Are There Any Original Writing Ideas Left?

That is the question that has been plaguing me for some time now. I’ve been of a mind that one needs to have an original idea to be really noticed in the publishing world which causes me to rack my brain constantly for new ideas, but in reality it has all been said and done before according to the slew of blogs written by published authors I have been perusing this past year. What is up for grabs is having an original take or building on what has come before. Some blog entries even go so far as to suggest actually using a bestselling book’s plot as the basis for your book, just change the setting and characters around.

But what has affected me the most is how often I am well into a book-in-progress and discover how similar it is to another one. I seem to have a knack for getting ahold of a book to read and having the dismal effect of discovering they got the idea to market first! But according to many others this is not such a bad thing which gives me hope because many say you will write it different with a different voice that any other author just as each snowflake is unique, so will your work be unique. This is important to me, because too often I have pushed aside an idea at the ten or twenty or even thirty thousand word count mark when I discover something similar is already on the market, and with the hordes of writers out there and growing exponentially every day, the changes of it being a different book entirely from anyone else’s is just about near impossible.

Are you plagued by such things too? I would love to hear your take on this.
January Bain


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Magic Powers part two

I have an active interest in world building like most writers do and thought compiling a list of possible superpowers that an author might tap into might be a useful enterprise. Please feel free to peruse and incorporate which ever superpower interests you. Right now, in my newest work in progress, Time Without End, I am utilizing the power called: Biokinesis: This is power to heal or perform other biological manipulation, like save a life.
*And without further ado here is the list:
Aerokinesis: The ability to mentally control wind and air flow.
Animation: The ability to bring inanimate objects to life.
Astral Projection
: The ability to separate and control one’s astral body outside of the physical body. The out-of-body experience where one can travel outside of their body.
Atmokinesis: The ability to control or manipulate the weather, like creating rain, tornadoes, fog…etc.
Aura Perception: An aura is the spiritual energy field that people and objects give off. Usually, auras convey the feelings or emotions someone gives off in a range of colors. Someone with aura perception can see these colors in someone’s aura.
Biokinesis: The power to heal or perform other biological manipulation.
Chlorokinesis: The power to control or manipulate plants.
Chronokinesis: The power to control time, and even travel through time.
Clairaudience: The ability to hear sounds coming from the spiritual plane.
Clairvoyance: The power to visually perceive events that are taking place elsewhere or sense places that are not in view.
Cryokinesis: The ability to control the element of ice, or cold in general.
Divination: The ability to predict the future.
Electrokinesis: The ability to manipulate electricity and electric fields.
Ferrokinesis: The ability to mentally manipulate metal.
Geokinesis: The power to control the element earth.
Gravitakinesis: The ability to manipulate gravity.
Hydrokinesis: The elemental ability to manipulate water.
Magnetokinesis: The ability to mentally manipulate the magnetic field.
Mediumship/Necromancy: The ability to see and communicate with the dead.
Mesmer: Similar to glamor, a vampire ability to make humans do what you what them to when you want them to.
Omnilingual: Having the ability to speak, or to understand, all languages.
Omnipotence: This one pretty much means unlimited power. Usually only deities have this.
Omniscience: Another power that only deities tend to have, it’s the is the capacity to know everything infinitely.
Photokinesis: The ability to mentally manipulate light.
Power Absorption: The ability to absorb another person’s powers, leaving the person powerless.
Power Bestowal : The ability to bestow powers upon another person or wake up the latent powers of others.
Power Mimicry: Similar to power absorption, except mimicry is the ability to absorb another’s powers while leaving the other person’s powers intact.
Power Negation: The ability to cancel out or diminish the powers of others.
Power Sensing: The ability to sense the powers of another person.
Precognition: The ability to see events before they happen.
Presentience: A form of precognition where one senses events before they happen instead of “seeing” them.
Psychokinetic: The ability to mentally move objects.
Psychometric: The power to read the history of an object by touching it.
Pyrokinesis: The elemental power to manipulate fire, or heat.
Remote Viewing: The ability to mentally view a distant unseen target.
Shape shifting: This is an obvious one; it’s the power to transform your body into another form, like an animal.
Sonokinesis: The ability to mentally manipulate sound waves.
Spiritual Possession: The ability to take complete and total control of another person’s body.
Tactile Telekinesis: The ability to manipulate objects by touching them.
Technopathy: The ability to manipulate electronics.
Telekinesis: Telekinesis is the ability to manipulate and control objects with the mind.
Telepathy: The ability to read the thoughts of others.
Teleportation: The ability to disappear from one place and reappear in another.

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The sequel to my fantasy novel, Watcher, is due out this month, so I thought I would show off a sneak peek of Abomination here today!
              Hope stirred in Willow’s belly like bees in a clover patch. “Oh, Ethan! I know how I’m to get back home!”

             She dug in the pocket of her dress, squealing in delight when her fingers touched the rough little seed pods she stuffed inside before she left the keep at Fern Hollow. There was too much grass where she stood, so she scurried this way and that, looking for a patch of proper soil, finally tumbling down a dip in the bluff to a patch of earth where the grass thinned out as the soil met the white sand of the beach.

            Ethan dropped his small collection of sticks and followed her, perplexed to see the girl who whined so much about the stains on her frock plopping herself down in the dirt, yanking at the grass, scratching at the soil with a crooked little stick so brittle it snapped with each scrape. Once the stick was broken to the nub, she began pulling little seeds from her pocket and scattering them in the freshly tilled soil.

           She looked up at him, blowing a stray curl from her face. “Well, are you going to stand there or are you going to help me?”

           Ethan clenched his jaw. “I think you’ve gone batty. It will be dark soon. The cold is piercing already. Get out of the dirt and help me find some wood for a fire!”

           “Now who’s daft? Don’t you see? I’m the child of prophecy. From the Flower and the Raven a child will spring; to Luminar seeds of change she’ll bring. I’ll plant these seeds, and then I can go home,” Willow explained, patting bits of earth over her seeds.

            “Why would Luminar need to change anything?” Ethan asked, haughtily.

            Willow stood up, rubbing the dirt off her hands and brushing off her dress. “Maybe staring at everything white, gray, and green all day every day has made you all testy.” She looked up at him with sparkling brown eyes and grabbed his elbow. “These are marigold seeds, Ethan! They’re lovely flowers, bright, cheery shades of yellow and orange, some with little bits of red in them!”

             He sighed. “It’s autumn, Willow. We may have a mild climate, but it is still not the season for gardening. Besides, my father and I rarely come to the shore anymore. Who’s going to tend to your little flower garden?”

             Willow scowled and crossed her arms, hope wilting. “God will. Just like he does these white ones.”

             Ethan rolled his eyes and went back up the knoll to retrieve his firewood. “Fine then, Willow. You’ve planted your seeds. It will be a spring of change for Luminar. Now will you lend a hand before we’ve no light at all?”

Be sure to read book one if you haven’t already:


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Magic Powers

When I discovered our theme for the month on Worlds of the Imaginations was magic powers I just had to get onboard. 

I began writing because I desperately craved having a magic power. And that theme has come out time and again in my novels. It’s allowed me to build worlds in ways that have satisfied my need to feel this power albeit through my characters.

What is this power you ask? The power I most want is the power to heal another person. Not cutting into them like a surgeon or the dispensing of drugs, but laying on of hands to send the “powers of light” coursing into them and have them heal from the inside out. As if the condition had never existed in the first place.

The first time I used this power of healing was in the novel, Forever Man, when my heroine healed her man to save the day. The second was in Blood Moon Justice where the heroine’s powers had been expanded to include not only healing, but telepathy and telekinesis. That gal was so good she worked in a bar and could stop a drink from hitting the floor and saving the cleanup! I so enjoy strong heroines. They need kick-ass attitude and have abilities I don’t have to make the journey with them satisfying for me. And in my imagination, that’s just so easy and so much fun to do.

I look forward, with pleasure, to reading about other author’s super power choices.
January Bain

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Magic = Responsibility

When we hear the word ‘magic’ in our mundane world, we always imagine something pleasing, like a magic show, or our massage therapist’s magic hands, or a fantasy book we have read recently. But in Fantasyland, magic has a different connotation. In fantasy stories, magic is a gift and a responsibility.

AlmostAdep180x270JIn my novel Almost Adept, the protagonist, young magician Eriale often encounters situations where her magic is the best choice to deal with a problem. And she can’t shirk that responsibility, no matter how much she might want to.

Once, en route to visit her relatives, she came upon a burning village. Of course, her first action was to extinguish the fire with her magic. After that, she searched for the source of the fire and found it too—a five-year-old boy, gifted with fire magic but untrained. She didn’t want to play a babysitter to a grubby, sulky urchin, didn’t want to leave the village in a hurry, without rest or food, but she did both. She considered it her responsibility to take care of the fledging mage, to whisk him out of peril’s way. If she didn’t, the angry villages might’ve killed the kid in retaliation, even though his fire that had almost burned the village was unintentional. Eriale was the only one who could help the boy, so she did. She grumbled, of course, but she never hesitated.

Later in the novel, Eriale experienced her first love affair just before she discovered a corrupt mage abusing his magic apprentices. Again, because of her magic, she was the only one who could help them. She knew that confronting the evil and powerful mage was very dangerous but she couldn’t see any other option. Nobody but her could help those kids. She had to try, even though her sweetheart had enemies of his own and he could die without her help. Faced with such a devastating choice—him or the apprentices—she made the only possible decision, even though it tore her heart apart: she left to deal with the monstrous sorcerer and abandoned her beloved. He might find others to help him…or not, but the apprentices had no advocate except her. Her magical abilities dictated her actions.

Unlike Eriale in her imaginary, quasi-medieval world, Darya, the protagonist of my short story collection Squirrel of Magic lives in modern Canada. Darya is a good witch, and like Eriale, she feels it her responsibility to help people in trouble. Some of those she helps are her friends. Others are strangers. It makes no difference. If her magic can help them, she must get involved, no matter her personal cost. Even if that cost includes the good opinion of her boyfriend or a risk of getting arrested.

Neither of my magical heroines can ignore her magic. It rules their lives, brings unique joys and unique sorrows. Like any power, their magic implies responsibilities: to the people around them as well as to themselves.

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May Magic

For May Magic, we here at the WOTI site are answering the question, “If you could have one magical ability, what would it be?”

So many possibilities, it’s difficult to choose.

Initially, I thought time travel would be fun. Experience history first hand. Change some unfortunate events. But my son informed me I can’t change history, quoting the Destiny Trap. Apparently my twelve year old understands more about time travel than I do. At any rate, given the paradox potential, it seems a futile ability.

Invisibility appealed to me. How handy would it be if I could disappear at will? Avoid annoying people, stay in my PJs all day, scare the pee-diddle out of friends and neighbors. Except if the government found out about it, I’d probably end up having to do some kind of spy work. Sounds exciting, but I really don’t want to know the ins and outs of terrorist cells and the like. I’d lose too much sleep.

But the need for sleep…that gave me the idea for my ideal magical ability. I’d like to be able to freeze time. While everyone else stands still, I could take a cat nap here and there. I’d have time to work out, to clean, to finish my novels, learn a new language, maybe even cure cancer, who knows? Limitless time would mean limitless possibilities.

The great thing about exercises like this is how it can really get the creative juices flowing. I’m taking my frozen time power and writing a short story around it. Stay tuned for more of the WOTI authors’ thoughts on magic, and if it gets your creative juices going, leave a comment and share what your magical power would be!




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The Freedom of a Pen Name and other Musings

According to Wikipedia, “a pen name, nom de plume, or literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author”. I decided a few months back to embrace the concept never guessing what a journey of words would follow my entry into this world. I came to the decision because as a teacher, even writing a simple sweet love scene, I felt the hard breath of critics standing behind my shoulder. It was such a fine line between acceptable and not acceptable it was stifling. Hence the pen name. But a curious thing happened after I introduced my new ego onto the internet, she began to collect more friends than me! And it was without a personal photograph because I can’t show “me” or I lose the anonymity. That I found strange. Here I am as my first self, January Bain, with smiling photo and “she” gets more friends and hits. I think I’m jealous!

I have been driven for some time now by my characters and my books. A day without some time spent writing feels wasteful and I have fully embraced my need to tell stories. I keep thinking I won’t have enough time to get it all down. (Possibly because I lost two precious brothers so young.) Time spent doing other things feels like just time getting ready to go back to my writing fresh again and sometimes it’s just annoying that other things need to be done. I’m going to assume this is normal for writers because a lot of us are an obsessive Type “A” personalities. I’ve blogged about balance in life before and how hard it is to achieve. I’m still working on it. It’s helped that my wonderful husband is aware of my obsession and encourages me to keep control of it. With just a few words he can remind me that having a life is also valuable and will only help my writing.

Which gets me to my main point to muse about today. I’ve heard it said it’s the third point in a letter or discussion that is the one a person is really trying to get around to. I have been blogging about my writing journey for a few years now and just recently began to wonder if I had anything fresh or new to say. I find it easy to write about the journey of writing, especially in a new genre. When I began my first science fiction book I think I wrote as much about the journey of writing it as words in the book! But this time round I’m writing in a new genre that January Bain cannot blog much about as she is a teacher, if you know what I mean, so that’s out for fodder for blogs. So now I turn to my fellow artists and will read even more of what they are blogging about and hope for inspiration to hit in those wealthy veins. So I’m thanking all the writers, entertainers, actors and comedians out there well ahead of time for being my possible new muse. Thanks a heap!

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

January Bain
The Forever Series
Champagne Books


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Feed Your Imagination with Fantasy Book Tour Week 2

Join Champagne authors Rita Bay, Graeme Brown, L.T, Getty, and R.J. Hore in our Feed Your Imagination with Fantasy Book Tour from March 31st through April 25th. Through our tour host, Juniper Grove Book Solutions, we’ll blog, interview, and visit with book lovers across the internet. The schedule for the week is listed below. Our tour central page contains the full schedule and blurbs, excerpts, and buy links for the tour books HERE.

Our tour sponsor, Champagne Book Group (Champagne Books and Burst Imprints), is offering up five ebooks at the end of the tour. Enter to win at the bottom of the tour central page HERE . I’m offering two ebooks (Into the Lyons Den and Finding Eve) each week in a drawing to readers who comment on my blog (two winners each week). Extra entries (one for each) for following me on Facebook or following my blog .


Check out where we’ll be this week

Monday, April 14 L.T. Getty’s Guest Post at Sheila Deeth

R.J. Hore’s Guest Post at The Flipside of Julianne

S.M.’s Book Review of Graeme Brown’s The Pact at S.M. Bysh Author

Tuesday, April 15  CCAM’s Interview of Rita Bay at Mythical Books

L.T. Getty’s Guest Post at The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass

Wed, April 16  Denise’s Review of Rita Bay’s Finding Eve at Rantings of a Closet Vamp Princess

Jaidis’s Interview of R.J. Hore at Juniper Grove

Thur, April 17  J. Hooligan’s Review of Graeme Brown’s The Pact at Platypire Reviews

Rita Bay’s Bucket List at Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews

Friday, April 18


Graeme Brown’s Guest Post & of Rebecca’s Review of The Pact at Spellbindings

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Feed Your Imagination with Fantasy

Join Champagne/Burst authors Rita Bay, Graeme Brown, L.T, Getty, and R.J. Hore in our Feed Your Imagination with Fantasy Book Tour from March 31st through April 25th. Through our tour host, Juniper Grove Book Solutions, we’ll blog, interview, and visit with book lovers across the internet. The schedule for the week is listed below. Our tour central page contains the full schedule and blurbs, excerpts, and buy links for the tour books HERE. teaser Our tour sponsor, Champagne Book Group (Champagne Books and Burst Imprints), is offering up five ebooks at the end of the tour. Enter to win at the bottom of the tour central page HERE . Check out where we’ll be this week.

Mon, April 7

Laura’s Review of Rita Bay’s Finding Eve at Trip Down Imagination Road
Tuesday, April 8 R.J. Hore’s Guest Post at The Cheshire Cat’s Looking GlassGraeme Brown’s Ten’s List at Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews
Wed, April 9 Jaidis’s Interview of Rita Bay at Juniper Grove
Thur, April 10 CCAM’s Interview of L.T. Getty at Mythical BooksS.M.’s Review of L.T. Getty’s Tower of Obsidian at S.M. Bysh Author
Friday, April 11

Laura’s Review of Graeme Brown’s The Pact at Trip Down Imagination Road


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Recycling doesn‘t have to be limited to aluminum, paper, and plastic. I recycle my prose.

Case in point – a while back I had this idea for an Ugly Duckling type fantasy story. It was going to be funny and meaningful… except that it turned out to be trite. So I shelved it, frustrated that the touching story in my head did not translate to something palatable for others when I put it on paper.

Then I had this really sick idea. Instead of a happy ending, what if I threw in this warped Twilight Zone style twist? I honestly didn’t think it would work – trying to combine sick and twisted with humor. So I ignored my instincts and left the story on the shelf.

Then a friend of mine asked me for a short story for his speculative fiction anthology. I dusted off my trite Ugly Duckling story and gave the new disturbing ending a shot. As it turned out, the storyline I doubted actually worked.

The great thing about writing is, nothing is ever a total failure. Even if the end product is a bust, there’s always a chance you can salvage part of it for another project. Use one of the characters in a different storyline, steal that lovely bit of description in another setting, or try a new, out-of-the-box ending and see what happens. The possibilities are endless. I once took a goofy story I wrote in third grade and made it into a funny sci-fi story.

Being ‘green’ with my words presents a fun challenge. Sometimes the end result is a great piece – and sometimes it’s just more fodder for my recycling bin.

Check out my short story, The Witch’s Cure!



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