Okay... Tomorrow's the big day. I'm heading to the hospital for surgery at 5:30 am. If all goes well, they should be cutting out all the cancer they find, then administering one of two possible types of chemo. After that it's around 6 days in the hospital, followed by a little over a month's stay here in New York.
Wish me luck! And feel free to drop by if you're in the area of the upper east side of Manhattan! ^^ I won't be much of a dancer, but we can have a good time. =)
Thank you all, and see you soon!
And Another Art Update! 08/13/13
Marcel Perez Massegu has done three amazing new art pieces for Sons of Nowhere! These will be used in the book itself to note major changes in the story, which I'm calling "sequences" instead of "chapters." The way the novel is set up, chapters pass by as the POV shifts, which is fairly often. Counting chapters is out of the question, too. Instead, large amounts of time pass between sequences, and a nice large image marks the change. =D
Art Update! 06/26/13
Got two new art pieces!! The first is an official art piece by Junpei Ukiya, Kenton Si, and Coey Kuhn:
Second, an adorable piece of guest art featuring Reese "Ratt" Mason pining over Brian Osley by Chris Slough:
The Novel Continues~! 06/24/13
Well, I've been working on Sons of Nowhere pretty much all year so far in-between work, chemo, and other writing assignments (and designing a board game, sheesh!!). I've finally passed the halfway mark, and the alpha reader reactions have been pretty awesome! The plot is ramping up, so that's a good thing! ^^ If you'd like to be an alpha reader, btw, be sure to send me an email. =)
Aside from that, treatment continues. Not much really to say there, other than I hope it doesn't mess up my plans to go to CONvergence in Minneapolis and San Diego Comic-Con this year! It'll be a crazy mess either way, but so much fun! ^_^
One thing I forgot, I completely rearranged the Artwork section of the website! Check it out, it's a TON easier to navigate now! =D
Talk to you guys soon,
Good News! 04/07/13
Well, it at least seems as though the treatment is working so far. Signs are pointed in the right direction! Thanks again for all your support! ^_^
I've also been able to get moving on Sons of Nowhere, with a much better rate of completion than in the past! Things kind of got away from me for a while, but now they're back on track. I'm also looking for "pre-readers" (just a guess, I have no idea if this has an actual name or not) to take a look at the super-rough drafts as I complete them. This is in part to head off any clarity issues, continuity gaffes, and other possible pitfalls while I write, but it's just as much a form of accountability for me. Having people to report to with weekly updates goes a long way with helping to buzz my productivity!
If you're interested in being on the SoN mailing list, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put you on! Any and all feedback is valued!!
Thanks again everyone,
Here we go again... 01/29/13
I want to thank everybody who wished me well over the past few days. It really touched my heart to know so many people care about me. :') Thank you all so much! It means the world to me!
But, as you've probably guessed, the cancer came back. It's rather distressing that it came back almost immediately after chemo stopped last time, so they're going to put me back on chemotherapy for 2 months (it was EIGHT months last time... I'm pretty relieved at the shorter time span), followed by radiation treatment to try to kill the cancer cells.
At least I know what to expect this time around, but it doesn't make it easy or anything. I'm gonna fight it with everything I've got, guys. I have too much shit to write yet!
Thanks again for all the support. You guys are the best!
Wish me luck 01/22/13
Well, got the results of the blood test back, and the indications are looking pretty bad. I'm going back for a PET scan on Thursday with the results on Monday. I'll keep you posted here, on Facebook, Twitter, and deviantArt.
Wish me luck, okay?
Happy 2013!? 01/13/13
Sorry I didn't really have a big "Goodbye 2012" entry. As most of you might imagine, cancer is kind of a bitch, so my experience of 2012 wasn't exactly ideal, you know?
Aaaaaaanyway, 2013 seems to be doing better so far. I have a check-up on January 18th, with the results of the blood test on January 22nd. Things are progressing forward on the Oni Press project, and I've been able to get the alpha version of the Wushu Academy Battle Board Game in front of quite a few more eyes!
In the meantime, I've been able to work on Sons of Nowhere when time permits. I've knocked down a few more sub-chapters this week, and I hope to write a few more tonight, actually. Dexter is fast becoming one of my favorite characters to work on. He's a crazy lil' guy despite being so reserved most of the time. I can't wait to get more into Scott and Kevin, who seem to be leading in the poll I set up on deviantArt by quite a margin! I have a feeling that's the short story I'm going to end up writing next. ^_^
Next Big Thing Interview 12/19/12
Looks like I got tagged by my good friend, Bryan Thao Worra for his part of Kristine Ong Muslim's Next Big Thing interviews. Basically, she interviews him, and he interviews 5 others, those people interview 5 more, etc, etc. ^^ Pretty awesome honor, I have to say.
Anyway, here goes:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
As of right now, the title is Sons of Nowhere. It also serves as the overarching title for all of my SoN-related short stories.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
The characters from Sons of Nowhere actually began as an element of my first stab at the comic biz, Razor Kid. In that comic, they were the antagonists, and (other than a few recurring characters) bore almost NO resemblance to the Sons of Nowhere you'll find in the book and short stories.
If I had to trace the genesis of SoN as its own entity, it would be when I began to notice that the antagonists in Razor Kid had a lot more admirers than the eponymous main character. When my cousin, Darwin Smith, mentioned in passing that he'd be more interested in a story about Ratt (a very different version than appears in Sons of Nowhere, I should note) than the one I was telling, it pretty much solidified my resolve to split SoN from Razor Kid and make it its own story.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
I'd definitely say sci-fi/horror. Most of its speculative elements (psychic kids gone wrong, horrific aliens from beyond the stars, etc) could fit in either category very comfortably, I think.
4) What actors/actresses would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Ffffffuuuuuu.... Here's where I have to admit I am woefully unfamiliar with current teen actors/actresses, so please bear with me as I'll be doing research on the fly. ^^;
Reese "Ratt" Mason is the main protagonist of Sons of Nowhere. Reese is a painfully shy yet strong-willed teenager born with only four toes on each foot. His family recently moved to the story's setting, an artificial land mass (and the world's first major ocean colony), Acis Island. When his parents discover his sexuality, Reese is thrown out and left to fend for himself. Reese is at his worst, contemplating suicide when Acis Island's benefactor, the mysterious Ophion Foundation recruits him as a test subject in Project Ithaca, their paranormal research branch.
For Reese, my first choice would be Dylan Everett. He's got a look that mixes likeable, tough, and vulnerable in a way that fits the character very well. I suppose I should actually WATCH something he's in to be absolutely sure, but I'll go ahead and assume he's got some acting skills if he's on Degrassi (their casting directors don't mess around!).
Next is Reese's best friend, Tessa Vasquez. She's bubbly, a little morbid, and totally obsessed with genetic deformities and other variations on the "normal" human shape. She's got a bit of a crush on Reese despite knowing that the possibility of them getting together is essentially zero. I think Raini Rodriguez would fit this character quite well. ^_^
For Reese's crush (and Eddie's chew toy), Brian Osley, I would go with Robert Capron in 2 years or so... Problem is, that could potentially end up with the rest of the cast looking sufficiently different that it throws the whole thing out the--!!! I know, kind of a cop-out, but you try looking up Hollywood teen actors who aren't rail-thin or buff while keeping the FBI away!
From here, I'll just toss in random characters I found good actors/actresses for while doing research. If I really went through the entire cast character-by-character, we'd be here all day!
Dr. Nnedi Okorafor as Dr. Alyssa Kyle
(Yes, I know she's not an actress, but still!)
Quinn Lord as Dexter Murphy
(Those eyes fit a kid who would laugh during his own dismemberment, don't you think?)
Jaden Smith as Chris Howard
(Yeah, coulda seen this coming a mile off, right? Well, unless this theoretical movie gets done in the next year, Jaden might get too old for the part?)
Asa Butterfield as Alasdair Zadok
(I am convinced that Asa Butterfield is going to murder me in an elevator one day. I don't know how I know this, but I do.)
Cole Sprouse as Kevin White
(Why just Cole and not and/or Dylan? Because F*CK Dylan Sprouse, that's why!! LOL, just kidding. Could you imagine? ^o^)
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A homeless teen is drafted into a paranormal research program that attempts to transform him into a psychic killing machine, and he must learn to use his newfound abilities in order to escape.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Definitely self-published this time around. Sons of Nowhere is a very personal story, and I'm not sure it's a sufficiently commercial one (at least for the standards of most agencies and publishing houses).
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Well, I'm still working on it as we speak, alongside what will probably turn into another short story. It's been almost 3 months since I've been able to work on it in earnest, so I guess it's still very much a work in progress.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hmm... If I had to make a direct comparison, I'd say it's most similar to Stephen King's Carrie if H.P. Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu were happening simultaneously. There's also elements similar to Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It's kind of odd to do an exercise like this, because I seem to find that more horror titles resemble Sons of Nowhere than science fiction ones.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It's an idea from my own head..? I'm a big fan of Carrie and J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. I suppose if you put Carrie White and the Lost Boys in a blender, and added horrifying alien "SCIENCE!" you'd get the basic, basic idea of Sons of Nowhere?
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
If it's not immediately obvious from the character descriptions, Sons of Nowhere can be classified as LGBT Speculative Fiction. Specifically, the main character, Reese Mason, is unapologetically gay. I'd say it has the potential to be a little cooler to an LGBT audience than your normal run-in-the-mill sci-fi/horror awesomeness. It's always kind of nice to see oneself represented in pop culture, and in my experience, it's rather rare to see a book with a LGBT protagonist that wasn't "about" LGBT issues or that character's sexuality specifically. In Sons of Nowhere, it's an aspect of several characters and it certainly impacts their lives, but it isn't the sole focus of the narrative, ya dig? =)
Well, that's it for now! Hmm... I suppose I should offer my suggestions for the Next Big Thing, huh.....
...Well, come to think of it I know quite a few people who write not just prose, but comics too! How about I tag:
Josh Finney & Kat Rocha of Titanium Rain and Utopiates fame.~<3 (They count as one tag for these purposes)
Ross Campbell, creator of Wet Moon, Shadoweyes, and the artist on Image Comics' Glory!
Adam Withers & Comfort Love, the dangerous duo from Rainbow in the Dark, The Uniques, and Uniques Tales! (I'll also count them as one tag)
DustyJack & JadePrince of Mahou Shounen Fight! (One more couple!)
and last but far from least...
Dr. Nnedi Okorafor, the genius writer behind Who Fears Death, Zahrah the Windseeker, and the novella African Sunrise!
Check out these awesome writers as soon as you can! Hopefully they'll answer these interview questions, too! ^_^
No more freaking Cancer!! [Update] 12/16/12
Totally forgot to post this here, but I had a CT scan on Monday, and after nearly losing my mind with nervousness, got the results on Tuesday...
...and the scan came back clean! I'm gonna go back to the hospital in January to make sure the assessment is correct and that nothing bad is still going on inside me, but as of right now, I'm officially DONE with chemotherapy and I can get back to a normal work schedule!
Never thought I'd feel so good about working at my day job! =)
Okay, I love Final Fantasy as much as the next guy, but you MUST see Noah Antweiler, The Spoony One, take on... THE HALLWAY!
Sons of Nowhere Shorts Now Available on Smashwords! 11/14/12
Hey everyone! The first three Sons of Nowhere short stories are now available on Smashwords! Drop by and check 'em out! They've got the stories in a ton of formats, so if you prefer a file format that I don't have supported on this site, you might find what you're looking for there!
In other news, work on the Sons of Nowhere novel itself is steady, but honestly not as fast as I'd like. Chemo side-effects are kind of messing me up more than I really expected them to, but the good news is that it's almost done... provided the next CT scan is good. If nothing else, I'll get a break after the next treatment cycle until it's time for the scan. If it comes back clean, I'm done with chemo. If not, then they'll be hooking me up again for a while. Nerve-wracking to say the LEAST.
Anyway, enjoy the links! Leave a review if you feel so inclined! Reviews would help me out quite a bit, actually. They're great when one is trying to get eyes on these pages. ^_^
Sons of Nowhere: Strange and Unusual
Sons of Nowhere: The Rules
Sons of Nowhere: Leviathan