Fantasy is more than dragons

Read all 5 books for $4.99 (free on KU)!

" I really can't think of another series that tied the world of fantasy and sci-fi together so well since Pern... a truly original viewpoint of fantasy, and I loved it."
~ Riley Westbrook

Welcome!

Found on laura-marshall.com

Found on laura-marshall.com

Thank you for visiting the Nicholas C. Rossis author blog! Before becoming an author, I had no idea just how much work book marketing entails: it’s never been easier to publish your work, but it’s never been harder to get people to read it. So, my blog is mostly aimed at helping authors with their book marketing efforts and at sharing every trick of the trade I pick along the way.

You may also be interested in my web design services aimed at authors. I also post writing tips and free stories. For some fun reading, visit the Fun Historical Facts and the Entertainment sections. If you like what you see here, check out my books on Amazon. And if you leave a comment or contact me, I’ll keep you up-to-date with my news and send you exclusive short stories as a ‘thank-you’. Oh, and please feel free to reblog and share. I’ll be grateful to you if you do! For an easy way to do so, or for those who have trouble viewing this blog, I have set up a mirror blog on nicholasrossis.wordpress.com.

Recent Posts

New Release: Savage Mayhem

New Release: Savage Mayhem

Almost 10 years ago, I ran a feature post on Sue Coletta, one of the top crime writers in the world. Today, I'm pleased to present Savage Mayhem, her latest release of many. Though Savage Mayhem is book 9 in the Mayhem Series, it can also be read as a standalone....

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AI Therapy – Good or Bad?

AI Therapy – Good or Bad?

Not many people know I actually trained as a counselor some 25 years ago. I never worked as one, but I still use the skills I picked every day. Which is why I am concerned that more than 1 in 5 adults in the US live with a mental illness, according to the CDC, and...

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Skills Writers Need to Thrive in the AI Era

Skills Writers Need to Thrive in the AI Era

Following Infostack's 2024 AI Writing Summit, you will find here my guide on the skills writers need in order to thrive in the AI era. From brainstorming to editing and marketing your work, AI can be your most useful assistant. All you need is to learn what it can —...

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5 Book Marketing Trends For 2024

5 Book Marketing Trends For 2024

Book Marketing means promotional marketing efforts that help sell books and reach a broad audience. This marketing strategy ultimately helps to boost sales and increase revenue for the publisher. Authors are shifting their craft from the physical book system to the...

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Book Feature: A Beggar’s Bargain

Book Feature: A Beggar’s Bargain

I'm hosting today a feature post on Jan Sikes' book, A Beggar’s Bargain as part of her Blog Tour Day 4. A Beggar’s Bargain A shocking proposal that changes everything. Desperate to honor his father’s dying wish, Layken Martin vows to do whatever it takes to save the...

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Of Paragraph Rewriters and AI Writing Summits

Of Paragraph Rewriters and AI Writing Summits

I have been writing a lot about AI writing lately, I know. This is not an accident, as I'm fascinated by the technology behind it and enthusiastic about its potential. Especially for us writers and authors, AI has a lot to offer. Last time, I mentioned two AI...

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Using AI to Paraphrase Your Copy

Using AI to Paraphrase Your Copy

My day job is that of SEO copywriter, which means I write copy for blog posts, web pages, newsletters, etc. While my job was supposed to get obsolete with the advent of AI, it has actually benefited greatly from its use: for example, I use ChatGPT and Claude almost...

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Using AI in Fiction Writing

Using AI in Fiction Writing

Can you use AI in fiction writing? That was the topic I recently explored on Story Empire, the home of twelve authors, eleven of whom are extremely talented (plus me).  It is the perfect destination for those who share a passion for all things related to writing,...

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Self-Massage for Writers

Self-Massage for Writers

It's the wee one's birthday in a few days, and we bought her a new desk. Unfortunately, I spent half a day yesterday assembling it. If you're like me, you'll know what came next: I'm so sore, I can barely move today. Which is hardly surprising, as I spend so much time...

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Happy Thanksgiving 2023

Happy Thanksgiving 2023

With everything that's happening around us, it's easy to forget how good we have it. Many of us sometimes get so caught up in everything going wrong that we despair. That's why it's so important to take a step back and count our blessings. So, this Thanksgiving I...

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The Case for Writing by Hand

The Case for Writing by Hand

We used to paint on cave walls. We carved on stones and marble our stories, myths, and legends. We put our imagination to work and transformed papyrus into a thin sheet to write on. We even used animal skins to immortalize our thoughts and stories, before paper spread...

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Skills Writers Need in the AI Era

Skills Writers Need in the AI Era

With all the recent hullabaloo about AI and its use for purposes such as the KENP scam and to create massive numbers of AI-generated books, one may wonder if writing is about to become obsolete. And yet, I use AI daily for a number of tasks, from researching and...

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How to Legally Listen to Thousands of Audiobooks

How to Legally Listen to Thousands of Audiobooks

Audiobooks have been among the fastest-growing segments of publishing for a while now. Which is hardly surprising, as anyone spending long hours commuting will attest to. However, buying audiobook after audiobook can become quite the expensive hobby after a while. And...

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Amazon Takes the Second Step Against AI

Amazon Takes the Second Step Against AI

It's funny how fast things are shaking up in the publishing industry. Barely a week ago I was telling you how Amazon is taking its first step against AI-generated books in the form of a new questionnaire you must answer when publishing a title regarding your use of...

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Promoting Your Book Through Influencer Marketing

Promoting Your Book Through Influencer Marketing

This is a guest post by Patrizia Ranzi, an experienced digital marketing professional with ten years of expertise in media strategy, social media, and paid search. She also runs the blog patriziaranzi.com, where she shares her insights and knowledge. How to Leverage...

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Amazon Takes the First Step Against AI

Amazon Takes the First Step Against AI

Following the flood of AI-generated books and the KENP scam I was discussing a couple of weeks ago, Amazon has started taking action — just as I had predicted. As the Goodreader reports, Amazon KDP has recently introduced new content guidelines specifically addressing...

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Amazon Ends Its Periodicals Program

Amazon Ends Its Periodicals Program

As Barbara Krasnoff reports on The Verge, Amazon ended its periodicals program on September 4, 2023. The program allowed you to subscribe to several magazines as part of your Kindle Unlimited membership. Unlike books in KU, magazines were not required to be exclusive...

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How to Write Books Using AI

How to Write Books Using AI

You may recall how I recently discussed the KENP Scam, whereby AI-generated books are flooding Amazon in a blatant attempt to collect KENP royalties. You may have wondered just how easy it is to do so in practice — write a whole book from scratch. Geeky Gadgets and...

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The Shape of Stories, according to Kurt Vonnegut

The Shape of Stories, according to Kurt Vonnegut

I recently came across this video on Upworthy, where Vonnegut explains the shape of three different types of stories. According to him, any story, from “person gets into trouble” to “boy meets girl” to “Cinderella,” can be summed up on two axes: the Y represents good...

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Understanding the KENP Scam

Understanding the KENP Scam

In my previous post, I explained how Jane Friedman's name was used in a bunch of AI-generated books. Today, I'll explain how this may be part of a larger scam. As TechRadar reports, a shockingly high number of AI-generated books have appeared. As an indie author,...

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A New Kind of Piracy: Jane Friedman’s Tale

A New Kind of Piracy: Jane Friedman’s Tale

Earlier this month, famous author Jane Friedman was in for a nasty surprise: several copies of books supposedly written by her were listed for sale on Amazon. Just as bad, they were listed under her Goodreads page as well. As Friedman explains, after 25+ years in the...

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The 1960s: A Golden Age for Science Fiction

The 1960s: A Golden Age for Science Fiction

I'm more than happy to acknowledge that my work is heavily influenced by the 60's sci-fi trailblazers. In fact, I only keep a couple of books on my nightstand — and one of them is Philip K. Dick's Exegesis. So, when I came across a feature on 60s sci-fi on Horror...

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Can You Carry Your Sword(s) on Your Back?

Can You Carry Your Sword(s) on Your Back?

Witcher fans will recognize this handsome fellow immediately: One striking thing about Geralt of Rivia is the way he carries his swords on his back. While it looks pretty cool, though, how accurate is it? Can you, indeed, carry around your sword like this? Murphy...

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Cipolla’s Basic Laws of Human Foolishness

Cipolla’s Basic Laws of Human Foolishness

I read today about the theory of human foolishness developed by Italian historian Carlo M. Cipolla, mentioned by Elena Gold on Quora. Cipolla was born in 1922 and died in 2000. He grew up during a turbulent period in Italy, that of classic fascism. Somehow, he managed...

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The Amazing True Story of Sir John Chandos

The Amazing True Story of Sir John Chandos

Henrey Bradley recently shared on Quora the remarkable tale of Sir John Chandos who rose from obscurity to become a hero of the Hundred Years War and a knight distinct from all others. Born to a family of small nobility in Derbyshire, Chandos, from a young age, honed...

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Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July

To those of you in the States, I hope you're having an awesome Independence Day! (for those in the UK, ignore those ungrateful colonials and carry on with your day)  

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Ancient Greek Sea Monsters

Ancient Greek Sea Monsters

Everyone knows of mermaids, and some are even aware of their Greek origins: as a seafaring culture, the ancient Greeks had several sea creatures that fit the bill, from sirens to nereids and naiads. Not many are familiar with the wide range of sea monsters that...

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Salsa Cookies and Gopher Tuna

Salsa Cookies and Gopher Tuna

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQEfxhvAy0c Breaking news: An octopus wearing boots was sent to North Korea. Intelligence says the octopus has gonorrhea. This is spy news signing off. One of the perks of having a young child is that you get to watch with her the...

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Baby Names That Mean Sword

Baby Names That Mean Sword

Does your story ask for some cool baby names that mean sword? Moms who think have got you covered, with a collection of boy names that mean sword, girl names that mean sword, and, for good measure, baby names that mean warrior (I suspect this is the kind of moms who...

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Which Is the Most Beautiful Language?

Which Is the Most Beautiful Language?

Do some languages sound better than others? This is the question researchers from Lund University in Sweden and the Russian Academy of Sciences set out to answer, as reported by Big Think. So, does French sound silky, German brutish, Italian sexy, and Japanese angry...

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The Intriguing Math of Punctuation

The Intriguing Math of Punctuation

When you think of punctuation, do you think of math? You probably should, as scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Cracow explain in a study reported by Phys.org. The study compared punctuation between seven,...

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When Ameca Met ChatGPT

When Ameca Met ChatGPT

It feels like every day we hear something new about ChatGPT. I've been using it to speed up my research and copywriting and it's been a huge productivity boost for me. It does come with its drawbacks, of course, but used wisely it's an amazing tool. What happens when...

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The Fire Lance

The Fire Lance

Remember Stargate and the cool lance that doubled as a missile launcher? Surprisingly enough, this wasn't as unheard of as you may assume (well, not the energy weapon but the combo of lance and gun). If you are looking for inspiration for an unusual weapon for your...

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That Day in Rome… and the UK

That Day in Rome… and the UK

April Fools is a custom associated with making jokes (Prima Aprilis) and dates back to Roman times. At that time, or more precisely, on March 25, the Hilaria festival took place, which was celebrated on the occasion of the vernal equinox and the worship of the...

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How to Use Irony in Writing

How to Use Irony in Writing

After my host's sudden passing back in January, I spent a couple of months moving over 100 clients to our new ISP - without any passwords that would let me do so in a seamless way. What ensued was a Sisyphean task of convincing various ISPs to share with me the...

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Moving ISPs

I apologize for disappearing once again. I'm currently in the process of moving my website to a new host, so anything I publish here is likely to vanish thanks to the back-and-forth between servers. Which is why I haven't published yet a wonderful book I came across...

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A Glove That Teaches You Piano in an Hour

A Glove That Teaches You Piano in an Hour

Have you ever thought about how people may learn in the future? What might a school look like? And don't forget that schools are not just for kids. Perhaps a new kind of learning might also be part of, say, a soldier's rehabilitation process? If you're a sci-fi...

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Interview with RJ Meldrum

Interview with RJ Meldrum

Gothic short story author R.J. Meldrum is one of the writers featured in the anthology The Haunted Train: Creepy Tales from the Railways. He joins us to talk about train journeys, reading, and writing. What’s the weirdest experience you’ve ever had on a train? The...

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The Names of All Manner of Hounds

The Names of All Manner of Hounds

There are name generators aplenty when it comes to characters. What about their dogs, though? Have you ever been stuck looking for an authentic-sounding name for your medieval or fantasy hero's four-legged best friend? Thanks to My Modern Met, you now have the perfect...

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The Ancient Art of Listicles

The Ancient Art of Listicles

Annoying for some, clickbait for others, listicles are everywhere. In case you're unfamiliar with the term, ChatGPT defines them as follows: A listicle is a type of article or blog post that is presented in the form of a list, with each item on the list representing a...

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Happy 2023

Happy 2023

2022 was... unusual, for sure. We've seen the end of COVID, only it wasn't really an end now, was it? At least the economy has recovered following the ruinous crises of past years... or so I'd love to say, except it hasn't. Well, maybe climate change has... nope, not...

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Where Can I Get an Idea for a Book?

Where Can I Get an Idea for a Book?

5 sources of inspiration for a writer The 21st century is the age of the web, where people write for their blogs, and social networks. Fortunately, books have not disappeared! You need a flash of inspiration to create something truly worthwhile. Of course, inspiration...

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Bookbird: an Amazing Resource for Writers

Bookbird: an Amazing Resource for Writers

I came across Bookbird when I was hired by Yves Lummer to work on the website's content. Bookbird is rapidly becoming a top resource for authors looking for help with writing and self-publishing, with tons of excellent advice covering everything from name generators...

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Using a Cloak as a Shield

Using a Cloak as a Shield

What would happen if you tried to use a cloak to block a sword? Eric Lowe (and here) has two illuminating answers to this question - both opening up many possibilities in fiction writing. It's not a shield Before going into any details, the first thing to remember is...

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Khopesh, the Bronze Age’s Superweapon

Khopesh, the Bronze Age’s Superweapon

We are all familiar with swords and spears but what about the formidable khopesh? As Colleen Anne Coyle explains on Quora, the khopesh was more than a symbolic weapon of the Pharaohs and an emblem of Egyptian Deities. A true weapon of war, the khopesh/ sword was...

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Forearm Guards: Fiction or Reality?

Forearm Guards: Fiction or Reality?

I always found forearm guards to be rather quaint and decorative rather than effective in battle. Then I came across this answer by Eric Lowe on Quora. Like me, Eric confesses to originally writing off forearm guards as fantasy. His research, however, showed him...

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NASA Crashes Spacecraft into Asteroid

NASA Crashes Spacecraft into Asteroid

And of course, today's big news is that NASA has successfully crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid. It will be a few days before we know if that means that the Agency has passed the first-ever planetary defense test, but navigation was the hardest part of the test...

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Top 5 Fiction Books Dedicated to Cars

Top 5 Fiction Books Dedicated to Cars

Car owners are well aware of the fact that a car is more than just a means of transport: it can have its own character, story, and destiny. This is why so many writers took inspiration from the image of the automobile and embodied it in their works. How about cars...

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The Master List of Fictional Characters

The Master List of Fictional Characters

I recently shared some common (and less common) types of short stories. Like you, I was surprised there were so many. How about a list of characters regularly found in fiction? Surely the list would be relatively short, right? Well... no. Ken Miyamoto shared no less...

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Tips for Effective Research On Your Novel

Tips for Effective Research On Your Novel

I haven't written in a while, mostly due to the surprisingly (for August) high demands of my copywriting job. I'm now back with some thoughts on research. Whether for copywriting or novel writing, research is a big part of our work. And while writers today have more...

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New Book: Writing and Publishing a Book Series

New Book: Writing and Publishing a Book Series

Rayne Hall is the successful author of dozens of books in her celebrated Writer's Craft series. A few months ago, we wrote together a book chock-full of copywriting tips called Copywriting: Get Paid to Write Promotional Texts. Rayne and I have now finished a new book,...

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Convert Text from Image

Convert Text from Image

AI software like LaMDA is pretty impressive but we've been using AI for years without even realizing it. One perfect example of this is OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tools that let us digitize printed documents. While there's something to be said about the...

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LaMDA: A Sentient AI?

LaMDA: A Sentient AI?

In case you missed the news, a Google engineer called Blake Lemoine believes that LaMDA, the company's AI, has already achieved sentience. Lemoine has since been fired from Google for going public with his belief, thus violating the company's confidentiality policy....

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History of the Ferrari Brand

History of the Ferrari Brand

This blog usually deals with Medieval or ancient history, but I'm also interested in more recent history. While researching an article, I recently came across some facts about Ferrari, the legendary sports car brand created by Enzo Ferrari. I hope you'll enjoy them!...

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Helen after Troy

Helen after Troy

Bradford McCormick, a reader of this blog, mentioned Helen of Troy in a comment and got me thinking. What did happen to that crazy lass after Troy fell? Well, turns out the answer, as told by Steve Theodore on Quora, is both complicated and fascinating. A Happy Ending...

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Ancient Surgery

Ancient Surgery

Plenty of ancient resources mention medical procedures such as surgery. The early Chinese surgeon Hua Tuo (c. 140-208) is credited with being the first recorded person to use cannabis as an anesthetic. He reduced the plant to powder and mixed it with wine for...

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Short Time Sales

Short Time Sales

Many of you write romance that includes scenes that range from explicit to implicit. For you, I have this little nugget I came across the other day on Quora, which you may particularly enjoy if your romance takes place in the 19th century. During the 19th century,...

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WoW and Cross-Faction Gameplay

WoW and Cross-Faction Gameplay

If you're anything like me, you may have started your fascination with fantasy thanks to games. World of Warcraft (WoW) is probably the best-known one, letting you play online with your friends, form factions, and fight both other players and non-player characters...

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Neither Lazy, Nor Sick

Neither Lazy, Nor Sick

Having gone from posting once every other day to twice a month, you may be excused for wondering if I'm turning increasingly lazy or if something worse has happened. Thankfully, all is well but I do confess to being somewhat exhausted. Between writing and editing some...

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The World’s First Tik Tok War

The World’s First Tik Tok War

War has once again broken out. And Mike Elgan has an excellent report on what makes this one so different from all previous ones. As he points out, when the US invaded Iraq twenty years ago with the intention of removing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and installing a...

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Looking in the Mirror

Looking in the Mirror

I came across a great thread on Facebook the other day and it got me thinking. A (male) writer was asking the following question: I have a female character looking at herself in the mirror. First naked then in a white nightdress which shows her figure. She is a very...

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Beware Misguided Writing Advice

Beware Misguided Writing Advice

Author Anne R. Allen published yesterday a great post titled, 10 Dangerous Critiques: Beware Misguided Writing Advice. In it, she explains how trying to please everybody who beta-reads or critiques your WIP can turn a novel into a kind of jackalope of unrelated parts....

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Interview with Tylluan Penry

Interview with Tylluan Penry

Remember my interview with Pamela Turner, one of the authors of Among the Headstones, an anthology of Gothic horror stories? Today, I'm interviewing Tylluan Penry, another one of the anthology's authors. Interview with Tylluan Penry Hi Tylluan, it’s great to have you...

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Talking Without Words

Talking Without Words

No, I'm not talking about non-verbal communication, i.e. shrugs, facial expressions, etc. I'm talking about emojis and, specifically, a new form of communication: “fake typing.” As Mike Elgan explains in his newsletter (which I highly recommend to anyone interested in...

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Are Animals Multilingual?

Are Animals Multilingual?

I am multilingual and consider myself a native Greek and English speaker. People like Ziad Fazah, born in Liberia, famously speak a total of 59 world languages. Can other creatures share that ability, though? Specifically, can dogs understand more than one language?...

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Interview with Pamela Turner

Interview with Pamela Turner

You may remember Rayne Hall from our recent collaboration: we wrote together a book on Copy Writing. Now, Rayne has edited an anthology of graveyard tales called, appropriately enough, Among The Headstones: Creepy Tales from the Graveyard. For today's post, I...

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Happy 2022 with Good News

Happy 2022 with Good News

2021 is almost over but 2020 casts a long shadow: So, you are excused if you feel that 2021 was a bit of a bummer with nothing much to show for it. Thankfully, The Happy Broadcast and Modern Met have got you covered. Illustrator Mauro Gatti is happy to balance things...

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Police Sketches of Literary Characters

Police Sketches of Literary Characters

I came across an unusual post on My Modern Met the other day. It featured the work of artist and filmmaker Brian Joseph Davis, specifically his ongoing project The Composites. The project produces police sketches based on what the book descriptions suggest and is a...

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The 1914 Christmas Truce

The 1914 Christmas Truce

Such was the carnage of The Great War that it was thought it would put an end to war for good. The war affected the lives of millions of men, including Tolkien and Milne. It gave birth to some rather unusual WWI alphabet primers. WWI also triggered medical advances...

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A Christmas Feud

A Christmas Feud

Christmas is a time when friends and relatives gather around the table to celebrate love, joy, and all things good. I know that this is the time of the year for inspirational stories, and I promise you'll have one of those for Christmas. Unfortunately, it is also a...

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