Wuxia Novelist: A Writer's Blog

Wuxia Novelist: A Writer's Blog looks at the broad range of issues encountered by me as a novelist working in the Chinese wuxia (heroic fiction) genre. I have, however, a very broad background and this blog will not narrowly focus on one genre of literature, rather I will consider books, movies, and ideas that relate to my life as a writer. For more information about my background please visit my author's website: www.thedragongateinn.com or www.facebook.com/WuxiaNovelist

Location: United States

Check out my author's website: www.thedragongateinn.com for everything you could ever want to know about me.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Random Thoughts about Book Promotion on a Chilly Gray Day

A month or so ago, I purchased a copy of Steve Weber’s Plug Your Book! to help me in my efforts to promote my wuxia novel, Dream of the Dragon Pool – A Daoist Quest. Based on Steve’s advice, I managed to get a spot on M.J.Rose’s blog (Backstory) that features novelists who want to share “secrets, truths, and logical and illogical moments that sparked their fiction.” Well, I’m the featured novelist for Nov. 1st. I don’t know if my piece is particularly enlightening regarding what sparked my fiction, but you can find it at www.mjroseblog.typepad.com/backstory. Let me know what you think.

My publisher, Pleasure Boat Studio, is a small literary press; being small they don’t have a huge budget to mount promotional campaigns for all their books. So I’m the promotional, marketing, and PR department for my novel. It is an interesting role, as I’m probably in a better position than my publisher to gage my audience. Or at least, I hope so! One of the things I’m learning in this role is that manga and graphic novels are really where it’s at in our type of fiction.

So I’ve been busy writing to those publishers to see if any of them would be interested in publishing Dream of the Dragon Pool in manga or graphic novel form. Did you really think that a novelist’s life was just writing? Perhaps, if you hit the big time, but starting out it doesn’t necessarily work that way. The majority of published fiction writers are right out there promoting their books. Guess that’s why the daytime job is so important for us.

If you’ve visited my website, www.thedragongateinn.com, you’ve notice the Wandering Blades Grotto Store. I didn’t set that up with the intention of going into the book store business, rather I set it up as a statement of those books and movies that have influenced my brand of wuxia. If you drop in there, you’ll notice that I’m also a big fan of Japanese Anime and Japanese samurai movies. There’s a lot to learn from the Japanese take on “heroic fiction.” As they did in their history, they’ve been able to combine traditional ways with the most modern technology and themes in their storytelling.

Now, I’m speaking here totally from the storytelling point of view – as I do most of the time in this blog, for it is the subject that most interests me. I’ve found that their mix of the modern and traditional can be very stimulating to my storytelling imagination. Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎 駿, Miyazaki Hayao) is one of my favorite anime producers. The man is a genius, a gentle genius who, in a very humble way, makes powerful statements about life. Princess Mononoke (1997) totally blew me away. I also love airplanes, so Porco Rosso (1992) with Miyazaki’s lovingly painted Italian seaplane is fantastic! And of course, Castle in the Sky (1986) and Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind (1984). Talk about heroes and the jianghu, Miyazaki’s movies a full of such stuff.

I recently saw another amazing anime, Ninja Scroll (獣兵衛忍風帖, Jūbei Ninpūchō, 1993). Amazing ideas, great action, and some very interesting characters. All of these films are food for the mind! I highly recommend the work of Susan J. Napier if you want a bit of the academic look at Japanese anime. She is a very intelligent fan and thinker regarding this art form.

Thinking along the lines of Japanese inspired heroic fiction, now that the DVD is out, I’ve been enjoying repeated viewings of the movie, Transformers. Great wuxia! That film stands up to repeated viewings, the humor is great and each time I see it, I find more of it.

As for the manga/graphic novel world, if any of you have ideas about which publishers would be good to contact regarding my novel, please feel free to drop a note to the marketing department – ME!

Stay warm and stay in the Jianghu!


The Innkeeper


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