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Welcome to my blog. Here, you will find information about my novels, life in Japan, as well as author interviews, discussions on writing, and more. Feel free to browse and if you enjoy a post, please comment. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Ideal Writing Space



Writers love this question, don’t they? Imagining your dream home is something everybody does, and having that one little retreat to call your own is an irresistible fantasy.
As a reader, I like seeing the writing spaces of my favorite authors. It makes me feel a connection to them. As I am reading their current release, it’s fun to imagine them working on it. They seem more there, you know? Like they aren’t creating stories in a vacuum. That they are inhabiting a real space.
My ideal space would be my man cave. I’d like a nice desk with a comfortable chair. My room would have no windows, or if that was impossible, small high windows I couldn’t see out of. I’d most likely get distracted if I had a view. My long desk would have an iMac, because I’m an Apple fan. Wireless speakers would be nice because I love listening to soundtracks while I write. Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and almost anything by Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman are particular favorites.
Another necessity is my Battlestar Galactica notebook and Stephen King Constant Reader mug. Beverage of choice? Coffee.
Besides the numerous things I have collected over the years but my wife won’t let display in our home, there are some special things I’d love to have, and I may get starting on trying to acquire them. Since this is indeed my ideal (and most likely never-going-to-be realized) dream space, there are several things I’d decorate it with. First and foremost would be the poster of Morning Musume I bought at their Rival Survival concert. Without a doubt the best concert I have been to. I was in the first row with a great friend seeing my favorite singers. What is NOT great about that? Btw, that poster is rolled up and waiting in a cardboard box at the moment.
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The next set of decorations would be autographs. This would be a combination of books and art from my favorite writers and comic artists. I have some signed books and comics now: The Devil’s Workshop by Stephen J. Cannell, an issue of Divine Right by Jim Lee, various Star Trek photos I got at DragonCon, and a trade paperback of Astro City signed by Kurt Busiek. Other things I would like to have would be signed books from Christopher L. Bennett, David Mack, Dayton Ward, and artwork from Brett Booth, J. Scott Campbell, and Rob Liefeld.
That is my ideal writing space. Nothing really large. Just surrounded by the things I like.
It’s a nice dream.
Feel free to comment, Like, and reblog. As always, thanks for reading.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five Items, One Million Dollars

This week’s prompt is: 5 Items you would buy with a million dollars. This one is fairly simple.
The first four things I’d buy are houses: one for me and my wife, one for her parents, one for my mom, and one for my dad.
Don’t ask me style or anything, that is too much planning and detail I can’t think about at the moment. Yoko and I currently live in a condo. It’s nice but somewhat small. I do know that whatever floor plan we would come up with, my house MUST have a man cave. Yoko had never heard of this term until a couple of years ago. Being the geek that I am, I need my own little space to hang my Morning Musume poster (which I’d get framed) and put up my figures. My cave would double as my writing space with a nice desk and chair. FYI, I currently sit on the floor to do most of my writing, just like I am now as I am writing this blog.
My in-laws’s house is over 30 years old and I know they love to renovate it. I’d like to get them the house they want.
My mom currently lives in a mobile home, so a nice house would be good. Especially one with a basement since Alabama is prone to tornados.
My dad lives in Florida and I’d love to get him a nice house to call his own.
What’s my fifth item to spend my million dollars on? A custom fit, screen accurate Star Trek: First Contact Captain Picard uniform. Because I’m a Trekkie.
As always, thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Write What You Know? Not Really

Everyone has heard the old adage “Write what you know.” I agree with it…to a point. 
I’ve noticed many of my characters are an only child. That’s what I know because I’m an only child. Hina Takamachi, from my work-in-process novel The Super School Uniform, is an only child with divorced parents. That is something I know about. I believe all writers have “write what you know” built into their work. John Grisham used to be a lawyer, he writes lawyer books. Every character is part of the author, or parts of people the author knows. Jobs, settings, hobbies, authors work all sort of little things they know about into their stories.
That shouldn’t stop you from writing about what you don’t know. That’s what research is for. You want to write about space plumbers but don’t know the first thing about space shuttle launches? Find out. The amount of research needed will depend on how accurate you want your novel to be, as well as how much of the knowledge needs to be there. Jeffery Deaver does months of research and outlining before he writes his Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance novels.Christopher L. Bennett tries to ensure the accuracy of his science in Only Superhuman. Today’s era has made research a lot easier and not just because of articles on the Internet and vast databases. It is a lot easier to get in touch with people who work in the field you need information about. Law enforcement, businesses, and physics departments have email addresses to get in touch with and many are willing to provide answers to questions.
So, make the leap. Don’t be afraid to write a book about something you don’t know about. Study it, learn about it, ask questions. The more you know, the more your writing will improve.
As always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Writing Goals For 2014

I began my publishing career in 2012, self-publishing Adventure Hunters in 2012. During 2013, I learned a lot about self-publishing, reading, and writing. Although, in truth, you never stop learning. While I plan to learn more and hone my skills, I do have some specific goals for 2014.

I want to publish Adventure Hunters and The Super School Uniform through Mountain Springs House. AH will be edited, something I really should have done the first time around. It will sport a new cover and be better than the first edition. I’m excited about this, as it is my first novel and my first one to be published by a company.
The Super School Uniform is my first wholly original novel (Adventure Hunterswas adapted from an unproduced screenplay) and I will be more proud to have this one published. I conceived it as a novel, and it has been a pain in the butt to write. I have struggled with it more than I thought I ever would. When it sees the light of day, I feel my struggle with it will be over. It may or may not turn into a series. That depends on how well the story resonated with readers.
Another goal is to blog on a more regular basis. For that, I have looked for blogging prompts. I am hoping to manage my time better for blogging and I hoping I can stick with the weekly schedule I have envisioned.
My writing goals may not seem ambitious but I think it is better not to bite off more than I can chew. If I set a few specific small goals, I feel I have a better chance of achieving them. Of course, there is the year-long (life-long?) goal of learning more about writing and publishing.
As always, thanks for reading.

Wonder Woman On TV

It’s 2014! One of my resolutions for the year is to blog on a more regular basis. To that end, I looked for blogging prompts, ideas to help me throughout the year, and to hopefully keep my motivation going. The prompt I picked for this post was: which childhood TV show do you wish you could bring back?
My first thought was Small Wonder. I changed my mind and picked one they tried to bring back, but failed: Wonder Woman. In the 80s I watched her on TV. I guess even as a kid I had a thing for strong female characters. She is a great character who just can’t catch a break when it comes to jumping into the live action realm. But with today’s wave of comic book characters hitting the small and big screens, I’d love to see WW come back.
Which brings me to the failed pilot starring Adrianne Palicki. I have seen the bootleg pilot that never aired and you know what…it wasn’t that bad. Written by David E. Kelley (Ally McBealThe Practice, and many more) it had his trademarks and was a refreshing 21st-century take on the character. It had its flaws (like the Diana Prince alter-ego sadly eating ice cream while watching romance movies) but it was a pilot episode. The pilots are never the best episodes of a show’s first season. First seasons aren’t usually the best of a show’s run, if you think about it. It takes a while for the writing staff to get use to the characters and how best to present their stories. Even David E. Kelley admitted they went wrong. “We made mistakes with ours. My only regret is we were never given a chance to correct them. We had a lot that was right about it and a great cast. In time, we could have fixed what we had done wrong, we just didn’t get that chance. All my series have been a work in progress to a certain extent where you figure them out by episodes three, four or five. This one actually gelled sooner than any that I have had in the past. We would have gotten there and I wish we were afforded a little more time. ” (from this interview).
I hated that the show never got a chance. The pilot didn’t EVEN AIR and people were bashing it. At least give a show a season to determine its fate. Kelley said it was a genre he wasn’t use to, but I think after a while the show could have found its groove. With the Net able to deliver movie news on an almost take-by-take basis, people are jumping the gun and forming opinions without seeing the whole thing together. It’s like judging a symphony concert by listening to rehearsals.
With news of WW appearing in the Man Of Steel sequel, I’m hoping the Amazon Princess can step into the glow of the big and small screen. As always, thanks for reading.