Nicholas Rossis is Hosting a Giveaway and Some Awesome Deals on Fantasy and Science Fiction. Just in time for the Weekend!

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Avid readers, fans of fantasy and science fiction, listen up! Until the end of the month, author Nicholas C. Rossis is offering both Pearseus: Rise of the Prince and Pearseus: Mad Water at a discounted price on Amazon for just .99 (normal price: $3.99).

He’s also hosting a giveaway for up to seven fantasy novels! The grand prize is a Kindle “Gift Basket” of ALL SEVEN fantasy novels. Nine winners will receive selected titles. Click on this link for more information.

And if that doesn’t sate your hunger, the second issue of the Nonlocal Science Fiction magazine is available on Amazon.

book-photo-nr-500In case you don’t already know, Nicholas C. Rossis is a talented author of children’s books, epic fantasies, and science fiction. He lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When he’s not writing, he’s spending time with family and chatting with fans. He’s also a huge supporter of the indie author community and offers helpful advice on his blog.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Make sure to check out these great deals, and have a great weekend!

 

In Defense of Tauriel

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“I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air”–Galadriel, Fellowship of the Rings. I am, of course, referring to the excitement and anticipation surrounding the fast-approaching release of the third and final part of the Hobbit trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies. With this excitement also comes a lot of anxiety for myself and many fans of the film franchise, mostly concerning who will die. Okay, for those who read the books (or who remember what they read) they already know. But no one, not even the greatest Tolkien fans, knows the fate of Tauriel.

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Even though she’s wearing red and green, Tauriel is not your typical holiday elf.

Who is that? Hardcore Tolkien fans may ask, flipping feverishly through their dog-eared copy of the book in search of this unfamiliar name. Well, for those who do not know, Tauriel is an original character created by Peter Jackson and his wife Fran Walsh for the second and third movie. She is captain of the Woodland guard and a kick-butt fighter, as well. Tauriel does not appear in the original works, nor does she appear in the first film. She makes her debut in the second film alongside Legolas . . . who is also not supposed to be in the film, but who’s complaining? Not me, at least. Love me some Orlando Bloom!

I, for one, enjoyed the addition of the kick-butt she-elf, but I know there are many who don’t share my sentiment who would happily see her die. Since her character was revealed there has been a lot of disagreement as to whether or not she has helped or hurt the films. Tolkien purist, in particular, have not approved her addition, arguing that she was never mentioned in the books and therefore doesn’t belong in the films. However, actress Evangeline Lilly, who plays the role of Tauriel, states that the adaptation was justified because “Tolkien refers to the Woodland Elves, he just doesn’t talk about who they are specifically.” The actress is actually a fan of Tolkien and has read his works. For the role, she learned to fight as well as speak Elvish, enjoying it. I am not familiar with her performance in LOST but I was impressed that she is not a stranger to working in male-dominated casts.

Some lingering concerns about the character . . . the forced-Peje romance between her and Fili. Seriously, it was so poorly pulled-off, and I doubt its going to get any better in the next film.

She’s definitely not an elvish princess.

Still, I’m actually looking forward to seeing more of her character in the final film for the simple fact that she is an Elf and I can’t get enough of that race. Also, a strong female character doesn’t hurt the films any. Come on, at least she’s a fighter and not another Elvish princess. It could have been worse. Just saying.

Regardless, I’m really looking forward to the last film, even though I’m pretty sure her character is going to die. While many Tolkien fans may celebrate, a part of me is going to be sad to see her go.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. As always, thanks for stopping by!

Life Has a Sick Sense of Humor and Why I Write Comedic Fantasy

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Sometimes, the universe just points its finger at you and says, “ha ha!”

It’s no secret, life is hard, and sometimes it seems as though the cosmos is laughing at our struggles. I, personally, feel like I’ve become the butt of some cosmic joke. My mom was recently diagnosed with cancer, and the prognosis isn’t good at all. To say life’s been hard is an understatement. Not to mention my sister and I are still settling in to our new home situation. Then there’s the craziness at work, not to mention my novel’s impending deadline . . . it’s enough to send me over the deep end!

Several of my writing friends have suggested I hold off my novel’s debut, which is probably good advice, but writing seems to be the only thing keeping me sane right now, that and a bottle of roscato. Haha! Writing provides a means of escape (better than the glass of roscato) and a sense of control. I can’t change my mom’s prognosis and I can’t force my home and work situations to improve overnight, but I can make progress on my book. And right now, that’s exactly what I need. That and a good laugh.

Which leads me to the point. Why I write comic fantasy. I like to laugh, and more so, I like to make others laugh. As a reader, I’ve always enjoyed epic fantasy. The worlds, the creatures, the magic, all inspired me to write fantasy, but as a writer, I could never master the tone of that genre. I still wanted the magic but without all of the drama. Then a friend of mine introduced me to parody. After reading a few books she suggested, I was hooked. I had found my genre, and my writing has flourished. Now, I write comic fantasy. My books are humorous, creative, and more often than not, entertaining. As a writer of comic fantasy, I take advantage of imaginary characters and worlds to parody other works of fantasy while satirizing current cultural issues, making them the most relevant and irrelevant stories ever told! My goal is to write a series of novels that makes readers happier and smarter at the same time.

In the infamous words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.” Hopefully, you enjoyed this post and learned a little bit about me. Thank you for stopping by:)

September’s Featured Author: Nicholas C. Rossis

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It’s the first Friday in September (already?) and that means Halloween is almost here. That and it’s time to introduce September’s featured author Nicholas C. Rossis, author of the popular epic fantasy series Pearseus. He also hosts a blog on WordPress (mostly on writing, publishing and book marketing) in which he hosts guest posts and interviews and interacts with his readers. Also, he’s a friend of mine on WordPress and Twitter. Because of his strong presence on social media you might already know him, but if you don’t, you should!

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Meet Nicholas C. Rossis, author of epic fantasy, sci-fi, and children’s literature.

Nicholas C. Rossis: was born in 1970 in Athens, Greece. He holds a doctorate in digital architecture from the University of Edinburgh, where he lived for a time before returning to Athens, where he currently lives with his wife, dog, and two very silly cats. (What author is complete without a cat?)

An avid reader and lover of books, Nicholas writes mostly fantasy, science fiction, as well as children’s books. He’s also had numerous science fiction short stories published in Greek magazines and in an anthology.

When he’s not reading or writing, you will find him working away at Istomedia, his web development company.

Be sure to check out his works, namely his epic fantasy series Pearseus and the science fiction short story collection, The Power of Six. (I’ve already purchased all three books in the Pearseus series for my Kindle, and I’m enjoying the story so far.)

On with the interview!!!

Lit Chic: What made you decide to become a writer?

Nicholas C. Rossis: Hmm… I don’t have an exact moment; it’s not like I was at a party and introduced myself to half the people as web developer, then went “oh, wait, I’d rather be a writer,” and introduced myself to the other half as writer.

In the words of Billy Crystal, “it’s a process,” and not an easy one, either. As I already have a career as web developer, I’d have to sell tens of thousands of books to make half of what I make through my books. Still, there comes a time when you realize your heart is now somewhere else. This happened to me a couple of years ago, and it meant it was time for a change.

Electra, my wife, jokes it’s just midlife crisis (I’m forty-five), and there is an element of truth in that. As you grow older, you start thinking less of exciting opportunities, and more of wasted ones. You ask yourself, “what would I rather be doing right now?” For me, the answer invariably was, “writing.” It’s the only thing that doesn’t include a little voice in the back of my head going, “this is not what you should be doing right now.”

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The 3-book series is now available on Amazon!

Lit Chic: Tell me about your three book epic fantasy series Pearseus. What was the inspiration behind the series?

Nicholas C. Rossis: The concept of Pearseus came to me after reading Martin’s 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 Bay 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?

Lit Chic: What are you hoping readers will get out of the series?

Nicholas C. Rossis:

Insight.

If I can make people think about things and see them in a different light, I will have succeeded as an author. Pearseus has a lot of dialogue, much of it revolving around the characters’ beliefs, religions and philosophies. My heroes grow through what life throws at them. Warriors become pacifists, then they find themselves fighting again. Children lose their innocence to become tyrants. Men and women come together, then drift apart. I like to examine what makes people tick; why they do the things they do, and how their actions spring from their thoughts.

It is my deepest dream and hope that, in some small way, my characters’ stories, reflections and philosophical musings offer readers a new perspective on life, and that readers will continue to reflect upon them long after they’ve put the book down.

Lit Chic: Your series is at the top of Amazon’s sales charts. To what do you credit your success?

Nicholas C. Rossis: The charts only tell half the story, of course. My first book reached #1 on Amazon mainly due to two incredible free days last December, when over 3,000 copies were downloaded within a single weekend. I had advertised my books, but to this day have no idea why so many of them got downloaded then, compared to any other free days, when just 300 or even 30 people would download them.

So, as any writer will tell you, luck is a real thing when it comes to success. Luck, divine providence, karma; call it whatever you like. I write well enough, but I’ve seen much better writers than me sell fewer copies.

Having said that, I do put vast amounts of my time and energy in my books. This year, I have been working sixteen-hour days, splitting my time between writing and building my platform, so I’ve become a bit of a book marketing expert – you have to, when you self-publish. A platform helps, as does having friends and supporters. And, of course, you need to write a good story and to constantly hone your craft, for even the best marketer will struggle to sell a crappy book.

Lit Chic: You write children’s literature, fantasy, and sci-fi. Which genre is your favorite?

Nicholas C. Rossis: Much of the distinction between fantasy and science fiction seems arbitrary to me. I mean, both Pearseus and The Power of Six cross into epic fantasy, dark fantasy and science fiction. I love them equally, so this is like asking me to choose among my children!

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One of Nicholas C. Rossis’s children’s books.

Having said that, children’s books come naturally to me, probably because part of me steadfastly refuses to grow up! Also, I love the limitless imagination displayed by children, long before we lose our ability to suspend disbelief. Even fantasy and sci-fi, mistakenly considered easy on plausibility, cannot be compared to the artistic freedom a children’s book gives an author.

In fact, a children’s book is like a dream: it has its own, internal logic, but you’re free to say anything: “Then I stepped out of the train, and became a cloud. I wandered the skies for a million years, raining on crops and farmers, before heading back to the train station.”

Any adult would wrinkle their nose and go, “agriculture was only invented some ten thousand years ago, and there were definitely no train stations back then! Heck, homo sapiens only evolved a couple of hundred thousand years, at the most. And don’t even get me started on the impossibility of man turning into a cloud!”

They would then stare you down their glasses and point an accusing finger: “What’s your game here, young man? You’re lying, aren’t you?”

Kids, instead, will simply go, “so what happened next?” Throw in a naughty gag (“and, you know, raining is like peeing – on people!”) and you’ve got yourself a winner, with kids giggling uncontrollably for days!

Lit Chic: As a writer, what is one thing you cannot live without?

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A photo of Perro, one of his two cats. And no, the dog’s name is not Gato!

Nicholas C. Rossis: A cat on my lap! Or at least that’s what our cats would have you think (of course, I’m on to them!)

Seriously though, this is not a thing per se, but I wouldn’t have been able to publish my books had it not been for a number of recent changes in the industry, starting with Amazon breaking down the barriers and dispensing with the gatekeepers that prevented people from publishing. The Internet is another unprecedented accomplishment, which few appreciate enough. You’re in Australia and I’m in Greece, and yet we’ve met. Twenty years ago, that would have been next to impossible, and my books would have been gathering dust inside a drawer.

Lit Chic: When you’re not writing, you’re running Istomedia a web development company. Tell me about this.

Nicholas C. Rossis: We moved to Edinburgh in 1995, for my PhD studies (and Electra’s undergraduate ones). A couple of months later, I was slowly getting acclimatized when my supervisor asked me, “you know about computers, right?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Our undergrads just finished this project and they’d like to publish it on the Internet. You have three days to make a website.”

Then he dropped on my lap a folder full of drawings and left. So, I spent the next three days learning the basics of html and figuring out how to create a website. A couple of months later, the university gave me a couple of hundred pounds for my work, and I was hooked.

Since then, Istomedia has developed some 450 websites. Still, and proud as I am of its accomplishments, writing is where my heart’s in . . .

Lit Chic: Any news on your upcoming projects? Events we should know about?

Nicholas C. Rossis: I’ve already mentioned Runaway Smile, my children’s book. It’s due in September, unless my deadline-challenged (and good friend) illustrator misses his deadline again.

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Available on Amazon!

I’m also writing the fourth Pearseus book, and penning some short stories, as a sequel to The Power of Six, my collection of short science fiction stories. Hopefully, they will be ready for Christmas.

The Pearseus box set (books 1-3) includes all three books published so far, offering excellent value for money. Get your copy on Amazon!

My collection of short science fiction stories, The Power of Six, is now available on Amazon. Read for free the first story, “Simulation Over” or the third one, “The Hand of God.”

I will also be a guest on CHANGES G+ by Sally Ember G on October 1st, at 9am CDT.

Lit Chic: What is your advice to new and aspiring authors?

Nicholas C. Rossis: The thing that’s shocked me most in my life, is the realization of just how free we really are. If you think about it, there’s very few limitations on us, but the ones we place on ourselves. Of course, one has to pay the consequences of their actions, but to me that’s only fair.

What stops us from doing all sorts of crazy things, is usually fear. Now, fear can be a great thing and a useful tool. However, it can also strangle us, stifle our creativity, steal away our life. So, if someone decides, even for a second, to ignore the fear of failure, ridicule and loss, they may realise that life is far richer and filled with beauty and potential than they could possibly imagine.

In other words, go for it! Worst case scenario, you end up with egg on your face, but at least you’ll have no regrets.

In the infamous words of Porky Pig: “Th-th-th-tha-tha-tha-that’s all folks!”

Stay tuned for another featured author in October. In the meantime, check out Nicholas C. Rossis on his blog Nicholas C. Rossis ~ sci-fi, epic fantasy & children’s stories or follow him on Twitter @Nicholas_Rossis. If you are interested in his books, check them out on his blog or on Amazon. (The Power of Six is currently on sale for $.99!

Thanks again for stopping by!