So it appears that there’s a new movie coming out coincidentally(?) called “Wind Walkers” and coincidentally (?) featuring people menaced by cannibalistic spirits (which is to say, wendigoes).
Just for the record — so to speak — my novel was, of course, released a year ago, and the first draft (under the same title) was written over a decade ago.
Not at all sure how to feel about this, friends.
Okay, yes I am. Not happy. That’s how I feel. And frankly, a tad suspicious.
With three tales of Hokage the samurai now out there in the world (visit www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com to have a read) I have been at work on a trilogy of novels to explore Hokage’s world in greater scope and detail. I unambitiously describe the project as a cross between Shogun and The Lord of the Rings.
I recently pooled the notes from my excellent beta readers and am now roughly 1/4 of the way through the first major revision of book I. (Book II exists as a complete outline and III exists as a partial outline.) If all goes well, the current draft of the novel will be finished before the 2013 – 2014 school year begins and my free time vanishes like a gambler’s paycheck.
Revision has been a challenge. Going into it, I felt rather adrift — as if I hadn’t gone through the whole thing several times with Windwalkers. (Even now, roughly one year later, that work seems grueling to me. I’m extremely lucky to have had a top notch editor in Henry Snider, who prodded me to fix problems large and small and definitely helped transform Windwalkers into a better book than it was when I handed it to him.)
Furthermore, many of the comments I got from any one beta reader were echoed by another, or several, but some were directly contradictory. And, while the feedback was extremely helpful and unnervingly accurate, it’s been tricky trying to solve the various problems folks have pointed out to me. I’ve also found that, because I have a writer’s ego, I have to process the comments and digest them until they seem like my own observations that some other very clever people were willing to reiterate for me. Once it seems like it was my idea all along I have a much easier time of incorporating it into my work. It is, admittedly, rather silly, but that way it feels less intrusive to me — I’m not doing someone else’s writing, I’m doing my own.
In any event, the process certainly has served to reinforce in my mind — if it were at all necessary — the value of good beta readers. I can’t be certain that I’m implementing the changes as well as I ought to be, but I am completely confident that the book will be substantially improved when I finish.
Then, of course, there’s the small matter of the next round of revisions and edits and, assuming I survive all of that with my minimal remaining sanity sufficiently intact, looking for someone who’s willing to bring the thing to life in print.
So, if you’ve given this a read and you’re with me, wish me luck! I’ll happily take every little bit that I can get my karmic fingers on.
For the first time here, I’ve posted my article “Creative Writing 301″, an article about the use of theatrical techniques to improve the conflict and pace in writing. This article was selected by Predators and Editors as one of the three best articles on writing when it first appeared on the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group’s website. Just click on over to the Articles page and enjoy!
Today and tomorrow only (March 19 and March 20, 2013) you can get the Kindle download of my novel WINDWALKERS for FREE!
So, if you’re at all curious, why not dive in and see what you’re missing? Just visit http://www.amazon.com/Windwalkers-ebook/dp/B0093DFMOO/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363729285&sr=1-1&keywords=windwalkers and pick up the electronic version! You only have about 24 hours left from the moment I publish this!
If you read it and like it, drop me a line!
If you enjoy my writing, why not have a look at my writing about writing? I’ve just posted my article on Conflict on the Articles Page of this website, so give it a look! My very well received article “Show vs. Tell” follows it. . .
In the meantime, don’t forget to visit http://www.amazon.com/Windwalkers-R-Michael-Burns/dp/0615666787/ref=la_B00AGOJUJ2_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362356658&sr=1-2 to get a FREE READ of the first few pages of Windwalkers and see the new cover art there…
If you’re at all curious, you can read the first few pages of Windwalkers — totally free — on Amazon.com — right here:
Check it out, let me know what you think, and think about picking up a copy!
Windwalkers is getting a face lift! Check out the brand-new cover art below. This should be available in the Kindle version already, and will be available in the paperback format within a few days of this post (February 16, 2013).
Who knows — maybe at some point the copies with the original cover art will be collector’s items…
Thanks to my friend in Japan, Miguel (yes, he lives in Japan, but as his name suggests, he’s French Canadian; no, I don’t get it, either) Gemma Vidal at JETWit has been kind enough to feature some of my work. JETWit is a website featuring news and information about those of us who have been participants on the Japan Exchange Teacher Programme. I was a JET from 2000 to 2003 and taught at a couple of junior high schools in my Japanese hometown of Fukaya, Saitama, just northwest of Tokyo. And — just in case it isn’t clear — none of the tales of Hokage the Samurai would exist had I not had this amazing opportunity to explore the Land of the Rising Sun and its culture and history.
Have a look at the JETWit page here: http://jetwit.com/wordpress/2013/02/08/new-to-the-jet-alum-author-beat-r-michael-burns/
Thanks Gemma and JETWit!
I’m thrilled to announce that I am the current Featured Artist on the websites of Midnight Syndicate and Legions of the Night. Check out the pages here: www.MidnightSyndicate.com, www.LegionsoftheNight.com, and www.Facebook.com/MidnightSyndicate
If you aren’t familiar with Midnight Syndicate, you ought to be. They create amazingly creepy and atmospheric music, and it’s no lie to say that I do some of my best writing with Midnight Syndicate to set the mood.
And I dare ya — yup, actually DARE — to read Windwalkers while listening to, say, Gates of Delirium or The 13th Hour. If that doesn’t inspire a nightmare or two, you’re made of some pretty tough stuff.
“Shadows and Hellfire” — the third tale of the samurai Hokage and his shape-shifting companion Sasa — is now up on Heroic Fantasy Quarterly!
You can jump straight to my tale by going here: http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/?p=1293 – but do give the rest of the issue a look! And remember, you can find the previous tales by poking around in their archives, or by going to the page on my website devoted to the Hokage tales.