Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rema Complete And Online, and Rema's Future

For those that don't know or missed it, Rema book one is now complete and online to read!

Since finishing, I have been quietly working with my dear agent to improve the book and test the waters for submission with a publisher. After generously reading the entire thing, the book was sadly rejected by an editor I greatly respect and would like to work with one day, however this is a blessing in disguise for many reasons (thank you editor!). 

Mostly, no matter how hard self publishing is, I am in control of my own schedule. Getting traditionally published means hard deadlines, and hard deadlines mean my two small kids going to daycare/preschool, which is expensive.  Realistically speaking, whatever money I would make publishing as a debut author will be less than what it costs for childcare for two kids. We would lose money. While going through the motions of submission and editing, this reality completely slipped my mind until I had to look at it clearly. I am taking this rejection as a sign that the book is not ready, and neither am I.

However, this does not mean I am giving up on Rema, especially after only one rejection. My plan is to take it one step at a time. I will continue self publishing as a hobby until the children are in school -- approximately 2.5 years from now. I will release Rema as an ebook, serialize book 2 online when it is ready, and whatever funds I make from ebook sales will go towards a professional edit to improve the manuscript even more. Rema is the only story I care about right now, and it still consumes my creative mind. I am taking this opportunity to finish it while I can.

I know it seems obvious in retrospect that this book was not ready, but I had to at least try, just once. It is still a dream to reach as wide an audience as possible with Rema, because I think there are many people out there who would enjoy it and benefit from the struggles the characters endure, as I have. However, if in the end it only has a home online, I am okay with that too. I have learned so much from writing this book already, and I will have had the opportunity to share it with the readers that have stuck with Rema over the years. Those readers (you know who you are!) have made it all worthwhile. I can't wait to do it again with book 2!

So thank you friends, readers, and family for all your support over the years. I will post again when the ebook is ready and available, something I feel has been a long time coming.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Since You Asked...

DISCLAIMER: Maurene Goo is a good friend of mine, so my opinion on her book is obviously biased. However, I am really picky about the things I choose to support regardless if they're made by friends or not, and there are real reasons I was such an advocate of Maurene's writing from the moment I first read Since You Asked (formerly The Holly Columns).

Imagine Seinfeld... as a Korean American teenage girl in San Diego. That basically sums up my reading experience of Since You Asked, with all its biting satire, hilarious hijinks, and heartfelt family drama. I seriously felt like I was watching a great sitcom about teen life as it is, not as it's idealized or glamorized, and it was oh so refreshing. This is high school -- awkward, ridiculous, and coming off the tail end of childhood.

I honestly wish I had this book to read while I was a teen. I was a mixed race kid of a loving Korean immigrant mother and an alcoholic father, growing up in middle-of-nowhere mostly caucasian Rochester, NY. I really could've used a window into life as a Korean American teen without the Korean-ness making her feel alien or weird, a window that showed how funny and beautiful it is to eat kimchee with Thanksgiving dinner; a window that made fun of how nonsensical high school life was, and one that told me it was perfectly cool to skip Homecoming Dance or feel totally uncomfortable at some kid's house party that was going way out of control.

I feel like there are other kids out there that could use this window too, one that acknowledges that despite all the pressures to be fashionable, well-liked, and getting a date, you're still a kid and that's okay. Far too often it feels like we're pushing our kids to grow faster than necessary, and it's nice to read a book that doesn't do that without it being condescending or sugar-coating anything.

Since You Asked is all of the above, and hilarious to boot. Seriousness aside, the book is just plain fun to read and you're going to love the characters. I can see a lot of appeal to fans of John Green, Maureen Johnson, and even Jeff Kinney's Diary of Wimpy Kid.

This is a stand-alone book, but there is so much potential for Holly's world and her friends. I truly hope a second one is on the horizon, because I could spend days at BHS and I would have a big smile on my face the whole time.

But, as they say on Reading Rainbow, you don't have to take my word for it!

Read an excerpt


Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

P.S. Maurene if you're reading this... you're SO GOOD at writing romance!! Holy moly! David and Holly need to get together. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kazu's Harry Potter covers

Harry Potter Gets A Whole New Look,” via the Wall Street Journal.
This has been posted all over the internet, but I'm posting it here for archive's sake. :)
My husband Kazu (author/artist of the best-selling Amulet series) has been secretly toiling away at a set of beautiful covers for the Harry Potter 15th anniversary American re-release. While most people know him for his comics, he also holds his own as an excellent painter, as he’s shown time and again with his work on the Flight Anthology and at Gallery Nucleus.
So proud of him. I can’t wait to relive these books with our kids! :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rema - The First Half

He held her curled against him for a moment that seemed to stretch forever, until she found the will to move again. -- From Chapter Twenty-Three of Rema

An update on the book's progress:

1) The first half of the book has been posted -- fully illustrated!

I'm super pleased. I can't tell you how many times I thought about illustrating the manuscript, but never did because the task was too intimidating. Posting chapters on a weekly basis has kept me on track and has been a great exercise in discipline. Perhaps my dreams of having a fully illustrated volume of Rema can really come true...! *starry-eyed*

2) Rema has received its first reviews on!

And much to my relief, they are positive. (This is the first time my prose writing has ever been reviewed, so you can imagine how nervous I was!) You can read them on Rema's listing. Also be sure to explore and check out some of the great stories people have been posting. I highly recommend Wildbow's addictive superhero webfic, Worm!

Now that the first half of Rema is up, it's a great time for new readers to jump in. If you've read and enjoyed Rema, the best way to show your appreciation is to spread the word.

In the mean time, Rema will continue to update every Monday and I'll continue to write it in between various comic projects and mommyhood. For now I hope you keep warm, stay positive, and don't forget to get up and stretch every once in a while! ;) Much love to you all, dear readers.

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Thoughts On A Year

(Before I type anything New Year's related, I want to say that posting Rema online has been so therapeutic for me. I'm so grateful to all of you who have visited the site, even if you're just looking at the drawings. I'm probably driving my friends a little crazy spamming them with so many links to the Rema blog, but I can't emphasize enough how helpful it's been in sorting out my life. Thank you all so much, especially to those who have actually taken the time to read it. My heart is yours!)

2012 proved to be a big year for me, both good and bad. In some ways, I feel as if the last few years were all together one really... long... year packed with crazy event after crazy event. One too many days were spent in the hospital for people I loved. One too many funerals were held. Too much illness and too many doctor visits. For a while there, it really DID feel like the apocalypse! The birth of my son and daughter were, of course, the bright spots within the chaos (both unintended natural births!). I never imagined myself to be a mother, just as I never imagined myself to be married, yet here I am, stay-at-home mom dabbling in storytelling.

Being so wrapped in Life, Death, and the spectrum in between has made me sort my priorities, and has made me a better person. Whereas before stories and ambition were the center of my life, my family is now the center. The stories have become a world I go to when Time permits, a fantastic place that keeps me sane. For a while that world was for my eyes only, but it kept my spirit strong through difficulty. It kept me alive. I want to share these stories with as many people as possible in the hopes that they might be a raft to float others across choppy waters, too.

There's a lot to look forward to in the years ahead -- the growth of my children, the love of my husband and best friend, and many, many stories to finish. The key word is finish. I'm sitting on two novels, several short stories, and a few comics that need completion. Some of them are 90% done, some are only 1%, but all them make me so excited to draw and write. For a writer, inspiration is the side effect of so many life-altering events. However, if these stories are to be shared, they have to be finished. And so, it's my goal -- Time permitting -- to complete as many of these projects as possible and share them with as many people as I can, starting in 2013.

I hope 2013 will prove to be positive, fruitful, and forward-moving as possible for you too. Happy New Year, and thank goodness we all survived the apocalypse!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reman Mythology -- The Novel

After so many years of trying to figure out where Rema the novel fits and resisting doing what it takes to make it fit somewhere, I realize that I'll never be happy forcing this story into any mold other than what it wants to be. Whether that makes the story better or worse (probably worse!), that's just my relationship with it. It began as my playground, a sanctuary I could escape to where I could just be myself without restraint, and that's all it is. I need that sanctuary, that arena where I could grow without pressure, and sharing it online was such a big part of that.

And so, I'm posting Rema the novel on its own blogspot while I continue to revise and illustrate it. It will no longer be a webcomic, it will be a webnovel. The story is flawed, the plotting is messy, the prose is rough... but it is what it is, and I'm happy to share my sanctuary with anyone who wants to read it.

Go here to read chapter one.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pile O' Drawings


I realized I hadn't updated my blog with all the drawings I've been posting on my twitter. I know this is redundant, but here they are all in one fabulous place!

Not much to report otherwise. I love my life and my head is teaming with fun ideas. I just wish I had more time to draw/write!