All posts by Risuko

Poll: Help us choose the Bright Eyes cover!

I’m hard at work on the Risuko sequel, Bright Eyes — and designer extraordinaire James Egan of Bookfly Design has come up with options for the cover! We’d love for you to help us choose your favorite Bright Eyes cover art.

      

Vote in the poll, and enter to win a copy of the soon-to-be-released Risuko audiobook!

VOTE NOW!

Continue reading Poll: Help us choose the Bright Eyes cover!

Kunoichi Tale: Headmistresses’ Meeting

So this is a departure from my regular series of Kunoichi Companion Tales. But it should still be fun!

The wonderful YA author Mackenzi Lee runs a regular Twitter feature called #BygoneBaddassBroads. It offers profiles of historical women who were… well… baddass. I came across her when she did a profile on one of my favorite bygone baddass broads, Lady Mochizuki Chiyome. A week or so ago, she profiled Locusta the Poisoner, who ran a school for assassins under the Roman emperor Nero. I joked that someone should write a crossover between the two; she joked back that I should throw in Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, Queen of the Fences in late 19th century New York, who ran Marm Mandelbaum’s School for Gifted Youngsters, training the Gilded Age’s pickpockets, thieves, and master criminals.

How could I resist?

Here’s the story that sprang into my head!

Schools for Gifted Youngsters

Monthly Headmistresses’ Meeting

YA Summer Scavenger Hunt #4!

Welcome to the fourth port in the YA Summer Scavenger Hunt!

Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Seasons of the Sword #1)
I’m David Kudler, and I’m writing Seasons of the Sword, a historical adventure series about a young girl who’s been pulled into a plot that may save Japan—or may destroy it. Along with another 138 members of the Alliance of Young Adult Authors, I’m participating in a word-search treasure hunt. Gather up the words, put them together to tell the story, and enter to win prizes, including free books and a $500 Amazon gift card. Read to the bottom to collect my word and get one step closer to the treasure. Continue reading YA Summer Scavenger Hunt #4!

YA Treasure Hunt coming in June!

In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt — and Risuko is part of the fun! This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes!

RULES

Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES.

All you have to do is visit all the author’s sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed short story HERE (link will be posted soon).

There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors (including here!) will also have smaller giveaways for free books, Amazon credit and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.

THE MAP (participating authors)

Continue reading YA Treasure Hunt coming in June!

Twelfth Night: Training Kunoichi, Pt. 2

I’ve always been a writer. But for most of my life, I have also been an actor. As a matter of fact for many years, I was a classically trained professional stage and screen performer.

That meant I had to learn how to use a sword.

I took classes in stage combat, but I also joined my college fencing club, picking up the saber (which was the closest thing to the kind of sword fighting I had already learned as an actor).* Continue reading Twelfth Night: Training Kunoichi, Pt. 2

Book Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

Anyone who’s read Jim Butcher’s books knows he loves his mashups. His Dresden Files combines a classic gumshoe-detective tone with elements and tropes from every type of fantasy fiction and mythology you can think of. His Codex Alera novels were inspired when he was challenged to write a mind-bending combination of prompts: the Roman Empire and Pokemon.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass, the fun first novel in Butcher’s new Cinder Spires series, is yet another mashup: a rollicking nautical(ish) tale in the tradition of C.S Forester’s Horatio Hornblower set in a Steampunk world where steel rots and electricity doesn’t seem to exist but the ability to use a quasi-magical substance/force called aether allows for interesting takes on familiar technology, and in which the planet’s surface is barely habitable, leaving humanity confined to spires — enormous, nation-sized towers built in the distant past. Continue reading Book Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

On Training Kunoichi

Twelfth Night and Kunoichi

I spent last night training a kunoichi.

My wife Maura is directing a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at her school. As often happens, I’m helping out, working with the actors on the language and teaching them combat. It’s fun to break out the scansion and fencing I learned as a young actor.

The students enjoy it too — though I’ll admit they prefer the sword fighting to the verse. Continue reading On Training Kunoichi

And the winner is…

Thanks so much to all of you who helped me complete my 2017 SAG Awards ballot! It was a lot of fun — and very interesting to see what choices you made (and where they did and didn’t agree with mine).

I’ve compiled the list of the winners here. In the single case of a tie, I gave myself an extra vote. Shh!

This was a ballot I was very pleased to be able to cast:

And the winner is…

Continue reading And the winner is…

Bright Eyes sneak peek: The Cave

Waiting for next Seasons of the Sword book? Author David Kudler just shared this sneak preview from the next exciting installment in Risuko’s adventures:

Bright Eyes Sneak Peek: The Cave

I love to climb.

I suppose that’s a silly thing for me to say, at this point. Of course I love to climb. Still—it’s true. It’s always been true. That earliest memory—of my mother weeping with my sister in her arms: I see it from above. Even though we had just moved into the tiny house, even though I was just four years old, I had already found my way up into the rickety rafters. I had always felt more at home up in the air than on the ground. Safer.

There was a reason that my mother came to call me Squirrel.

Yet as I stared at that sheer rock face from within the confines of the Full Moon, I must admit that I was nervous. Afraid.

Toumi snorted as she and Emi shouldered past me, bows and quivers over their shoulders. “Scared, Mouse-chan?”

I shook my head. But we both knew it wasn’t true.

Emi smiled as they walked out the gate. I think she meant it as reassurance. It felt as if she were consoling me: It’s been nice knowing you, Murasaki.

Continue reading Bright Eyes sneak peek: The Cave

#WomensMarch and the power of young women to change the world

At Women’s March – San Francisco (that’s me in the back)

Yesterday, I proudly joined my eldest daughter, my wife, and millions of others for the worldwide Women’s March. We were in San Francisco, but friends have shared images of themselves marching in huge cities and small towns across the United States and around the world.

I’m proud for many reasons. I’m proud because it was wonderful to show support for people and a cause in which I believe, and wonderful to see so many people share that support. I was proud to see the power of young women (and not-so-young women, and men of all ages) to make their wills and voices heard. I was also proud because I wrote Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale in part as a way to show my daughters and their peers that young woman can have and have had the power to change the world, even when society seemed least likely to let them. Continue reading #WomensMarch and the power of young women to change the world