No Wasted Ink Writers Links


Welcome to No Wasted Ink!  This week’s top ten articles about the craft of writing are mainly general writing tips. So pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and pull up a chair. There is some serious reading to find here.

How To Overcome the 3 Practical Challenges That Every Writer Endures

How to Avoid Writing That’s as Clear as a Mountain Stream

The 1973 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer: Terry Carr

Helping Authors Become Artists

Write Tight

How Writing Faster Can Vastly Improve Your Storytelling

The Five Stages of Becoming a Fiction Writer

5 Character Tools You Absolutely Need to Know

Writing Tips: 8 Ways To Take Your Book From Good To Great

Assessing Yourself as a Writer: Does Your Writing Make the Grade?

Author Interview: Ronesa Aveela

Author Ronesa Aveela is “the creative power of two.” Two authors writing as one to introduce the world to the rich and magical culture of Bulgaria. Please welcome them to No Wasted Ink.

Author Ronesa AveelaThis is the pen name of two authors: Nelly Toncheva and Rebecca Carter (who will be answering questions today). Nelly is married and has two children. In the late 90s, she came to the U.S. from Bulgaria when her husband won a national lottery (not monetary, but immigration). She enjoys painting to relax. Rebecca is happily single. She’s lived her entire live in New England: hates the cold, but it’s home. She enjoys reading, knitting, and baking, although author-related tasks take up most of her time nowadays.

When and why did you begin writing?

Our writing career began in 2011, when Nelly asked me to help her with a book she had written in Bulgarian, a romantic fantasy about a place she fell in love with when she visited: Emona, Bulgaria. Since English wasn’t her native language and I had a background in editing and publishing, she wanted help making it sound good in English.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. In my senior year in high school, as part of a class assignment, I wrote a short murder mystery in the style of Agatha Christie. It was one of the few papers that impressed the teacher enough that she read it to the class. Since then, writing has been the most enjoyable part of the various jobs I’ve held.

As far as professional writing is concerned, although we started working on the book in 2011, it wasn’t until we finally published it in 2014 that the word “writer” became “author.”

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I’m working on the second book in a nonfiction series called “Spirits and Creatures,” which focuses on the mythology and folklore of Eastern Europe. This book is about Rusalki, Slavic mermaids. All the books in the series are geared toward the non-academic world to bring the rich culture and mythology of Bulgaria and the eastern world to the western world. The books include artwork and stories to make the creatures come alive, as well as links to videos and music.

What inspired you to write this book?

In our fantasy book The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village, a character possesses a book called Lamia’s Bible. This book holds the secrets of all the creatures who live in Dragon Village. I wanted to know what secrets these creatures might have that would enable someone to defeat them, so I did more research. I discovered a wealth of information that I wanted to share.

Do you have a specific writing style?

The writing depends on the type of book we are working on. We write fiction (adult and children’s) and non-fiction. The first book in the adult fantasy (Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey) is slower paced, with many descriptions, as we want to draw the reader into the location and customs of the people. The children’s fiction (one full-length novel and a few short stories) are faster paced, with more action. We wanted to make the nonfiction books fun, so the writing style is chatty.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

I’ll talk about our recent book, The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village. Bulgarian folklore references “unborn children” (boys and girls), who will become great heroes because at least one of their parents is a supernatural creature. Quite often, the mother is human and the father is a dragon. Other heroes are born from a Samodiva (woodland nymph) and a human father whom the nymph enchanted. Dragon Village (Zmeykovo in Bulgarian) is a place at the end of the world where all the mythical creatures live in the wintertime. They return to the human world on March 25, which in Bulgaria is called Blagovets.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Besides wanting to introduce people to the world of Bulgarian mythology and folklore, The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village wants kids to know they are not alone. There are people who can help them accomplish their goals in life if they work together as a team. And, their differences make them unique and special.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

No, but every kid has a fantasy about being special, especially if that child is different. We all long to believe in the stories we were told as a child. In Bulgaria, Samodivi are still very much alive in the minds of the people. They are beloved and feared.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

My favorite authors when I was growing up were Agatha Christie and Taylor Caldwell. They both made me think. With Christie, it was a matter of using my mind to solve a murder mystery. With Caldwell, it was pondering the world: politics, religion, life in general.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

I’d pick Neil Gaiman. Having recently read his American Gods book, I’d like to know more about his research methods into various mythologies that he included in the book.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Nelly designed the cover for The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village. Even though she does her own artwork, we decided to have the cover illustrated by Dmitry Yakhovsky. He does marvelous illustrations and works quickly.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up. It can be frustrating, but find other authors you can talk with about issues you are having. We’ve all gone through it, and are willing to support each other.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Indie authors love hearing from you. A single kind word or message does so much to brighten our day and make the struggles of publishing worth it. Please also take the time to write reviews, even a sentence or two telling others what you thought of the books you’ve read.

CS-Cover_UnbornHeroRonesa Aveela
Swanzey, NH and Virginia Beach, VA


The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village

Cover Artist: Dmitry Yakhovsky
Publisher: Bendideia Publishing


No Wasted Ink Writers Links


Welcome to another day of top ten links here on No Wasted Ink.  I have the usual grab bag of general writing tips for you to enjoy, but also a memorial for Award-winning science fiction author Gene Wolfe who passed away recently.  Mr. Wolfe is one of those authors who helped to define the shape of the science fiction genre. If you haven’t read of his works, I recommend you check him out. Be prepared for detailed worlds beyond your imagination.

In Memoriam – Gene Wolfe

Tomorrow Isn’t Always Another Day: Remembering Howard Fast’s The Edge of Tomorrow


How to Use Your Outline When Writing Your First Draft

Five Reasons To Write Short

Five Characters With Strong Arcs

8 Ways to Inject Humor into Your Writing

Look After Yourself: Self Care For Writers

How a Ticking Clock Reveals Character and Propels Your Plot

Unique Traits that Define Every Astonishing Writer

What Every Writer Needs by Loren Rhoads


I’ve worked on both sides of the editor’s desk, reading nonfiction, short stories, and poetry, as well as submitting both short and book-length projects of my own. I’ve edited for several small presses and for Scribner, for print and for the web. I’ve written for anthologies and magazines, published a novel, two chapbooks, and a collection of essays of my own. The one thing I’ve learned from all of that: every manuscript benefits from editing.

A good editor wants your work to shine. She wants to add polish and clarity. She’ll suggest changes and be able to give you the reasons behind them. She’ll ask you questions to open up the text so you can see for yourself what you’ve left unclear or unfocused.

The bigger publishers offer editing as part of the deal. Some of the small presses have started requiring authors to hire their own editors so that the submitted manuscript is print-ready when it’s accepted. If you self-publish, hiring your own editor is an absolute requirement.

Your writers group can help you hone your story. Your friend the English major can help you buff up your prose. You need a professional, though, to give your manuscript the final gloss, the attention that lifts it from acceptable to professional.

Every editor has pet peeves. Personally, I hate gerund constructions and passive verbs, but I’m fine with conversational writing and starting sentences with but or and. I just worked with an editor who hates dialogue tags. I worked with another who preferred academic writing. It may take a while to find an editor who meshes with your work.

It’s totally worth the search. It’s all too easy to discount a book that’s poorly written or full of typos, even if the subject matter is life-changing. Don’t give readers — or publishers — a reason to reject something you’ve labored over. If you’ve poured your heart into it, give it the best possible start and hire an editor.

Author Loren RhoadsLoren Rhoads served as editor for Bram Stoker Award-nominated Morbid Curiosity magazine as well as the books The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two, Death’s Garden: Relationship with Cemeteries, and Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual.

Her newest book is Tales for the Camp Fire, an anthology of stories written by Northern Californian horror writers, which raises money for survivors of last year’s devastating and deadly wildfire.

Rhoads Camp Fire lo-res

No Wasted Ink Writers Links


It is links day!  Every Monday, I bring to you my top ten favorite articles about the craft of writing from my own surfing habits.  This week, I found a couple of interesting items about writing memoir in addition to general writing tips.  I enjoy writing the occasional short story memoir, as you can see in my writing credits. I hope these articles will help to inspire you to tell your own stories.  Finally, I wanted to post something about Hugo Award winner Vonda N. McIntyre who passed away recently. I had the pleasure of meeting her at WorldCon a few years ago and found her an inspiring writer and teacher. She will be missed.

What Is the Relationship Between Plot and Theme?


In Memoriam – Vonda N. McIntyre

The 1973 Hugo Award for Best Editor: Ben Bova

Why Copying Other Successful Authors Won’t Make You Successful

Tips on Writing Believable Conspiracies for Thriller Fiction

Five Activities I Use to Beat Writer’s Block

Plot, Inner Change, Evocative Writing—What Really Rivets Readers?

How To Write A Non-Fiction Book Outline In Two Days

Writing to Heal: The Benefits of a Cathartic Novel

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays * Writer's Links * Scifaiku

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