by ruthless and enterprising slave brokers. Following the clues from California to the garden island of Kauai, she begins to piece together the evidence and ventures deep into the jungle.


It doesn’t take long before Emily is thrown into the middle of murder, mayhem, and conspiracy. Locals aren’t talking as a serial killer now stalks the island, taking women in a brutal frenzy of ancient superstitions and folklore. Local cops are unprepared for what lies ahead. In a race against the clock, Emily and her team must identify the killer before time runs out.

One of my trips to Kauai inspired this particular story a few years ago.  I remember clearly, when I sat on a beautiful, deserted beach and I thought “what if”.  I thought about what would happen if there were a serial killer on the loose and how the island would cope and even solve the case.

8. What’s your current writing project?

I’m in the process of outlining my next Emily Stone thriller called Dead Burn (working title).  This particular serial killer is enticed by arson and the many ways to trap his victims in order to play out his twisted fantasies.  I love the challenge of creating even higher stakes for my heroine to encounter and a cleverer, hideous killer to hunt down.  Tentatively, it will be released in the fall of this year.

9. What book(s) are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Under the Dome by Stephen King and A Slice of Carmel by Barbara Chamberlain.  I also frequently find myself in non-fiction books for research, such as Criminal Profiling by Brent Turvey and The Psychopathic Mind by J. Reid Meloy.


Ah, yes, Under the Dome. Dark, realized, compelling, with great antagonists you despise. Vintage King. Okay, commercial concluded.

10. Who or what inspires your writing?

I’m inspired by everything around me, whether it’s in my yard, neighborhood, top news stories, or interesting people I meet along the way.  The world is an inspiring place for writers.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

Thank you so much for having me here today!







You're welcome, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

Check out Jennifer's work at all the online hot spots.

If you're a writer and would like to be featured in an upcoming Author Spotlight, please contact me at AuthorRyanSchneider@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: The Power of Six


The Power of Six
The Power of Six by Nicholas C. Rossis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



If you like Phil K. Dick, you'll dig this. If you're not yet a fan of PKD, you will be after reading this. You'll be a Nicholas Rossis fan, too. Things are not what you expect when you're reading Nicholas Rossis. I really enjoyed "The Hand of God", just as one example. The collection is a quick read, too. A fun, swift short story collection. Check it out.



View all my reviews

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Please Read Prior to Midnight Sunday 5/18

***UPDATE: VOTING IS NOW CLOSED***

Thank you so VERY much to all who voted. Once, twice, thrice, or more. THANK YOU.
**************************************

Hi, gang.

Ryan here.


This is blog #5 of 5.

One final request to place your vote for EYE CANDY in the Indie Author Land 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading (2013/14) contest.

The kind people at Indie Author Land sent out a final email yesterday. It provided the # of votes in each category and the number of votes between 5th and 6th place.

The Top 5 books are the winners. :)

Six through 10 are not. :(

In the Science Fiction category, there are 39 votes separating 5th & 6th place.

Let's hope EYE CANDY is, like, way, way, WAY closer to the top, like, 1st or 2nd.

But just in case, let's all throw in another 100-or-so votes, in order to firmly secure the victory.


Send me a screen capture of you voting for EYE CANDY and send it to me at Ryan@AuthorRyanSchneider.com, and as a heartfelt Thank You I'll send you a free ebook copy of any of my books.

Deal?

Thanks guys.

You're the best.


Happy reading.

And happy voting!

~RYAN

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 is Nearly Half Over. Eek! Please Vote for Eye Candy (#4 of 5)

Hi, kids.

Ryan here.

There are just 3 more days to cast your vote for Eye Candy in the Indie Author Land 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading (2013/14) contest.

Voting closing on the 18th, just 3 days from now. (Can you believe 2014 is nearly half over?!)

In case you're not aware, Eye Candy has been short-listed and is in the Top 12 in the Sci Fi category.

Please take 15-20 seconds and click the link below and vote for Eye Candy. You can vote once per day for a total of 5 votes. If we all vote, that's another 100 votes per day.

THANK YOU. :P

http://www.indieauthorland.com/vote-50-self-published-books-worth-reading-201314-science-fiction/

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

10 Questions with Nicole Conway (@ANConway)





This Author Spotlight
features
writer

Nicole Conway

author of








Nicole Conway is an author and freelance illustrator from North Alabama. Currently she lives in Valdosta, Georgia, with her husband. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Auburn University, and is a member of the SCBWI [Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators].

Her first published work, DERVYSHIRE PARK, was released in 2012.

1.How did you get into writing and why do you write?
I’ve been writing books and stories for as long as I can remember. My mom encouraged my interest in reading and writing from a very young age. I can’t really explain why I’ve always felt this need to write. It’s just a part of who I am. I jokingly tell my husband that I was born with a head full of imaginary people, and writing their stories is the only way to shut them up.

2.What do you like best (or least) about writing?
What I like best about writing is when I get to write things that make me (and other people) laugh. Seeing that others are enjoying my stories and characters is not only validating, it also brings me absolute joy.

3.What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
My “process” is more like controlled chaos. I do outline, but only to an extent. I’ve found in the past that if I plan out every detail, I get extremely bored and lose interest in the story. I don’t plan out day by day what to write or how much to write, so I honestly have no idea what my daily word count would be. But I can tell you that on average, it usually takes me six months to finish a first draft of a book.

4.Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
Well, I both enjoy and admire Rick Riordan’s work. His books are just delightful and his characters are so diverse. I also admire his sense of humor when dealing with fans that give him a hard time about his “cliffhangers.”

5.Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
Oh, inside. Definitely.

6.What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
Always respect the Oxford Comma!

7.What is your book FLEDGLING about and how did it come to fruition?
Everyone assumes FLEDGLING is about dragons. But the dragons were never supposed to be the main focus of this book, let alone the series. This book is about Jaevid and his journey. He is the most important character I’ve ever created, and is quite literally a piece of my own soul. In FLEDGLING, Jaevid takes his first steps from being a frightened, submissive little boy toward being a confident, capable soldier. It’s a tale of self-discovery.

8.What’s your current writing project?
Right now I’m working on the sequel to FLEDGLING, titled AVIAN. I’m anticipating it will be finished this summer.

9.What book(s) are you currently reading?
CAPTIVATING by John & Stasi Eldredge
MARK OF ATHENA by Rick Riordan.

10.Who or what inspires your writing?
My husband inspires me a lot. He was definitely the key inspiration behind Jaevid’s character. But my family and personal experiences also fill my life with more raw story-material than I’ll ever be able to fit into my stories.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
I’d like to express my utmost gratitude to all my readers and fans. Whether you realize it or not, you have all helped make my childhood dream come true. Thank you all so much! If you’re interested in reading my work, FLEDGLING is available for Kindle and in paperback from Amazon.com. You can also find information about my books and me on my author webpage (http://anconway422.wix.com/anconway). Happy reading! 

Thank you, Nicole. FLEDGLING is a great success, with over 360 reviews on Amazon, and a 4.5-star average. I can attest to the fact that the writing is solid and the story captivating. No amateur indie slush here, folks.

Pick up a copy of FLEDGLING and get ready for a wonderful ride, so you'll be ready for AVIAN when it is available.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Please Vote for Eye Candy (#3 of 5)


Hi, gang.

Ryan here.

Just wanted to say Howdy and remind everyone to please to cast your vote for Eye Candy in the Indie Author Land 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading (2013/14) contest.

Voting closing on the 18th, just 6 days from now.

In case you're not aware, Eye Candy has been short-listed and is in the Top 12 in the Sci Fi category.

Please take 15-20 seconds and click the link below and vote for Eye Candy. You can vote once per day for a total of 5 votes. If we all vote, that's another 100 votes per day.

THANK YOU. :P

http://www.indieauthorland.com/vote-50-self-published-books-worth-reading-201314-science-fiction/

Thursday, May 8, 2014

NOW AVAILABLE! The Demon Drivers (Book 2 of The Demon Drivers Trilogy)

HI, everybody.

I'm very pleased to announce that The Demon Drivers is at last available for purchase exclusively at Amazon.

This is the eponymous Book 2 of The Demon Drivers Trilogy.

Cover art for Book 2 was once again done by Jens Heidemann, a very talented designer and artist. Jens is working on Book 3 cover art as we speak.

Book 2 is available to all of you right now as a pre-order for just 99 cents.

I wanted to give you guys first crack at enjoying the book. I'll raise the price to the standard $2.99 in a couple weeks.

Please enjoy the book, and I'd be ever-so-grateful if you felt inclined to post a review on Amazon. Word of mouth is what sells books and reviews are the digital equivalent.

Here's the link:

Have You Cast Your Vote Today? (#2 of 5)




Hi, gang.

Ryan here.

Just wanted to say Hello once more and give a second gentle reminder to cast your vote for Eye Candy in the Indie Author Land 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading (2013/14) contest.

Eye Candy has been short-listed and is in the Top 12 in the Sci Fi category.

IndieAuthorLand sent out an email a few days ago. They wouldn't say which books were leading in each category, but they did reveal those in positions 4, 5, 6, & 7. They're narrowing down to the TOP FIVE in each category. EYE CANDY was not in position 4, 5, 6, or 7. It could therefore be Top 3.

Please take 15-20 seconds and click the link below and vote for Eye Candy. You can vote once per day for a total of 5 votes. If we all vote, that's another 100 votes per day.

THANK YOU. :P

http://www.indieauthorland.com/vote-50-self-published-books-worth-reading-201314-science-fiction/

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Power of Six by Nicholas Rossis (@Nicholas_Rossis) $0.99 for a Limited Time!

Hi, everybody.

Just a quick update to let you know that The Power of Six by Nicholas Rossis is now available at Amazon.



It is available for $0.99.

This is a special introductory price for special friends on the inside track.

The price will increase May 15.

Science Fiction fans and anyone who knows what the Exegesis is will love this book.

Also, there is a special treat waiting for you inside. (Thank you, Nicholas!)

If you enjoy nuanced, to-the-point science fiction with a twist, you'll dig this. Grab your copy now.

For more info, here is the original post:







This Author Spotlight
features

Nicholas Rossis
author of

The Power of Six








Nicholas Rossis was born in 1970 in Athens. Greece. He got his BSc in Engineering from the Technical Institute of Pireaus in 1995, before moving to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he received his PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh.
In 1995 he founded Istomedia, a web design company that has created some 450 websites todate. He also taught various publishing courses at Napier University between 1997 and 2000.
In 2000, he moved back to Greece where he has continued working as web designer and teaching design and publishing at various colleges and universities. He has written a score of children’s books, through Niditales, his ongoing collaboration with illustrator Dimitris Fousekis. He has also had numerous SF short stories published in Greek magazines and in Invasion, a SF anthology. Finally, he has written Pearseus, a SF novel.

Nicholas lives in a forest outside Athens with his lovely wife Electra, beautiful dog and two remarkably silly cats.

1.How did you get into writing and why do you write?

To be perfectly honest, I write because I have to.  I’ve even tried to stop a couple of times in order to focus on other things that demanded my undivided attention at the time, but I found myself composing phrases and paragraphs in my head at night, half-asleep. 

It all started with keeping a dream journal.  Some of the stories I recorded were too good not to share.  I wrote "Simulation Over", my very first story to be published, after a particularly vivid dream.  It went on to be published by 9; a Greek sci-fi and comics magazine.  When I was paid some $200 for it, I was astounded.  So I could do something I loved and get paid?  What is this madness?

I wrote another dozen or so short stories after that, then the stresses of my day job made me forget all about it.  A few years later, I found myself in a particularly stressful job environment, and I decided to let off some steam by writing.  This time, I chose to write in English instead of Greek, with the express aim of targeting an English-speaking audience.  I completed my first Pearseus draft in four months, then spent almost a year trying to improve my style.  During that time, I would wake up at unholy hours simply because the voices in my head demanded I put them down on paper.

So, to answer your question, I wrote because I had no alternative.  Oh, and because a voice in a dream told me to.

2.What do you like best (or least) about writing?

I love everything about writing, even promotion. 

There is this one thing I hate, though: when I’m in the zone and something snaps me out of it, like the cat scratching on the door or the phone ringing off the hook.  When I write, I live my story, then write it down.  It’s just like watching an engrossing film, then someone turns on the light and switches off the TV for a minute, before then going, “oh, alright, you can now continue”.

3.What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?

My daily routine is too hectic for any sort of schedule.  I write when I can, and network as much as possible.  Not because I have to, but because I’m astounded by the amazing people I’ve met on this journey.  I’ve met so many talented, wonderful writers and most of them are incredibly eager to help out a newbie like me.  So, I’ve made it my goal to help my new friends succeed in whatever small way I can.

As for my writing process, I start with a general outline in my head and flesh it out. 

So, you could say I’m a planner.

However, I’ve found that the story is much more satisfactory if I listen to my characters and allow them to lead me, instead of going against their will. 

The most obvious example of that is when a beloved character in Pearseus died on me.  I had his future moves figured out, and he was in my next book as well.  However, I found myself typing his death at some point.  I spent days trying to cope with the unexpected loss, but I figured that a twist that caught me by surprise me, would definitely shock the reader, right?

So, in that sense, I’m a pantser.

4.Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

Most of all, Philip K. Dick, whom I consider a modern-day prophet, visions and all. Also, I’m partial to Jorge Luis Borges and the magical realism school; they have influenced my work greatly.

5.Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?

Why don’t I tell you whether I prefer Apple or Windows instead?  It’s bound to be less controversial an answer.

6.What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?

Seriously, what’s wrong with you? Do you want to start a minor war or two with these questions? I’m already a troll target for my passionate support of Indie authors (as a particularly weird 1* review of Pearseus can attest. There are no giants in my book!). 

How about I tell you my solution for the Middle East problems instead?

7.What is your book Pearseus about and how did it come to fruition?

Pearseus is a sci-fi novel that describes a dystopian society formed on a remote planet by the survivors of a destroyed starship. It picks up 300 years after the accident, when humans have split up in three competing factions, all embroiled in endless intrigue and constant warfare. The planet also has a native population, as well as ethereal entities, all caught up in their own wars, and it all ties nicely together to form “an excellent read from a new writer, that leaves you expecting more,” as a review I’ve memorized put it.

The concept itself came to me after reading Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, followed by Jim Lacey’s The First Clash and Herodotus’ Cyrus the Great and Rise of Persia, which describe the fatal battle on Marathon between Greece and Persia in the 5th century BC. Marathon is a 20’ drive from my home, and I’d often visited the tomb where the ancient Athenians buried their dead, so I thought at the time, “wouldn’t it be great if someone did what Martin did for medieval England, only with the story of Greece vs. Persia?  And in space?  How cool would that be?”  Then it occurred to me: so, what’s stopping me from writing it?

I have a long history of rushing in where angels fear to tread, so I did!

8.What’s your current writing project?

I’m editing Mad Water, the third book in the Pearseus series.  I’m also publishing The Power of Six on May 15th.  It is a science fiction anthology that contains six of my short stories.  Finally, my first children’s book, Runaway Smile, is about to be published in Greece and on Amazon.

In short, I won't get much sleep until June!

9.What book(s) are you currently reading?

I have Philip K. Dick’s Exegesis on my nightstand.  It’s a brick of a book, but sizzles with fascinating ideas.  Apart from that, I’m reading Eye Candy, which I loved the first time around, and the Auguries of Dawn by Peyton Reynolds, a wonderful fantasy book I stumbled upon.

Generally speaking, I’ve found I’m reading a lot more since I started writing.  I now read a couple of books each month, mostly by Indie authors and friends.  You see, as I was growing up I thought of authors as these bearded, wise old gurus hiding away in castles or remote villages somewhere. 

Then, I became one, and I started meeting my idols.  And lo and behold!  They were only human, too.  Furthermore, they invited me to read their work, review it, help them promote it…  and I became friends with them!  As a result, my reading list has been expanding even faster than my waistline.

10.Who or what inspires your writing?

Like I said, Marathon is a 20’ drive from my home.  I grew up minutes away from the tomb where the ancient Athenians buried their dead, following the Battle of Marathon, and there is both an ancient cemetery and an ancient theatre minutes away from my home.  So, I would have to say that Greek history is a main inspiration behind my writing.

I would also have to add my habit of observing people.  At parties, nothing pleases me more than standing in a corner with a drink in my hand, noticing others drink, flirt and chat, trying to figure out who they are based solely on their laughter, clothes or body language.  I find it fascinating!

So, the second inspiration behind my writing is people.  I love to figure out what makes them tick, and time after time I’ve come to appreciate how basic and similar our needs and emotions really are.  In an ironic way, the distance between me and others actually helps me empathize with them.

Finally, the third inspiration is authors like you.  Your amazing writing has a maturity and elegance that inspires me to improve my own.  In the immortal words of Sedaris, me talk pretty one day.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

·        You can read "Simulation Over" on my blog.
·        The first book in the Pearseus series is available on Amazon.
·        The second book Rise of the Prince is available on Amazon.
·        The Power of Six will be published on May 15th, also on Amazon.
·        Runaway Smile will be published on Amazon in late May.

You can find me on a plethora of social media, including the following:

·        https://nicholasrossis.me (blog)

Don’t forget: for every new follower, my dog does a happy dance…  :)

Thank you, Nicholas.

Fascinating stuff.  That's so cool that you're in Athens, living there among one of the most historical places on earth, and that you can draw upon it via first-hand knowledge to fuel your writing.

Okay, everybody, be sure to grab a copy of The Power of Six when it is available May 15 (I'll be sending out a reminder; I'm currently enjoying an advanced reader copy and if you're a "Dickhead" aka a fan of Phillip K. Dick, you'll appreciate this collection of reality-bending tales). Also check out the first two books in the Pearseus series, so you can get caught up in time for Mad Water.

Friday, May 2, 2014

10 Questions with Novelist Nicholas Rossis (@nicholas_rossis)






This Author Spotlight
features

Nicholas Rossis
author of

The Power of Six







Nicholas Rossis was born in 1970 in Athens. Greece. He got his BSc in Engineering from the Technical Institute of Pireaus in 1995, before moving to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he received his PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh.
 
In 1995 he founded Istomedia, a web design company that has created some 450 websites todate. He also taught various publishing courses at Napier University between 1997 and 2000.
 
In 2000, he moved back to Greece where he has continued working as web designer and teaching design and publishing at various colleges and universities. He has written a score of children’s books, through Niditales, his ongoing collaboration with illustrator Dimitris Fousekis. He has also had numerous SF short stories published in Greek magazines and in Invasion, a SF anthology. Finally, he has written Pearseus, a SF novel.

Nicholas lives in a forest outside Athens with his lovely wife Electra, beautiful dog and two remarkably silly cats.

1.How did you get into writing and why do you write?

To be perfectly honest, I write because I have to.  I’ve even tried to stop a couple of times in order to focus on other things that demanded my undivided attention at the time, but I found myself composing phrases and paragraphs in my head at night, half-asleep. 

It all started with keeping a dream journal.  Some of the stories I recorded were too good not to share.  I wrote "Simulation Over", my very first story to be published, after a particularly vivid dream.  It went on to be published by 9; a Greek sci-fi and comics magazine.  When I was paid some $200 for it, I was astounded.  So I could do something I loved and get paid?  What is this madness?

I wrote another dozen or so short stories after that, then the stresses of my day job made me forget all about it.  A few years later, I found myself in a particularly stressful job environment, and I decided to let off some steam by writing.  This time, I chose to write in English instead of Greek, with the express aim of targeting an English-speaking audience.  I completed my first Pearseus draft in four months, then spent almost a year trying to improve my style.  During that time, I would wake up at unholy hours simply because the voices in my head demanded I put them down on paper.

So, to answer your question, I wrote because I had no alternative.  Oh, and because a voice in a dream told me to.

2.What do you like best (or least) about writing?

I love everything about writing, even promotion. 

There is this one thing I hate, though: when I’m in the zone and something snaps me out of it, like the cat scratching on the door or the phone ringing off the hook.  When I write, I live my story, then write it down.  It’s just like watching an engrossing film, then someone turns on the light and switches off the TV for a minute, before then going, “oh, alright, you can now continue”.

3.What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?

My daily routine is too hectic for any sort of schedule.  I write when I can, and network as much as possible.  Not because I have to, but because I’m astounded by the amazing people I’ve met on this journey.  I’ve met so many talented, wonderful writers and most of them are incredibly eager to help out a newbie like me.  So, I’ve made it my goal to help my new friends succeed in whatever small way I can.

As for my writing process, I start with a general outline in my head and flesh it out. 

So, you could say I’m a planner.

However, I’ve found that the story is much more satisfactory if I listen to my characters and allow them to lead me, instead of going against their will. 

The most obvious example of that is when a beloved character in Pearseus died on me.  I had his future moves figured out, and he was in my next book as well.  However, I found myself typing his death at some point.  I spent days trying to cope with the unexpected loss, but I figured that a twist that caught me by surprise me, would definitely shock the reader, right?

So, in that sense, I’m a pantser.

4.Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

Most of all, Philip K. Dick, whom I consider a modern-day prophet, visions and all. Also, I’m partial to Jorge Luis Borges and the magical realism school; they have influenced my work greatly.

5.Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?

Why don’t I tell you whether I prefer Apple or Windows instead?  It’s bound to be less controversial an answer.

6.What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?

Seriously, what’s wrong with you? Do you want to start a minor war or two with these questions? I’m already a troll target for my passionate support of Indie authors (as a particularly weird 1* review of Pearseus can attest. There are no giants in my book!). 

How about I tell you my solution for the Middle East problems instead?

7.What is your book Pearseus about and how did it come to fruition?

Pearseus is a sci-fi novel that describes a dystopian society formed on a remote planet by the survivors of a destroyed starship. It picks up 300 years after the accident, when humans have split up in three competing factions, all embroiled in endless intrigue and constant warfare. The planet also has a native population, as well as ethereal entities, all caught up in their own wars, and it all ties nicely together to form “an excellent read from a new writer, that leaves you expecting more,” as a review I’ve memorized put it.

The concept itself came to me after reading Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, followed by Jim Lacey’s The First Clash and Herodotus’ Cyrus the Great and Rise of Persia, which describe the fatal battle on Marathon between Greece and Persia in the 5th century BC. Marathon is a 20’ drive from my home, and I’d often visited the tomb where the ancient Athenians buried their dead, so I thought at the time, “wouldn’t it be great if someone did what Martin did for medieval England, only with the story of Greece vs. Persia?  And in space?  How cool would that be?”  Then it occurred to me: so, what’s stopping me from writing it?

I have a long history of rushing in where angels fear to tread, so I did!

8.What’s your current writing project?

I’m editing Mad Water, the third book in the Pearseus series.  I’m also publishing The Power of Six on May 15th.  It is a science fiction anthology that contains six of my short stories.  Finally, my first children’s book, Runaway Smile, is about to be published in Greece and on Amazon.

In short, I won't get much sleep until June!

9.What book(s) are you currently reading?

I have Philip K. Dick’s Exegesis on my nightstand.  It’s a brick of a book, but sizzles with fascinating ideas.  Apart from that, I’m reading Eye Candy, which I loved the first time around, and the Auguries of Dawn by Peyton Reynolds, a wonderful fantasy book I stumbled upon.

Generally speaking, I’ve found I’m reading a lot more since I started writing.  I now read a couple of books each month, mostly by Indie authors and friends.  You see, as I was growing up I thought of authors as these bearded, wise old gurus hiding away in castles or remote villages somewhere. 

Then, I became one, and I started meeting my idols.  And lo and behold!  They were only human, too.  Furthermore, they invited me to read their work, review it, help them promote it…  and I became friends with them!  As a result, my reading list has been expanding even faster than my waistline.

10.Who or what inspires your writing?

Like I said, Marathon is a 20’ drive from my home.  I grew up minutes away from the tomb where the ancient Athenians buried their dead, following the Battle of Marathon, and there is both an ancient cemetery and an ancient theatre minutes away from my home.  So, I would have to say that Greek history is a main inspiration behind my writing.

I would also have to add my habit of observing people.  At parties, nothing pleases me more than standing in a corner with a drink in my hand, noticing others drink, flirt and chat, trying to figure out who they are based solely on their laughter, clothes or body language.  I find it fascinating!

So, the second inspiration behind my writing is people.  I love to figure out what makes them tick, and time after time I’ve come to appreciate how basic and similar our needs and emotions really are.  In an ironic way, the distance between me and others actually helps me empathize with them.

Finally, the third inspiration is authors like you.  Your amazing writing has a maturity and elegance that inspires me to improve my own.  In the immortal words of Sedaris, me talk pretty one day.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

·        You can read "Simulation Over" on my blog.
·        The first book in the Pearseus series is available on Amazon.
·        The second book Rise of the Prince is available on Amazon.
·        The Power of Six will be published on May 15th, also on Amazon.
·        Runaway Smile will be published on Amazon in late May.

You can find me on a plethora of social media, including the following:

·        https://nicholasrossis.me (blog)

Don’t forget: for every new follower, my dog does a happy dance…  :)

Thank you, Nicholas.

Fascinating stuff.  That's so cool that you're in Athens, living there among one of the most historical places on earth, and that you can draw upon it via first-hand knowledge to fuel your writing.

Okay, everybody, be sure to grab a copy of The Power of Six when it is available May 15 (I'll be sending out a reminder; I'm currently enjoying an advanced reader copy and if you're a "Dickhead" aka a fan of Phillip K. Dick, you'll appreciate this collection of reality-bending tales). Also check out the first two books in the Pearseus series, so you can get caught up in time for Mad Water.