Showing posts from April, 2021

‘The Geomancer’s Apprentice’ Is Getting a Brand-New Look

I was happy with the original cover for The Geomancer’s Apprentice , but I decided to refresh it for the novel’s release on new platforms. The book, now available on Amazon , will also be offered on Kobo, Google Books, Apple Books and Barnes & Noble as of May 7. It will come with a new cover. The main reason for the makeover is I want a unified look for the series I’m planning. I work with my husband on the covers, and he’s already created draft covers for Book 2 and Book 3. Now I just need to write the books! Urban fantasy often is very character-driven, and I think the new cover works better because you can see my protagonist Junie Soong’s face. I also think the new cover better conveys the darkness of what Junie is put through, as well as the mysticism of her abilities. Original cover I hope you like the new look. They say the cover is one of the most important things about a book. No matter where the book is—be it a bookstore, the library or an ebook platform—if the cover does

Superhero-Horror Flick ‘Brightburn’ Soars on Scares, Falters on Soul

What if Superman were evil?  The movie Brightburn explores the superhero theme along those lines. A couple—Tori and Kyle Breyer—find an alien baby in the wreckage of a spaceship that crash-lands on their farm in Brightburn, Kansas. They take him in and name him Brandon. Brandon comes into his powers after he turns 12. It transpires that the boy has the moral compass of a psychopath. There are many parallels with Superman: Kal-El (Superman’s birth name) crash-lands in Smallville, Kansas, a rural area like Brightburn. Kal-El is found and adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. Kal-El and Brandon’s superpowers include heat vision and the ability to hover and fly. Kal-El and Brandon’s superhero alter egos wear capes. The major difference is Kal-El is noble and helps mankind, while Brandon is driven to take over the world. The moviemakers describe Brightburn as superhero-horror. It’s an anti-genre movie where you take the superhero genre and turn it on its head. James Gunn, one

I’m MCU All the Way. DCEU Fans, Fight Me

I’m a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. My favorite superhero is Iron Man. The first Iron Man movie (2008) blew my mind. How about the D.C. Extended Universe, you ask? Mmmm … For me, the Avengers franchise was simply awesome moviemaking, comparable to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. I watched every single one of the MCU movies. As for the DCEU, I lost interest sometime during the many remakes of Batman and Superman. I saw Man of Steel (2013) and found that version of Superman sad and depressing. He made me want to crawl into a hole and cry myself to sleep. I also was disappointed with Justice League (2017). I found the script and special effects cheesy. The CGI looked fake. Most of the movie seemed to take place in darkness. I also thought a few of the actors (and by that I mean you, Ben Affleck) phoned it in. That said, I was really impressed with Wonder Woman   (2017). I particularly liked the casting of Gal Gadot in the starring role. Gadot is beautiful, ath

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? ‘Scoob!’ Misses the Point

Scooby-Doo, Where are You!  was my all-time favorite cartoon when I was a child. I wanted so badly to be one of the gang investigating haunted houses and other mysteries. That wonderful, cowardly dog and his friends sowed the seeds of my love for the horror genre. So you can imagine my trepidation when I starting watching Scoob! , the first 3D animated film for the cartoon franchise. Well, the renditions of the main characters weren’t bad. I liked the re-imagined Fred, Daphne and Velma. I loved the Mystery Machine, which was a 1960s-era van in the cartoon. There wasn’t much change to Shaggy. As for Scooby, he talked way too much compared to his cartoon self. But after a while, I was fine with it. However, I found the movie a little too frenetic and incoherent. One-third of it revolves around how Shaggy, Scooby and the rest of the Mystery Gang find each other. After that it’s a mishmash of robotic killer drones, the Blue Falcon’s backstory, and Greek mythology. The movie also feature

Would It Be Feasible to Turn My Book Into a Graphic Novel?

Can The Geomancer’s Apprentice be repackaged as a graphic novel? That’s a question I sometimes ask myself. Early in the publishing process, while I was still debating what I wanted in a book cover, I commissioned the talented Leticia Kifo , a graphic artist on Fiverr, to design my main character Junie Soong. I ultimately went in another direction, opting for a cover that was more in line with other urban fantasy novels. However, every so often I pull out my character design and wonder: could the book work as a graphic novel? After all, the backdrop—Chinatown in Washington, D.C.—is visually interesting, especially with its iconic Chinese ceremonial arch.  The book also features shape-shifting monsters, which I think an artist could have fun with, and lots of action, including hand-to-hand combat. The major barrier is that it would be a serious monetary investment. I’d have to hire a graphic novel scripter, an artist and a colorist. According to a quick search of the internet, it co

'Midsommar': Heavy on Dread But Too Light on Plot

There was a lot of hype around  Midsommar   so I was excited when Netflix sent me the DVD. Ultimately, I found the movie … unsatisfying. Don’t get me wrong—it was deeply disturbing, which never hurts for a horror flick. Some of the scenes were more graphic than I like. There also was plenty of dread and suspense that kept you on the edge of your seat as you wondered what lay in store for the protagonist and other characters. What I found lacking was narrative and plot development. I wanted more of a  story .  Midsommar  was little more than an unfolding of increasingly bizarre and surrealistic events, with a heavy emphasis on shock value.  In the movie, a group of university students visit a classmate’s home in a remote Swedish commune. They are there to witness a neopagan midsummer ritual that occurs every 90 years. Dani Ardor is there with her boyfriend, who studies anthropology. Ardor recently experienced a tragedy in which her sister murdered their parents and killed herself. The f