Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I was too stuffed yesterday to write a word so merry Christmas everyone! I truly hope you all got exactly what you wanted. All the best!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Fight like Jason Bourne?

When I set about writing the action scenes for The Gatekeeper's Son, I already knew the fighting style I wanted for Junya. I'd seen The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and a whole bunch of other movies which feature elaborate Kung Fu fight scenes. They're fun to watch but are all rather ineffective as far as ending a fight fast. Enter Jason Bourne. In the first installment of the movie series, what impressed me the most was his brutal yet economical fighting style. And it was extremely realistic. When he fights the three guards in the US Embassy, that is a brilliant fight scene, using from what I can see, the Israeli fighting system Krav Maga. Another great fight was the one shown in the clip below. I think that has got to be one of the best movie fights I've ever seen! So, that's the way I wanted Junya (and Shoko) to fight. Fast, brutal, get it done and move along. I don't think long fight scenes play well in a book anyhow. But if the Gatekeeper's Son ever makes it to the Big Screen, I will insist that the fights scenes are choreographed like Jason's.        

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A street in Japan.

When I first visited Japan, it was little things that surprised me, like a street with shops and restaurants. At home, that means a straight row of buildings of different sizes, plate glass windows, maybe trees lining the sidewalks and a bunch of parked cars. A shop in japan is often at the front of the owner's house and they'll hustle in from a back room hidden behind a curtain to serve you. Often both the house and the store have been owned by the family for generations. Streets and shops like this are all over Japan. Of course, like in America, this way of life is being threatened by big box stores. 

Cool street scene pictures below. Very fun to find places to eat or drink. I need to add a scene like this in GKS2!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Shrine of love?

Ōkuninushi (Ōkuninushi-no-mikoto), famous as the Shinto deity of marriage is also known as  'En-musubi', the creator and arranger of relationships. The relationships are not simply those that bind men and women together in marriage. They are also the relationships that help us grow into respectable adults, create a bright and exciting society. Bring all things happiness and good fortune a create a feeling of brotherhood between us all.' (Taken from A Guide to Izumo Oyashiro). No wonder Junya and Shoko fall in love (Maybe) Stayed tuned for book 2.

Ōkuninushi-deity of marriage

Junya's Father? Can you tell me his name?

I'm getting a lot of people saying, "What's the deal with Junya's dad?" Well, it's true that he didn't show up very often in book one. He really didn't have a role other than showing that Misako (Okaasan) had a husband and Junya a dad. And when he did show up, he wasn't a strong character either. He was, and is, a quiet man who had his share of bad experiences and just wants a quiet life. However, he plays a larger role in book 2 where he will be an important role model for Junya and I hope, that will satisfy you readers! I do like him, after all, he's a woodworker and likes heritage renovations, just like me.

Friday, December 12, 2014

More on the ancient Izumo Shrine

If you remember, after Junya's nightmare, he described the Izumo Shrine as have massive posts: 3 huge trees, tied together and painted red. 'According to the Kuchizusami, a book written in 950 AD. the main structure reached 48 meters, topping the 45 Meter height of the Great Buddha Hall of Nara's Todai-ji Temple and making it the tallest building in all of Japan.'  The first records of the Izumo shrine date to 710 AD. Below are pictures of what archaeologists excavated at the site and a model of what they believed the posts looked like based on old records. The posts they found were three cedar trees with a three-meter (about 10 feet) diameter at its base. As I've said in interviews, with visuals like these, it's pretty easy to create the land of Izumo where Shoko and the Gatekeepers guard the home of the gods. 
Another look at the posts excavated at the shrine site as well as more documentation of the probable layout of the shrine. 
There the posts stood

Model of the posts as they may have looked 1000 years ago

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Izumo-Taisha Shinto shrine

One of the main locations featured in The Gatekeeper's Son is the great Izumo-Taisha shrine. It's considered one of the most important shrines in Japan and has a history going back a thousand years. The general area around the shrine is full of artifacts and archeological sites dating from the bronze age and reinforce how old the area truly is.
Izumo Taisha present day

Izumo-Taisha a 1000 years ago

On my many many visits to the Izumo shrine, it was easy to imagine what it would've been like back then because really, it hasn't changed much, other than its height off the ground. The theory that it once stood 40 meters high was reinforced when the remains of huge posts were found buried at the site. So, on the Other Side where the Gatekeeper's guard the gods, I made the shrine in the style it was once believed to be. That was, and is, a fun part of creating Shoko's world.  

Model of Izumo as it may have once looked
A Miko (Shrine maiden) kneeling near the remains of huge posts

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A different storyboard idea

I'm always on the lookout for ways to keep plot and storyline organized, especially since I have a terrible memory. I came across this one used by Joseph Heller while writing his famous novel, Catch 22. There is the expected vertical list of scenes/chapters on the left but what is really interesting is what he does across the top. In case you can't see it, Heller has a column for each character so in every scene listed on the left, he could plot and see what each character was doing (or not doing). Personally, I think it's brilliant and my version was really easy to make as a table in Word. For the Gatekeeper's Son II, I've given Junya three columns because, as a first-person POV, he has the most going on. I can refer back to it as I write and if I have a quick thought, I can add it easily for later reference. Cool eh?     

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weekend in Whistler

I took my son to Whistler for an overnight stay. It was to celebrate his 18th birthday. Now I know being 18 means you still can't drink or vote but for me, it is the gateway to manhood. We didn't ski, the mountain just opened and the snow was sketchy, but we did ride the gondola to the top. Besides that, we mostly chilled and did a lot of talking. I think it brought us closer together at a critical time in his life. It's time to relate to him as a man and not my boy. I wish my dad had done this, which was one of the major reasons I made sure I did it.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The day my first copy arrived

This is from October 1, 2014 when the first copy of my finished book arrived. As you can see, I was very pleased with it. After all the years of hard work, I had it in my hands!

My new palm tree!

Here's my latest victim. I have to admit that I am a serial palm tree killer. My last one, which looked this good when I bought it, was dead down to its last stubby brown branch in 5 months. Apparently I drowned it. Usually I kill them by forgetting to water them. Is there no way to keep these things alive and thriving? I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Launch party today!

Party was fun, gave a speech and thanked everyone who'd helped make the book a reality. Sold lots of books too!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Gatekeeper's Son by C.R. Fladmark

The Gatekeeper's Son

by C.R. Fladmark

Giveaway ends October 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Waiting for the proof from the printer

I should get the proof copy of the GKS in my hands on September 29th! A quick review and it'll be ready for publishing. I can't wait to see it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

So it's official. The Gatekeeper's Son will be released by Shokunin Publishing Company on October 1, 2014! It's been a long journey to this point. Now the real adventure begins! Pre-order it on Amazon and if you like it, please write a review on your favorite social media site and tell your friends.

Monday, June 16, 2014

September is more likely for the release

I said June for the release but it's here already and the cover and interior aren't even done yet. September is more likely at this point. I want it out but I won't sacrifice quality for speed

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Still chuggin' along...

It's been busy for me these last few weeks. The cover of GKS is in the works as is the interior design. Here is a sneak preview of one of the design ideas.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Slow Monday

All the pre-production is underway and out of my hands. Even the social media stuff is being created and fine tuned. I have nothing to do but write. As you can see, I'm blogging instead...

Monday, April 28, 2014

Novel enters pre-production stage

With the copy edit completed yesterday, pre-production starts. Cover and interior design, then formatting for print and ebook. My work on this book is pretty much done, just approvals of designs.
Until then, I can focus on writing GKS 2 which is exciting.  However, once the first novel is done, the marketing efforts will be intense and will be time-consuming.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Research trip to California

Surfers at Steamer's Lane, Santa Cruz,  CA. Curious about what book 3 is about?

Research trip to California

Outside Maverick's surf shop in Half Moon Bay, CA.  We're near the infamous Maverick's surf area, known for 20+ ft waves in the wintertime.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Starting to roll!

Pre-production is underway.   First on the list is cover and interior design.   I've decided on the person who will do the cover; quite the talented guy.  I have an appointment tomorrow with the director of book design to get that set up.  I'm excited!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Accepted into agent match-making program!

I heard yesterday that my editorial company has accepted my book into their program.  This means they think enough of it to help me find an agent.  Pretty exciting stuff!

However, I don't intend to wait for an agent to get me a deal.  Indie publishing has so many advantages over the traditional model.  I'm going in that direction.   It'll cost a lot up front but the royalties are so much better.  I'm thinking of a June 2014 release

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Novel back from line-editing!

The Gatekeeper's Son came back on Monday 20,000 words lighter.   Shannon's line-edit wasn't drastic,  just little cuts here and there but what a difference.   It reads better and the action never stops!  I'm excited to do the final fixes and move on to the next step.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wierd weather here too

I know the rest of North America is getting hit by terrible weather so this will seem trivial.  But there's ice on this river near my house.  Never seen that before.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The waiting is the hardest part.

Well, the manuscript is still in the hands of my editor and will be at least another two weeks until it comes back.  I can't wait to read it.  Hopefully she didn't take out all my favorite parts (they probably need to go). 

The next step is finding an agent but I will stop and celebrate this monumental achievement:  I wrote a novel!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Getting into the next novel

I'm really getting into the planning of GKS2.  But it seems the more I plan, the more I see plot issues from book 1 that need to be continued or resolved in the new book.  In some ways, I think writing a completely new novel would be easier but there is still lots of adventures left for Junya and his crew.  I'm quite excited to see where they go!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Gatekeepers Son II?

With the first book in the line-editing stage, I've begun storyboarding my next book.  I've already written 3 chapters but I don't want to repeat the mistake I made with The Gatekeepers Son, which was writing without a clear plan.  I had an outline but with this book I want to try the storyboard.  I'm a visual person and like the idea of seeing it laid out in front of me.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thought I gave up?

I just reread the last post and had to laugh.  I didn't give up!

To get you up to date, I finished the rewrite and submitted it in early December 2012.  It came back in January 2013 with the usual message-cut another 100 pages, along with some major plot fixes.  I completed those by August but my editor couldn't get to it until October.  

When it came back, I was surprised that she didn't ask for another 100 page cut.  Instead, she had just a few plot issues that needed fixing.  The novel was the most cohesive version yet.  Inspired and happy, I attacked the rewrite.   As usual, amazing inspiration appeared just at the right time and inam so pleased with the outcome.

The final version went back to my editor in December.   The novel is done!  Line editing begins this month (January 2014) and then the next chapter begins... Getting an agent!

I'll keep you posted.