Tag Archives: writing

Revised Cover for Volume One!!!

*Trumpet blast*

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen.  Using a graphic tablet, I’ve finished recoloring the cover for volume one of The Golden Lands.  Check it out!

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

Now you may notice few things different from when I first displayed the original version of the cover of Volume 1.  First of all, the graphics are way better.  That comes from using the graphic tablet.  Also, I changed the character’s shirt from brown to gray, because he wears gray shirts in the book.  And last of all, I added the title.


Your AA,


Inspiration for the Scenery of The Golden Lands

Where do I get inspiration for the scenery of The Golden Lands?  Check out these pictures from my backyard!

I love the color of the grass in this image

BY 2

The light is epic in this one:

BY 3

And how about the spotted shade in this one?

BY Pic 1


Well, now you know where I get my inspiration from!  What do you think?

Your AA,


Cover for Volume 2!!!!!

Perhaps you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been blogging so much.

….Or maybe you haven’t.  But that’s okay! 😛

What’s been keeping me so busy?  Well, there are a lot of things actually.  But I’d like to show you the main project that’s been hogging up a lot of my time.

Here it is, my dear followers.  The cover of The Golden Lands, Volume 2: WRATH!

© Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved
© Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved

The cover was drawn by my awesome sister Clare (who runs a blog over at https://lilyorphaned.wordpress.com/ ).  I colored the picture, but she was there to help me with that too (since I’m color-blind and I almost made the girl’s skin blue :S ).

Now in case you haven’t noticed, this cover is waaaaay better than the cover of Volume 1: Shadows in the Sunlight.  Why?  Well, this cover was colored using a graphic tablet; the other was not.  While we were making the first cover, the tablet hadn’t been working properly, so we didn’t use it.  It turns out that all it needed was a software update, which I was very glad to discover!  But I discovered this after making the cover for Volume 1.  So that’s why this one is so much better.  I’m very pleased with the cover, which is more than I could have hoped for!  Of course, we still need to use the tablet to redo the cover for Volume 1.

Now, you may be wondering why I’ve shown you the cover for Volume 2, when the first volume hasn’t even come out.   Well, I noticed that in a lot of manga novels (which The Golden Lands resembles in many ways) that at the end of the novel, they’ll have pictures of the next book in the series, acting as a sort of preview or a “coming up next!” sort of thing.  I thought it would be cool if I did the same thing too.  Therefore, you can expect to see this picture at the back of Volume 1 in order to get you excited for the upcoming book.

I hope you like it!

Your AA,



So lately….

the image is not mine

…I’ve been thinking about glory.  Maybe I’m a bit of a prude, or something like that, but sometimes I get concerned about how much glory I should put into my book series.  What’s that mean?  What I mean is: how much should I try to make people think my series is glorious, or deserving of praise and admiration?  “Is there such a thing as too much glory?” you might think, at least on the level of fame and fortune.

But I don’t really work on that level.  By now, you should know I’m a person very deep in my faith.  That being said, I ask such questions of whether my book will be too awesome on a religious level.  So here’s the heart of the problem:

If my series is so awesome, with amazing characters people love, fantastic worlds that people get lost in, powers that people are obsessed with, and truths that they found inspirational, will such glory distract people from God?

Think about it.  People can get lost in fictional worlds.  Those worlds have power.  We have power as writers.  I have power.  I personally don’t want to draw anyone away from God, and certainly not to myself.  He deserves all the credit (although my series couldn’t be classified as Christian or Religious).

But, as I thought more about this problem, I started to realize something.  See if you can follow this logic:

God is perfect in every good way.

My book is perfect in every good way.

Therefore, my book is a reflection, in one way or another, of God’s perfection.

Okay, so it’s probably a stretch to say that my series will ever be “perfect in every good way”.  My logic is probably a little messed up too.  But…BUT, similarly, if my book is outrageously well thought-out, well-plotted, with characters you can’t get enough of, scenes beautifully depicted, and all people can think of is “this is AMAZING”…won’t they, somewhere down the line, think of God, and how awesome He is?

Well, not everyone.  I guess I’m talking about people who know and believe in God.  But think of it this way.  Whenever someone (at least a guy), takes a bite of the perfect hamburger, doesn’t he immediately think “Mmmmm! Thank you, God!” (maybe that’s just me).  Amazing things leave us in awe and wonder.  We think, “how can this be?” (*ahem* Blessed Mother).  Glory and perfection aren’t things that naturally come from this world.  Lots of things leave us breathless.  And they don’t come from us.

We see a beautiful sky.  Who created such beauty?

The image is not mine

God did.

We see a beautiful painting.  Who created the painting?

The painter.  But what he painted only could have been inspired by something beautiful he experienced else where.  If he paints a picture of a bowl of fruit, the form of the fruit which he tries to capture came from somewhere.  Where did it come from?

From God.

So here’s what I want to do.  I want The Golden Lands to be so awesome, sowonderful, that people will immediately be directed towards God.  They’ll immediately think words of praise and thankfulness to Him for ever inspiring a teenaged guy.  I want TGL to be something heavenly (although not religious).  They’ll thank God for the beauty in the series, the way it makes them feel, the way it empowers them.  God is at the source of all good things.  

God willing, people will be able to discover and continue seeing this through my work!

Your AA,


Why Should You be Excited for The Golden Lands?


1. It’s set up like an anime series.  What does this mean?

  • Lots of excitement.  Not just excitement as in action or suspense, but excitement including emotional and funny excitement.
  • Lots of action.  Every volume is packed with well-described action.  There’s never a dull moment.
  • Lots of character growth.  Who doesn’t love falling in love with an awesome, fictional character?  And a series is a lot more exciting when you feel for the characters in all of their struggles.
  • Fast moving plot.  Definitely.  Most animes move very quickly, and every episode/chapter leaves you wondering, “What’s going to happen next?”
  • Totally cool worlds and unique kinds of magic/powers.  What can’t you do in a fantasy world?  And what kind of strange, epic powers exist in the world of The Golden Lands?

2. It’s fantasy

  • As mentioned above, you can put your characters through a lot of awesome, visually gripping, emotionally inspiring situations.  Or you can put them through eerie, dark, and violent situations.  Anything can happen.
  • There’s a deeper meaning behind everything.  All great artists are able to lead their audience through the world they’ve created into a better life in this world.  Here’s hoping I can do that too.

3. The volumes will come out about every fourish months!

  • Who likes waiting while an author takes a year or two to come out with the next volume of a series?
  •  And who likes enduring those painfully exciting cliffhangers until the next volume comes out?

I hope all of you are getting excited for TGL, because I know I am!

Once again, the cover of Volume One: Shadows in the Sunlight!

© Copyright 2015 all rights reserved
© Copyright 2015 all rights reserved

Your AA,


The Death of an Outline—Off-roading, Freedom, and Expansion

the image is not mine
the image is not mine

So yesterday afternoon I found myself writing an outline for The Golden Lands.   All the future volumes, their names, maybe different books of the series—I was planning all that out.  I finished the outline, my brain having that “burnt out” feeling, and then I stopped for a moment.  All at once, I felt a pang of regret.  The outline suddenly seemed evil, and for some reason, I almost felt guilty.


Because TGL is not meant to be limited by the barriers erected by an outline.  That’s right.  I don’t like outlines.  In fact, when it comes to creative writing, I think they don’t even make sense.  What about “creative writing” makes you think you should write out a blueprint for your “creativity”?  Here’s the thing about outlines: when you make one, you intend to stick to it.  That’s not what TGL is supposed to be.  And I don’t think that’s what any form of creative writing is supposed to be.  A set path is good, but not one that holds you back.

I immediately crossed out the outline.  An outline would hold me back.   It would limit expansion.  It would cause me to stick to one path; a path I set up for myself.  Sure, you can make outlines bigger, and I’m sure they can be useful.  But when it comes to freedom, to expansion of the mind and of the story in all of its characters, plot-twists, and subtle, moral glory, a blueprint doesn’t make sense.   It doesn’t work.  It impedes.

the image is not mine
the image is not mine

So I’m going to do some off-roading.  I’m going to ride in the freedom of my mind, allowing my own creativity to lead my story wherever I (and God) deem it wander.  This is writing.  This is art.  This is creativity.

Outlines?  Not for me.


Your AA,


So…When is the First Volume Coming Out?

I know I keep on saying that the first volume of The Golden Lands (TGL) is going to be self-published very soon.  But, as of yet, I still haven’t released it yet.

What’s the hold up?

Well, first of all, when I say “very soon”, that could mean within the next couple months.  I recall saying in a different post that I’d be publishing within the next two weeks.  And it’s been more than two weeks.  I apologize for not keeping my word.

However, some things need to be done before I feel comfortable releasing volume one.

The first most important thing that I want to accomplish with the first volume is getting some good proofreading.  I’ve already proofread it twice, but I’m having my awesome mom go over it just to make sure I haven’t made any silly grammatical errors.

The next thing I want to do is find out how to copyright my work properly.  I know that no matter what, The Golden Lands is mine by virtue of the fact that I wrote it, but I want to copyright it professionally and securely…just in case.

Then there’s the matter of finding a self-publishing website I like.  As of now, Smashwords is my #1.  They let you self-publish for free, although they get 40% of your royalties.

And last of all, I need another illustration done, just to make TGL look awesome and official.

So, in theory, TGL WILL be released very soon.  Just not as soon as I thought.  But that’s a big part of writing; sometimes you need to take time to do what needs to be done.

And introducing the new, “photoshop corrected” cover for volume one (hair color is better and so is blood-graphics):

© Copyright 2015 all rights reserved
© Copyright 2015 all rights reserved

Your AA,


The Golden Lands—An Endless Series

As I’ve mentioned before, I want The Golden Lands to be something long-lasting.  When I first thought of the idea behind the series, I thought it would be awesome if the The Golden Lands was never-ending.  That’s obviously impossible, because I’ll die someday (surprise, surprise!), and it’s just very hard to do.  And besides, a good series will end at the right time, and not go on unnecessarily.

the awesome image is not mine
the awesome image is not mine

Inspired heavily by Bleach—an anime series that certainly seems everlasting (366 episodes)—I figured it wouldn’t be too hard for me to keep a series going.  My goal is to reach at least twelve volumes…and that actually doesn’t seem to hard, seeing how I already know what’s going to happen up to volume 6.

And there’s no rush.  I’m a high-school student, so I’ve got a decent amount of time before I have to start interacting with the real world (BOR-ing).


Since my fantasy series of novellas will resemble manga, I’m hoping to release each volume at a “mangaish” pace.  A lot of manga’s come out pretty fast (once a month), and while I don’t think a new volume of The Golden Lands will come out every month, you can probably expect a new volume every three to four months (I produce these things quite rapidly!).

Expect lots of fast-moving, heart-stopping entertainment, epic combat scenes, moral struggles, emotional struggles, and flat-out silliness!  Not to mention a display of my writing skills and the artistic awesomeness of my sister/illustrator.

Stay tuned, dearest followers!  The first volume should be ready soon!

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

Your AA,


Quality, Not Quantity

Sooo over at my first blog, http://montairyus23.wordpress.com/, the goal was to get as many followers as I could.  I’ll be honest, I wanted followers just for the sake of being able to say to a publisher, “Hey!  Look at how many people are interested in my book!”  However, when it really came down to it, when I would blog about my trilogy (TSOM), not too many people seemed interested.  I had/have over two hundred followers, and a post about my trilogy would only generate a few likes, and rarely a new follower or a comment.  I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong…and I’m still not 🙂

But experiencing this has made me realize something; when it comes to blogging, it’s quality, not quantity that matters.  If you want to get a book out there, if you want to be and feel heard, just remember it’s all about the quality.  You can have 2,000 followers, but if only fifteen are interested in what you’re writing about, then you really only have fifteen true followers.

I must say, I truly feel blessed to have such an engaged audience already here at The Golden Lands.  You guys are totally awesome and it’s your support that keeps me going and gives me hope.  This is what every writer needs, whether he knows it or not.  And it’s what every writer wants, whether he wants it or not.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

Stay awesome,