Be sure to check out my book writing blog, where you
can check out my books and short stories, here:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

LA Ninja: Revised

As Eminem once said, in real life there is no Mekhi Phifer.  For me, in self-publishing, as it turns out, there is also no Mekhi Phifer, and also no team of editors and publishers.  Personally, I am still a bit conflicted as to how I really feel about that.  It would be nice to have the backing of a publisher, editor, and agent.  I know my work would probably come off more polished, maybe.  Money and notoriety would be nice too, without doubt.  On the other hand though, if my goal were to reach as many readers as possible and find a genuine audience, then it wouldn’t matter if I had the backing of the industry big dogs.  My fan base would be there and they would be all that I need.  Yeah, I’d be pretty happy with that. 

As I’ve said before, my dream would be to see LA Ninja as a movie.  I think it would be awesome!  So that’s my dream, everybody’s got one, right?  I guess deep inside, when it comes down to it, I just hope that people like LA Ninja, and soon, Pumps.  Now that I think about it, I guess I’d just be happy if people didn’t think my work was just complete shit.  However, If people turned out to think my stories were worth dogshit, then I guess I could deal with it.  It would be heartbreaking, but I could deal with it and move on.  That reminds me, Rule of Self: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

By the way, Pumps has so far turned out to be my best work, in my opinion.  And I’m not trying to be arrogant or overconfident, I am just really proud that I was able to turn a story like that out.  It is totally different from LA Ninja, like big time, but it’s cool.  Not so sure the same audience from LA Ninja is going to like it, but I’m trying to see how much versatility there is inside me.  I also have some other projects in the works that will take me yet in another direction, but I’m not even close to working those ones yet.  I’ve started LA Ninja II: Rise of the Cartel, so that one will be coming out next.

Anyways, after that divergence into left field, the reason I’m writing this puff piece is not to bitch about not being backed by publishers.  Instead, after taking such a big step back from LA Ninja to work on Pumps, I decided to go back to it and give it a read, mostly so I could start LA Ninja II with the first story fresh in my mind.  What I found was appalling.  The beginning chapters flowed slow like molasses.  There were tons of typos and grammatical errors, and lastly, the story was missing one special ingredient that I have since added to my writing repertoire.  So, I got to work on a revision right away.  This is the pitfall of not having an editor.

Not to dwell too long on the matter, I revised LA Ninja and republished it to all e-book publishers.  The final should get to most bookshelves in a day or two.  This, I promise, will be the final.  I’m apologize to my readers for making any changes, which, trust me, the story is unchanged except for one minor addition to the honeymoon scene.  The rest of the changes were done to speed the flow of the story in the first few chapters, cut out some fluff, and fix the shitload of typos that I found. 

Interestingly, I was surprised to see how far I have come and matured as a writer.  I was embarrassed for the beginning of LA Ninja.  The writing seemed so, shall we say, juvenile?  I wonder if I will come back yet again and find what I’m writing now to be juvenile too?  Maybe.  I suppose that is how it goes though. 

Anyhow, I’m trying to get the artwork completed for Pumps.  I think I can have that book up and published by mid-August, which would be great.  I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of it.  I have a few friends reviewing it now, and they absolutely love it, so I’m pretty excited about it.  In the meantime, LA Ninja II is progressing well.  Things in that story have become super complicated, in a good way.  I’m pretty excited at the direction it’s moving in.  Maybe I can have the first draft done by Christmas. 

It’s funny to think about where I’ve gone with this whole writing thing.  I know when I started this blog, I really thought I would get further with the publishing people.  I thought, at least, that I would get the chance to send in sample pages or a manuscript here or there.  Since, however, none of that ever happened, I just kept moving forward by myself.  I didn’t think that I’d take it this far, not on my own.  I think it’s pretty cool.  I’m out here in the world now, aren’t I?  (he smiles to himself) –signing off, Adrian

Monday, July 8, 2013

Missing in Action

I’ve been away for awhile, finishing up my novel, titled, “Pumps”.  Not like anyone cares or notices (I have no regular readers or visitors but I pretend I do – haha).  That’s why I haven’t posted in awhile though, because I’ve been feverishly working on my novel, but now it seems like I’m back.  I’ve always said, when you’re in the zone, you gotta zero in and take advantage.  I was definitely in the zone.

So L.A. Ninja is still doing pretty well as far as I’m concerned.  Although I have always hoped that many people would read it and enjoy the story as I do, it is not really turning out that way.  I guess I have mixed feelings about it.  I try to remain happy that I have sold any copies at all, and the three reviews that I did get so far are freaking awesome, so I have to be psyched about that.  Right?  Ok, I’m cool now, did you enjoy going on that quick emotional breakdown with me?  My head is a scary place to be, lol.

Interestingly, after talking with some distant (distant as in they live in New Jersey and were here to visit) friends over dinner the past weekend, the topic of my novel writing came up, so of course, I told them about L.A. Ninja.  Surprise and shock is the usual reaction I get, and they did not fail me there.  We did also discuss the fact that I never tell people that I know that I am a writer.  It’s funny really, from a psychological perspective, on why I never tell anyone about it.  It should seem so obvious that I would immediately tell everyone I know about this this thing that I’m so passionate about, yet only a few people know about it.  You’d think that I’d announce it to the world, right? 

But I don’t.  I don’t have a good reason, either.  I think I’m a bit modest and even a little shy about it.  I think it feels strange to just blurt it out to people too.  It never seems natural, like when I’m in the moment.  Then, also, I don’t want them to feel obligated to go buy it.  I wonder now, as I’m writing this, do artists and singers do the same thing?  Like, if I could sing, would I announce it to my friends?  Would I start belting out Vicente Fernandez songs out of the blue?  Would I do it while we’re standing in line at Starbucks?  I wonder.  I guess that’s why I was never a good salesman, lol.

I digress, however.  I do have something that I’m very proud of, and that is the first review that I’ve ever gotten.  It was written by a reader on

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story! February 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
“Kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. Excellent narrative, characters and plot twists. Can't wait for the next one.”

Are you kidding me!?  That was awesome!  And I’m so glad that the review was a good one, in fact the best, with 5/5 stars.  I was so nervous that the review was going to be bad, or that it was going to trash my work.  There is this anxious fear I have that I will face utter rejection from readers that invest time in my book.  (Maybe that’s why I don’t tell my friends??)  So far, though (knocking on wood) the three reviews are good.  Thanks to Eli, and the others.  I owe you guys a beer, or soda, or tea, or whatever you prefer to drink.  I’m glad I didn’t let you down.

Now, onto Pumps.  Pumps represents a huge divergence from L.A. Ninja.  First off, it’s a book about a woman trying to find herself.  You can’t get further away from LA Ninja than that.  I think it’s interesting because this woman, Alexis, has been a very complicated character for me to write.  At least with Gabe, he was very focused and motivated, which made him easier to write.  Alexis though, is emotional and complicated.  I was hardly ever sure what she would do next, whereas with Gabe (protagonist –LA Ninja for those who don’t know) I pretty much knew what he would do at every turn. 

The other difficult piece was the process of Alexis finding herself.  I guess it can be hard for someone –anyone- to find themselves, that is, find their true purpose in life.  It involves someone getting to know their true self, and becoming clear about what they want out of life.  It rarely happens easily, in my experience.  It can happen through trauma in some cases, or through trial and error.  It can happen as easily as having an epiphany in a dream.  Usually though, it happens to many of us as we experience life and get older, finally narrowing down what we like and dislike in life, and what like to spend our time doing the most.  If you can answer those questions, you most likely are already focused on finding true happiness, whatever that may mean to you.

That has been the hard task for someone like Alexis.  She is in her late twenties, smart, sophisticated, strong, and determined.  She has a great career in the fashion industry, and just when she thinks she has life all figured out, life shows up to begin unraveling a destiny that she never saw coming.  The truth is, the story is a fantasized version of what I think my wife’s life could have been if she hadn’t married me. I promised her that I would write this one next, and I finally have.  

I am still working the final edits, but the story is done.  I will be publishing it soon to Amazon and other e-book retailers, same as LA Ninja.  Maybe I can earn some new readers with this one.  I hope so.