Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Relax…The Ninjas Are Here!
I am very happy to announce that RELAX, I'M A NINJA is officially available for purchase! It's been such a great learning experience, doing all the things for this book on my own. I'm really proud of the result, and I hope this book can find the people who will love it.
Some quick links for purchase, if you feel so inclined:
Amazon (If you purchase a hard copy, your Kindle copy will only cost 99 cents!)
Barnes & Noble
Kobo (Should be coming soon!)
NOTE: If you are a librarian or bookseller, RELAX, I'M A NINJA should also be available for order through the Ingram catalog. If you really want to order the novel and don't find it there, please let me know so that I can get in contact with Lightning Source personnel.
With this book's release, I thought I'd just take a moment to talk about where RELAX, I'M A NINJA came from. I'll break it into parts:
Growing up in the Bay Area. When I got the idea to write about a Clan of ninjas, I knew I wanted to set the book in a city. San Francisco, with its fog and history and varying architecture felt like that natural fit. Probably because I grew up across the bay in Fremont. I remember going into the city to see museums or the Golden Gate Park. We would take field trips there in school. San Francisco has always been the city I love most.
Being a nerd. I've always been the weird one. I was bullied when I was younger, and often felt like I didn't belong anywhere. At the same time, I had this belief that if people could just see the real me—just look past the outside stereotype—that they'd like me. I think I took a lot of that sentiment into RELAX, I'M A NINJA, and I made a world where the "people aren't what they seem" was taken to the extreme. I also made a world where nerds are also badass ninjas. Wish fulfillment? Maybe a little bit, but I think everyone has a right to imagine themselves as something great.
Anime. The first anime I ever saw was My Neighbor Totoro when I was maybe nine or ten years old. My mom happened upon the VHS tape long before Disney took to the Studio Ghilbli hype. She bought Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, probably in a desperate attempt to distract her three young children for a few hours while she got some work done. I was in love from the second I watched. When Cartoon Network started showing a few anime, like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z, I ate those up, too. It was hard to get a hold of anime back in the 90s, but I found my way to things like Evangelion, Utena, Fushigi Yuugi, Escaflowne, Tenchi Muyo, etc. This love has had a huge impact on my writing, and I would say RELAX, I'M A NINJA is the most influenced by anime.
Video Games. I grew up playing Nintendo with my younger brother, games like Street Fighter, Ninja Turtles, and Mario Kart were staples of my childhood. But it wasn't until I found RPGs that my enjoyment morphed into love. The likes of Chrono Trigger, Secret Of Mana, Earthbound (one of my all time favorites and totally hilarious/random) were like reading books for me. Final Fantasy VII was a mind-blowing experience, and I've played every single one save the latest. I played the more obscure Saga Frontier through every character story, adored the entire concept of interweaving narratives. Basically, if you like RPGs, you'll probably see that inspiration in RELAX as well. (Especially in a certain scene, if you've played FF VII you will be able to envision it better than people who haven't played. Just so you know.)
I guess I'm saying this book really displays a collage of things I love, of things that made me who I am today. I suppose all books are like that—like funhouse mirrors that show a writer in many different ways.
So if you like any of these things above, there's a decent chance you might like RELAX, I'M A NINJA, too. It's been a long time coming, since I wrote this book like five years ago, but I'm so glad I can share this story with everyone now.