I often marvel at the stars
and the places I can never be
I can sit and dream, but tarry not,
lest I sink beneath the writer's sea
I often picture writing like sitting beneath a tree that is shedding its leaves during a windstorm. Every leaf is worthy of my attention, but their numbers all together are overwhelming. Thoughts and ideas circulate inside my head as a storm of words, pressing ever outward until I want to explode. The only antidote is to place these words on paper, hopefully in a comprehensive order, and do the best I can.
These words will soon become faces and places, events and settings by which a story can finally be told. These building blocks, as they spill forth, form into a large pile from which I can draw, stacking my little cubes in a room of white with no walls. As I build my story towers, I occasionally will find a block that does not fit.
Perhaps the block is flawed, or poorly made. This block will be recycled, tossed into the chipper and put through the process again. However, sometimes I find a block so unique that I simply can't bear to part with it. I stack this one off to the side. As time passes, I find another block that somehow fits with that odd block out, and before long, I am building a different tower.
The process repeats, my infinite room filling with various structures, entire worlds being created and abandoned as I move from tower to tower, discovering odd blocks that have no place or meaning. As the palace of my mind fills with such structures, it suddenly occurs to me that the odd blocks from before have built something that conveniently fits with those original building blocks, and entire worlds merge with one another. It could be as simple as a character merging with a story, or an entire world being consumed by a law of nature.
I find it interesting to create things with no known direction, only to discover that they fit together later. It is one of my favorite things to experience as an author.
Help spread the word! The Legend of Kimberly: Guardian is coming, but I need your help!
I have launched a Kickstarter project to help me raise the funds to pay for cover art, editing, etc. By participating in the Kickstarter, you will accomplish the following:
1. Help me pay for the next book to come out.
2. Save money on purchasing the next ebook in the series
I've got some sweet prizes, but without you, the reader, it won't be possible. Spread the word, tell your friends, I've even provided you a link to share!
Together, let's accomplish something Legendary!
Kimberly and friends are returning soon, but they need your help! I will have a kickstarter project up soon that I am using to help raise money for my cover art, editing (etc), and to help spread the word about Kimberly and friends. If you would like to help out, share the link when it goes live. You will also get the ability to get some good bargains through the Kickstarter, as well as some unique prizes. Watch this space for more info.
I'm afraid that any pearls of wisdom you were hoping to see here won't be available this go around. Obviously, the blog suffers when the real world intrudes, and right now the real world involves standardized tests and middle schoolers.
Of course, I am in the middle of writing TLOK 3 (and a couple of others), and would love nothing more than to receive some fan pictures of my characters! I have always wondered how they are pictured by my readers (which officially number in the thousands!), and I would absolutely love to see your takes on Kimberly, Ip, and Serra. If you use Deviantart, just send me a link to your pic so I can embed it, or shoot me an email with a pic attached.
In other words, I am getting excited for Monty Oum's RWBY. The white trailer is officially out, revealing the second character in the series. Also, Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 is coming out soon, which means I will lose a bit of free time to it (I'm a sucker for Monster Hunter). I also just read the first book of the new Shannara trilogy (Wards of Faerie) and am excited to see his world continue onward, so check them all out.
Legend of Kimberly sitting pretty in the top ten teen fantasy section.
So, a couple of weeks back, I began trickling out free copies of Inheritance through the ebook market. Eventually, Amazon caught wind, and price matched it. As of sometime on Friday, The Legend of Kimberly was price matched "Free" at Amazon. Shortly after, the website http://onehundredfreebooks.com/ was digging through the mucky muck and hand picked TLOK as one of their books of the day. Please view the attached photo to the left for a visual aid that explains what happened to my sales rank as a result.
Now, I was unaware of what was going on. To be honest, I was carpet cleaning cat pee (my cat had a UTI, which has been bad news for my carpet) and only knew when the author coordinator of the site dropped me a line to inform me. I didn't think anything of it until I checked my sales. In the last 24 hours, I have seen over a thousand downloads.
The reason this is so important to me is I will finally get to see my book stand on its most important quality: its story. Supposedly one thousand people will read this tale, and if ten percent of that thousand really like it, I will see the sequel become moderately successful as well. If that is the case, I am one step closer to living out my big dream of writing full time (and maybe a movie series and a toy line by Todd McFarlane).
So, how does one get their book picked by a website like http://onehundredfreebooks.com/? Well, according to the owner, that's a secret. Suffice to say, when it came time to choose which books were featured, having a professional looking product mattered a lot. Even though the website is devoted to free ebooks, they still need to make sure they are putting a quality product into their viewers hands. As I have said, time and again, have your story edited, proof-read, and have a cover that attracts attention (in a good way). It may cost money, so start saving up your holiday scratch now. A big thanks goes out to the nice people at Onehundredfreebooks.com for helping to introduce so many new readers to Auviarra and the stories of Kimberly. Check them out for free reads on your Kindle, they won't let you down!
Nintendo Power, 4th issue, Jan/Feb of 89.
I've had a lot of time to think, lately. Don't assume this means I sit around doing nothing; instead, realize that this usually means I am doing something which doesn't occupy my brain enough.
For lovers of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, whatever, there is usually some initial spark that ignites your imagination, leading you deeper down the rabbit hole. As a child, I grew up on He-man and Thundercats. Sure, I thought GI-Joe was neat, but those toys didn't compare to the Sword of Omens, or the Thundertank. I like to think that this was my first exposure to fantasy worlds that ignited a passion in me. I even dressed as Lion-O for halloween when I was six (or seven-my youth is kind of a blur).
However, it occurred to me today that there is a more profound moment in my life that led me to my current love of fantastical adventure. I played games as a child, spending hours on (and hours grounded from) the NES. Sure, I knew that each game had its goal, some form of victory that told me I had accomplished the task at hand. However, I believe that the cover of Nintendo Power's fourth issue was my fantasy breaking point.
Looking at the cover, you can see Link staring at the Princess Zelda, asleep in her bed. Now, I had seen Sleeping Beauty, so I immediately assumed he was there to kiss her and break the spell. However, the glowing sword in hand gave me pause. Why would he have it out? Was he there to kill her? Excited by the possibilities, I opened the issue and read about the upcoming game, Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link.
Now, let me describe this scenario to you. I read all about how the evil wizard Ganon had put Zelda under a spell, and was threatening the safety of Hyrule. It was up to Link to defeat him and bring peace to the land. I had played the original Legend of Zelda, not even considering that those little pixelated people had some sort of a story. No longer was I simply slaying monsters, I was slaying them for a reason.
I spent hours considering this cover. Of course, I had to wait to get the game, knowing that if I couldn't beat it, Zelda would remain asleep forever, her hero having failed her. I begged for it, and eventually got it some time later. When I died in the game, I would stare at this picture, hoping that Zelda would know I would try again tomorrow. For Halloween, I wanted to be Link. I remember begging my mother to make the costume for me, balking when she made me wear tights instead of actual chain-mail leggings (which I assumed were readily available for purchase almost anywhere). The kids at school teased me about wearing tights on Halloween; nobody even knew who Link was (I was in second grade). I had a sword, I had a shield, and I wore the green tunic. I remember how powerful I felt. I was a hero. I wore that tunic constantly until I outgrew it, playing games of fantasy with my younger brother where we always saved the princess in the end.
Now, these years later, I can still remember that feeling of excitement, booting up the game and watching Link stroll away from Zelda, asleep on her dais. It is the same excitement I felt when the Ohmsfords left Shady Vale in the Sword of Shannara (fun fact: after reading the Druid of Shannara, I dressed as Par Ohmsford, complete with the Sword and Elfstones of Shannara). It is that same excitement I try and capture every time I write, that sense of wonder for what is going to come next. I hope that someday, the stories of Kimberly will inspire somebody the same way this gaming cover inspired me.
As for Zelda? I never did beat the game; upon reaching the final boss (and never beating him for months), my younger brother dropped the cartridge and it never loaded. You better believe that Ganon took a pounding in A Link to the Past for the SNES, I was hungry for justice.
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