Home Stretch, But I Think I Pulled Something

First, the above video is of a song the turned up on Pandora at an odd time.  My friend and I were talking about English versions of anime themes being mediocre or lackluster.  This is really good and I was impressed to see other themes including one of Cruel Angel Thesis.  Makes me wonder how these work and others don’t, but I felt like sharing.

I’m going to admit that I’m writing this under a panic attack, so it might be brief.  I was waiting for it to pass, but that doesn’t look like it’s happening.  Thankfully, most of the week was okay with only a few mild attacks.  I was able to write through those at a slow pace, but enough to put me in a good spot.  On the plus side, I’ve been able to identify the catalysts for each attack and most of them have been happening at night too.  Once I do enough deep breathing, I pass right out.  Not sure if it’s because I relax or I’m knocking myself out by accident, but sleep is sleep these days.

In the realm of writing, I’m about a week away from finishing War of Nytefall: Lost and then I’ll have just enough time to do a final edit on War of Nytefall: Loyalty before my son hits Spring Break.  I might go a little over, but Passover is at the beginning of the break. That means we’ll be hanging around the house for a few days, so I can finish up before that weekend.  I like the idea of writing the second book before I’ve published the first because I can tighten the continuity up.  For example, one character revealed his origin, but part of me thinks I did it earlier and I can do a check on the last editing run.  I like this newer version better too.  The new characters are coming together nicely as well, but one of them has really branched into something else.  I had to change his powers up yesterday because of something he did in the last section I wrote.  Totally spontaneous, but it added a really diabolical side to him.  I was sad to see two of the old powers go away, but they weren’t going to make any sense.  Cover art is coming along nicely too and I’m really excited to see it and share soon.

As you can tell from the tags, I had to take care of taxes this week.  My wife did most of the legwork because she has more stuff to fill out and things go smoother when she’s in charge of it.  Roles reversed, she forgets things and I try to get things moving quickly.  Only a few things were forgotten this time, which I was able to get to the accountant the next day.  I have no idea what’s going to happen after this because taxes, stocks, and the like make my head spin.  Never had a mind for math, which drives some people nuts.  It isn’t like I haven’t tried.  I simply don’t have the brain wiring for numbers.

The rest of the week was a little messy with another Nor’Easter.  That’s number 3 in 2 weeks and we might get a 4th by mid-week.  School wasn’t canceled, so I had to drive through it, which was mildly harrowing.  The storm was over by the afternoon too, so going after lunch was fine.  That helped me grab the copies of Dragonball Z waiting for me at the library.  I’m amazed at how quickly I can read this books and the speed that the stories go at.  The anime takes multiple episodes for a single move, but Vegeta is already defeated and back in space by the end of Volume 4.  I’m still enjoying the story and it’s interesting to see how it went before the anime.  Might do Yu Yu Hakusho next or finally finish Bleach.

Since I’m sharing everything, Friday was a little rough.  My son had a field trip and abruptly got scared that he would throw up on the bus.  I wasn’t there when the freaking out started, but it was frustrating because we’d talked about it many times.  He said it was different for field trips and now it looked like it wasn’t.  It took about 10 minutes of letting him cry before he had a little food and then was happy to be off to school.  Nothing happened and he had fun, so I guess this was a victory.  The next big test is a birthday party in a few weeks to see if he’ll be okay eating or at least sitting in the group instead of having a tantrum.  We might have to pull something out of our stored rewards to entice him into doing it.  Babies R Us is going out of business, so I picked up a bunch of things cheap.  He got a soft Pokeball pillow for going on the bus and he’s been clinging to it like a newborn monkey on a soft towel.  I might save the big thing I got for that birthday party event.

This week I’m aiming to dive into the writing and get it done.  I’m at the more action-packed leg of the adventure, so my confidence should be rising.  The rest has been a lot of ‘chaos’ and talking while the origin of a new character is revealed.  So, what are the goals?

  1. Finish first draft of War of Nytefall: Lost
  2. Gather volunteers for War of Nytefall: Loyalty debut.  (Post tomorrow to explain.)
  3. Rest when I can
  4. Biking
  5. Get back int Sword Art Online
  6. Collect pictures for the June blog posts
  7. Request the rest of the DBZ books because these are quick reads.
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The 2018 Interview Series Featuring K.D. Rose

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Originally posted on Author Don Massenzio:
It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year. I am honored to continue this series with poet and essayist K.D. Rose.…

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7 Tips to Writing Monstrous Heroes

Inigo Montoya

I’ve talked about how difficult it is to have a monstrous hero without going too far to one side.  With any luck, I’ve struck the right balance in War of Nytefall, but only time will tell there.  So, what are some things to consider?

  1. Never be afraid to have your monster act like a monster to some extent.  I don’t mean go on a rampage, but have moments of being cruel or scaring people.  Remember the nature of the beast that you’re working with.  This is a crucial part of their powers and personality even if they’re fighting against it.  It can also keep the reader wondering if the hero will go back to his or her darker origins.
  2. Whether you use it or not, world-building of the monster’s history and social standing can help establish the protagonist’s limits in terms of heroism.  It also helps the author get an idea of how people will react to the hero.  This is easier if the monster is rare or considered a legend like ‘Hellboy’.  If they’re a more numerous and organized group like vampires then you should consider a little flushing out.
  3. Many monsters have weaknesses like silver, sunlight, stakes, etc.  Fit these into the story, but don’t overdo their use.  There should be a sense of danger for the hero, but this can be pushed to a point where they’re practically neutered.  For example, imagine if every criminal had Kryptonite in Metropolis.  Superman wouldn’t have as big an impact and the sense of him being an underdog would come off as force.
  4. If your monstrous hero has a violent streak and tends to leave bodies behind then you need to establish a reason for that not getting them in trouble.  Is there an associated team that hides the evidence?  Is it a world where such things aren’t that unusual like in fantasy or post-apocalyptic settings?  Readers might question how a supposed hero gets away with horrible acts without any repercussions.  These are the types that are expected to suffer consequences unlike the villains.
  5. Social awkwardness of some kind is both common and expected.  With the hero coming from a non-human group, they began life with a different mindset towards those they are protecting.  It could be prey, inferiors, or hunters, but they might still have some problems mingling with human culture.  This can be played for comedy and drama, depending on the mood and tone.  You can also work with a variety of issues here like shyness, anxiety, bad manners, no verbal filter, and whatever else we would normally look at oddly if a human did it.
  6. No eating the other good guys.  Simple rule, but you’d be surprised how often people think a monstrous antihero can still eat the good guys.
  7. Make the reason for the monster being a hero very clear.  This can come into conflict with #1, but you need to explain why they refuse to act like the rest of their species.  It doesn’t even have to be a secret.  Many times, an antihero like this will openly discuss the topic.  Humans will be afraid of them and question their true intentions, so they need to be willing to defend themselves.
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Writing News! The Bow of Hart Saga To Be Published In…

Archer's Aim

Hello to all the Archer’s Aim readers. Thanks for joining me today. I have a big announcement, one that I’ve been hinting at for some time.

The Bow of Hart Saga has been completed and out for a while. During recent months I have entertained options for audio publication. I’ve recently been offered an audio contract and I’m thrilled to announce I’ve signed with Podium Publishing this week.

The audio version will appear on Audible and will have Whispersync enabled on Amazon. This is very important to me as I know a lot of readers will have access to listen whenever they choose with this new edition of the series. This is the next level for The Bow of Hart Saga which began with a lowly release of The Bow of Destiny back in 2015. By the end of 2016, that first book had gained a growing following, was ranked…

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Kai Stavros: The Loyal Spymaster

Krory from D-Gray Man

Kai Stavros was my second Live-Action Vampire character who made it one game session before I tossed him.  There was drama involved, which I won’t go into.  Some days, I’m not even sure why I put in the series, but that’s because I don’t know him very well.  He never had time to evolve and this version is different.  While I do consider him a main character, he’s really supporting cast.  I do have some interesting plans for him, but I will admit that he didn’t get a lot of shine time in the first book.  Oddly similar to the school characters in Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero.  He’s there and helps move the plot along, but he has yet to fully emerge.  Still, he does deserve a look even this early on in the series.

The original Kai was made after a character who I didn’t transfer to the books was killed in the game.  I wanted to stay away from the political drama and combat that was all over the place.  So, I made Kai an archaeologist that had come to Upstate New York in order to check out some ruins.  At least that was the plan, but I believe I added something where he was gathering information for a foreign adversary.  This was partly because people were telling me I would get dragged into the drama anyway, so I might as well get my foot in the door.  Kai made friends with a few characters and went into business with someone by the time the first session ended.  Things went downhill so badly between sessions that I found it impossible to rationalize Kai staying in the area.  In his mind, he was being sent on a suicide mission and there was no reason to go along.  So, he left and supposedly got eaten by a vampirized kraken because I got in trouble for not trying to play along.  Kai went back into my folder (which I still can’t find) and that was it for him.

When I was filling out the supporting cast, I remembered Kai and he went through a few incarnations.  I had him as a human hunter that wanted to kill the vampires, which didn’t last.  Then, I made him a rival of Xavier, but he didn’t work right.  Eventually, I tried him out as Xavier’s spymaster and trusted adviser, who also supplied Clyde’s gang with heist information.  This had me going in the right direction, which is still going because I have trouble getting a strong bead on Kai.  He’s shown signs of being a peacemaker while having no problem using those he has no respect for as pawns.  Unlike the other characters, he openly dislikes Clyde and the feeling is mutual.  This was by accident, but it made sense that there would be somebody who wasn’t afraid of the monster and treated him like an annoyance.  Yet, they were still able to work together.

Unlike the other characters, Kai got a major physical alteration.  He stayed human, but I had this idea of a spymaster that didn’t have ‘the look’.  No lean and shadowy figure that reeks of tensile strength and shadowy death.  He’s rather portly, not that attractive, and isn’t that great a fighter beyond using his longbow.  This means he depends a lot on invisibility and transformation spells to do his job as well as a cunning mind.  He is very cautious, which comes across whenever he gives suggestions.  Kai is loyal and obedient to his masters, but he occasionally stands up to them for their own sake.  Whether they listen or not, he’s content to simply be heard.  This mentality is going to be tested a lot over the course of the series, so I’m listing him as a late bloomer.

Sadly, I don’t have any funny game stories for Kai.  His limited time was met with a lot of frustration.  All I really remember is that one of the more powerful characters kept files on all of the others.  Each one had a nickname that wasn’t always flattering.  Kai was listed as ‘Lara Croft’.  Apparently, he was considered too feminine to rate an Indiana Jones.  At least that’s what I assume since I’d left the game by the time I heard of this.

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The Nightforce Security series, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Such a fun interview.

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, coming at you with 1.21 jigawatts of power all across the cosmos and beyond the veil. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, bringing you characters from the books you love.

Today we’re going to have a little chat with Danny Caruso, owner of Nightforce Security, a new-ish company in headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania whose employees have rather impressive skillsets.

“Welcome to the show, Danny.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”

“Ma’am! Such formality. Call me Lisa.”

“Sorry. Old habits die hard. Thanks, Lisa. Uh, glad to be here.”

“Don’t sound so enthused. This is supposed to be fun.”

“I know. I’m just not much of a showboat. I do my best work out of the limelight.”

“Then why’d you agree to come on the show today?”

“Because my employees insist I need to do more publicity. We haven’t been taking on the…

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Today, I’m excited to welcome Warren Hammond, author of such science fiction novels as KOPEX-KOPKOP Killer, and Tides of Maritinia, to Bookwraiths.  He has stopped by today to talk about his new project over at Hex Publishers: a multi-platform cyberpunk franchise titled Denver Moon, where he and his co-author Joshua Viola explore the dark underbelly of Mars.

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How did Denver Moon start? For me, it started over a beer with Josh Viola, the owner of Hex Publishers. He was telling me the basics of…

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