Archives for posts with tag: writing

Scene from Enos.        Degenerate R

 

Hello, everyone! Welcome to blog entry number two for the month of August. This month’s theme is Comics and Graphic Novels, so, naturally, this post will be related to that. I wanted to share some more info about two W.E. comics, “Enos” and “Degenerate R”. Both started out as comics, but later became books (because as I have mentioned in the past, I can write a book faster than I can draw a comic).

The Enos Series

After appearing in several of my fiction books, I corralled Amy, Dee, Vanessa, Yvonne, Nyda, Carmen and Erin from Our Lady, into a Sailor Moon inspired sci-fi series I named “Enos”. In this story, on Natca, a planet far away, five young alien girls train to become Natcan Cadets. Four are named after precious stones (Diamond, Emerald, Topaz, and Sapphire). The fifth and most headstrong of the group, is named Enos (because I thought it sounded cool). Donya, their teacher, is preparing them to go up against the mighty Herron Empire: the alien race who invaded and took over their planet. However, Donya is summoned to the palace for an impromptu trip to Earth, before her Cadets complete their training. Her Cadets sneak on board the Herron shuttle bound for Earth, and lose their lives in a battle. Their powers are imprisoned inside the Natcan Cadet Crystal, which Donya steals upon arriving on Earth. She passes the Cadet’s powers on to five new girls (Amy, Vanessa, Dee, Carmen and Yvonne). They use separate pieces of the crystal to transform, and become the new Natcan Cadets. As the story continues, new Cadets join the team (Nyda and Erin) and new enemies arrive to challenge Earth. One note about this series: it is FEMALE dominated. The heroes are female. Most of the villains are female. It’s chick lit, so to speak. Which brings us to…

 

The Degenerate R Series

If you’re into anime or manga, you probably know about all of those wonderful shojo magical girl series. Female characters transform and use special powers to fight evil. If “Enos” is a magical girl series, then “Degenerate R” is a “magical boy” series. I’ve always thought of Degenerate R as the male answer to “Enos”. Rob from my Our Lady series, is the main character. He’s a college student, in the town of St. Moral, just trying to go to school and live his life. All of that normalcy is interrupted by the arrival of Mischievous A, a female “Militant Warrior”, clad in a pleated denim skirt and a camouflage jacket. She fights the monster that attacks Rob’s campus on the day he’s trying to register for classes. Rob becomes so impressed by her, he ends up becoming a Militant Warrior himself. Like Mischievous A, he transforms via a ring, and becomes Degenerate R. As the series develops, other Militant Warriors join the team, and fight an enemy known as the Blue Shadow Clan.

 

I haven’t published the books from either series, because I didn’t want to create a conflict for the Our Lady series. I figured, it would confuse the reader. But, someday, I may publish some of the work, and it will be similar to Punk and Whiskers.  These books would be unrelated to the Our Lady series, and meant to be light-hearted reading.

 

Until next week…

The covers of some of my hand-written books, anime inspired…

 

 

I’m currently reading Jen Sincero’s “You Are A Badass”, and I read a passage that suggested going back to your childhood, and thinking about the things you were passionate about. It sounded like pretty solid advice, so I took a moment to think.

I’m a writer, and its something I’ve always been passionate about. I’ve been writing books for myself since second grade, and I’d like to think, my skills as a story teller have improved over the years. Every now and then, I develop a case of Writer’s Block, and I find myself feeling a bit uninspired. But, I have found a way to pull myself together, and start writing again. I went back to my childhood, to when I started writing more detailed books, with chapters and developed characters. This happened when I was about eleven or twelve. I would wake up early on Saturday morning, around 4:30 or 5:00, and start writing.  Back then, I worked on two or three books at a time. I was always excited to finish a book, and draw the cover, make a spine label and place my Woolaston Entertainment logo on the back cover. I even kept a hand-written spread sheet of stats for my books: how may chapters, pages, dates for starting and completing each book, etc. I was my own publisher, and I LOVED it.

Whenever I find myself at a loss for anything, I think about those days. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was building something very special and very important back then: I was building me.

 

Greetings, everyone. Welcome to the first Monday Blog for August 2017. This month’s theme concerns WE comics. Today, I’d like to take you on a little trip, all the way back to 1995….

 

WE was only seven months old or so. During the summer of 1995, I started watching a lot of anime, and my interest in manga (graphic novels) was beginning to stir. I woke up early every weekday morning to watch Sailor Moon on UPN (or My9, or whatever it’s called now). I rented a ton of VHS tapes from Blockbuster Video, since their anime section was fairly decent. I was able to see Slayers and Akira. This led me to create a comic of my own: the Enos series I’ve mentioned in previous blogs.  I drew the first of what was going to be a series of comics, in 1996, but decided I could write the book faster than draw a comic, so Enos became a series of books instead.

Every time I rented an anime video from Blockbuster, I made a list of all of the previews which aired before the feature. Then I’d look for those other titles. In high school, I discovered Animerica Magazine, which exposed me to a whole new world of anime and manga titles to explore. I read Galaxy Express 999, which led me to Queen Emeraldas and Captain Harlock. But, I wasn’t only interested in shojo (girl’s) material; I later discovered Kohta Hirano’s Hellsing manga, and watched both versions of the anime that followed. Blue Seed, El Hazard, Dirty Pair, Cutie Honey, Bubblegum Crisis, Bastard!, Sorcerer Hunters, The Devil Lady, Neon Genesis Evangelion…I could keep going and going. All of these titles and more, inspired the WE comics, which later inspired the WE books.

 

Apart from Enos, I drew humorous comics, and used some of the characters you’ve met in the Our Lady books.  Dee had her own series, titled Seybrook, while Amy and David were featured in Sarconi. Mike and Vanessa, were featured in Mike and Vanessa. These three comics became part of a calendar I created in 1998.

Who would have thought, all those years of watching anime and reading manga, would lead to this point? It just goes to show you: your hobbies may not necessarily be a complete waste of time.

 

Until next week…

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….

 

 

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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Greetings, everyone. It’s another Monday, so it’s time for another Monday Blog. I’m happy to announce Another Shot of Novocaine is now available for sale on Amazon’s website, as well as the Create Space store. I’m considering holding a giveaway on Goodreads, and if I do, I will also give away a copy of Novocaine. This way, the winner will be able to read the first book as well as the sequel.

Like its predecessor, Another Shot serves as a an “in between” story for the upcoming Our Lady book. In this case, it’s Righteous. The story takes place just after the band has made the decision to go on their first national tour. Erin has a little personal issue with her father, and she’ll have to deal with it before she leaves with the band.

Available here: https://www.amazon.com/Another-Shot-Novocaine-Lady-Righteous/dp/1547123737/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497720423&sr=8-1&keywords=another+shot+of+novocaine

I hope everyone who reads Another Shot enjoys it. Until next week!

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to the first Monday Blog for the month of June. I’m releasing the sequel to Novocaine this month, so the blog posts will mainly revolve around this new book.

 

Another Shot of Novocaine

This story takes place between Rowdy and the upcoming Righteous. Erin is preparing to go on tour with Our Lady of Righteous Rage in March of 2013. However, someone from her past decides to resurface: her father, Aaron Michaels. He’s the lead singer for the band, Metal Hills. Erin finds herself looking forward to reconnecting with him, until he tells her something very disturbing.

Much like the other “side stories” from the Our Lady series, you can read this book independently of Our Lady, Your Fame Will Destroy You and Rowdy. However, if you have read the other books, that helps. While there aren’t any song lyrics in this book, I believe readers will enjoy Erin’s humorous outlook on life.

Another Shot of Novocaine will be available within the next two weeks. Until next Monday…

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I wanted to share the last chapter from “Novocaine”, simply because I like the way Erin, the main character, summarizes her story. Enjoy!

 

           Some of the greatest stories I’ve ever read, ended with some deep, profound quote. Something that was meant to strike the very heart of the reader, and leave a lasting impression. I don’t think I have that in me.  I’d like to be deep and profound, but let’s face it.  I’m twenty-one.  How deep and profound can I be?

            I guess I should just pass on some of the things I’ve learned. Bad shit happens, but you can get through it, if you really want to.   If you don’t like who you are, you can reinvent yourself. Become a whole new you.  Once you figure out who you are, embrace that person and own them.  One hundred percent. After all, Oscar Wilde, my favorite author, once said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

“Novocaine” is available on Amazon.com, and woolastonentertainment.com

 

NovocaineCover

Novocaine

 

Happy Monday, everyone! From now on, I will repost the Monday Blog from woolastonentertainment.com, on this WordPress site. This week, I wanted to talk about Novocaine.  This book is part of the Our Lady of Righteous Rage franchise, but it’s not a numbered book in the series. It’s more of a companion book. Even if you haven’t read the rest of the series, you can read Novocaine without getting totally lost.

Novocaine follows Erin, one of the characters in the Our Lady series, as she and her mother make a decision to move to Georgia to be closer to their extended family. This is shortly after Erin graduates from High School. She’s excited by the idea, at first, until everything goes to hell. Her uncle (her mother’s brother) made a faulty investment, and it may cost him his house. Erin and her mother find themselves without a place to live, and manage to make it from Georgia to New York. There, Erin eventually gets a job working at the Urban Collective, where she meets the members of the band Our Lady of Righteous Rage.

One of the most interesting aspects of Novocaine, is Erin’s transformation over the course of the story. She goes from bookish-nerd, to scared teenager, to bad-ass Goth/Emo chick. Many of the events that transform her, transformed me as well. That is to say, while this is a work of fiction, there’s a lot of truth weaved into this story. A great example, is how Erin is introduced to the music of Green Day. Her experience mirrors my own: using the power of music to get through a difficult time.

I don’t want to give the impression that Erin is just some brooding teenager. She’s dealt a pretty rough hand in this story, but she handles it the best way she knows how. In the upcoming sequel, Another Shot of Novocaine, Erin is a little older, a little wiser, and not afraid to speak her mind.

Next week: Your Fame Will Destroy You

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Let’s say you’ve written a wonderful manuscript. You’ve done all the editing your mind can handle. The cover is ready. You’ve already begun promoting your new title.  Everything is set. The book has been published! Hooray!!! So, now what?

Of course, now you can really focus on  promoting your book. However, as a writer, you can’t spend every minute of every day, promoting. Writers write. It’s what we do. There’s another book in you, waiting to come out, but perhaps you’re not quite ready to start another new draft.

I recently ran into this problem. I had just completed the next two books in a series I had been working on, and finished the final book in yet a different series. Being someone whose mind needs constant stimulation, I tried to decide what to do next. Then I thought, “I’ll publish a book of short stories! Yes!”. So I did. But now that book is complete. I have another book in mind, but I’m not ready to work on it just yet. So, the question became: How do I fill in the time between working on the last book, and starting the next book?

I know I can’t just sit around and do absolutely nothing. It’s against my nature. However, I know if I start another book before I’m ready to, I won’t put 100% of myself into it, and the book will ultimately…suck. Therefor, I have come up with a few ways to keep myself busy in the meantime.

Read! If you’re a writer, chances are, you’re also a reader. Reading is a fantastic way to pass the time between books. While working on Our Lady of Righteous Rage, I read several books about punk rock, guitars, etc. Even when I’m not working on that series, I still read punk-related books and magazines. I often find sources of material for the next book.

Re-read your other books. This may sound like a crazy idea, but it can come in handy. I know: you probably read your other books to death while you were working on them. But here’s a scenario: you’re writing the third book in a series. Maybe there are a few details from the previous two books you have forgotten. This has happened to me. It may be helpful to go back and re-read the other books.

Study your competition. Let’s say you’re writing a book about a group of children with unusual or magical powers, but you’ve never read Harry Potter or Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This may be a good time to read other books that fall within the genre you’re writing for. This will give you an opportunity to see what makes those other books so popular among readers.

You can still promote your older books. Just because you published a certain title three years ago, doesn’t mean you should just stick it on a shelf and forget about it. I published Fortune’s Wing in 2009, and I still tweet about it and post about it on Facebook. If I forget about the book, so will the rest of the world. You can use this time to devote a little attention to the previous books you’ve published.

Do you have any hobbies that tie into your writing? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Everyone is different. Playing guitar and listening to music led me to write Our Lady of Righteous Rage, so while I worked on that series, I also played my guitars and listened to a ton of Green day, MCR and The Clash, to name a few. Doing this inspired me, and gave me some fresh insight for the next books in the series. If you’re a sci-fi writer, maybe watching a few sci-fi movies will keep you in the spirit of your writing.

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Jack, my Fender, who keeps me company when I’m not writing.

 

 

I hope my advice was helpful. Keep writing, folks.

 

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