Author Interview: Rob Ross

Alright, my friends,

If you’ve just sent kiddies back to school, then you know all about filling out forms.  This year I’ve filled out in quadruple because the twins kindergartened (yes, I just made that a verb).  Diana has NOT missed the bus to middle school, but she did tell me not to walk her to the bus stop anymore (insert raspberry noise).  I did, apparently, give permission for Chance to play percussion in the school band and now I have to go over to MusicLand to sign more forms to bring his kit home.  And there are Evelyn’s medical forms to figure out.  Much like a Seinfeld episode, she RECEIVED the vaccinations, we just don’t know if she KEPT the vaccinations.  You know, through 2.5 years of chemo and 20 transfusions.  Many calls exchanged between pediatrician, oncologist, and school nurse.  It will all work out.  So, while I’m dealing with that….I have a GUEST.

Rob and I connected through the beta-reading program of the Maryland Writers’ Association.  After I finished reading Juggler’s Blade, I asked him to pop by here for a chat.

Rob Niccolini 1


1)      Tell us a little about your book and the intended audience.

Juggler’s Blade is a fantasy adventure for all ages, built upon a question: what if the gift of magic marked you as damned?  The novel tells the story of Ian, a young juggler apprenticed to his uncle, who develops powers that mark him as Accursed.  Hunted by the immortal Heralds, he is take underground by other Accursed with the ability to manipulate the forces of shadow, motion, cold and even gravity itself.  Forced to live as a thief, Ian learns to harness his blasphemous powers, and is ultimately given the chance to strike back at the Heralds, and to expose their thousand year old lie.

Juggler's Blade Cover


2)      What made you want to write Juggler’s Blade?

I have been writing since I was in high school, and have loved fantasy and science fiction even longer.  Over the years, I have written several novels, and was lucky enough to win a few awards through the Maryland Writer’s Association, but Juggler’s Blade is the first book I felt strongly enough about to try publishing.


3)      What 1-2 things surprised you about the publishing process?

The entire process (from seeking an agent to talking with publishers to editing) can be difficult, and is definitely not for the faint of heart.  Most surprising for me, though, is what comes after publication.  I was under the naïve assumption that, after having your book published, readers would just magically appear (sort of a “if you write it, they will come” belief).  The truth is that trying to build interest in your book is hard work, and a career unto itself.


4)      Did you already have a platform in place?  What are you doing to build a readership?

My publisher helped me with ideas for my website, as well as with getting my book on,, and several other sites.  Since epublication in June of this year, I have also moved onto goodreads, and have been reviewed by several fantasy/science fiction blogs, as well as a number of fantasy writers I know.  But it’s definitely a slow and on-going process.


5)      What are your future plans with Ian and the world you’ve created?

I am already well into the planned sequel to Juggler’s Blade, called Juggler’s Oath.  Ultimately, I hope to complete the trilogy in Juggler’s Crown.  I know how the story ends, but getting there is what takes the time!


6)      Best piece(s) of advice that you’ve received as a writer?

John Steinbeck once admitted that, even after a long career as a Nobel prize winning writer, starting a story still scared him to death.  I always try to remember that when I’m confronted with the terror of a blank page.  That, and the words of the great Ray Bradbury: “You fail only if you stop writing.”


7)      Something personal about you that readers would be surprised to know?

I’m a practicing attorney in DC, specializing in employment litigation, with over 20 jury trials under my belt.  I’m also a member of the Society of American Magicians.  Most of the magic I do, however, is for children through my church, as well as some volunteer performances at local Hospitals and organizations.


Thanks, Rob, for stopping by.  His book is available at Amazon and I wish him luck as he continues writing this exciting trilogy.


Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!