Dos and Don’ts of Being a Warlord (Mortal and Vampire)

Conan the Barbarian

It isn’t easy ruling a kingdom, especially if your people are hard to control like vampires or professional sports fans.  There might be times when you have to rule with violence, but going too far can bring its own problems.  Really makes you think about how thin the line is between brutal warlord and kind monarch.  So, what are some dos and don’ts?

  1. Do create a group of trusted friends that you can count on.  This takes some of the pressure off you.  They can give advice or handle some of the workload, which can prevent you from going full warlord.
  2. Do not use executions to solve every problem.  You may find yourself running out of citizens.  Not saying they shouldn’t be done at all because there are some heinous crimes that require the most brutal of punishments.  This is where those friends can help you figure out the proper decision.
  3. Do try to maintain a personal haven.  Ruling can be stressful and it pays to have a private area to retreat to.  You can share it with one or two people in case they need you for an emergency.  Just make sure it’s where you feel at peace.
  4. Do not rule by fear alone.  It might work at first, but you have to maintain that level for a while.  Eventually, your people may become numb and this is where a revolt can occur.  This requires that you get meaner and more sadistic, which reduces your own humanity to the lowest point possible.
  5. Do create some festivals for your people to enjoy.  This can forge unity throughout the kingdom.  More importantly, it’s an easy way to set up trade and friendly relationships with neighbors.  Have enough of these events and you can get a more power in the region than if you were hurting others.
  6. Do not attack your neighbors if you’re bored.  This goes for people in general, but it’s extra true when it comes to rulers.  There needs to be a reason for aggression or you end up being the bad guys.  Although, that might be what you want in the first place, but you don’t want to make everyone know you’re the bad guys.  That makes it harder to get new recruits.
  7. Do keep the kingdom looking nice and hospitable.  I don’t really understand why so many warlords let their places fall into ruin.  Old-world vampires are guilty of this more than mortals, but you still see a lot of darkness.  Never underestimate the power of gardens.
  8. Do not over tax your citizens and horde it all.  Aside from being mean, this is is what creates dissent.  That means enemies can turn citizens against you and weaken your kingdom’s foundation without you knowing it.  Not to mention, you won’t have a strong army because they’ll be hungry.  You could pay the soldiers more, but you will run out because those who aren’t in the military will be too weak to prove they can fight.

See which rules Clyde follows in
War of Nytefall: Lost

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This Week in Indie Publishing

Author Don Massenzio

Self Publication: Things That Every Aspirant Needs to Know

Self Publication: Things That Every Aspirant Needs to KnowAll writers harbor the desire to get published, but even the best one’s may be frustrated in their attempt to do so. Publishers are evaluating manuscripts from the viewpoint of their selling capacity and only a handful, in their opinion, make the grade. The fortunate part is that opinions differ. Hence, we have instances like J K Rowling’s, whose first book, Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone, was published after having been rejected twelve times. The amazing part is that Rowling is not alone in the list of prominent authors who ran up against repeated rejections before shooting to fame. This goes on to prove that publishers are also human beings, after all, and their judgement might be wrong. While a few authors do get a lucky break, there are several others whose work of merit never gets published because they…

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Teaser Tuesday: Danger of an Eye Twitch

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

This is a fairly short excerpt, but it has the introduction of Archillious.  I wanted to use him at least once here since he tends to hang around spoilers.  For more of him, check out War of Nytefall: Lost on Amazon.

Continue reading

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Winks to Legends of Windemere

Legends of Windemere

Since Legends of Windemere and War of Nytefall take place in the same world, I felt that I had to give a few nods to the previous series in the new one.  This isn’t very easy though because Clyde and the Dawn Fangs were operating a few centuries before Luke Callindor and the champions were even born.  Having Mab show up in The Mercenary Prince is one thing because she’s immortal, but how do you really do nods to a series that takes place in the future?

The most obvious thing is to use earlier version of the cities and common monsters.  This locks in that both stories take place in Windemere.  I mentioned the same gods and goddesses too even though they don’t physically show up.  This helps to make it clear that Clyde and his adventure happen almost beyond the control of the gods.  He is beyond the reach of Gabriel the Destiny God due to the Great Cataclysm, which is a trait he’ll share with another future protagonist.  The difference will be that Clyde is staying under the radar of the gods, which means I can’t have them show up to give nods to what they’re going to do in Legends of Windemere.

Another challenge is that having any heroic bloodlines turn up is just asking for them to get killed.  It would feel off to have Clyde run into a Callindor and not have a fight, which the mortal can’t possibly win.  I will admit that I think I found a way to slip one in anyway, but there’s going to be a lot of stretching.  It’s actually a little easier to bring in a few verbal nods like mentioning the Snow Tiger Tribe (Timoran Wrath) or having a character drink Masterson Whiskey (Kevin Masterson).  Bringing up drites and gypsies can cover a little too, but you can’t really go specifically to Fizzle and Sari.  So, it really made me think that the heroes can’t be the big hint targets.

That didn’t mean I had nothing though because I stumbled onto a few juicy nods.  There are a few immortals involved in Legends of Windemere, so I can have them make an appearance or at least get mentioned.  For example, I could feasibly have Stephen show up and try to recruit Clyde to the Baron’s cause.  Obviously, that didn’t happen since that would change War of Nytefall.  I also can’t see a meeting between Clyde and Baron Kernaghan going smoothly.  This means I still have a problem with making direct connections, which might be for the best.

With a prequel, you don’t want future heroes to be too involved in the story.  Having it be reversed with prequel characters showing up in another series possesses less risk of messing with continuity.  You can’t alter the past if they’re in the future.  The same doesn’t go for cameos in prequels.  That can make a mess, which is what I’m always keeping in mind every time I write one of these books.  One time, I nearly made a mistake by having Clyde talk about running into Dariana, which made no sense.  She would have just become a champion and the location I picked didn’t fit with what I set up.  A lot of these things have to be cleaned up in edits, which has left me with this system:

  1. Put in a nod/cameo because it’s fun.
  2. Sit down after writing first draft to decide if it makes sense.
  3. Realize that ‘because I think it’s cool’ is not good enough.
  4. Fix if I can’t rationalize it.

Maybe less is more here.  Either way, I’ve had to add a few nods to maintain some type of connections.  I have to decide if I should hint to future series too like Sin or Darwin who take place after Legends of Windemere.  This really makes it feel like a juggling act too, which is both fun and harrowing.

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Check This Out: The Way the Light Bends

Check out a fun and interesting interview.

El Space--The Blog of L. Marie

Before I continue with today’s post, let me first say that thoughts and prayers are with those who live in the areas affected by Hurricane Florence. Florence, you have outstayed your welcome. Go away!

Now, please join me in welcoming back to the blog the awesome Cordelia Jensen. She was here not long ago with Laurie Morrison to talk about their middle grade novel, Every Shiny Thing. (Click here for that interview.) Today, she’s here to talk about her young adult verse novel, The Way the Light Bends, which was published by Philomel Books earlier this year.


Cordelia is represented by Sara Crowe. Okay, let’s strap on our gab bag and talk to Cordelia!

El Space: Four quick facts about yourself?
Cordelia: (1) I grew up in Manhattan where Skyscraping and The Way the Light Bends take place.
(2) Currently, I live in a neighborhood in Northwest…

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Easy Tips For Building The Best Home Library For Your Kids

Great advice and tips.

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a guest post by Stepheny is a content writer at FeedFond. She’s a loving mother to her two children and is passionate towards child psychology. To read more of her articles, visit

Easy Tips For Building The Best Home Library For Your Kids

Kids' library | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksBooks definitely were an enjoyable and joyful part of our childhood and many of us still hold onto our childhood collections. However, technology has advanced today from books to online reading platforms. It’s a more convenient option to search for reading materials online.

So, is it possible for our children experience the ecstasy of getting lost at Book-land? Read on for simple ways to build a home library for your kids for this to actually happen!

What Books will you Choose?

It’s important to choose the correct books for your inbuilt library. You obviously want your children to make the best of it. Here…

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Ode to My Bunny

Monty Python

I love my bunny
Enough to write a poem
To honor him
As he stares at me write
Wiggly nose
Matted hair
His tummy full
Of tomatoes
And ends
He keeps me safe
Flying faster than the wind
Tougher than stone
Ripping flesh
And taking lives
Of our lurking foes
Where would I be without my bunny?
Maybe with a cat
But I wouldn’t be as happy


Spend more time with Lost and her Bunny in
War of Nytefall: Lost!

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