Ask-the-Author . . . Wait . . . Why Did I Write That?

I make my blog subject list and schedule posts pretty far in advance these days.  It’s because I really only have time to blog on weeknights and want to keep that part far ahead.  Clears writing time on the weekend.  Anyway, I got to today and saw . . . Ask Author.

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I can’t figure out if I was going to simply do a Q&A here or I had something specific in mind.  Truth is that it’s April Fools Day.  I feel that if I do anything seriously then people might mistake it for a joke.  Best to keep it simple.  Besides, I figure the joke will be on me if I leave myself open to questions.

So, ask away and I’ll respond as soon as I can.  Wednesdays can be pretty crazy until the evening.  It can be able the blog, my books, writing in general, or almost anything else that isn’t too personal.

(Was I supposed to do this, turn off comments, and say April Fools?  I really need to put better notes on these things.)

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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29 Responses to Ask-the-Author . . . Wait . . . Why Did I Write That?

  1. ospreyshire says:

    An ask the author post sounds great!

    Here are my questions:

    What got you into writing books in the fantasy genre?

    Who are the most underrated authors in your opinion?

    What films inspired your stories?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This seemed like such a great idea before the pandemic and homeschooling. 😜

      1. I’d always enjoyed reading fantasy and telling stories. At least creating them in my head. So, I ended up merging the two activities after reading The Books of Lost Swords by Fred Saberhagen.

      2. Indie authors. Those who writing with no contracts or advertising team support get very little credit.

      3. Films is a tough one. I enjoy a lot of them and take from each one without realizing it. I use them for inspiration on character and action scenes. I’d go with anything that has a lot of fight scenes being a heavy factor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Of course and that’s understandable.

        1. That’s very good. I had so many worlds and character concepts in my head until I started to write my first book 6 years ago.

        2. I certainly agree, but then again I’m a fan of a lot of indie creators in general.

        3. I see. I do that as well in ways I don’t even think about. Not only that, but certain characters are analogs or stealth parodies of various characters.

        Those are great answers.

        Like

      • 1. I used to have multiple worlds. About 15 years ago, I merged all of them into my fantasy world for simplicity. Filled a few holes too.

        3. I’ve never tried a parody of an established one. Mostly because I fear trademark and copyright infringement.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        1. That’s a great idea as well as time saving. I’m glad that’s worked out.

        3. I understand those fears. Parody is protected under fair use, but I certainly don’t want to come off as gimmicky and I would never try to rip off other characters or plot points. For certain characters, I use them as critiques of sorts while being original.

        Like

      • I’ve always wondered how far the parish can go. Many use a lawsuit as an intimidation factor. They know they’ll lose, but the target can’t afford a lawyer to defend themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        I’ve heard stories about that. Some of those cases are called SLAPP suits which I’ve learned from the documentary Big Boys Gone Bananas!*. It’s quite predatory of people to do that. Whenever I do use those types of critiques, I make the jokes very subtle.

        Like

      • I’ve noticed that even subtlety can draw in the wrong person. Sometimes you get sued over a general similarity, which is frustrating.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        People can certainly be petty in that regard. Contrary to a reputation I may have received, I am not someone who calls everything and every thing a rip-off. It’s bogus when people decide to make such lame accusations for a similarity.

        Like

      • Yeah. It’s a tough call to make at times. People may be surprised how often stories share things by accident.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        I certainly agree. There are certainly things that could be coincidental with different stories. I apologize if I repeated this example in that long conversation we had, but for example, I disagree with some hardcore fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion that Pacific Rim plagiarized from that anime. There are certainly similarities which I don’t deny (mind-powered giant robots, post-apocalyptic setting, and a female character with blue hair), but I thought it was more of a reference to mecha anime and tokusatsu works in general.

        Like

      • Big fan of NGE and I’ve heard that argument before. I can see the similarities, but I know the creator said it was impaired by the old kaiju movies like Godzilla and Rodan. Heck, they’re even called kaiju, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        I don’t think I knew that, but I’m glad you know what I’m talking about. A small segment of the fandom was foaming at the mouth about that. Weirdly enough, I didn’t see the same kind of fervor when it came to Atlantis even though Nadia: Secret of Blue Water is from the same creator, but I digress.

        The tokusatsu stuff with Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, etc was very obvious. You’re absolutely right about the monsters being called kaiju in the movie. That’s almost fourth wall-level kind of worldbuilding right there and even some of my friends who aren’t that familiar with the genre know about the term after watching some of the older Godzilla movies.

        Like

      • A reason for Atlantis and Nadia could also be how well known the second one was in the country. In 2001, anime was still fairly underground and the Internet fandoms hadn’t grown to what they are now. I think it would have been a bigger uproar if Atlantis came out today. We’ll see when they inevitably do the live action one.

        I’ve always wondered if Godzilla movies existed in Pacific Rim world.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        That certainly makes sense and I can see that argument. If Atlantis came today and given how more mainstream anime is, then the backlash would be a lot greater especially if people make the connection with Hideaki Anno’s work. I’m sure that Nadia would easily trend once Disney decides to do an Atlantis live action remake if a certain other anime can trend some after a different remake came out last year. Wow, I just couldn’t resist making that comparison. Sorry. Haha!

        That is something worth thinking about. Maybe the people on earth called them kaiju because of those movies. I don’t know.

        Like

      • I got curious and went looking at the Nadia vs Atlantis thing. Actually stumbled onto a third and older contender. What do you think?

        https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2001-07-19

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        I actually read that article before! Anno did loosely base Nadia on Jules Verne’s work which I have no problem with. The issues were mainly with these adaptations having more than just basic similarities.

        I would also recommend this article about that same issue from a fellow author/poet/reviewer named Ashley Capes who expands upon that controversy: https://thereviewheap.home.blog/2020/01/29/nadia-the-secret-of-blue-water-fushigi-no-umi-no-nadia-nadia-vs-atlantis/

        Like

      • This is when I admit that I barely remember Atlantis, but I can see the visual similarities. It does make me wonder how often we use the same visuals to denote intelligence, exotic, etc. One thing that makes it a challenge is what the person says at the end. After Lion King/Kimba, people simply don’t trust Disney. It’s entirely possible that they didn’t know about this one or tried to separate as much as possible. An added wrinkle is that the live-action 20,000 Leagues that is put into the comparison chart was a Disney movie. So, if Nadia and Atlantis both used that and the book for a jumping point then it increases the chances of them hitting the same target. It’s weird, but I’m starting to hit a point where I don’t know what can really be done about it. Both things exist and have fans. Disney will never admit to wrongdoing. I guess we can only wait to see if they try it again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Don’t feel bad. It’s been ages since I’ve seen Atlantis, too. I had to be reminded about the plot and various characters a while ago when I looked into the Nadia/Atlantis issue. I guess the people who know about animation history and film controversies wouldn’t trust Disney (certainly not just talking about myself) going back to that famous piece of cinematic cat burglary. Very good point about Disney making the live action version way back when. I could certainly see core elements that would be similar on principle, but I think Disney could’ve strayed more to be different. It is really tough given how megalithic the House of Mouse is and how they never account for anything when they do wrong and how hardcore Disney fans make excuses for everything, but that’s another story. I know Atlantis wasn’t the most fan-favorite movie Disney has made, but I know people still like it. [sigh] Originality and uniqueness are so hard to come by.

        Like

  2. L. Marie says:

    Do you have favorite characters? If so, who are they? Why?
    What types of scenes are especially fun for you to write? (Action, gadgets being invented, humorous banter)
    If one of your books could be turned into a movie, which one would you choose? Why?

    Like

    • 1. I don’t really have favorite characters. I used to, but then found it was more fun to play with all of my toys. Each character has his or her own charm.

      2. Banter and action scenes for opposite reasons. Banter is quick and spontaneous to write. Action is long, intense and detailed to make sure the moves work.

      3. I would choose ‘Beginning of a Hero’ because that’s the start. You’d have to do the rest afterwards. Though I’d lean more towards a tv show.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. inkspeare says:

    If you were to give advice to an aspiring young author who was at a crossroads, deciding if pursuing writing as a career (going to college for that as well) which is his/her passion, or settling for something else that will bring a much better income, what would you say according to your own experience? What keeps you motivated? What makes you keep going?

    Like

    • My own experience is that I went all in with writing and didn’t run a backup alongside that goal. I believed someone who said I could get a graduate degree in teaching without an undergrad in it, which was wrong. So, I’d recommend double majoring or do writing as a minor. A degree doesn’t really effect fiction authors from what I can tell.

      Motivation is tough these days. My books don’t sell more than 10 copies a month and I’ve got about 23 out there. So, it’s very disheartening and adds to the blue I get from the other things going wrong. I wish I had more positive things to say, but I’ve been rebuilding my life since December of 2018 with slow progress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • inkspeare says:

        Thank you. That young aspiring author was me long time ago, and I chose a different path, and always questioned it with regret. Now, that I am a great deal much older and am writing for some years now, I face the same challenges many authors are facing with sales. Congratulations on your sales, really, mine are invisible. But so are many others going through the same. I remember listening to an interview long time ago, when Borders was around, the best selling author, Wally Lamb, said that when he wrote, he wrote for himself, and let the readers who had to find his books find them. In a way, that advice takes some pressure off. Wishing you best of success and many blessings ahead.

        Like

      • Writing for yourself is good advice. If you enjoy what you’re making then it’ll show in the words.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What’s your favorite thing to drink while sitting at your writing desk?

    Like

  5. Not so much a question, but I like banter, too. It’s spontaneous and keeps things moving between characters. Conversation of any sort is really good for breaking up long chunks of text.

    Like

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