Archives for the month of: July, 2017

Welcome back to the Monday Blog! This is the final posting for the month of July. To finish off the “When A Series Comes to an End” theme, I wanted to share some little known facts about each series.

 

Fortune’s Wing:

Both Demetri of FW and Rafferty of Valentine share the same character design. Their characteristics were inspired by Joseph Mascolo, the actor who played Stefano DeMera on the daytime soap, “Days of Our Lives”.

Fortune’s Wing was the first W.E. book to use humans as characters.

Verdonna was inspired by Hinoto from the anime film, X.

On the cover of the first book, there is a light shining from within a cave in a mountain. The light was created with a White-Out pen.

On the cover of the second book, the clouds on the Earth were created by stretching out cotton balls, which were later glued to a hand-drawn image of the Earth.

Valentine:

Book one if the Valentine series, were originally written as 2 separate books.

Val’s pink hair was supposed to be blond, with pink highlights. While working on the illustration for the first edition of the book, I accidentally colored all of her hair pink. But it was a happy accident.

The image of Val that appears on the first edition of book one, was meant for another book I was working on.

Valentine was inspired by the anime series(s) Noir and Revolutionary Girl Utena.

At five feet eleven inches, Jo Fuentes is the tallest female character in the series.

Jo Fuentes is the first LGBTQ WE character to appear in a PUBLISHED book.

Our Lady of Righteous Rage:

One of Amy’s songs, “Come For the Wake, Stay For the Funeral”, was originally written in 2009.

Before appearing in the Our Lady series, Amy, Dee, Vanessa, Carmen, Yvonne, Nyda and Erin all appeared in my sci-fi super hero series, “Enos”.  Rob was the lead character in the super hero series, “Degenerate R”.

When Amy was first created, her name was Charlotte.

Vanessa is named after my aunt, Vanessa.

Speaking of the unpublished W.E. books, Amy has appeared in more books than any other W.E. character.

Part of Amy’s character design was inspired by Emeraldas from the anime, Queen Emeraldas, and Fam from Ruin Explorers.

Benjamin Cardozo, Rob, David, Amy and Dee’s high school, was my mother’s high school.

 

Until next week….

 

 

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Emeraldas2

 

To all of my fellow anime and manga lovers out there, I just wanted to share some info: Volume 2 of Leiji Matsumoto’s “Queen Emeraldas” just became available yesterday! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

Later!

 

Happy Monday, everyone! At least, I hope you’re having a happy Monday. This week’s blog topic: Our Lady of Righteous Rage. I’m going to share some info about the seven books which currently make up the series. The books can be divided into two categories: the Primary Books, which follow a shared story line, and the Companion books, which have separate stories.

 

The Primary Books

This category includes Our Lady of Righteous Rage, Our Lady of Righteous Rage: Extended and Uncensored, Your Fame Will Destroy You, and Rowdy. The first two books are technically one in the same, with the major difference being the use of coarse language in Extended and Uncensored (don’t worry; I didn’t go overboard). The primary books follow Amy Edwards and friends as they grow up together, start a punk rock band, and a business. Along the way, they face the challenges of adulthood, including divorce, relationships issues, abandonment, etc.

The first book introduces each of the characters while they are still in high school. Amy is a bit of a tomboy, and all of her friends are male, until she meets Dee, and her cousin Nyda. She late becomes friends with Vanessa and Carmen. The group creates a plan to start a business together by creating and selling their art, music, and writing in Union Square Park. Their goal, is to turn this business into a retail store in the future. At the same time, Amy begins learning to play the guitar while exploring her inner punk. She and some of her male counterparts later form a punk band. The second book, Your Fame Will Destroy You, finds the band, named Our Lady of Righteous Rage, dealing with their newfound fame. They later discover a “friend” from their past is out to destroy them (I won’t spoil it by telling you who).  In Rowdy, Amy and her friends, armed with the knowledge of who has been working against them, try to continue to write new music and play a few gigs. Nick begins to suffer from writer’s block, and Aidan has trouble coping with a troubling discovery of his identity (no spoiler; you’ll have to read the book). The book ends with the band making a major decision to go on their first national tour.

Which brings us to Righteous, the book I’m currently writing.  Our Lady is on tour, Vanessa is holding down the fort at home, and things are about to get interesting. This isn’t going to be your average, run-of-the-mill road trip: the band is going to meet some interesting characters and have a lot of new experiences while playing their gigs. And that “friend” from the past who was trying to screw them over? Well, he ain’t finished yet….

 

 

The Companion Books

The books in this category can be read separate and apart from the primary books, and not necessarily in the order they appear. There is one exception: Novocaine and its sequel, Another Shot of Novocaine, which will make more sense if you read them in order.  Novocaine  concerns Erin’s life before she met the band, and how she came to work for them. Another Shot, deals with one of Erin’s least favorite subjects: her father.

Punk and Whiskers, is a collection of short stories. They are unrelated to the rest of the series, even though the cast of Our Lady appear in them. You can easily read this book without reading the others (but I’m not encouraging this!).

 

I’ve been asked if any of these books are autobiographical. Our Lady is, to a degree. I hate classifying it as fiction; it’s more like creative non-fiction. Some of the events in the story are real (when Amy runs into Tre Cool from Green Day, I borrowed that from the day I met Tre Cool). The bands guitars are my guitars. Benjamin Cardozo was my mother’s high school, however, I also used details from my old high school, Bethel in Virginia. Yes, I’ve been to The Bitter End on West 4th. Yes, I own a ton of punk rock CD’s.

 

Even though I’ve said Righteous is going to be the final book in this series, it doesn’t have to be. I have ideas for more books, and chances are, I will write them. So, after Righteous, you may not have heard the last of Our Lady.

Next week: Secrets of the WE books: little details you may not be aware of. See you then.

 

Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome back to the Monday Blog. This week’s topic, is the Valentine series. There are two parts to this series: the primary series, and the companion books, known as the Valentine Apart series. The primary books focus on Val, her family and friends, and the conflict between her and John Rafferty, her father’s former boss. The Valentine Apart series provides the backstories of four characters from the primary books: Allan Avery, Mac Avery, Lola Vencent and Jo Fuentes.

The Valentine Series

Our story begins with nineteen-year-old Valorie Entienne (aka Val, aka Valentine) heading out to L.A. from Chicago in order to find her father, Vincent Entienne. Vincent is an employee of mob boss John Rafferty, and has decided to get out of the business. In order to do this, he had to go see Rafferty in person. When Val doesn’t hear from her father for several days, she decides to go to L.A. and find out what happened to him. She leaves her cousin Veronica behind, climbs into her classic Ford Mustang, and hits the highway. She encounters her father’s partner, Jacob Price, who is acting as Rafferty’s eyes and ears. She also meets Melinda St. James, a fourteen-year-old orphan who is on her way to Oklahoma, but ends up riding with Val to L.A.. Val, despite several pit stops, eventually makes it to L.A. and rescues her father. When she confronts Rafferty, she learns the reason Vincent wanted to quit: Rafferty wanted Val to work for him, basically as a hitwoman (or Valkyrie). Val also meets another Rafferty employee: Lola Vencent. The pair have a misunderstanding, and later, become friends.

The second book explores Val’s reputation as Valentine, and as the Patron Saint of the Weak. She meets her cousin, Victoria, who happens to be Veronica’s younger sister. No one in Val’s household knew anything about Victoria’s existence, but they welcome her into their home, and ultimately protect her from Rafferty. Val and her family learn more about Victor Entienne’s (Veronica and Victoria’s father) death, and Val finally remembers an event from her childhood, which led to her reputation. In book three, Val receives a lesson in the Entienne family history, when she meets her grandfather, Lorenzo Entienne. She even travels with him to Sicily. When things turn sour, she turns to Lola for help. Upon returning to the United States, Val learns her dealings with her grandfather are far from over.

Which brings us to book four, in which some of the characters find themselves facing their pasts. There’s Mac’s sanity, Allan’s relationship with his father, and Lola’s father’s death. The book ends with Val and company coming together and reaching a critical decision: John Rafferty needs to die.

The fifth and final book is a work in progress. I don’t want to post any spoilers here, but I can tell you this: Veronica is the one you’ll want to keep an eye on. Val is going to have to make some difficult decisions, and do some horrible things, if she ever wants to free her family from Rafferty.

 

Valentine Apart Series

The good things about these books, is you don’t necessarily have to read them in order. They are companion books to the primary series, and they don’t follow a set storyline. Each book can stand alone. Although, when you reach the end of each book, you make recognize a scene from a book in the primary series. All of the stories featured in this series take place before the main characters in them meet Val. Readers get to peek into Allan and Mac’s lives as hitmen, learn how Lola Vencent became Rafferty’s Valkyrie, and the events that led Jo Fuentes to the Syndicate. One thing that definitely separates this series from the books in the primary series, is the level of violence. The body count is much higher in these three books, since it focuses on some of the characters’ lives as hitmen. There is some mild swearing, too. But, like I said, it’s mild.

 

So, are the Valentine books only about a girl with a pair of guns? No. To arrive at that conclusion would be selling the series short. These books are about the complicated lives of a young woman and the people in her life; people who finds themselves caught up in the net of the criminal world.  After seven years of working on this series, it’s time for the story to come to an end. I hope my readers won’t be disappointed.

Next week: The Our Lady series.

Hello, again, everyone. Welcome back to the Monday Blog. This month’s theme is When A Series Ends, so every Monday Blog post will be devoted to a W.E. series. This week, I want to discuss Fortune’s Wing.

I wrote the original Fortune’s Wing books between 2001 and 2002. The first book in the series wasn’t published until 2009, through Xlibris. The second book, Fortune’s Wing: Second Flight, was published in 2011, and the third, Fortune’s Wing: Flies Again was published earlier this year. There are revised editions of the first two books available through Amazon’s Create Space.

The series follows Fortune Oyama and his friends, as he learns about and tries to fulfill his destiny: to save or destroy the world. On his eighteenth birthday, Fortune grows a Left Wing, and must set out on a journey to claim the Right Wing and complete the set. Whomever has possession of the Wings, shall control the fate of the world. However, Fortune’s journey is not without opposition: The Winged Seven, other people who were born with a Left Wing, are also in search of the Right Wing. Their leader, Demetri, will stop at nothing to control the world’s fate. He sends the other members of the Winged Seven after Fortune and his friends, one by one. Spoiler alert: Fortune manages to retrieve the Right Wing. With the set complete, he must go on one more journey, the one that will decide the world’s fate.

The decision to save the world should be simple, right? In Fortune’s case, it isn’t. As Fortune continues his journey, his view of the world begins to change. He finds himself wondering what kind of world he’s really fighting for. In the end, he has to do a lot of soul-searching in order to make his final decision.

When I originally wrote this series, I a) never intended for anyone to actually READ it and b) didn’t write it with a particular audience in mind. When I made the decision to publish the book, I made a few changes, in order to make the story appropriate for middle school-age readers. I figured, since it was a fantasy story involving teen characters, and the story didn’t contain any graphic violence, nudity, sex or coarse language, middle school was a safe age to market to. Narumi’s name was changed from Nirogetai or Niro for short, and a character was eliminated from the story. In book three, when Kazumi comes to visit Haverdy, the old friends catch up on one another’s lives. Haverdy asks Kazumi if she’s dating anyone, and Kazumi’s girlfriend Russia is later introduced. In the original story, Russia accompanies Fortune and has friends on his final journey. Since the series was being marketed to middle school readers, I made the decision to eliminate Russia as a character, and Kazumi’s sexuality is never explored.

I came up with the concept for Fortune’s Wing: Revamp, several years ago, and I’m considering publishing it. This would be a new, grown-up version of the story, with Russia included and Kazumi’s sexuality becoming part of the story once again. The idea is still on the table.

This was the first W.E. series I had ever written which featured human characters. It was also my shortest series (the Enos series has over 15 books).  It opened the door for Valentine and Valentine Apart, and the upcoming books I’m working on for W.E.. It was also the first W.E. series I had written which entertained the idea of the world coming to an end. Even though it’s meant for younger readers, I’ve had readers of various ages tell me they enjoyed the story. I also wrote Haverdy 0, which was a spin-off from the Fortune’s Wing series. I may publish it, somewhere down the road. We’ll see.

 

Next week: The Valentine Series

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Melinda St.James, one of the younger (and more innocent) characters from the Valentine series, has decided on what she wants to do, when summer arrives. Here’s a snippet from the upcoming Valentine 5, which features a conversation between Melinda and Jo Fuentes. Enjoy!

 

 

“Hey, I know what I want to do this summer,” Melinda said. “I heard someone at school talking about the Pride Parade in June. I wanna go!”

Veronica, Val and Jo all turned to her in surprise. “The Pride Parade?” Val asked.

Melinda set her bowl on the coffee table and nodded enthusiastically. “Yes!” she said. “Can we go this year?”

“Uh, sweetie, do you know what the Pride Parade is for?” Jo asked.

“Sure,” Melinda said. “It’s about celebrating who you are, and being proud of yourself and your friends.”

Jo turned to Val and Victoria and smiled. “She’s so innocent, it’s too adorable,” she said. She turned back to Melinda, and said, “Well, you’re not wrong. Pride celebrates the LGBTQ community. It reminds people to be tolerant and open-minded, and embrace everyone’s differences. It helps the community be more aware of people like me.”

Melinda blinked at her in surprise. “What, do you mean, like, other Marines?”

Jo raised her eyebrows. “You’re really adorable, do you know that?”

Melinda beamed, and picked up her bowl of cereal. “Thank you.” Victoria leaned over and whispered something into Melinda’s ear.

Jo smiled at Val and Veronica. “This year, she should lead the Pride Parade.”

 

Greetings, everyone. June has ended; July is here, and this is the first blog entry for the month of July. I struggled to come up with a theme for this month, mainly because I was struggling with something else. I have begun the drafts for Valentine 5 and Righteous, and I paused one day to realize, I was writing the final books in two of my series. Valentine 5 will definitely be the last book in the Valentine series, while Righteous may or may not be the last book in the Our Lady series (I may publish another companion book somewhere down the road). I had this same problem when I published Fortune’s Wing: Flies Again. Something that has been part of me for so long, is finally coming to a close.

 

Valentine 5

I have a subtitle in mind for this last book, but I may not use it. I’m still exploring other options. In the meantime, this is it! Everything in Val’s life, has been leading up to this point. Its time for the final showdown between Val Entienne and John Rafferty. The only way for this to end, is for one of them to die…

 

Righteous

Amy and company have grown together, as friends, business partners and as a band. Now, they’re going on tour for the first time, and preparing to show the rest of the country what they’re really made of. With David’s band touring at the same time, you can imagine, things are going to get ugly…

 

SO, this month, I’ll discuss the end of Valentine, Our Lady, and I’ll go back and revisit Fortune’s Wing. Until next week…

 

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