Welcome Message

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, June 20, 2016

Big Screen Cartoons

With the announcement of a new animated Garfield movie hitting theaters, it got me thinking. It seems when a cartoon is heading to the big screen two versions are made: a live action version or a live action/CGI mixture. Some have been successful and some have been bombs.

But why the change? Why not just take it pretty much as is to the big screen with a bigger budget? If it was successful on TV, then part of that success should translate over to a feature film.

And while I really like Disney, I feel there are so many lost animated opportunities for companies to build franchises. It seems like Disney is about the only company that can or is allowed to make animated movies. I know others, like Pixar and Sony and Dreamworks make them too. But I feel like that as soon as you say "animated movie" people think of Disney.

With the surge in reboots and remakes, I think there are a lot of opportunities for cartoons of the past to make a big screen debut. Maybe I'm just reminiscing about my childhood but here are some cartoons I'd love to see as full animated movies.

Adventures of the Gummi Bears
Captain Planet

I think most of these could be reworked into animated feature films that could be successful.

As always, thank you for reading.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Year's Reading So Far...

I like taking Goodreads's yearly challenge to read X many books in a year. My goal this year is 12. That's modest, averaging a book a month. It's only June and I've completed 7 book so far. Here they are in no particular order:

The Martian
61 Hours
Battlefield Earth 
The Mists of Osorezan 
Beautiful Chaos
Judgement of the Judoon
Fahrenheit 451

I've enjoyed all these books. All except Battlefield Earth were first time reads for me. 

How about you, readers? Come across any good books lately? Do you have your summer reading list already planned? 

As always, thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Almost There!

The cover art for my second book, Zero Sum Game, is finished. It looks great and I can't wait to reveal it. There are two more steps in the process: the cover art needs text to be worked into a final unified design and the manuscript needs formatting into ebook and print editions. After that, it hits the market!

Like my first novel, Zero Sum Game will be Amazon exclusive. There will be ebook and print versions to match your reading preference.

I had hoped to release it this last year but I procrastinated on the cover, going back and forth between line artwork or photographic, and time just stretched out. But I am happy to say it is back on track and, while I love this book, I'll be glad to put it behind me and continue working on my third novel. That's write (see the pun I did there?), I am already working on a third book. I can't tell you more than that.

Happy reading!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Adventure Hunters: Similitude Update

Hello everyone!

Independent authors are always learning of and trying new ways to get book in front of readers. And if we ask ten different marketing experts how to do that, we'll get ten different responses.

In an attempt to try something new to help promote Adventure Hunters: Similitude, I am, for the time being, making it an Amazon exclusive. The ebook version will only be available via the Kindle Store. This doesn't mean exclusively to the Kindle device, as long as you have a Kindle reading app on an iPad or other device, you can still purchase the novel. The print version will still be available through Amazon and CreateSpace.

I'm doing this for several reasons. Amazon offers quite a few incentives for authors. Plus, I now have one centralized location to control the marketing of my book, as opposed to logging into the various sites for various distribution. Most of my previous sales (thank you, readers!) have come from Amazon. My second place distributor was Barnes and Noble and that was a distant second. Also, when potential readers asked me where they could buy Adventure Hunters, the first place I said was Amazon. Everyone knows it and almost everyone has shopped there at least once.

There you have it. I'll probably have Similitude as Amazon only for the rest of the year and see how sales pan out. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won't. Maybe it will stay the same.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Writing For The 1701st

As you may or may not know, I'm a member of the Star Trek fan organization the 1701st. I also write articles for them and have three up on the site. I'd really appreciate it if you would take a look. Also take time to check out their website and the great organization that is spreading Gene Roddenberry's message of optimism. Live long and prosper!

The 1701st: A Star Trek Fan Organization

Monday, February 15, 2016

Tokyo 2016

Last week I took a much needed vacation to Tokyo. It was to get away from work, from Yamaguchi, from everything, for a short while. As with almost all vacations it was all too brief; I was there for only 3 full days and could have easily stayed another two weeks if I didn't have this nastiness called work that needs to be done.

I met a friend up there, a fellow author, and he showed me a nice section of Tokyo called Jimbocho that is famous for its bookstores. I found a place that sold a lot of American comics in English. I was immediately transported back to my childhood. I spent some money on mostly Image comic but also picked up a trade paperback of Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder. I had heard good things about it and I love Lee's art.

I also spent time in Akihabara, meeting in person for the first time a fellow I had only chatted with online. We had fun geeking out and I bought a She-Hulk figure, much to my wife's dismay.

The highlight of my trip was spending the day in Odaiba. Although I had been there many times before, this was the first that I got to view the life-size Gundam and go into Fuji TV. Sadly, the tour section of Fuji TV was closed. The view from the spherical observation deck is fantastic. I never get tired of taking pictures of Odaiba.

I'm not a Gundam fan but it was a thrill seeing it. The thing is huge! The picture doesn't do it justice. The ankle joint itself comes to my head. It turns its head (and in the summer I think shoots out a mist of water). The projection mapping at night was a neat show. I really enjoyed it.

As always, my time in Tokyo was too short and I can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

The Time To Buy Is Now

With December upon us, there is still time to get that perfect gift you're looking for. During the entire month of December the ebook version of my fantasy novel Adventure Hunters: Similitude will be on sale for 99cents. The print version is discounted to 7.99 Available through Amazon, Smashwords, and other ebook outlets, this is a great gift for the fantasy reader in your life.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Virtual Reading Shelf

Here is my virtual reading shelf. It doesn't cover every book I've read recently, I did read a few hardcopy books. I mostly read ebooks and I prefer doing them on iDevices using iBooks. I can't stand the Kindle app. It's ugly and awkward to use. I thought you might like a look into my reading habits.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Has It Been That Long?

I can't believe I have been away from this blog for almost a year. A lot has been happening over the last (almost) year and I won't bog you down with the details. The highlights are that I moved to a new town, Yanai, which is famous for its Edo-period whitewall buildings and goldfish. Yoko and I are living with her parents. Living with the in-laws has been a never-ending adjustment.

I have a new job at the Marine base in Iwakuni. I have been there since August 2014. It's not a bad job and I get American food, which I really miss.

I AM still writing, although at a glacier pace. The Super School Uniform has a title change to Zero Sum Game. The biggest holdup on this novel has been finding the right cover art to match it. I decided to go with a light novel/manga-style cover. It hasn't been the problem of finding an artist, it's that there are too many artists out there. Wading through them has been a chore. I am still hoping to publish it by the end of the year but it is looking less and less likely. But when I finally do publish it, I hope you agree the wait will be worth it.

After eight years in Japan, I finally have a car. I got it last week and am slowly adjusting to driving.

That's about all that has been going on. I know it doesn't sound like much but to be honest this blog has sort of slipped my mind. I will endeavor to have more regular updates.

Retro Street in Yanai

Friday, November 07, 2014

Halloween 2014 Part 2

Last post, I talked about my Halloween plans. How did the actual day go? Pretty good. I got a lot of compliments on my Star Trek uniform. Quite a few LLAP salutes and a few "It's a good thing you didn't wear a red shirt" comments, as well. It seems quite a few people on base are Star Trek fans, or at least know of it. A few people asked me from which Star Trek it was from, and I proudly said Star Trek Into Darkness. Say what you want, I love that movie.

As for the costume itself, I love it. The tunic is more green than I expected, but I know it is dyed to the actual colors used by the film crew and actors. Studio lights and camera filters can change colors, so the uniform appears much more gold on screen. It fit almost perfectly, the arms were just a tad long but it was perfect around the chest. The Khan undershirt (a black tunic with a black-filled delta shield on it) fit perfectly out of the box and I will most likely wear it as a regular undershirt. The command badge from QMX is excellent. But I'm curious about one thing: if their TNG and DS9 badges can have magnetic backs that don't cause holes in the fabric, why can't their Into Darkness line of badges do as well? I'm glad the badges use two pins to secure it, but I hate putting holes in my tunic. Those quibbles aside, the tunic is perfect. This is my first full tunic from Anovos, a company I love and I have bought many of their side products. Their attention to detail and quality on these products is outstanding and worth the price. This is the first uniform I bought from them and I'm glad I did.

Speaking of, I have fulfilled a dream of mine. I have always wanted a screen accurate high quality Star Trek uniform. I always thought my uniform would be the Monster maroon from Star Trek II-VI. Maybe a TNG suit. But with this tunic, I have gotten what I wanted. The last thing needed is to buy the pants, but honestly, a pair of black slacks (which is what I used for Halloween) is not much different. The other uniform I would like to get is the TNG uniform used in First Contact and Nemesis.

Back to Halloween. While I was biking to work, wearing my tunic underneath my jacket, I was nervous. I thought maybe wearing costumes to work was an elaborate prank on me by the staff. Yes, I am that paranoid. But when I saw a few fellow staffers in costume, I felt better. When the first customers saw me, I got nervous again. Maybe wearing this wasn't a good idea, I thought. Besides, the majority of the staff weren't in costume and none of our customers were either, despite this being Halloween. I thought at least some of the students from school would come to the store in costume but none did. The longer I wore it, however, and the more compliments I got, the more confident I became. Who cares? It's Halloween and I'm a Trekker, I thought. My nervous returned went I had to leave my work building for lunch, but I remained confident.

That taught me a bit of a lesson. Cosplayers have to be confident. You really put yourself out there with the quality of your costume and, to a bigger part, your costume of choice. You are telling the world which characters you love, and by association, the traits and charateristics they embody. I like Kirk. I wish I had his courage and ingenuity. And his confidence. But for a few hours on Halloween, I had a little more than usual.

P.S. I completely forgot to mention that I took second place at the employee costume contest at work!