Guest Post: How I Get My Ideas: From Childhood to Dragonslayer by Resa Nelson

The Stone of Darkness (Dragonslayer #3)

By Resa Nelson
Editions: paperback
Published May 29th 2012 by Mundania Press
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy / Paranormal

In Book 3 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid accepts her duty and follows the winter route–until she’s bitten by a dragon. Everyone knows dragon bites are poisonous and deadly, so she reluctantly accepts her impending death. In a twist of fate, she survives. Desperate for an explanation, Astrid believes she has somehow been protected by the black stone she keeps with her at all times, a stone that emerged from the sole of her foot a year ago. Determined to find out what the stone is and what kind of powers it possesses, Astrid begins a journey that leads her to alchemists and an army of men under the rule of the powerful warrior, Mandulane, the acting lord of the Krystr army. Mandulane’s mission is to spread the word of the new god Krystr, which preaches the evil intent of women and the danger they pose to all men, who are entitled to dominate the world. Rumors about this new god and army have spread, but Astrid is the first Northlander to encounter them. Soon, she stumbles upon a secret of a far-reaching and mind-numbing plot that will impact the entire world. Astrid must find a way to spread the news of this threat and protect her people and everyone else at risk. She’s convinced the answer lies inside the Stone of Darkness, and she must find a way to understand the stone and the powers she’s convinced it must hold before it’s too late.
~ Goodreads Blurb

About the Author:

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine’s first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer’s Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was published last December, Book 3 was published in May, and the final book in the series is scheduled for publication in November.
Resa’s standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it “a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended.”
Resa lives in Massachusetts.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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How I Get My Ideas:  From Childhood to Dragonslayer

A popular question to ask authors is “Where do you get your ideas?”  For me, it all started when I was 9 years old.
When I was in grade school, there was a federal government program for training teachers in language arts.  That meant teachers would hand-pick students for summer school for creative writing.  The idea was to choose kids who actually wanted to stay indoors and write stories instead of playing outside during summer vacation!  I think summer school was just one or two hours a day, three days a week.  I went for three summers.  One year, class started soon after my swimming lesson ended, so my mom would swoop me up and I’d change out of my swimsuit in the backseat on the drive across town to summer school.  I remember writing with my hair still damp and smelling of chlorine and feeling free and happy.
To this day, I love the smell of chlorine.
Summer school was wonderful.  Each day, the teacher-in-training would give us a new exercise for writing a new story.  The point wasn’t to teach us how to write fiction or to make us better writers.  The point was to spark our imaginations and set us free to do whatever we wanted to do.  For example, one day our teacher gave a different full-page ad to each one of us that she had ripped out of magazines.  Because every student received a different image, we each had a different starting point for a story.  And we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted with that starting point.
I think this is the best way to teach kids how to write and open up their imaginations.  To this day, I see stories everywhere.  On billboards.  In ads, whether they’re in magazines or online or on TV.   In photographs.  In a bit of conversation I might overhear.  In the colors of autumn leaves while they’re turning.
But my best novels come from experiences in my own life.  For example, many years ago I worked as a receptionist at a corporation, and one of the vice presidents propositioned me.  I was horrified.  He was a married man with two young children.  I thought we’d had a good working relationship.  I thought we were friends.  But the truth was that he betrayed me and tried to manipulate me.  I handled the situation by being polite but cold and distant with him.  Today I think I did the right thing, but at the time I wished I could have handled it better.  Part of my makeup is that I want to be fair and kind and considerate of all people.  I don’t always succeed, but I work at being aware of my actions and how they impact others.  Today I’ve reached the point where I think a man who tries to use a woman doesn’t deserve that kind of consideration, but in my younger days I worried about such things.  So I worried and worried until I started wondering what it would be like to be a blacksmith who made swords for dragonslayers.  Entire villages depended on dragonslayers for survival.  What if a dragonslayer propositioned a female blacksmith?  What if she felt the entire weight of the village’s safety resting on her shoulders?  How would she handle that situation?
Immediately, I felt I knew this blacksmith, Astrid.  I understood her heart and soul.  And I wanted to live that experience with her as a way of coming to terms with what had happened to me.  The Dragonslayer’s Sword began as a short story, which became a novel, which became a series.  And it’s a perfect example of where I get my ideas.

If you’d like to sample my work for free, you can download a free “mini” ebook called “Dragonslayer Stories” from my website at  No cost, no obligation, nothing to sign up for, no information gathering.  I like giving away samples of my work so you can decide for yourself whether you like it or not.  Also, you can enter to win signed copies of the first three novels in my Dragonslayer series on GoodReads at this link:  If you like getting a discount, you can get 10% off my books (ebooks and paperbacks) when you buy them from my publisher (  Enter this code at checkout:  MP10.

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