Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A long post to start the year (#IWSG January 2020)

I'm starting January off feeling positive. This is going to be a good writing year for me. I mean, it will probably all come crashing down soon and my February IWSG post will be me threatening to give up writing altogether again, but I'm allowed a moment of optimism at least once a year, right?

FIRST BIG NEWS

You remember the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, right? It's the annual contest organized by best-selling and award winning novelist Mark Lawrence, designed to showcase the best up-and-coming independent writers of fantasy fiction by giving them a large platform. With that in mind, enterprising author Jon Auerbach has collected samples from OVER 70 current and past SPFBO participants and made it available FREE for anyone to download. Both of my entries, TEN THOUSAND DAYS and HELL COMES TO HOGTOWN, are included in there. PLEASE head over and check out this smorgasbord of free sample goodies. Who knows? You may just discover your new favourite book or author.
Cover by Luke Tarzian


SECOND BIG NEWS

For the fourth (yes, FOURTH) year in a row, I will have a story appearing in Mystery & Horror's STRANGELY FUNNY comic horror anthology series! They must really like me over there. It's awesome to have found a place that fits my weird brand of kooky, creepy humour so well.


STRANGELY FUNNY VII will be released in the spring, and you can be sure as I will have all the deatils (and the new cover!) as soon as they're available.

THIRD BIG NEWS

This is probably my favourite. I kept it on the down-low all year, but if you read last week's year-end-report you already know about it: I wrote not one but TWO new books in 2019. I know, I'm just as shocked as you are.

Look at it. LOOK AT IT!

At least one of those books should see the light of day before the end of 2020, which makes me super-excited. It's been so long since I've released a full-length novel. Not only that, but a couple of my other half-finished projects are slowly starting to come back together again, as well.

Like I said. Cautiously optimistic.

JANUARY IWSG QUESTION

What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

This is a very complicated answer. I had already written this when I got all my big news to share, so bear with me.

In my bio, I usually say that I wrote my first story when I was 5 years old, and I had to ask my baby-sitter to look how the spelling of "extra-terrestrial" in the dictionary. This is true - and in fact, I may have been even younger.

I also often credit the Star Wars films and the Americanized version of the Japanese Anime ROBOTECH/Macross as teaching me how to tell stories, which is also true. You may not see it in my published works, but I have scores of unpublished material that follows the same serialized structure of Star Wars and sci-fi cartoon series. The Teddy Ruxpin cartoon was also a big influence, believe it or not.

Cinematic brilliance.

I've sometimes joked that the reason I started self-publishing is because I read lots of terrible self-published work and I thought, "I can do better than that," and now I'm the guy who inspires other people to say "I can do better than that." This is also, sadly, true.

But while contemplating this question, I have come to the realization that one of my biggest and earliest influences is Robin Hood. My earliest recollection of watching a movie was VHS copies of Robin Hood, which in my later years I've come to believe were the Robin of Sherwood series from British TV.

This image is seared into my brain from childhood. I think I had nightmares about that guy.

I loved those shows as a kid, with all the sword fights and magic and mysticism. I also loved the stories (though the Robin Hood stories don't usually have the same kind of supernatural elements as the Robin of Sherwood series did). Several of my first LEGO sets were also Robin Hood-themed:

I HAD THIS SET! It blows my mind whenever I find images on the internet that I remember so vividly from childhood. There's a secret door on tower on the left-hand side, which I adored.

Needless to say, I was psyched when the Kevin Costner movie came out in 1991. I haven't watched it in almost 30 years so I don't know if it has held up, but I will continue to remember it fondly until that illusion is shattered.

A couple of years ago I was going through my old stuff at my parent's house and I found one of my very first stories, from when I was in grade 1 or 2. It was in French, fully illustrated in colour, and bound like a small book with cardboard covers. And what was it about? An elf named "Bras D'or" (Golden-Arm), an expert archer who looked like Robin Hood, tricking and defeating a giant blue ogre.

It hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure I'm going to eventually write a gritty reboot of Robin Hood in some form of another.

How about you? How is your new year starting off?

Hugs & Kisses,
-CDGK


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.

20 comments:

  1. Hi CD - you do have lots going on ... and so pleased to see so many publications - good luck with getting the two novels ready this year. Love your reminiscences ... have a great 2020 - cheers Hilary

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    1. Happy 2020 to you, too! I find my reminiscences very meandering and incoherent. I'm surprised anyone can follow them!

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  2. Will download the sampler.
    Congratulations on the anthology and typing the end.
    Big Robin Hood fan, huh? I imagine that Kevin Costner version hasn't held up too well.

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    1. I honestly haven't thought of Robin Hood in years, but as a kid, yeah, that was my first big "fandom," even before Star Wars.

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  3. Congrats on starting the new year with such great news. Those are great accomplishments, especially writing two books in one year. I'd love to write fast enough to write one a year.

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    1. I don't know if they're necessarily GOOD books, but we'll see. :-/

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  4. Wow! You should be so proud of yourself for all that you have accomplished last year. Obviously your works are well regarded since they are printed in other works.I bet Bruce Campbell would star in one of them. I used to watch Robotech! I can't stand that Robin Hood version with Kevin Costner. I much prefer Errol Flynn's version, The one with Patrick Bergen and Uma Thurman that came out the same year and is much better (same year as Kevin Costner's) and i like the Russell Crowe version.

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    1. You watched ROBOTECH!? It's hard to people of the right age - I remember it on ASN weekday afternoons.

      I haven't seen any Robin Hoods since Kevin Costner, so I can't compare them. I do remember the Errol Flynn versions had some kick-ass sword-fights, though.

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  5. Congrats on all you've accomplished last year. Keep it up!

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  6. Triple congrats! Pretty darn good start to a year and end of 2019 too.

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    1. I go through highs and low. Don't worry, it will all crash back down to Earth again soon.

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  7. Wow! You have had an awesome year. And yes, you do get to threaten to give it all up in February, as long as you don't. Sorry, but we're all mad here, and you don't get to leave.

    So about the Kevin Costner version of RH. The Christian Slater character annoyed the crap out of me. But Alan Rickman was magnificent! His "it's amazing I'm sane" is one of my favorite sayings.

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    1. Alan Rickman, and Michael Wincott as Guy of Gisborne, were epic in that movie.

      GUY: By why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?

      SHERIFF: Because it's dull, you twit. It'll hurt more.

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  8. Congrats on the successes, and I hope the optimism can continue at least until, oh, March! And I want to know--why were you writing stories in French at age 7? Wait--now I think about it, I think I know where you live, and that answers the question. Bien.

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  9. Congratulations on finishing two books in 2019! And good luck getting them out into the world in 2020.
    I agree, the Kevin Costner Robin Hood probably hasn't held up very well at all but it'll always be one of my favourites.

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  10. Congratulations on finishing two books last year! That's quite a feat. I know many critics panned it, but I loved the Costner version of Robin Hood, though not as much as I loved Men in Tights. RH offers mucho fuel for spin-off stories. Go for it!

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  11. It's funny how a photo from the past can brind back so many memories! Congrats on finishing two books. Wow. Excellent. I edited two and started two. I'm ready to get to work!

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  12. I LOVE the positivity! And yes, you're allowed to be cheerful. And for 3 good reasons too. Look at you writing two books in 2019! I'm still working on one from 2018! CD, I think this is going to be a good year :)

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  13. Damn. It's taken me all month to get around to this post. >_< Sorry.

    Woot for finishing the two stories, and the inclusion in the collections! That's awesome, Dude! And Robin Hood is a pretty cool dude, though my mind typically goes to the Disney cartoon with the fox first.

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