Tag Archives: Book

The Growing Author

I think it’s pertinent to share my thoughts with everyone on what I learned through the release of my second novel, The Curse of Pirini Lilapa. It was officially published on June 21, but I didn’t have its release party until June 22.

The undertaking in releasing this book was something like I have never experienced before and has made me but luckily I had some experience already in this sort of thing. The hardest part, of course, was the language barrier and communicating my ideas and design to someone whose native language is not English. Luckily, I had met a few contacts who could speak a decent amount of English and worked in the positions I needed them to work in. I knew someone in an advertising agency who could design the inside of the book with her staff. I also knew another person who knew a book printer who could help me with printing books. This, my readers, is known as 關係(Guānxì). It means relationship in Chinese and it is part of the cultural identity that thrives here in China. So many times I have seen this play out, sometimes in bad ways (like when students enter our program because they simply know someone), sometimes in good ways (like my case) but it’s a fundamental idea that one has to be cognizant about while in China. If you’ve ever heard of the phrase “Don’t burn your bridges,” and thought it was just an idiom, it is actually life over here.

In fact, this idea permeates through more than just simple relationships, but it also affects how we are perceived as foreigners. For example, I recently went to a family lunch for the parents of a recent graduate to our program. I had never heard about this lunch until the day before, but no one actually invited me. At 7 p.m. at night I finally get an invitation from a colleague who must have “forgotten” about me (all too common in China), but I refuse the invitation as I already had other plans. Then the father personally adds me and invites me to the lunch. Now, I actually do enjoy these lunches and dinners quite a bit, and I did eventually end up going, but only because the father actually took the effort to invite me. So, there I was, the only foreigner in a room of 200 or so Chinese, and I needed to be there in order for them to have the ability to say that they know a foreigner, in order to give them 關係. Now, how does this relate to the novel? I only mentioned that story to show you how essential it is for Chinese people to have us at events, no matter the event, even if it’s simply taking a picture with you so they can claim to have a “foreign friend.” So, getting back to the book release, I held this event at a coffee shop and when asked how much money it would be to reserve the second floor they said there was no money needed, just that everyone should buy at least one drink and that they would have the ability to take photos of us for use as promotional material. Compared to other places and prices that I looked at in Yixing, this was a great deal and I ended up having my event there. You can see some of the pictures below, but again, it reverts back to this idea of relationships and not only that but “the face” here in China.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China is, lack for a better word, shallow. They DO care about how you look. They DO care about your skin color. They DO care about your sex. Although they may not say it explicitly, it goes back to their cultural identity and never losing “face” to someone. Face is like reputation, and because people take photos of me, or have lunches with me, or have their coffee shop filled with a bunch of foreigners, they automatically gain a lot of “guanxi” and they gain a lot of face.

 

Another thing that was extremely surprising to me doing the second release of the book is that, since traveling and teaching abroad, I have actually gained more fans than in the States. You think that this would be the opposite, right? Back home people know me, I grew up with them, I have established long-term friendships with them. While that is true, some of my best friends are actually the ones I have made abroad and I think it’s because we have gone through the same thing. We are both living and adapting to our environment and the struggle we share is similar. That is why support is so high here. Even from the Chinese actually. Although they most likely cannot read the book, they still buy it and support me and that matters a lot to me. I also think it’s because when people find out that I’m an author and a traveling teacher it kind of makes me an outlier. I mean, it’s like randomly seeing a celebrity on the street. Now, I’m not trying to equate myself with a celebrity, I am far from rich and famous yet, but it’s not that many times that you run into someone (especially someone so young) who has published a novel—that, too, I believe helps me gain fans and supporters.

The last thing I learned doing this book release was that timing is EVERYTHING. Now, this should be obvious, but it’s even more so when you are living abroad (especially in China). As I have an American fan base and a Chinese fan base, I need to post things on social media at the specific times where it can gain the most traction. Typically for me, this is in the morning (or the night before for America) or late at night in China around 9 PM which will then hit America at 9 AM. This, for the most part, I did successfully; however, I did fail in getting pre-publicity reviews before its release, and I hope that doesn’t really hurt me and my sales for the book. This time doing it I am much more cognizant about the money that I spend in promotion and marketing because the last book cost me waaayyy too much money and I doubt I’ll ever make a profit on it (to be honest, most authors don’t make a profit on their first book anyway as it’s just a way to gain your fan base and establish your credibility). Also, I’ve learned that I waited much too long to release this second book as it has been 5 years or so. I really should keep sequels to no more than 3 years, so I will be much more diligent on this third novel and hope to release it maybe in my early 30s, maybe before 30, who knows, it all depends on where the story goes. I do know, however, that China has given me the time and the economic freedom to publish my books as an author which is fantastic.

Overall, as I turn my nascent author career into one that is hopefully full-time professional career I will need to keep up with the times and learn new things on the way. That is the most exciting part about being an author and a traveling teacher, never growing stagnant. I always have to adapt to situations and it has made me a more confident and competent person than I was before.

Do you have any experiences that have shaped you as an individual? I think we all do. I would like to hear them in the comments if you would like to share!

  • Michael E. Thies

P.S. Also, it’s my birthday June 29th. As a birthday gift to all of my fans I have discounted my books on Amazon from 2.99 to .99 cents. So, download them while you can by clicking on the links here. The Trials of the Core and The Curse of Pirini Lilapa. Also, you can win autographed copies of both books by going to The Guardian of the Core Facebook page, liking the page, and sharing the most recent post with your friends!

It’s Finally Time

Well, it’s the time again.

Normally this is the time where I start to count down the days until the school year ends. How many more weeks do I have to teach? How many more class periods do I have? When are the finals going to be? This year, I am doing that, but I am also counting down to something else—the release of my second book.

I am happy to say that on June 21st of this year, when the sun is at its brightest and fullest, the second book in the Guardian of the Core series will come out. Why this day? Well, in the book the event, Pirini Lilapa, is when the two suns converge, creating a purple aurora in the sky and bringing with it heat, chaos, and beauty. What better day to release it than when our own sun is at its brightest and hottest! Below is a small video trailer I put together to create hype for the book’s release. Watch!

The Curse of Pirini Lilapa takes place immediately after the conclusion of the Trials. Coronation has elected a new apprentice to Guardian of the Core. Since, Zain Berrese, Prince Hydro Paen, and Eirek Mourse have gone their separate paths, thinking each other a distant memory. But, it seems that fate has other plans. As the three travel their paths, they find that their lives are not so separate after all. The persons who they thought they were at the end of the Trials are now tested even more as the suns draw closer to their convergence. To an event known to bring only bad luck, sorrow, and pain. To an event that occurs every 150 years. To an event known as Pirini Lilapa.

Some look to the sky in superstition, others look to the sky in fear, and yet, some look to the sky in contemplation. For in the weeks and days before the suns converge, plots perspire, deities die, and families are fractured as no one is safe from their harsh and heinous gaze. . .

For me, this is a dream come true to see it finally being printed and produced. I feel like a proud father now with this new baby of mine about to enter the world as for many years I kept pushing back the delivery. Now, I feel confident and stable enough to put it out there and as you will notice while you read, the world has expanded and to help you, maps have been included at the beginning of the book and character trees in the back so that you may keep track of all the people.

If you haven’t read book one yet, you can start now and finish it before the sequel comes out in June. Here is the link on Amazon. Also, you may preorder your book now for the Kindle version for only 2.99. After its official release, the price will jump to 3.99. You can do that by clicking here.

Looking to the future, the next thing for me to do is to finish writing the series. I have an idea about how it’s going to end, but that always changes, and is already starting to change in my mind (for I have two possible endings). It has been exhilarating, albeit frustrating at times, publishing the book in China. I have even gotten many people to ask for a Chinese version of the book, which I am contemplating actually about the first book. This could be another way to expand my marketability as an author, so we will see. At the end of the day, I need readership and followers and perhaps that initial investment in having it translated will pay off. What are your thoughts on that? I’d like to know. Also, what did you think of the trailer? Are you excited for the release of book 2!?

Let me know in the comments!

Chapter Reveal – Prologue

Hey everyone!

Okay, so it’s the beginning of the month again which means that another reveal in the book comes. Well, I have a special surprise for you today. Firstly, I would like to say that I feel comfortable saying that the title of the second book in the Guardian of the Core series is: The Curse of Pirini Lilapa (although I am going to keep you waiting for the cover).

Anyways, what I decided to share with you today is the Prologue to the story told from Guardian of the Core, Edwyrd Eska’s perspective. I hope you enjoy it. Comments and critiques are always appreciated as it is not set in stone yet.

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The strong breeze that had awoken the Guardian of the Core, Edwyrd Eska, died to sporadic, light strokes that massaged his neck. It was the grave of night, though a gloaming roamed, not willing to give up an inch more of territory to darkness. So sands glistened in the light and Eska could still see the mountains off in the horizon from the perch of his veranda.

A slap of wind hit him.

This is how it always happened when she wanted to see him. Eska clutched the gray orb necklace at his throat, remembering her present. It had come at a time like this 150 years before, when the suns were overhead just as they were now, in an event known as Pirini Lilapa or the Great Inferno. It had marked the fourth anniversary of the Great War, a war that had been so violent and terrible the Ancients themselves disappeared.

Another gust. Almost a howl as if she were growing impatient.

Why this night? Eska did not know. Perhaps it was the closeness of the suns. Perhaps it seemed only right after a day such as Coronation. His apprentice lay exhausted in his room as were the others. Eska turned around and looked at Tundra’s naked body, covered by sheets, lying in his bed underneath the gloaming light. She wasn’t pretty, there was a scar on her face and wrinkles and age took her beauty from her, but she was loyal, and to Eska that was beautiful. He maneuvered past his bed dragging his gloved hand along the bottom portion, feeling the rise of her legs as he passed her to exit his chambers.

Outside his estate, he walked upon the vast empire of dirten terrain. Only the stars gazed down upon him, only they watched him skulk through the night, guided by the faintest breeze. In this midway between dark and day the stars looked more like jewels. Perhaps godstones. Out of the billions of stars, one was his. And from that star he could make a wish. Any wish. He knew which one was his for over fifty years now, but he had never called upon it. What could he wish for that he didn’t already have?

When he took his eyes from the sky, he realized he was at the face of the Gamrol Cliffs. This is where the wind led him. This is where she called to him.

Eska climbed the boulders before him that secluded the entrance to the cave. Even though the area was isolated, here at the base of the cliff, the breeze intensified. It wrapped around him, billowing his cape and ruffling his silk clothes. Inside the cave the wind pushed him and heeded him down a path lighted with yellow moss and slimy with wetness.

“He’s here. He’s here,” the wind seemed to whisper.

Eska knew it wasn’t the wind though, it were the windies that floated by him, giving the illusion of wind. Berol, their leader, found him after he had traveled a quarter mile in and now found himself in a gigantic, spacious dwelling with stalagmites dripping cool blue in splats on the floor.

“He who can hold wind, what do you want on this late of night or early of dawn?”

The windy was a size and a half of the others but Eska still had to squint to make visible the fairy-like creature. Translucent wings and the pale blue body made him blend in with so much of the cavern. “She called me here. She wishes to speak to me. Let me see her.”

“As you wish, Guardian. The one who can hold wind.”

Berol let his mouth form into a type of howl and soon the whole cavern echoed their leader. Windies flew all around him in a blue tornado of action. For anyone not used to it they would have been thrown back by their raw power, but not Eska. The man who could hold wind only stood and watched as out of the tornado stepped a translucent woman of a flowing white robe, and blue curls that hung past her shoulders, bouncing with every step she took. The cavern was almost a vacuum now. The sudden change left Eska breathless. Although not as breathless as the first time he saw her. All the air had been pulled into creating her—Zeph. She was wife to the Ancient Bane, sister to Anemie of the Twelve and mother to Naydeia, rumored to have started a bloodline with Galan that merged the blood of both Ancients Lyoen and Bane.

“Guardian Edwyrd Eska…It has been too long.”

Her lips were lush with light blue, and her skin pale as moonlight. She was there, not physically, but through the power of her windies. He did not have time to go to her floating isle on Mistral tonight, but he needed to see her.

Eska used the necklace he wore to control what little air remained. Once he found the cadence to his breaths, he talked. “Yes, much too long.”

“I believe the last time we met under these circumstances was during Pirini Lilapa.” Zeph shuffled around him, walking on air.

“I suppose that is the reason you called me here tonight?”

“Yes. The fifth anniversary of the Great War arrives.”

“Last time you called to me as I sat alone in my room. A new Guardian of only thirty-five years to tell me and warn me and give me…” Eska pinched the necklace between his index and thumb to show her.

“And this time is not much different. Except for your age and experience. Deimos came into the world during that month…I only gave you the tool to stop it.” She walked around him, her white robe dragging on the air as if it were earth.

“The other Guardians…did you see them as well?”

“No. My eyes have only laid sight upon you Edwyrd.” She stopped in front of him and looked at him with dark blue eyes. A hint of purple hid in them as well. “And you wonder why that is?”

“Yes,” Eska admitted. He stood hands behind his back, not removing his gaze from hers until she started around her circular path again.

“They did not need the help which I bestowed upon you.”

“Why was I chosen though?”

“The Third One himself birthed a demon and only Ancient Power can fight Ancient Power.”

The Third One that is what he had heard sparsely from her the last time. Never once was the real name mentioned. Not once was it written in the history of books. Never once was it allowed to be said if myths were true. It referred to one being—The Third Ancient. Guardian Eska stood in silence as he let her thoughts sink down into his core.

“Some names are sung for sorrow. Others given for greatness. And yet there are those who are merely fit for fate,” Zeph said.

“And which of those am I?” Guardian Eska did not like the question, and knew he would like the answer even less.

“Fate,” Zeph responded cold and isolated.

“Is there anyway someone can change their fate?”

Zeph laughed, and twirled. Her gowns caught on her body and before he knew it she immediately stopped in front of him. “You who says you must learn to accept death. You ask this?”

“Death is not fate. So I ask you again, is there anyway someone can change their fate?”

“Everyone must die eventually, Edwyrd.” Her smile fell to a grim line. There was tension. And pause. Just long enough for him to feel his own mortality in the rise of his skin and the lack of air. Then she continued, “Unlike death, however, every man can mold the clay of his fate. Nothing is ever set in stone. The question lies in, why would you want to?”

“My role began with Deimos then?”

“No, no it did not. Your role is just beginning, Edwyrd.”

“And this?” Eska cupped the necklace in his hand, laying it out for her to see again.

Zeph came closer and laid her transparent hand on top of his. Somehow Eska could feel her. Perhaps he was the only one that could. He saw through the white her ghostly hand offered. He saw straight through her eyes that stared at him.

“The necklace is how it will begin.”

***No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system—except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine, newspaper, or on the Web—without permission in writing from the Publisher.***

My Life at the Moment…

It has been a LONG time since I’ve had a blog post. That is not good. It is something I am going to have to keep more on top of, but I want to explain why it’s been so long since I’ve had one, even though I’ve had a bunch of potential blogging ideas.

The busyness of life has gotten to me. I feel as though I am overwhelmed with all of the things that are occuring in my life right now. Let me tell you about them:

(1) Book 2 edits just got done and am patiently awaiting to see the reviews back from the editor. During this time I haven’t been getting done as much stuff on Book #3 as I would have hoped (in fact, nothing at all) So, I really need to start doing that. But, the things that eat up my time in this realm is reading other people’s works on Wattpad and being an active community member there and also writing short stories that will eventually be it’s own novel when I add them all together.

(2) School. Summer school has been really rough. I am taking 9 credits over summer and that is really really difficult. 6 of those credits have been all of June and so in July now I only have one course, so it should ease up a little but i constantly have homework in that course. I need to do well in those courses so that it can increase my ability to get a job at the end of college. That is my ultimate goal.

(3) A new career opportunity that allows me to get people in shape, keep me in shape, and get paid while doing it. It is a cleansing system that is so effective. I am only on day three but can already feel the positive benefits from it. The thing is, is that I don’t have time to recruit a lot of people because I’m so busy and I have so many other things going on, so I’m not exactly sure what to do about it.

(4) I’ve been out in the dating sphere in the last couple of months and that always takes up time and money.

(5) Finally I started a new job in June. This past month, since some people have either gotten fired or quit, they have increased my “part-time” status to “full-time” and that has been the main thing that has been killing me. It messes up my workout schedule (which, btw, is another thing that takes up time, but I have to stay in shape!) and it messes up all my other schedules including my sleep schedule because I am now napping at random times during the day.

(6) The rigors of every day life. I mean, is it fair that I am CONSTANTLY working on something? I don’t think so, and that is another large issue for me. I want to be social and hang out with people at the beach, or maybe just chill and watch netflix one day, but I feel as though I can’t because of all the other extra-curriculars I am involved in. It’s actually really stressful. I think I may need to cut out a few more in order to decrease my stress, but also I think buying a academic planner will be nice. I am going to get one of those today.

So, my decision for what I’m going to do now? Well, I definitely am cutting out drinking so that my 30-day cleanse product can be more effective. Also, it will give me much much more time to do things. I am hoping by cutting out that part of my life I will be able to stay more focused and motivated on the things I like doing. I hope that that is enough to keep me relieved and if not, well, then I’m just going to have to figure out how to do manage my life even more. I am not sure what is the next thing I would cut would be, but I definitely have a few of those things in mind. I will be cutting back my work availability to not do Sundays so that I have time to blog consistently. That should help for the moment! I am going to keep you all up to date on the posts that I would have mentioned and that were somewhat mentioned in here.

 

A Delayed December Launch :(

Hey everyone,

Alright so this is the saddest thing in the world to announce (at least for me) but I have been promoting my official book launch for December 10th, for forever now it seems. And alas, I do not believe it is going to happen (unless a miracle happens). In truth, I am not sure when it is going to happen anymore. How did this fiasco happen? Well, that, my friends and followers, is what I’m going to explain because I was quite distraught when I read the news.

So, with self publishing, we publishers have a few options to go with to let our books have the chance to be distributed nation-wide. Those options are CreateSpace (CS) or LightningSource (LS). There are probably others, too, but these two are the main players. Anyways, I went with LS because they offer a return policy, unlike CS, which is very important to get your books into bookstores, some bookstores are hesitant not to take books without a return policy because it is a rough economy out there. Also, LS does not put that they are the publisher on their books like CS does.

This July LightningSource split off into LightningSource and IngramSpark (IS). IngramSpark is where they transferred all of their self-published authors, like me! Now, this is fine, I don’t have a problem going with IS. However, I did not take time to read thoroughly the time delay it would take from the time it is submitted on IS to the time it actually gets put up on websites like amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. I though it would be an instantaneous process like LS, however, it is not. With that being said, I just approved everything a week and a half ago. This was all before I knew the fact thtat a new, never before published author like me, can expect up to 4-6 weeks to get out onto Amazon. Now, I have NO IDEA why the heck there is such a lag or delay in this process (it’s electronic after all). But, so far, my book is not up there yet, and I don’t really know when it’s going to be up there. So, if you were planning on buying the book, The Trials of the Core, on Amazon you will not be able to until I find out that it’s up there. When that happens I will let you know.

Anyways, there is my plight. So, maybe it’ll be up on Amazon tomorrow, but I doubt it. But, do not fear, there is still hope! You can order the book from my website, www.guardianofthecore.com and not only will you get the book sooner than what Amazon would deliver, but you will also get a personally autographed book, something that Amazon cannot give you. So, go there, check out the site, and if you feel inclined to buy, then go for it 🙂

For other aspiring authors out there who are reading the blog, keep this new timeline in mind when you are planning your book’s release date. I do not want to see any other authors affected by this like me.

Why I Can Never Compete in NanoWrimo…

Okay, this is a personal confession, although I am an author I have never competed in NanoWrimo. For those of you who do not know what this is it is New Novel November Month. Pretty much you write an entire novel in one month. I know, as an author, I feel ashamed for admitting the fact that I’ve never competed or done this, but I want to explain the reason why this has been out of my particular reach. Since it is now December I feel as though this is the perfect post because, alas, I did not compete this past November 🙁

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s my writing process. Especially for new novels. I am not sure if this is unique to me or if lots of other authors do it, so I am interested in hearing other people’s viewpoints on this. For first drafts of novels I HAVE to write it out freehand first and then go back and type up everything. I don’t know what it is, but that is how it is done for me. When I finish with a whole notepad of chapters, I plop it down in front of me, turn on my Pandora music and then type them all up just listening to music. The whole process is actually very relaxing for me. But, with this process comes twice the amount of work, I know. Trust me I have tried writing it all on the computer first, but it’s hard. I think this happens for a few reasons:

  1. With writing online comes all the distractions of online too. Too easily do I find myself checking my Facebook, or if someone posted a new comment on my novel on Wattpad.
  2. Staring at that blank screen just doesn’t appeal to me. The cursor blinking me and mocking me for having no thoughts to jot down. Something I cannot handle.
  3. With a pen in my hand I feel more of an author, you know? I see the pad I need to write and thoughts just come to me. It allows me to organize my thoughts better and rearrange ideas if need be by simply circling the passage in question and drawing an arrow to where I need to place it.

 

On top of my crazy writing process, I feel as though I shouldn’t be starting a new novel. I am honestly floored when I hear other authors who are working on 3 – 4 books at once. For one, how do you have that much time? And Secondly, how do you have that many ideas? It’s craziness. For me as being a series writer and currently working on the second novel in my series of either 4 or 5 books, I just couldn’t imagine starting a new storyline when I still have one unfinished. I know I’ll need a new idea eventually and I actually do have another idea for a story once this one is done, but I just can’t start writing a new novel when I should be focused on what is here and right now.

Now, although I do not participate in New Novel November Month, it does not mean I do not write constantly. My original goal was to have the first draft of my second novel done by the end of November. However, I was lazier in October than I should have been so now I am pushing that to end of December. For the past couple weeks in November I have been consistently writing one chapter per day in my second novel and am less than 20 chapters from finishing it (I think anyways).

Personally, that is what writing is, persistence. I really do appreciate what NanoWrimo does in encouraging authors to start a story, but here is where I think the program goes wrong. By encouraging to someone to write a whole novel in a month you are pretty much telling them “do not have a social life” or have less of one. That is the quickest way to get burnt out and when you get burnt out at writing you are officially done. You won’t want to come back to the keyboard or pick up the pen again. That is why, in my opinion, slow and steady wins the race. I make it kind of a goal to get a chapter done per day, even in revisions. If you did that you would have a great polished novel done by the end of a year. (With taking breaks too.)

By simply writing a chapter per day, you ease your workload and still can have a social life which is very necessary for authors—we are people watchers after all. It’s like when parents tell their children they can’t play video games until they get their homework done. For me, I can’t go out with my friends until I get at least one chapter done, and as long as I do that I know that I will have another piece of work coming out in a decent amount of time.

What do other authors think about these things? Do you have a certain process you take while writing? What is it? Do you participate in NanoWrimo? Have you been successful in it?

All pretty interesting questions that I would love feedback on. Take care and keep writing!

Ender’s Game: From Book to Movie

enders_game_2013_movie-wide

Alright, so I am disappointed to admit this but until the movie gained popularity, I had not read Ender’s Game even though it is considered to be a staple in the science-fiction genre. Needless to say, I bought the book on my Kindle and I read it before seeing the movie. I always find it fascinating when books get turned into movies and I think that is really any author’s dream (or nightmare if your book gets murdered as much as Christopher Paolini’s Eragon did). With that being said, this is my review of the book and movie as a conjoined identity.

Compared to the book, the movie falls short. Not even falls short. Falls into an ABYSS. It’s very sad to see such a great book that has a lot of potential to be a great movie, end up not being that great at all. I would have to say it’s the second word book-to-movie translation I have ever seen, behind Eragon (I’m convinced those people didn’t even read the book cause of how awful it was). Anyways, before you start criticizing me for badmouthing the movie, let me get a chance to explain the problematic elements the movie offered.

  1. I thought the movie was too short. I look at the time and it says that it was 114 minutes long, but it did not seem like that for me. I could have sworn it was only around an hour and a half and definitely could have been improved by being increased by at least another half an hour. If this length is correct than this movie suffers from misdirection in defining what is truly important in the storyline. Those are the next points that I will be addressing.
  2. Technically I guess the largest flaw of this movie is the fact that they did not describe the anscible or what it does. They make reference to it but do not make an effort to tell us what it does and simply assume that everyone watching the movie knows what it does. This I would consider the biggest flaw in the movie because it is the crux of the whole ending of the story! For those of you who haven’t read the book, the anscible is a device that allows people to communicate faster than the speed of light. This is the dues ex machina that allows Ender to control the entire star fleet at the end that are universes away. Also, when we find out that it was no simulation that Ender was facing, but the real enemy and the ansicble is the thing that made his directions seems to be in real time, it brings a certain sense of realism to the science-fiction element. With this element not being explained thoroughly we, as viewers, have no clue how this “simulation” ended up being real or how that can even happen without removing ourselves really really far out of the story (suspension of disbelief at its finest).
  3. The battles that made up a majority of the story, end up hardly making up any of this movie. Ender is shown doing one battle in the movie. Then all the sudden he is ready to take on a whole fleet of alien without any more training. That is too contrived. I understand you need to cut things to fit a book into movie form, however, a few more battles would have engaged the audience more and also would have shown Ender’s skills develop as a tactical genius. Plus, it would have created emotional unrest in us as we see all of his friends graduate (although we really know they just graduated to command school to where Ender meets them again). Because of this brevity we don’t get to see the strain it is putting on Ender and therefore cannot really connect with him as a character and so when he is having a hard time going to command school and needs to go home and his sister Valentine talks to him, we don’t really understand why he is so distraught.
  4. One last change that really made me upset is the fact that this “Giant’s Game” that is also a considerable part of the book, is skimmed over. The game is described in great detail but the “End of the World” part is not. What Ender struggles with is this, and he doesn’t struggle with it in the movie. In fact, he solves it the first time. And the “End of the World” that actually ends up being a whole different planet in the book, ends up being on the same planet where the Space Command School is set up. A site where they said they had traveled through all the tunnels and exterminated all of the “buggers” as they are called. Little do they know they missed one bugger and her offspring (which is going to repopulate the race that Ender just genocided). Okay, this may be believable if the fact that the place that they didn’t scope out fully is the one that is located as close to the Command School as possible. How does this one go without being looked at extensively??? Really??? Come on now producers, think that through!!!
  5. And finally just a few pet peeves that annoy me when it comes to translating anything from book to movie or tv show. Why do you need to change names if they are going to be the exact same characters? Granted this didn’t really happen a lot with Ender’s Game but there is a man named “Dab” who I am pretty sure isn’t in the entire book and just thrown in there as a filler character. But, for example, an issue where it becomes more prevalent is when Game of Thrones changed Theon’s sister from Asha to Yara (which I guess would have been too confusing with Bran’s wilding mentor Osha).

Now, as in any review or critique there needs to be some positive elements, right? Yes, that is right and Ender’s Game does have some moments of brilliance here.

  1. I thought the cast was appropriate minus Bonzo who I thought was going to be taller (especially since he’s older) than Ender. Also, I pictured him to be bigger. Was not expecting such a scrawny kid.
  2. I thought the fact that they did not choose to include the internet domination of Ender’s brother and sister is a good thing. I don’t think this really carried the book story any further and it definitely would have caused a drag in the movie if it were allowed to sneak in. That was an excellent choice by the producers.
  3. The graphics and animations were really well done. The buggers were shown very well and I though the “Giant’s Game” that Ender plays in the book was translated very well to the movie screen minus the fact that they didn’t go into enough detail with it.

All in all I would give this book to movie translation a 3/10. The graphics and cast are what got in the three. But not defining the anscible clearly and demonstrating a clear lack in Ender’s training which is probably 75% of the actual book just shows a clear negligence on the part of the producers. I would still have to say that my all-time favorite book to movie translations would have to be the Harry Potter series. The producers and directors did a fantastic job at those, and if my book, The Trials of the Core, ever gets chosen to become a movie someday, those are the people I would want to have it done.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you read the book? Have you seen the movie? Both? How would you compare the two?

Review #3

And the positive reviews continue to roll in. Here is what Betsy Harrison said about my novel on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/730582546. Otherwise here it is below!

“The Guardian of The Core is reaching the close to his 200 year term as Guardian and must seek out a replacement. Letters arrive at different places to assemble the best of the best for the competition to see who will be chosen as the apprentice. Prince Hydro, Eirek, Zain, Zakk, Gabrielle, Prince Evber and Cadimar are the contestants for the apprenticeship.

“The trials would sort the strong from the weak. Nothing else matters.” These are the thoughts of Guardian Eska as he finally meets those called to attempt the trials.

Through a series of four trials they will be tested for knowledge, strength, survival and more with only one spectator allowed to witness the trials, Senator Numos. After each trial, some will be dropped while others continue on until only two are left. These two will compete in the final Trial with the winner to become the new apprentice and eventually the new Guardian.

All of the contestants want to win, but at what lengths will they go to to be the final person left? Rivalries and friendships. Which will it be?

Totally unique and very interesting story line, plot, setting, and characters. The author does each person justice by not focusing on just one or two but spreads out the developing plot between them all. This story has me awaiting the next book to see if the characters and story go the way I have developed them to go in my mind.

I gave this book 5 stars. Actually, I’d give 6 if I could.

(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)”

Thanks Betsy for enjoying the book.

Revealing my Story

Revealing my Story

Hi everyone!

So, like I mentioned in previous blog posts a book called “The Trials of the Core” (book #1 in a series called, Guardian of the Core) is going to be published this December by Writer’s Block Press. We are doing a slow reveal of the book online. Click the link/url above and follow along with all that has been posted so far (chapters prologue – seven). Every week two more chapters will be released.

It would be fantastic if you could help this novel pick up steam so feel free to share this with your friends and leave comments on the chapters.

Enjoy!

– Writer’s Block Press

Building Readership

Although this post will not be anything novel and original, I do want to reiterate this because it is something that I am doing currently through my pre-marketing strategies (which if you’ve read my other posts should be around 3 – 4 months prior to your books release). The strategy? Well, its releasing your novel piece by piece and week by week hopefully. Now, like I said before, many authors already currently do this, and that is good because it really does build a large readership and sorry to say folks, it’s usually not the first book that makes you money, it’s the second and the third and so on. The first book is just to establish yourself as a recognized author and to slice out a pie in that saturated author market. It’s about building up your fan base. With that being said, though, here are a four options that you can do while trying to build readership (although I’m sure there are probably lots more available).

Option #1: GoodReads

  • Here on GoodReads you can make an author profile for yourself once you have a few basic things taken care of with your book (like an isbn being the most important) because they offer their author program to those who are published, yes, but also who are in the process of publishing, so start building that readership today. I have just started this, and am posting chapters weekly for people to read.

Option #2: Wattpad

  • I don’t believe this one is as well known, at least I never heard of it until very recently, but it has worked wonders for authors.
  • Wattpad is an online writing community site and app where people can visit and either read free stories or post them. It’s sort of like a YouTube for writers. Anyone can join (it’s free!) and writers can post poetry, short stories, full-length novels, screenplays—pretty much anything writing-related—and other users can read them, comment, share, vote, etc. It’s the number one app of its kind in the world and has about 10 million+ unique visitors a month.
  • The same tactic I mentioned above about utilizing a weekly post will go good with this, too. I highly recommend it. The more visibility the better.

Option #3: Blog

  • Have you considered that blog of yours as a potential option for sharing tidbits of your story? If not, you should. I have been going back and forth about this decision myself just because I have been so busy but I think I’ll probably end up going with it in the near future. And even if you don’t post chapters of your novel, perhaps just doing a weekly blogpost like “motivational mondays” where you say your favorite quote or something. That’s always a good way to build readership and eventually you’ll get people looking forward to what is the next thing you’ll post.

Option #4: Twitter

  • Twitter, some have said, is online poetry. It restricts the user to only using a certain amount of characters and that’s it. Well, although you can’t post a whole chapter on Twitter, why don’t we utilize a new approach? Have you ever written something in your story and you’re like “Damn, that is good writing.” I have. Or, at least I like to think I have. And I wish every single sentence could be like it. It are these gems, though, that you could put as part of a weekly Tweet that either is separate from the novel chapters you are posting, or coincides along with them. For example, I am doing mine on Sunday as part of my “Quotetastic Sundays” (I know, not the most catchy or original thing), but one of my characters in my fantasy story gave really solid, intriguing, and thoughtful advice. He said, “Warriors still standing do not stand still.” I personally really like that line so I decide to Tweet it out as #newauthor #GoC (guardian of core, series of my book) #fantasy. Any hashtags that will get me found pretty much. Anyways, I plan on utilizing a lot more of these awesome lines and advice in the near future.

–> The problem I think many of us will have with this is where do I stop it? Should I give the ending away? Really, I think it is your own call there. I would say go for it, because here’s the thing, if it’s good writing, and people like your story, they will buy it regardless of it is online for them to read. Why? 2 reasons (although there are probably more): (1) You didn’t make it easily accessible, you spread it out over weeks and months. (2) Reading online blows!!! It tires the eyes much faster than e-books on kindles or nooks, or the printed versions.

Although I’ve been posting lots of stuff about good marketing strategies and how to get your book known, there is one that I haven’t yet and that’s because it should be a fundamental idea that all authors live with. Good, quality writing will attract fans. There is hardly any time where bad writing will garner a lot of sales because so many of us live on reviews of books nowadays. If you want to be a successful author, first and foremost, put out a good book.