Smashwords Ebook Sale

I didn’t mean to disappear for quite so long, but it’s just too hot in the computer room to spend much time online right now.  I will try to get back to posting regularly, but they’ll probably be short posts.  On the other hand, I’m getting a lot of writing done (I write books longhand first, blog posts go right into the computer) so I am getting things done, just nothing you can see yet.

Anyway, I just added my ebooks to the Smashwords Summer Winter sale.  All four are half-price on Smashwords until July 31, 2012 with coupon code SSW50 so if you were thinking of getting something, now’s the time.  They have all the different eReader formats there.

In case you want to cut and paste the code



Names at Pembrook

Another post on The Wizard at Pembrook, this one on names.  Names usually take a long time for me to figure out; I almost never know what a character is called when I first meet them.  Once I get to know the character, I find out what they’re called.  In The Wizard at Pembrook, once I realised that this story reminded me of Jane Eyre, I was able to get the names.

Janet is one of the names from Jane Eyre.  Mr. Rochester called Jane that a lot, sort of a pet name, and I thought Pembrook house had a similar vibe to Thornfield Hall.  Wrenford just seemed to suit her.

Lord Fairfax is also Jane Eyre, after Edward Fairfax Rochester.  And Arthur was his first name so that’s what I called him.  Some names just fit some characters, I think they come with the name.

I called Etienne “stranger” in the first several scenes with him (one of  the first scenes I wrote was meeting him on the bridge, so I knew him very early on.)  When I was ready to name him, I was still thinking of him as “the stranger”.  French for stranger is “étranger” and that turned into Etienne.

I just sort of came up with the name Pembrook, I knew that’s what the house was called, so that’s what I called it.  It’s pretty obvious that it was influenced by Pemberly, but a little Mr. Darcy is always a good thing.

Writing updates

I was going to post about the cathedral in Tours since I found pictures of it, but, as you can see, that didn’t happen, partly because I got swamped at work, partly because I sat down and actually started on my taxes.  But I did get a lot of editing done on Wizard of Pembrook, so it may actually be ready to come out in the spring, which is what I’ve been telling people.  Of course, when I said that, I thought I was being all Scotty (say it will take twice as long so they’re impressed when it’s done ahead of schedule.

A rough idea of what Ella and the panther look like

The rest of the time I was messing around with learning to use Daz Studio.  I may use it for book covers.  That’s one of my early renders.

What my next book looks like now. Sticky notes are my friends!

So, next time will be the Cathedral St Gatien in Tours.

A Few Writing Resolutions

It’s a little late for New Year’s resolutions, but that means if I broke them before now it doesn’t count, right?  Well, here’s a couple I’m making about writing.  I’ll let you know how I do in a few months (if I don’t, that means I failed miserably and I’m hoping you forgot lol)

  1. Do something writing related every day.  I’m editing my next book right now, so saying I’ll write this many pages doesn’t work right now.  And with editing, some pages fly by, some need lots of work, so I’m leaving it open-ended.  After this book, I have a half-finished novella and ideas for two more books, so I have plenty of writing to do.
  2. Try all these writing programs I’ve downloaded.  I have trial versions of programs for organising notes, programs for plotting, for making ebooks, grammar checks, and even ones for actually writing.  I need to try them out and either buy the full versions or get rid of the clutter.
  3. Get my books on Pubit.  I think Barnes and Noble is the last place I want to get my ebooks on but haven’t yet.  It shouldn’t be hard, I just need to sit down and read through the stuff on their site.  I’ve started this one, and Ella is up there, so it should be easy to finish it.
  4. Use Twitter to tweet.  I follow everyone from Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Ballas to Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Llama, but I don’t tweet much myself.  I’m going to figure that out then find a level of tweeting I can keep up with.
  5. Accept that I am not a fan of Facebook.  Whenever I hear how many people are on there, I think I should be too.  Then I poke around and realise I just can’t get my head around it.  I should spend that time figuring Twitter out.

Well, there it is.  We’ll see how I do in a few months.

edited because I should know by now, every time I hit “publish”, there will be at least one more typo to fix.

Names in Fantasy Kingdom XXI

Names are usually interesting to come up with, and since most of Fantasy Kingdom XXI takes place in another world, it needed unusual names.  Here’s how I came up with some of them.  

Phichorian is an odd combination of the name Orpheus (a musician from Greek mythology) and terpsichorean (a word derived from the name of a muse referring to dance).  Since he’s a bard, I thought those words fit him. 

Melissina was a name I thought I had read somewhere else that meant sweet.  Later I found out I’d misremembered the name, but I was already used to calling her that and I liked it, so I left it. 

If Melissina was sweet, then her fiancé would be her opposite.  “Amer” is the French word for bitter, so it became Amertious.   I think I already had King Regulous named, so the idea that noble names in Pelimaa ended in -ous was already in the back of my mind.  

Regulus is the name of a star in the constellation Leo; I thought the other spelling looked more like his name.  I changed the spelling of Rothgar too; it’s from Beowulf, but spelled Hrothgar in the poem.  Honorious, Amertious’s father, has the same ending.  I was watching MASH at the time, and Charles Emerson Winchester’s sister Honoria was mentioned in the episode, and Amertious’s father had his name.   

red dragon


Bobble was an easy one.  I wanted something knitting related and “Bobble” seemed to work better as a name than “Slip slip knit” or “Left Leaning Cable.”  If you don’t knit, a bobble is several stitches worked into one stitch than knitted together to make a raised ball kind of thing, almost like a smooth pompom.  

The other names were either words thrown together (Shellwood, Flamebringer) and not terribly interesting (although I just realised that the two wise women are opposites name wise.  Fire and water.  Interesting.) or might be spoilers for the book. 

There is one more, the last one I came up with, Pelimaa itself.  The place had no name for most of the time I wrote the book.  Peli is Finnish for game and maa for land.  Since the story world is based on Charles’s video game, that fit.


Since this is the first post of my blog, I’ll start at the beginning. The beginning of my books. I don’t know where the ideas came from, but I do know where both books started.

Footstool from Ella and the Panther's QuestElla and the Panther’s Quest began with the footstool. Furniture with clawed feet seems like it ought to run around, so the idea of a footstool that suddenly gets up and walks away when you stand on it wasn’t hard to come up with. Then I needed someone to stand on it, and Ella appeared, nameless at the time, soon after.  She had to find the footstool somewhere, somewhere where you can climb on the furniture without it seeming strange, and where a mysterious new piece of old furniture wouldn’t draw attention to itself. The first ruled out a lot of public places, and the second a friend’s house. The library met both requirements. I didn’t go through that logic though, as soon as I saw Ella, I knew that was where she would find the footstool and that they would go though the mirror.  That was probably influenced by Through the Looking Glass, but I didn’t realize that until much later. The book she was looking at originally was Robin Hood, just because I liked how the line “It never would have happened if Maid Marion hadn’t been sitting on the top shelf,”  sounded.  When I caught the Alice connection, it was easy to modify the line to reflect that.

Fantasy Kingdom XXI started when I was on an airplane, going to Orlando (technically Lake Buena Vista). “Once upon a time, there was a sprite who knit a sweater” and I knew the sweater was magic, and that he would promptly lose it, and it would be found by someone he never intended. I had been working on Ella, which was a fairly feminine story, so for some reason I wanted this to be a more neutral story, something a boy could like too. I like video games, have liked them even when they were mainly a guy thing, so I thought that would balance out the girly-ness of princesses and knitting sprites, although Bobble is not the least bit girly once you get past that first line. Of course if you’ve read the book, or looked at the sample chapters I have online, you know that line never made it into the book. I considered writing a prologue, showing Phichorian and Sir Amertious waiting for Bobble to finish the sweater, but the book was mostly finished at that point, and it seemed like it would slow down the start of the story too much, especially since the reader wouldn’t know the characters or why it mattered so there would be lots of introductions needed, so I didn’t go too far with that.

my web page is copyright 2010, 2011 Lisa Anne Nisula
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