From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksToday I’m featuring Vanessa Finaughty, a prolific South African author of 15 books with the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen (and I should know – I, too, am blue-eyed!).

She’s written a guest post for us, with five tips for new writers. Enjoy, and don’t forget to check out her amazing giveaway, featuring a number of free downloads for six books, penned by her, Michelle LouringAlianne Donnelly and Simon Ludgate!

5 Tips for New Writers

Guest post by Vanessa Finaughty

1: Write what you know or be prepared to spend hours doing research.

Even if you’re writing fiction, your story needs to be believable, and it won’t be if you get your facts wrong. How much research you need to do depends on how much you already know about the topic – anything you aren’t 100% clear on needs to be researched.

2: If you aren’t enjoying writing something, stop!

If you don’t enjoy writing it, others won’t enjoy reading it.

3: Read your work out loud.

If the sentences don’t feel or sound natural when spoken, they will be difficult to read and comprehend. In these times of audio books, it’s a good idea to ensure the words ‘flow off the page’.

4: Make sure your story has an overall theme and that it’s engaging.

The overall theme is the underlying thing that drives your story. Without it, there would be no story. If the theme is boring, the story will be boring, so make sure it’s something readers can relate to and will be interested in. For example, the theme for my Legends of Origin series is the main character’s obsession with finding his creator. Most people would like to have answers to life, the universe and everything, so the theme is one of common interest, even if the genre, ideas, theories and ideologies aren’t.

5: Say what you mean.

Many authors seem to think they have to write in a different manner to the way most people speak. The opposite is true. Writing flows smoother and is easier to follow when the author has written as if he or she is speaking to you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to use a conversational writing style. It means that, when you describe something, you should describe it in the simplest way possible, rather than using long-winded words and descriptions that often end up making no sense or giving the reader the wrong visual – or no visual at all.

Author biography

Vanessa Finaughty is an author of many genres who now focuses on fantasy and science fiction. She’s published 15 books, of which 6 are fantasy. Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’.

Vanessa has always been passionate about books, and knew from a young age that she wanted to write them one day. She loves animals, coffee and the smell of wet grass, and hates liars, sweltering weather and long queues. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, mythology, aliens and outer space, ancient history, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.


The Wizard of Ends Books

Wizard of Ends, Book 1

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

A powerful sorceress wants the Queen of Ends dead, hoping her demise will render the king unable to defend his crown. Only the wizard Lashlor Leaflin is in a position to protect Queen Narraki Dragonsbane, but he avoids using magic – at almost any cost.

With creatures of darkness hunting the queen, however, he may be left with little choice but to call on the power he holds within.

Buy Wizard of Ends, Book 1 on Shashwords!


Wizard of Ends, Book 2

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThe Queen of Ends has been cursed into a rabid creature of darkness. Only Lashlor’s old flame, Rune Arcana, might be able to remove the curse. Lashlor believes he can find Rune in the Mountains of Eclador. The only trouble is – Rune now despises him, and, in all of recorded history, no one has ever returned from these mountains.

Fearing the Wizard of Ends will not be able to bring help, the king goes against Lashlor’s advice by enlisting the aid of other magic users.

Buy Wizard of Ends, Book 2: Dark Creature on Shashwords!

Giveaway & Discount Dates

All coupons below offer a 100% discount, so what are you waiting for?

11 – 13 October

Smashwords coupon code for Dragon Kin & other fantasy stories : ZU52B

16 October

Smashwords coupon code for Sorcery & Subterfuge : HA38K

18 – 20 October

Smashwords coupon code for The Angel’s Voice, Books 1 & 2 by Michelle Louring: FH27E (Book 1), EN84L (Book 2)

21 October

Smashwords coupon code for Royal Wizard by Alianne Donnelly : XV26R

24 October

Smashwords coupon code for Legends of Origin, Books 1 – 3 : BP37Q (Book 2), YC54A (Book 3). Book 1 is permanently free.

27 October

Smashwords coupon code for The Accidental Wizard by Simon Ludgate: FM47Z