Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Am I Insane, or Insightful?

Tecmo Koei has announced the debut of Romance of the Three Kingdoms XII. (It’s so new, I can’t even get Amazon to give me a link because it’s not sold in the U.S. yet.) However, the very title should give you some idea of the popularity of these games: they’ve made twelve versions.


 

I was aware when I began writing “Mourn Their Courage,” which is also based on the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, that the games were popular. They were probably on version eight back then….

So tell me, am I insane for hoping to either package my book with iphone versions of this game or (even more insane concept) launch a video game version of my book? I KNOW this is putting the cart before the horse. The book isn’t even accepted for publication yet. But isn’t this exactly the sort of market placement thinking they keep telling us to do? Is it my only marketing concept? Of course not, but is it a valid?

What insane marketing ideas do you have in mind? Inquiring minds want to know. 😀

China Artistry in the News


In a recent NPR Morning Edition article by Sandy Totten, Americans found that China wants to use the western movie making infrastructure to promote China and its long history. “The Chinese government-owned company recently invested $30 million in hopes of making a movie that would both celebrate Chinese culture and turn a tidy profit.”


America has had a healthy artistic relationship with Japan for decades now and it seems we’re building the same with China. I see so much more interest in China, it’s history, art, language than even a few years ago. There are more books published by American authors that are set in China or peopled with Chinese characters, there’s the vast popularity of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms video games, numerous comics, and of course, the burgeoning number of movies with Western sensibilities and Chinese settings titillates.

What about you? Are you excited by upcoming titles or publishing opportunities?


Chapter One – Again

Okay, I’ve pleaded for help from tons of Beta Readers and it just dawned on me, at least some of my followers haven’t seen the opening pages of this book and might be willing to humor me with their opinions on this rewrite. I need to know, are you confused by this?

MOURN THEIR COURAGE

By

VICTORIA DIXON

Xing Dynasty: In the Tenth Year of Rebuilt Tranquility

Chapter One

Liu Jie reached the garden beyond the orchard, breathing the rotting peaches’ cloying sweetness as he slid to his knees. The moon’s bony face illuminated the leafless trees, but shadows and fears haunted his thoughts.

We traveled to meet the emperor and stop a civil war. Not fight in one. I cannot kill my countrymen – my brothers. But I must. The Imperial summons he’d just read commanded “the aid of all men as sons might come to their father.” He trembled with revulsion.

After his family and guards had stopped at the Peach Orchard Inn this afternoon, his son had discovered a starving child here in the garden. Jie had taken the Orchard Boy inside and his wife cared for him now. Could the act of saving a life atone for taking thousands? He looked at his hands. Though they’d touched the rich soil, they appeared unblemished in the moon’s cold light.

How bloody would they be before the coming civil war ended?

Chapter Two

The next morning, the wood panels of Jie’s small room groaned. Jie shut the door behind the man who had agreed to feed and help train his army. Jie shook his head, smiling. It was as if Tong Zhang’s mere presence pushed against the walls.

“Zhang, this is my wife, Mei.” They bowed to one another, but Mei held a bowl of warm water in her hands, and turned to the bed and her patient. She pulled aside the bed’s curtain and the Orchard Boy woke, squinting through half-shut lids.

Jie heaved a sigh of relief. We did it. We saved one person.

Zhang towered over the boy.

“Are you the Demon King?” The boy’s voice rattled and wheezed as he shrank away under his blanket.

Zhang laughed, and the Orchard Boy tried to sit.

Mei placed a steaming cloth on the boy’s forehead and eased him down. “Careful, young one.”

“I’m so cold.” The boy’s eyes opened wide and he sat up, looking around the room. “Chen? Where’s Chen?”

The floor creaked underneath Zhang. “He’s delirious, Jie. Fetch a priest!”

“No priests,” the boy muttered. “He might do anythin. . .” He collapsed, but turned as if to listen when Jie knelt beside the bed.

“What is your name, child?” Jie said. “Can you hear me?”

“I don’t think he can, husband.”

“The fever took his mind, Jie.”

“I’m Hong Aiyu. Thirteen. Not child,” the boy protested, though his voice slurred from exhaustion. “You want ‘prentice? I bring luck.”

Zhang’s laughter vibrated the rafters. “Luck? Sure! Bad luck!”

“He’ll live, Zhang,” Jie said. “And if his name is any indication, the gods have given us their blessing.” Jie never took his eyes off Aiyu. “We will talk later, War Dragon, but yes. I will take you into my family’s service. Eat and rest, for now.”

They poured tangy chicken broth into Aiyu and bathed him in warm water until he slept again.

New Markets, Residencies and Other Opportunities

I’ve got several different types of markets and opportunities today. I wish I could take credit for them, but oh well. 😀


This first one is courtesy of Hope Clark:

GLOBAL ARTS VILLAGE – INDIA
http://www.globalartsvillage.org/residencies.htm

A residency can provide much needed time away from your normal 
environment and routine. You are encouraged to develop your work 
based upon your Indian experience and inspiration. The Village 
offers residency programs to emerging, mid-career and established 
artists. Residencies are offered for all major creative disciplines 
(visual, performing, literary, healing arts) and we also welcome 
professionals, researchers and scholars. Residents choose from 
standard, duplex or accommodations in administrative staff quarters 
and are provided with work studio space, three prepared vegetarian 
meals per day, laundry service, broadband wi-fi internet access 
and airport pick-up. Specific requirements, benefits, conditions 
and additional information are outlined within the program and 
facility descriptions. India is a land full of contrast, beauty 
and surprises. The residencies provide the perfect amount of 
time to absorb the Indian experience, create work and allow for 
travel time before or after the residency period. Selection 
Procedure: Applications are reviewed by a panel and selection 
is based upon your current body of work, project description, 
and motivation to develop your art, project, and/or work in 
India. 



I can’t take credit for this one, either. It’s many thanks to Eve in the Authors of Asian Novels Group.


A new magazine (short story market) is available at http://kunlunjournal.blogspot.com/2010/12/welcome-to-kunlun-journal.htmlHe’s especially interested in Wuxia, which is the type of story where you have a wondering warrior. Think “Seven Samurai,” “Lone Wolf and Cub,” etc.


My own story is a member of the Wuxia family as it’s based on one of the early Wuxia classics, “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.” If you’re interested in helping me polish the new opening I’ve made thanks to Tessa Elwood and Donna Hole (you ladies have my gratitude and a critique coming whenever you need it!), go to Mourn Their Courage and let me know if you have any questions.


Are you aware of any markets I should post about? (I’ll give you credit and many thanks.) Do you have a critique concern you’d like to share? Drop me a note and we can brainstorm.

Literary Discrimination and Censorship

Here’s the story at http://www.hungermtn.org/color-me-perplexed/, but if you don’t want to read the whole thing, here’s the gist:

Author goes to a speaking event and is approached by a librarian who says: “I love your work! I only wish I had more African American students so that I could use your books.”

God help me if I have to wait for Asian readers before my books take off, but then, I didn’t wait to TURN Asian before I read “Romance of the Three Kingdoms.” (I’d still be waiting!) Half a million gamers didn’t wait to check their ethnicity before they turned on their phones, t.v.s and other such gadgets and role-played to their hearts’ content, either.

I KNOW I am not the only person out there bashing her head on her desk because of statements like this. I can’t imagine what Nikki Grimes felt like at the time, but I’m glad I wasn’t that librarian. Responses like hers frustrate the heck out of me. I think I will go look up something by Nikki. It sounds like her books are good reads and that’s really what it should be about.