My First Video Interview is Live on YouTube

Charles Yallowitz:

A great interview with Nicholas Rossis. Check it out and give your support.

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:

On October 1st, at 9 am Central Time, I gave my first live interview!

I was interviewed by Sally Sue Ember, whom you may have seen commenting on this very blog. Sally has very kindly asked me to participate in her live show, CHANGES on Google’s Hangout. The show lasted for an hour, and for some reason we ended up talking mostly about religions, philosophy and reincarnation…

If you missed it the event, it was recorded and uploaded to YouTube:

A big thank-you to everyone who stopped by! :)

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Mirror Interview with Tim Therien

Originally posted on readful things blog:

“Mirror, Mirror on the ceiling…”

Now that I have your attention, I don’t actually have a mirror on the ceiling. In fact, the only mirror in my apartment is the one in the bathroom. I take a quick look at myself once a day to make sure I’m presentable to the world, other than that I avoid mirrors with the fervor of a vampire. After reading the clever, witty and intelligent “mirror interviews” featured her at “Readful Things” I have to admit to being a little intimidated. For starters I am not a big fan of tooting my own horn. If I took tooting my own horn I might just have to get that mirror for the ceiling. That said; let’s get on to the crux of it, shall we?

On Poetry

Poetry is very near and dear to me and perhaps I will always be a Poet first and…

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Closure and Cliffhangers: Coming to the End

Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop

Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop

Even if you’re nervous about writing the ending of your story, it has to get done.  You can’t simply walk away and hope people forgive you.  There has to be closure to some extent or even a mysterious ending that keeps people talking.  After all, you brought the readers along for an adventure and they stuck with you to the end.  There should be some kind of payoff even if you believe the author owes the readers nothing.  I believe the author does owe a solid ending if for no other reason than it is an act of seriousness.  For some reason leaving a story unfinished feels wrong to me and I’m talking solely about stories that seem to end abruptly.

So here are some pieces of an ending:

Happy Ending/Sad Ending

This is a big debate, which I never realized could get heated.  There are people who feel that happy endings are unrealistic, so they make sure to end with tragedy.  Other people think the world is harsh enough, so they prefer to end on a high note and not add to the jading of humanity.  Either way, you should make sure the ending fits the overall tone of the book.  It might be jarring and fun to have an upbeat story end with utter destruction, but you should make that a possibility at least.  What I mean is that the possibility of failure should be there instead of pushing the idea that success is the only ending.  Same goes for writing a dark, depressing book where nothing goes write and there’s an abrupt rise to happiness in the last chapter.  People remember bad endings more than good beginnings, good middles, and good endings.  So you have to make sure the conclusion is solid, fits, and isn’t just you going ‘FOOLED YOU, READER!’.  (Yeah, I’ll probably have arguments about this one.)

Closure Needed

 Even if you leave an opening for a future adventure, you need to bring some closure to the end of a story.  This includes the latest volume of a series.  There has to be a sense that something has ended by the time the reader closes the book.  It can be the completion of a quest, finding the item to carry on to the next stage, conclusion of a subplot, or the promotion of a supporting character.  My point is that you need the reader to believe that they have an ending.  It doesn’t matter if another book will come out with events taking place a few months later or if this is the end of the overall adventure.  Readers love closure because it helps them feel like they invested their time, energy, and emotions wisely.  This is where beta readers can come in really hand too.

The Dreaded Cliffhanger

‘Cowboy Bebop’ ends with some ambiguity in regards to the true fate of Spike Spiegel.  The picture at the top is his final scene before he collapses after the big fight.  Some people think he died and others think he was saved.  Now, creating a cliffhanger seems to go against the idea of closure and that is why so many people hate them.  Yet, you can end a story on this if you do it correctly.  The biggest way to make a cliffhanger work as a story ender is to have it be in regards to a character’s fate, but not the main adventure.  With that central plot over, the story comes to a close and the heroes can be left in a state of ‘what now?’.  This can create a lot of speculation from fans, which can keep a story’s popularity going for a while.  You’re going to have some people that are angry that not every thread is closed up, but that’s the risk with a cliffhanger.

Benefit of Multiple Character Story Arcs

If you’re working with an ensemble cast then you have what some authors can consider a ‘luxury’.  Not every character needs a happy, sad, or completely closed ending.  You can end some characters with marriage, some with death, and leave one or two ambiguous fates.  This can include villains too if your story can end with them simply being defeated instead of killed.  The downside here is that you might get caught in an extended ending sequence in order to cover everyone’s storyline.  It’s easier if all of the characters stay connected like in the epilogue of Harry Potter, but sometimes you might have one or two characters that disappear from the lives of the others.  Feel free to play with the idea of giving a variety of closures if you’re writing such a story because there really are no true rules to this.

So, anybody else have any thoughts on endings?

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Today Is The Day

Charles Yallowitz:

New release! Check it out!

Originally posted on Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling In The Storage Room:


Today is the big day! How To Climb The Eiffel Tower is now available wherever you like to buy books. If you are in the central North Carolina area, please join me at the Barnes & Noble – New Hope Commons at 7:00 on Friday, October 3rd, to celebrate the book’s release.

Here is a little bit about the book and where to find it:

Blurb: Lara Blaine believes that she can hide from her past by clinging to a rigid routine of work and exercise. She endures her self-imposed isolation until a cancer diagnosis cracks her hard exterior. Lara’s journey through cancer treatment should be the worst year of her life. Instead, it is the year that she learns how to live. She befriends Jane, another cancer patient who teaches her how to be powerful even in the face of death. Accepting help from the people around her allows…

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#Thunderclap #Fantasy #Dragons #Magic #Vampires #Zombies

Just a few more days for the Legends of Windemere Thunderclap campaign and I’ve been stuck at 74 for days.  I have until Saturday to get 26 more volunteers to make this a success.  I’ve tried tweets, Facebook posts, and WordPress posts.  For now, I’m doing this post and then one on Friday night.  After that, I’ll talk about my experience with this and give my Pro/Con opinion.  (At least after I’ve eaten since this campaign ends on Yom Kippur, Jewish Day of Fasting.)




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Reading Comprehension for Girls

Originally posted on ReadTuesday:

Click the picture to view this book at Amazon.


Author Julie Harper has a new book available for pre-order on Kindle. The release date is Monday, October 6. It will soon be available in paperback, too.

This book includes 48 short stories beginning with one page (200 to 300 words) and ending with 3 pages (500 to 800 words). Each story is followed by 4 multiple choice questions. Answers can be checked by clicking footnotes.

Want to learn more?


In the spirit of promoting reading and literacy, Read Tuesday has a few promotional opportunities for readers and authors:

  1. The big event, Read Tuesday, on Tuesday, December 9, 2014.
  2. Promotions on selected Tuesdays (this was the first of them) leading up to December…

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The Ending Emporium

Welcome to the Ending Emporium where you can find the perfect ending to your story.  If you started at my sister’s Beginning Bazaar then you’re eligible for our 15% epilogue discount.  No, we’re not associated with the Midpoint Market, but we are friendly with the owner.  Hostile corporate takeover?  Do I look like a guy who would play that game?  I don’t know what you mean by evil sparkle in my eyes.  Anyway, what kind of ending are you looking for?

Ah, you’ll need our multiple plot line package, which call the Return of the King special.  It will cover three romantic subplots, the main action plot, a sealing of the doors, and give closure to a maximum of seven characters.  It’ll be an extra fifty dollars for every added character with a deal of three for ninety dollars.  You don’t need that?  Okay, well you can add it if you find yourself wanting to close up a few plot holes.  We’ll get more into our warranty program later.

What’s a sealing of the doors?  That’s where you give a closing to the overall world.  It doesn’t mean that the world ends unless that’s what you want.  Simply a pleasant ending that makes the reader feel like things will continue in peace for the rest of eternity or until you need to pay bills again.  I always suggest ending on a peaceful celebration or the old age of the fan favorite character.  If you insist on being dark then you can end it with a funeral and the creation of a memorial.  Just be careful that you don’t leave too much open or it feels sloppy.

Let’s take care of your romantic subplots.  All of these are put in an epilogue chapter instead of the plot climax.  Stop giggling at that word, Marcus!  We have marriage, divorce, dating, engagement, breaking up, death, betrayal, awkward silence, and growing old together without showing a wedding scene.  We’re working on a new one where the characters are shown reuniting in a future life or in the afterlife.  It only works for certain stories, but we think it’ll be very popular when we roll it out.  Would you like to give it a test run with a free replacement if it doesn’t work out?  Not having established reincarnation or an afterlife might be a problem, but you can always write those things in with a few clips of dialogue.  Just think about it while we continue.

I’d stay behind the line while we examine the action endings.  These aren’t part of the epilogue, but you mentioned have a big fight scene that ends the quest.  First, you need to decide on location.  I recommend the witch’s throne room given your story.  Put in a fireplace, large windows, and . . . you want it to be cheery?  I guess we can put our Spoiled Princess Bedroom set into your package.  Not sure how serious a fight this will be with throw pillows, perfume, and dresses all over the place.  That’s the death blow you were thinking of?  Well, I guess it can work.  Seems you have this already figured out, so I’m not sure you need my help here.  Are you a spy for the Midpoint Market?  Yeah, I guess you wouldn’t admit to that.

I’ll send you off with Susie to do the details, but let’s go over warranties first.  Your package contains two plot hole repairs, but only issues that are caused by the endings.  I can upgrade you to the next level where ten plot holes can be fixed.  Well of course Midpoint Market gives you more.  They’re the middle of the story where more plot holes can be found and, quite honestly, those people do shoddy work.  I saw one series where they kept having the good guys gain a new weapon only for the villain to already be immune to it.  I ask you, how does that happened five times in a row while the villain only shows up for that failed attack?  I would double check what they gave you.  No, I’m not trying to sabotage their business and cause them to go bankrupt.  I’m only interested in endings and my sister is only interested in beginnings.  What would . . . Yes, I do have another sibling.  Why do you ask?

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