Windmaster Behind the Scenes – Carved Doors

Carved in the panels of a pair of ancient wooden doors, the mottos of the trading guild, House of Cszabo, were introduced in Windmaster. Fair Trade – Fair Profit triggered Ellspeth’s childhood memories of when she took trips with her grandmother Rima. Voyages which set the stage for Ellspeth’s own destiny as the bearer of golden bracelets of command. And imbued in her the proper way to treat others. I used gold bracelets to mirror the way her guild implemented the golden rule.

The second guild motto, Kin Above All – But Honor, did more than illustrate Ellspeth’s sense of duty. It sent her on the vengeance path with the Archmage. To her kin meant more than just by blood, it also pertained to any member of her trading house. So the death of her cabin boy and the attempted murder of her entire crew by a kinsman broke the vow both ways.

There were several inspirations for the second motto. Bushido, a Samurai code that places honor above all else. The actual wording of the inspiration for the motto was “Loyalty before all else except honor.” Lt. Vincent Hardy, Striking Distance.

Hope you enjoyed this insight into the Windmaster Novels. Visit the page for more information and buy links. 

~Till next time, Helen

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XPost – 5 Tips to Avoid total Disaster

When I advise new writers (and sometimes experienced ones) I like to use information from experience and not necessarily what is in the latest books. And I am trying to follow through with the philosophy when I wordart - doitallam cross-posting (or commenting on) articles. Even within a sub-genre, writers are such a diverse group that what works for one, either as a writing process or marketing, is an absolute torture or flop for another.

In that vein, I’m forwarding a guest post from the LiveWriteThrive blog by copywriter, editor, and educator Jessica Millis. As you can see from just the bio line, she comes with experience from various sides of the table, and what is perhaps the most important one–she is also a reader. Although I disagree with the statement that, “Most novels in the online and offline market today are garbage,” (mainly it is the word “Most” I object to,) her tips may not turn a bad novel into a best seller, but they are points to consider, especially for those with a novel inside them (that is still there after ten or twenty years.)

What I liked most iswordart - researchends that she didn’t start off with the usual advice of “Write what you know.” And, all too often, her first tip to avoiding a total disaster as a novelist, “Don’t Spend Forever Gathering Material,” is all too accurate. One of the points I consistently make when I lecture authors on research is once you have a base, start writing. You don’t need to know everything about every era (or even one) before you begin to put words down on paper. If your character ends up visiting Notre Dame Cathedral and you had him originally going to London, when you come to a slow spot (aka writers block) dig up the basics for the placeholders you’ve left in the prose, research a unique detail or two, then continue on.

o the rest of Millis’s tips, go to

What is your favorite tip to avoid disaster?


Till Next Time ~ Helen