Monday, September 16, 2013

Cloak Project

Hey, all! So, I have seen some awesome posts recently of friends making costumes for NDK (Nan Desu Kan), and decided I needed to do something to keep my hands busy, especially since I was laid off earlier this week (sucks, huh?). I've always wanted a winter cloak to wear, one with faux fur lining, and could never find anything I liked. With that in mind, I decided to make my own.

This is the inside when it's open. I chose a dark brown fur that mimics bear hide. It has some highlighting on it to give it a multi-layer sheen, and boy is it warm! Keep in mind that I have not done the collar yet. I hope to finish it sometime this week, but depending on my schedule, I may not get to it until much later. Here's a picture of the outside with it closed:

Nice, huh? I hand-stitched everything except the shoulders, which I snipped and resewed to allow for fit. It's a bit bulky because the outer material is stiffer than I expected. Also, I forgot to wash it before starting. Guess I haven't sewn in a long time. Not to mention to numerous times I had to rethread the machine because I spaced how to do it in the first place. THAT was a nightmare. Thank goodness for the Internet, huh?

And now a close-up of the suede I used and of the fur:

This is the beginning of eventual projects where I design cloaks based on the various high houses from Soulbound. The manuscript will be completed shortly and I'll have it sent to beta readers before Christmas, hopefully sooner. After that, I plan to get to work on the animated trailer I've always wanted to do, write some short stories for a collection of tales from Inrugia, start the sequel to Soulbound, and finalize the tee-shirt designs for the release. I am still hoping to go traditional with publications, but I don't know if that will happen. I've started querying agents, too, and will continue to do so until the first of next year. By then, I hope to have sent 100+ queries. If nothing comes back, I will start querying smaller houses and then we'll see. I feel I've worked hard to make Soulbound entertaining and a well-written read, but that's so similar to what authors say that I worry I'm not good enough.

Either way, time will tell. Once I have some sketches of the amuli house cloaks, I will post them. I want to start with the Anys house, and follow with Rybredel. Of course, the material for these things cost butt loads, so I doubt I will be able to afford them for a while. Still, I have the colors in mind and know where to get the materials! Huzzah!

On the agenda for today: Work on Soulbound and then write a short story for the collection. All before 3 p.m. Oooooh, that's about 4 hours. CAN I DO IT? ;) You betcha!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Children's Book Series

I doubt many of you know, but I work as a tutor of English reading and writing part-time, and most of my students are in the Early Reader and Middle Grade age group. Today, I decided, "Why waste such a fantastic opportunity?" and asked three of my kids what they liked the read about. I figured, that way, I can get a good idea of what my readership will like in general. The most popular answers? Animals, travel, and history. Mostly animals and travel, though, which is fantastic, because that fits VERY well in with what I want to write the MG series about. Now I just have to figure out how to do it without being too similar to amazing series such as The Magic Tree House or The Travel Club. This will be the most difficult part, I think, but it will be worth it when I get a nice MG series out that helps readers learn about Inrugia and its peoples/species.

That also poses a little bit of a problem for my Early Reader series, as none of my students really wanted a picture book. They all wanted chapter books, and were excited to see what I came up with. I need to do more research (as in reading the series I mentioned before) in order to get a stronger sense of the age groups' diction. I want them to learn from it, too; life lessons and the such. I'm fairly excited about it, but need to finish Soulbound and get it to my beta readers before too long. They've been waiting quite patiently, after all!

In other news, the animation for the first trailer is coming along great! I plan to spend most of tomorrow working on it, and hopefully I'll have the animation done before too long. I have to wait for my boyfriend to come back into town before I can release it, though, as he'll play the voice of Clei. After four months in LA on business, you'd think they'd send him home. Naw--it's okay. He loves it out there. :)

I suppose that's not much of an update, but I figured I'd write something. Once I have the illustration for Soulbound that I am doing for my contest winner on my Facebook fan page, I'll post it and a description of the scene. I can't wait to get everything together and see what comes of this gigantic project! One of my favorite sections of the Website will be where I talk about Inrugia and give readers a little more info. Yes, they will get it all in the books, but I want the site to be more than just "buy my book," and I'm willing to work for it, darn it!

In the end, everyone, don't forget to enjoy each day; and if you're struggling, trust me. I've been there, and recently. Writing does not pay well, especially when the books aren't even out yet. ;) Hang in there to those of you scraping through each day, and know that there is a brighter tomorrow around the bend. Crap can go on for months, but nothing lasts forever. Even bad luck.

Write on!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Interviews with Characters from 'Soulbound'

I'm on my way to working on animations where I interview my characters from my manuscript in order to give readers an inside look at some of the themes of the manuscript. My biggest concern isn't animating, though; it's getting the voices right. Keep in mind that I am doing this with NO animation experience and without the proper equipment. Heck, I'm using a mouse to draw the characters and animate the frames! Luckily, this exercise has shown me something I didn't expect--animating people talking is SUPER easy. Like...I was expecting some challenge to it, but you basically have 7-8 mouth forms that you reuse on the main image. Throw in some blinking and some movement to give it life, and voila! Animation.

Now, I also am using this as an excuse to practice and make my technique smoother. I want to animate a 1 min 30 sec trailer for the book, and this is helping me get timing down. On top of that, I am going through the final edits for Soulbound and am prepping a new website for launch. The new website will include extra pages, new wallpaper art, and the interview(s) I have completed so far. I also would like to have the manuscript for purchase! Right now, over at my Facebook page, I am doing contests where "likers" and fans have a chance to win original illustrations straight from Soulbound! That means I will draw something that will go inside the book, and you get the original copy. Pretty neat, huh?

For now, I'm going to go continue working on the first interview. I'll update you as things progress, and hopefully I'll have it up within a month or so (voices pending).

Write on!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

School is Drowning me in Papers!

I've been trying to split my time between writing new scenes for "Soulbound" and studying for my exams next week. To be honest, I find my attention rapidly diminishing, no matter what I try to do. I think it's the intensive studying (outside of school [so on a normal schedule], I try to read a few hours every day, write, draw, and work the rest of the time); Monday night, I studied for 9 hours, which I think was overkill. I didn't study last night (except doing homework), and tonight, I am really struggling to stay focused. If I didn't have ear drums, I think my brain would drool out of my ears. Lovely image, I know.

I digress...

In time, I will study and finish my physics, as it's still fairly early here (20 until 7). I also have an hour after work to study tomorrow, then tomorrow night, I have only a little bit of homework, as I have tried to stay ahead of all of my classes. Just because I'm only taking three doesn't mean that the work load is any lighter...admittedly, I sure am glad I dropped my fourth class. I haven't done this much homework and studying since freshman year for my first degree, which was four years ago. Overall, I enjoy the challenge that physics and calculus have presented to me (keep in mind that I'm a very literary-minded individual, as are many writers and readers [and others]), and that doesn't make it any easier.

As far as "Soulbound" goes, I'm supposed to be editing and had hoped I would be done by the end of this month [February], but I've fallen very far behind in the editing due to studying and homework, which is a constant in my life. I'd like to find some way to make more hours in a day, as would many people, I'm sure, but there just aren't enough. So, I ask here, does anyone have good advice for how to split time, stay up late, wake up fairly early, and still maintain (or even increase) productivity? What did you do in college? As a writer (or whatever you are)? Right now I am focused on drinking Red Bull (the sugar free one) every morning, but that is an expensive habit, and as some may know, we writers are often short on cash. Yes, I have coffee, but it makes me have to, well, use the bathroom more than Red Bull does, so it's hard to chug coffee, then sit through lecture. I don't like being late and I hate leaving in the middle of class for any reason (it often distracts the professor and other students). So, any help would be greatly appreciated.

I am considering using Dragon Naturally Speaking (of which I have a copy) to transcribe my hand-written scribbles from during the day to my computer at night, then going over it to change names and correct spellings, etc. I feel it might save me some time, and maybe I could multi-task.

The children's series, as well as the other manuscripts of mine, have been put on temporary hold...and I say "temporary" only because I know for a fact that they will get done--just in a matter of time vs. homework! I may be bad and give up Friday night as far as sleeping in order to do a mass-edit and mass-transcribing. Unfortunately (or VERY fortunately), my boyfriend comes back into town that night after being away for two weeks, and he leaves again Monday (or Sunday night), so is unlikely to want to share me with the computer much. Hmmm... Sounds like a physics--I mean, TIME problem! I swear, if humans could figure out how to make time stretch (other than by being bored), we'd be unstoppable!

And I leave you on that note. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Back to College

No, I didn't "not finish" my first degree. I actually graduated two years ago from my local university with a degree in English Literature. For a while, I worked in publishing, starting as an intern with local publishing houses and moving on until I became the Editorial Lead of Novel Publicity. For a while, the jobs were great, and I really enjoyed what I did. Then came the nagging sensation, the tugging of something on the edge of my mind; I knew I wasn't making enough money to live on my own, but I tried it anyway, and that was when the nagging became yelling. Over the few months of living on my own, I learned first-hand that there was no possible way I could continue to be an editor for Novel Publicity AND make rent each month.

For the last few years, I've been considering going back to school for another degree, and a few months ago (let's say six), I met an amazing young man who changed my life. My boyfriend talked with me and listened when I told him about my concerns, my dreams, and my goals. He and I worked on his STI together near the beginning of our relationship, and that sealed things between us. I've never met someone quite like him; a man who does not judge me, but will listen while I talk, and then give me feedback and support his arguments or his agreements without treating me like I'm stupid.

While we worked on the car was when we grew closest quickest. He noticed that I was not happy with my income, and though I enjoyed what I did, he urged me to seek other opportunities. Then, he pointed out how much I had enjoyed working on the STI with him. Next came a few months of us periodically discussing my potential degrees and whether or not returning to school was for me. The degrees we narrowed my potential education to were Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't sure EE was for me--some days, I'm still not (though I'm only 3 weeks in, so that could still be true). But he and I have a common goal, something that makes me fight every day to make sure I do whatever I have to in order to succeed, and that's having kids. Yes, this point is very far off, but it's something I've always wanted, and I want my kids to have a similar lifestyle to mine growing up.

Next, I examined my childhood and noted right away one thing--both of my parents are engineers. My father is a software engineer and my mother is an optical engineer. Both my sister and I grew up VERY comfortably. Coincidence? I think not. Ergo, the brilliant choice of going back for an EE degree. Great choice, right? And it doesn't stop there.

From the moment I decided to go back, friends and family alike told me they didn't think EE was for me. Now, I'm like a lot of other strong-willed people, and when someone tells me I can't do something or won't enjoy it, their words just make me more determined to succeed. When people show doubt in me is when I shine brightest, and so far, I've done okay. To be honest, I cried the first night I came back, because I have not done math or physics in almost seven years, and had no idea what the professors had talked about in lecture. I'd done nothing but English and literary theory since my second semester of college, but knowing I had a dream, that I have my boyfriend's support, and where I want to go and what I want to do keeps me driven to do my best.

To be honest, I still want to be a full-time writer, and I always will, however, one of my favorite Indie authors, Jessica McHugh,has shown me (without actually showing me, it must be said) that I can go back to school for something I may not love whole-heartedly and write on the side. Thus, my new lifestyle. I still write, though I study as much as I can; after all, college is not cheap, and I need to get a job in order to pay off loans, etc.

And so my adventure begins... I plan to update this story every week or so, and between will try to do weekly updates of my novel, as that's what this blog was originally created for. As of now, though, I have exams in two weeks and must go study! And remember, if you have a dream, there's more than one way to accomplish it...and more than one person who will support you, even when others don't believe you can make it ;)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Back to Writing

For the last few months, I've been taking a sort-of break from my writing to focus on editing my Epic Fantasy, Soulbound. I'm still not done editing, but I need something to supplement the stress and focus it takes to edit something 600+pages long (don't worry--it's double-spaced), so I am getting back into writing with some new projects.

Since I can't really force myself to write something outside of Inrugia (the planet Soulbound takes place on), I am planning a children's series of fairytales that take place on the same planet. They will take a little longer to finish, as I will be illustrating them as well as writing them, but I already have an idea for the first book. The fairytales will be from Inrugia as opposed to being a bunch of rehashed Grimm or other Earthly tales, and will be a way to bring a younger audience into the world of Soulbound.

I've also been considering a Middle Grade or YA series, but that will come later, once I have about 10 books done for the children's series. I'm super excited, because I feel this will not only help me get back into writing, but will keep the interest flowing for my characters (both from me and from potential readers).

Another project I'm going to be working on is something a high school friend of mine, Cameron, is working on with me. We're co-penning a three-book series about a prince and princess. The first book is entirely in his realm and is about the princess, and mine is (guess what!) about the prince. We've been outlining and planning this book for over a year now, and our goal is to have the first draft of the first two books done by June. Can we do it? Heck yes!! More on this project as I go--I'm not sure what he wants to share with readers before the release, and what he wants to keep under wraps.

So, to all of you writers out there, keep writing!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Silver Sphere

Many other YA manuscripts at this time focus on a female lead falling for some paranormal one-thing-or-another, but Dadich's Silver Sphere stands on its own ground because of his fresh, new take on what can define a YA Sci-Fa (Sci-fi Fantasy). Join Shelby on an adventure to the wondrously dangerous world of Azimuth, and battle with her against the horrific evil of Malefic and the Nightlanders as she and her fellow Kin learn about their destiny and their link with the ruling body of Azimuth. She and the other Kin struggle to survive in this treacherous landscape as they search for a way to free their links and restore order to Azimuth before Malefic and his armies turn their blood-thirsty gaze upon Earth...for if Azimuth should fall, Earth is not far behind.

The manuscript is close to me because of the time I've spent working alongside Mr. Dadich as an editor. A year ago, I was introduced to him by an agent, and since then, the story of Shelby and the other Kin has resonated deeply with me. Dadich is the first author I've met in person while working with, and I hope to again with his coming sequel, the Sinister Kin.

Since his debut with Evolved Publishing, Michael has written a short story and begun outlining the Kin series, and many of his readership praise his unique characters, epic battle scenes, and creativity. The world of Azimuth should not be ignored, and should adventure come knocking at your door, do not forget the Kin, are needed!

I cannot recommend The Silver Sphere enough, as it takes you on an adventure that re-imagines what YA Fantasy can really be--minus the vampires, zombies, etc., that litter the market today. If you want a YA manuscript that's fresh, I suggest checking out Dadich's Silver Sphere.


I've been writing since first setting pencil to steno pad at age 8. A year later, I began developing the world of my current series-in-progress, and even created its title, The Silver Sphere. Now, with the support of years of experience, those early maps and back stories have progressed into what I hope is a fresh and entertaining take on the classic young adult fantasy adventure.

Despite my frequent escapes into parallel worlds, I root myself firmly in my very real family and community. When not pacing the yard maniacally after every few pages of writing, I spend as much time as possible hanging out with my studly 9-year-old son and my inspirational wife Jenna. I also coach several local youth sports teams in Beverly Hills, and alternate between yelling at my two crazy Corgis and hiking with my trained German Shepherd.

For more, join me in my favorite fantasy worlds, from Lord of the Rings to the creations of C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Brooks. Even more importantly, stop by and say hello on my Facebook page at AuthorMichaelDadich, tweet me at @MichaelDadich, and stalk my website at