Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Adventure of How My WIP Series Developed

For those that don't know, I'm in the process of creating a planned 5-Book series. There may be some side novels released at some point within the same world. This series will cover two generations.

I'm querying the first book, KONADAI, now. Book 2 is in the drafting phase.

Book 3, IMMUNITY HUNTER, was completed last year. The plan then was to publish it in a trilogy. But as writers, we know plans sometimes fail. After 130+ rejections, failed mentorship contest entries, and editors telling me the plot will never work without a full rewrite, I decided to put it aside. This blog post is about how IMMUNITY HUNTER came to be.

Back in 2007, I became obsessed with Naruto and other anime such as Inuyasha and Bleach. Before then I was watching DBZ, Gundam, and others. I was also playing Final Fantasy. Around 2008 I lost my soul to Naruto and all things anime, zombies, amateur filmmaking, and teen slasher films. It was then that my brother and I decided to write a Naruto fanfic.

There was no plot! Like most fanfic (sorry, not sorry). At some point, we changed the names and I created a magic system based on the skills each original character had. But still, there was no plot. Just teens being teens. We came up with the title BREAK. Why? Because a lot of things break in the story. Broken hearts, broken trust, broken bones. Seemed fitting.

My brother got bored and moved on to other things like skateboarding and rock bands. But I didn't. I came up with an actual plot...or idea. Around this time, Left 4 Dead was released and again, I lost my soul to this game. Now I knew what I wanted to write: Teens fighting zombies with magic!

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Whoever heard of mixing zombies with magic! Well, I didn't. So yeah. Good plan. I called them Konadai. I have no idea why. I think I was trying to come up with something that sounded Japanese? Who knows.

I discovered Daz3D and rendered the characters and some scenes. Again, these were based on Naruto characters so I improvised a bit. Some people caught on but didn't care. It's not like I was stealing the characters, right? Right. Of course not. It was MY creation. Heh... I even included a subtitle, BREAK: WELCOME TO CAARA ISLAND. Talk about cool! By the way, Caara came from Gaara...don't ask.

As I created the characters in their 3D world, I posted each chapter on and gained a nice following. People actually liked what I was writing. But I wasn't satisfied. My real goal was to turn my novel into a manga. I honestly thought I could create an American manga. Silly me. I had no idea how to write a comic script so I set out to find an artist who would actually read my prose and create panels from it. Didn't work for obvious reasons. But that didn't stop my dream of publishing my very own manga! I mean how hard could it be? Hire an artist, send it to Dark Horse, see my new manga in Barnes & Noble. Hahahaha I was so stupid!

I wrote 29 chapters (no structure or ending in sight) before my hard drive crashed. EVERYTHING I EVER CREATED WAS GONE!!!! Well, all except the 29 chapters I posted online. I downloaded what was left but my motivation disappeared with the hard drive.

A few years later, I tried again. I figured maybe I could give each main character their own section in my manga (still holding on to that dream). But I was broke and couldn't find anything to team up with for free. But I still have the novel so not all was lost...expect my motivation again. It took me 9 years to finally decide to finish the damn thing.

In 2017, it took me 3 months to change everything from 3rd person to 1st person. I ended up with SIX POVs by the time I was done. I figured I needed to end it on a cliffhanger if I was going to publish the thing. I was already over 90,000 words and I still had a lot of story to tell plus a lot more characters to introduce.

I was excited. I was going to publish my first book. HAHAHA NO! Publishing sucks and I was slapped in the face with reality! I can't publish a 6-pov novel with no plot (but but but it had a plot!) I tried everything to get this thing into the hands of an agent but each one tore me down further.

After my defeat in Pitchwars which left me on the edge of suicide, I decided it was time to give up But my writing friends wouldn't let me. They suggested I write a prequel. After bouncing some ideas around I came up with the plot and found my excitement again.

IMMUNITY HUNTER will always be my first love, but as a writer there comes a time when you have to let go. I was told by everyone to "write something else." Well, I had nothing else to write. But thanks to my writing friends, they showed me that I didn't need to abandon Caara Island, I just needed to focus on another set of characters and the story they needed to tell.

Hopefully, I'll get to share this world I created with everyone else. Maybe you'll love it as much as I do.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Angelica Of Death

He wanted to taste me.

The words flashed in my mind as I walked through the deserted parking garage. My footsteps echoed on the concrete. My new date asked me to wear a very specific outfit: red high heels, a knee-length black dress, and black pantyhose. It was clear this guy was a fetish freak. A chill ran down my spine at the thought of what he was planning to do to me.

I met him on a dating application I frequent called "Hotness". It was created as a teen meet and greet site, but a bunch of weird old guys joined to hook up with teenagers.

Then a bunch of young girls went missing. The most recent victim was Jamie Anderson, my best friend. The police didn't find any clues to her disappearance. When her naked body showed up in a dumpster, I knew it was time someone did something.

My date tonight calls himself "guy4u83". Assuming "83" is his birth year, he might be the guy I'm looking for. Jamie mentioned an older guy in his thirties. So far I've come across three and none of them seemed like her killer.

I walked to the metal door with "P2" painted in red letters. That was the spot he said to meet. Mister "guy4u83" had creepy murderer written all over him. No sane person would seek out a seventeen-year-old, tell her to dress in red heels, and meet in a parking garage after dark. If he was planning to do something to me, I was ready. I had a stun gun hidden under my dress attached to my thigh with a garter belt.

Minutes passed before footsteps approached. I turned around to spot my date. He was tall with short dark hair. A smile stretched across his handsome face. I stood up with my head held high clutching my purse to my side. No sign of fear showed.

"Hey, are you Angel?"

I managed to crack a smile even though disgust took over. "Yes, I am. You must be--"

"Call me Craig." He extended his hand.

I grabbed it and he pulled me in close. Craig ran his hand through my hair with one arm wrapped around my waist.

"You smell nice," he said with his nose buried in my locks. "I love your strawberry red hair."

I tried to pull away but his tightened his grip.

"I want to taste you," he whispered. His hot breath sent shivers down my spine. His hand crept up my leg.

I pushed it away. "Not here," I said in as sweet of voice as I could muster.

Craig grabbed my wrist and pushed me against the wall. "Why not? No one will find us here."

He pressed against me burying his face in my neck. The stench of his cheap cologne burned my nose.

"Let's play, Angel," he said.

I reached under my skirt and removed the stun gun. "Okay, we can play."

The bastard didn't know what hit him. He dropped to his knees crying in agony. Once I removed the stun gun from his side, he fell back. I kicked him in the side on the head to knock him unconscious.

He was too heavy for me to drag to my car, so I had to do the interrogation in a dark corner. Using his belt and shoelaces, I tied Craig's hands to a rusted pipe. As soon as I was confident in my knot tying skills, I slapped his face a few times to wake him up.

"Hey, Craig, wake up."

His eyes opened a bit then closed again. He let out a deep groan.

"Do you know Jamie Anderson?" I asked in a calm voice.

He opened his eyes once more and pulled at his restraints. I double checked my knots to make sure he wouldn't get loose.

"Focus. Did you meet Jamie? Dark hair, green eyes..."

Craig focused his attention on me. To my surprise, he smiled. "So you like a little bondage don't ya?"

The words sent a chill down my spine. It took every ounce of me not to slice his throat after that remark. But I needed information so the pervert got to live a little bit longer.

"Answer the question. Do you know--"

"Jamie?" He asked with his head cocked to the side. Then he smiled again. "Oh, the sweet little thing that was found in an alley? She sure looked nice in her profile. That long dark hair and adorable smile. I wanted to make her mine. So young and tender."

I backhanded him fighting back tears. He laughed.

"Did I say something wrong, sweetheart?"

I didn't give him the pleasure of answering. He was a creep but he didn't kill Jamie. Still, Mr. "guy4u83" couldn't live to torment another girl. I pulled out a small knife from my purse. Kneeling in front of Craig, I held the knife in front of his face.

"I wanna play with you," I said with a grin.

His eyes widened as the short blade entered his neck. Gargling noises bubbled up out of his mouth with each shallow breath. The cut was small but deep. It was a slow, painful death. One a predator like him deserved.

"Goodbye, Craig. It was a pleasure meeting you." The words flowed out of me although I was freaking out inside.

He was my fourth kill since I went searching for Jamie's killer. The serial killer documentaries always said each kill got easier. When was the easy part supposed to kick in? I couldn't stop with the cheap cologne guy, though. I promised myself I would find the man that took my friend from me.

I stood up, slid the knife and stun gun into my purse, and headed for my car. A lump grew in my throat. I killed a man. No. He deserved it. They all deserved it. I had to clear my head. A deep breath in washed away the sight of his blood. A deep breath out cleared the smell of his cologne.

Determination drove me toward my goal. Besides, I was saving other girls my age better than the cops. I was basically Bat Woman. Or the Angel of death. That sounded better. Angelica Knowles, Angel of Death. I smiled to myself as I walked out of the moldy parking garage onto the dark, lonely streets of downtown.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jeiku Okamimuto - Sinister Squad

“They’re more showing up. There’s no way we’re going out this door.” Nevin braces himself against the door. He waves for me to come over to help him hold it closed.

“Whose idea was it to go inside this damn hospital anyway?” I ask, knowing it was either this hospital or risk getting killed. I pick up a large board and slide it in between to handles of the doors.

Nevin slides two thick metal bars through the handles of the door before he steps away. “Did we have a choice?” He points to the girl that called out to us moments ago. “Besides, she didn’t have to help us.”

The girl walks over to us. “You’re right. I didn’t have to help you. I could’ve just watched you idiots get eaten alive but instead, I became the idiot and helped you.”

Nevin smiles nervously and scratches the back of his head. “Sorry, we didn’t mean to cause any harm…right, Jeiku?” He looks over at me as if he’s asking for me to help. I’m too busy staring at the vending machine in the corner. I look up and give a quick smile before running over to the busted machine. I wonder if it still works. I give it a few hard kicks then shove it a bit. Two canned drinks roll out of the opening. I pick them up and rush over the Nevin with a huge grin on my face.

“Check it out, free drinks,” I say throwing one to Nevin.

Nevin looks at the can and frowns. Sure, these things may be seventy-five years old, but soda doesn’t really spoil—at least that’s what I’ve been told. The label is rubbed off and rusted from sitting in a busted machine for years. Nevin frowns again as he struggles to open the rusted top.

He looks over at me discouraged. “I can’t even open this thing.”

“Ha, it would be easy if you had nails like mine.” I raise my hand up dig my long nails into the side of the can. Green liquid pours out and spills to the floor.

I can see Nevin watching in horror out the corner of my eye as I hold the can above my head allowing the remaining soda to flow into my mouth.

“Umm is it supposed to look like that?”

I wipe my mouth and smile. “I don’t know but it sure did hit the spot. I was nearly dying of thirst after all that running.”

The pink haired girl clears her throat. Nevin and I turn to see her standing in front of us with her arms crossed. “If you guys are done fooling around, we need to find another way out of this hospital.”

I stare at her outfit. Her gray tank top clings tight to her small frame. She wears her black tactical jacket around her waist, her matching pants hugging her body all the way to her dark gray combat boots. She has fire in her eyes, actual fire. She’s a Pyro Dancer, like Dante. They practice mahou embracing the fire element. The flame reflection in her eyes must be a family trait.

I can’t seem to take my eyes away from her. “Umm, wha-what’s your name?”

I sound like a dumbass. Two of the three guys sitting across the waiting room burst out in laughter. Nevin joins in as well but quickly shuts up after I glare at him. The girl looks at me as if I’m a foreign object. “My name is Hikari. I am a member of Squad 23.” Her words flow out of her mouth as if she’s addressing an officer.

“Well Hikari, I’m Jeiku.” I extend my hand, but she ignores it.

“Okay, Jeiku, it seems you’ve overcome your stuttering. Now can we get moving? I really think we should clear this place so we can get out of here,” she says turning away from me.

“I agree with Hikari,” one of the guys says. “By the way, I’m Zach. But don’t get too comfortable, you’re only here because Hikari got soft. David wanted to leave you fools outside.”

Nevin and I look at one another. These guys don’t seem to be the friendliest or helpful like other squads.

“Okay, let’s split up,” Hikari says. “I’ll take David and the wolf boy; the blonde kid can go with Zach and Akairo.”

Split up? That’s a stupid idea, but the faster we get through this hospital, the faster we can get out of here.

“Whatever, Hikari. Make sure you get your pretty ass to our regrouping spot in three hours,” Zach says. “We aren’t allowed to leave without you.” He winks at Hikari. She responds by throwing up her middle finger.

This should be interesting.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Nevin Rockiest - Personal Training

I drive her to my house, my yard is huge and surrounded by a privacy fence. No one should bother us. I scan the backyard mapping the layout in my mind. My house sits behind me and two large oak trees stand in either corner of the lot close to the fence behind Ashley. There’s nothing in between us that will get in the way in case I have to run from her—I don’t plan on running from her but that crazed look she’s giving me is freaking me out.

We don’t worry about changing out of our academy uniforms. This will be a quick sparring round.
“Are you ready?” Ashley asks with a sinister grin on her face like she’s going to enjoy attacking me. She stands with her hand held out like she’s about to blast me.

“Of course I’m ready. It’s not like you can actually hit—”

A wave of energy hits me right in the chest. The momentum sends me flying back a few feet landing on my back. My vision blurs and all I see is the cloudy sky.

“Nevin, are you okay?”

“I wasn’t ready!” I call out trying to figure out how to stand.

“Stop kidding around,” she snaps. Her royal blue eyebrows squint together. “If you’re going to prove that you belong on the sweep team, then you need to be serious.”

She’s right, as always. Still, why did she hit me? I didn’t know we’re supposed to actually hit each other. I stand up and conjure my lightning sword. The light-blue electricity crackles and swirls around my hand forming a blade. I move my left foot behind me, ready for another attack.

“Now I’m ready.”

Ashley grins. She holds out her hand and shoots a wave of energy. I watch the dust trail toward me. It’s an easy dodge. I rush her. She shoots another blast at me, this time higher from the ground, followed by a second shot. I fall forward allowing both waves to fly over me and then I roll over onto my back jumping to my feet.

“Not bad,” she says clapping her hands in approval. “Now try to attack me.”

I relax, letting down my guard. “You can’t handle my lightning.”

“Ha! Just try me.” She smirks.

I rush toward her with my glowing sword to my side. She doesn’t flinch. I swing at her, not planning to hit her or anything, but she side-steps and punches me in the ribs full force. The blow knocks the wind out of me, sending me to one knee.

“W-What was that for?” I moan rubbing my bruised ribs.

Ashley let’s out a loud sigh rolling her eyes. “Nevin, I told you to take this seriously. Now attack me!”

Fine, if she wants to do this for real then we can. I shake off the raging pain in my side and stand up. I swing at her and she dodges again. My left elbow connects with her nose. As she stumbles back, I kneel and sweep my leg into hers knocking her to the ground.

“Not bad, right?” I say standing over my adorable girlfriend. I dismiss my sword, silencing the buzzing sound while extending my other hand to help her up.

She smiles as she grabs my hand, but then she yanks me down and rolls on top of me.

“Not bad at all, but you’re holding back. You’re going to get yourself killed.” She wipes a drop of blood from her nose using my shirt. My white shirt!

What is she talking about? Of course I’m holding back, I don’t want to hurt her. Does she want me to hurt her? I push her off my chest and scramble to my feet conjuring my sword once again. Before she can stand, I swing at her but she rolls away. Blue electricity explodes as my sword hits the ground.

I chase her and attack again. She blocks my hit with her metal wristband. The electricity buzzes as it crawls up her arm. Her pain-filled cries pierce my ears. I pull away and push her to the soft grass with my foot. Standing over her, I aim my sword at her face daring her to try to get up.

“So how was that?” I ask, dismissing my sword. A large smile comes across my face. “Wanna go again?”

“That was better,” she says, lying as flat as possible in the grass. “I think I had enough for one day.”
She stands up and brushes the dirt from her uniform skirt.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, trust me. You did great, sweetie.” She kisses me on the cheek.

“Are you sure? I can go get some ice or something.”

I really didn’t mean to hurt her, but she wanted me to, I think. Ashley rubs her arm where I shocked her. Tiny hairs stand up from the base of her skin. She then looks over toward my house.

“No, I’m fine, but I should get cleaned up before I head home. I don’t want to be questioned why I’m covered in blood and grass stains.”

I lead her inside the sliding door into the kitchen. She grabs a rag from the sink and dusts off her uniform as much as possible. In hindsight, sparring in our white uniforms probably wasn’t the best idea.

I head to the downstairs bathroom and grab some gauze for her nose along with Lightning Rob ointment. The box says it’s supposed to take away minor effects of getting shocked by someone like me. Good thing I held back, the electricity could’ve burned her.

“Thanks,” she says as she grabs from gauze and ointment. She kisses me on the cheek again as a reward.

“Do you think I have a chance with the sweep squad?” I ask.

She looks at me with her adorable blue eyes. Then her smile fades.

“Nevin, why do you want to risk your life so much?”

I scratch my head. The thought hasn’t crossed my mind. “This isn’t about risking my life. It’s about being someone and proving I’m not a loser.”

“Oh babe, you’re not a loser. I…I just don’t want to lose you. This is big for both of us.”

I wrap my arms around her and hold her to my chest. Her heart beats against mine. She looks up at me and kisses me on the lips. The warmth of her body melts my soul. At this moment, I actually believe I’m not such much of a loser. Then she pulls away and walks toward the sliding door.

“I should go. I’m sure my father is wondering where I am.”

Before I can say a word, Ashley blows a kiss my way and exits the door. This is why I love her, she’s one of the only people that care if I live or die. Well, I’m sure my friends care but I’m not feeling their warmth, no way!

All there’s left to do now is wait to hear back from Dante, or I could contact him myself. Forget it. I’ll go put some ice on my ribs.

Review: Thump: The First Bundred Days

Thump: The First Bundred Days Thump: The First Bundred Days by Timothy Lim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Say what you will, but this book is cute. I even got the lady at Barnes & Noble to look at a few pages while she checked me out. The art is adorable and it made me fall in love with rabbits all over again. I plan to get the plushy soon too! 5 stars for cuteness!

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

We Thought We Were Safe

To keep us safe from the virus, my dad moved us to the farmlands of the eastern shore, away from the crowds of the city.

The researchers called it Konadai, a disease that turned people into mutated monsters. The virus killed thousands. It was said that those infected would come back hungry. I didn’t believe people actually reanimated from the dead and mutated into beasts. It’s not like I ever saw one.

After a year, I got used to our country home and dirt roads. Dad worked on the large sheep farm down the road while mom focused on giving my kid sister and I a proper education. She sucked as a teacher, but at least she tried to make it fun. My little sister, who was only ten years old at the time, loved having mom at the house all the time.

We were Pyro Dancers, people that could use fire magic. The powers were passed through my father’s bloodline so mom didn’t have a clue how to teach us about it. Dad was too busy to offer any advice. Mom didn’t want us using it anyway, saying we’d burn the house down. Since I couldn’t learn how to use my magic, I turned my attention to shooting. Dad kept a few guns in the back shed, claiming they were for hunting. He kept his favorite shotgun behind his bedroom door. I made him promise to take me out into the woods and teach me how to shoot, but he never did. My sister wanted to go too, but mom said guns were for us boys only.

Guns always interested me ever since I saw a group of soldiers in the back of a truck. I wanted to be like them, a hero to the people, protecting civilians from who knows what. If dad ever taught me to shoot or even how to use my fire powers, I could grow up and join the city’s guard.

When mom wasn’t paying much attention, my sister and I would pretend we were soldiers, using sticks as weapons. Somehow, she ended up being in charge. Whatever kept her from crying and tattling was fine with me.

My parents’ possessive fear of us getting sick left them paranoid. My sister and I never had any friends. We would speak to some of the other farm kids but that’s as far as it went. Some of the other boys my age would invite me to hang out, but I usually turned them down. Mom didn’t like me being away from home for too long.

One night, my mother got sick. No one knew where she caught the virus. It's still a mystery. Next thing I knew, I woke up to the sound of my sister screaming. I remember falling asleep while listening to dad in the other room reading her a story for the fourth time.

I threw back the covers with sweat building on my forehead. It could’ve been a bad dream. She had plenty of those since moving from the city. I’ve never heard her scream like that, though.

I crept out of my bedroom. The light in my parents’ room lit up their end of the hallway. They never slept with the lights on. Are they awake? I’m sure they heard the scream, yet neither of them appeared in the doorway. My stomach churned, twisting into knots. A strange feeling nudged at the back of my head telling me not to go into their room, but my feet kept dragging me forward.

After swallowing the lump in my throat, I tiptoed to their bedroom. The stench of blood slapped me in the face. Lying on the floor was my father, drenched in his own blood holding his hand to his mangled neck. He reached out to me with wide eyes, begging for help. I stumbled back, slamming into the doorframe. My heart pounded against my ribs. Each breath cut against my throat like knives. When I tried to hold it, the pain intensified. Helpless, I sat holding my chest, watching him choke on his blood.

Some weird growling sounds grasped my attention. I scrambled to my feet grabbing dad’s shotgun from behind the door. As I ran to my sister’s room, the growling turned to gargling. I stopped outside the door. In the darkness, an odd figure stood lumped over my sister’s bed. Her foot dangled off the side. Every ounce of me told me to run or cry or do something other than stand there shaking. Without thinking, I aimed the shotgun at the dark figure and squeezed the trigger. The kickback knocked me to the floor.

The humanoid thing cried out. Loud speeches echoed through the hall. It spun around flashing its sharp, pointed teeth. A long, thick tongue dripping with drool hangs from its mouth. I spin my head around, trying to find the shotgun. My hand lands on it just as the thing lunged forward, slashing at me. I shot it again before its long claws made contact with my face. I stood up and kicked the beast to make sure it was dead. Black blood oozed onto the hardwood floor. Its dark skin looked almost like rawhide.

The damn thing smelled of rotting flesh. I wondered how it even got in the house, but it didn’t matter. I rushed into my sister’s room hoping she was still alive. Part of me wished she had died before the beast started eating her.

I flipped on the light and almost puked at the scene. Blood soaked her bed. The monster tore off one of her arms while the other arm had chunks chewed out. Her tears mixed with the fresh blood on her face and I wanted to cry with her.

“I don’t know what to do,” I said taking a few steps toward her.

She turned her head toward me revealing a large gash in her neck.

“It hurts…so bad,” she cried.

There wasn’t anything I could do for her. The monster tore her up so bad she may as well had been a pile of ground meat. I brushed blood-stained hair out of her forehead and stepped back toward the door. “I’m sorry, Beth.”

Holding up the gun, I shot out two rounds. This time I was ready for the kick. One hits her in the head, the other dug into the wall.

I rushed back to my parents’ room wondering where mom could be. Did that thing eat her? Was she downstairs bleeding to death? Dad lay on the floor, his dead eyes staring at the ceiling. I remembered the stories about the Konadai virus. If the monsters bit you, you didn’t have long before you turned into one. Held up the shotgun and aimed at my father’s head. With my eyes shut I squeezed the trigger. The gun blast rung in my ears, but it suddenly felt natural. The recoil no longer bothered me.

I slouched against the doorframe with my arms wrapped around the gun. The farmlands were supposed to be safe. That thing took my family. How did that thing get inside?

For the rest of the night, I searched for my mom, not wanting to admit that she was the monster I killed. After searching through the house and around the one-acre property, I couldn’t find any sign of her. I slumped down onto the porch swing with the shotgun at my side. I became numb to it all, but there was no way I could sleep in that house. Not with the smell of my family’s blood ruining the air. Clutching the gun, I started walking. It didn’t matter where. The house, the blood, my dead family, it was all left behind. I had thought to torch the place and watch all my pain go up in flames, but then no one would believe what happened. I’d be an angry kid who murdered his family.

That night should’ve destroyed me, but instead, it gave me power. I vowed to destroy every last one of those things. One lesson was learned, the monsters do exist.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, it's an interesting read. I understood some of the 80s references, but a lot went over my head, sending me on a Google search spree. Personally, I would've been okay without all the 80s nostalgia. The writing wasn't award-worthy itself, but the plot made up for that. I'd say it was a FUN read. I'm giving it 3 stars. My personal opinion as I know a lot of others will and have rated it higher.

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