Category Archives: Book

Risuko sale through Thursday! ($0.99 in the Kindle store)

David Kudler’s teen historical adventure novel Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale is on sale through Thursday, August 18 only. Buy the ebook for just $0.99 on Amazon’s Kindle Store!

Samurai, assassins, warlords…
and a girl who likes to climb

Though Japan has been devastated by a century of civil war, Risuko just wants to climb trees. Growing up far from the battlefields and court intrigues, the fatherless girl finds herself pulled into a plot that may reunite Japan — or may destroy it. She is torn from her home and what is left of her family, but finds new friends at a school that may not be what it seems.

Magical but historical, Risuko follows her along the first dangerous steps to discovering who she truly is.

Historical adventure fiction appropriate for young adult and middle-grade readers

Season of the Sword #1

Can one girl win a war?

Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel) is a young, fatherless girl, more comfortable climbing trees than down on the ground. Yet she finds herself enmeshed in a game where the board is the whole nation of Japan, where the pieces are armies, moved by scheming lords, and a single girl couldn’t possible have the power to change the outcome.

Or could she?

RISUKO ON SALE THROUGH THURSDAY ONLY!

That’s a wrap! Audiobook recording complete

We’ve completed recording on the audiobook of Risuko

Risuko narrator Julia Kudler

Here’s an interview by author David Kudler with audiobook narrator Julia Kudler — who happens to be his daughter. They discuss kickass female characters, character voices, dialects, and the joys of recording a book she first read when she was twelve: Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale.

NOTE: CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS!

Samurai, Assassins, Warlords…
And A Girl Who Likes To Climb

Though Japan has been devastated by a century of civil war, Risuko just wants to climb trees. Growing up far from the battlefields and court intrigues, the fatherless girl finds herself pulled into a plot that may reunite Japan — or may destroy it. She is torn from her home and what is left of her family, but finds new friends at a school that may not be what it seems.

Magical but historical, Risuko follows her along the first dangerous steps to discovering who she truly is.

Historical adventure fiction appropriate for young adult and middle-grade readers

Audiobook scheduled for release in September 2016

ORDER NOW

Ghostbusters, Risuko, and when gender matters

GhostbustersI went to see Ghostbusters last night with my wife and my daughter Julia. As we were driving home, we were talking about how funny the movie was, and Julia brought up how much grumbling there had been among her friends — particularly among her male friends — about the fact that the leads were cast as women.

That got me thinking about gender roles, and (not surprisingly) about Risuko.

Here’s how my thinking went: gender difference exists. Vive la difference, and all of that. (I’m not even going to get into issues of gender fluidity or sexuality here — it’s a complicated enough issue looked at through a binary lens. Sorry.) It exists, but in art and entertainment, does it matter? Continue reading Ghostbusters, Risuko, and when gender matters

Interview: David Kudler Talks Risuko

In a recent interview with book blog A Cup Full of Tea and an Armload of Books, Risuko author David Kudler talks writing, publishing, inspiration, writing history as fantasy, and much more. Continue reading Interview: David Kudler Talks Risuko

Interview: Risuko author David Kudler talks writing

John Byrne Barry, award-winning author of political and crime thrillers, interviewed Risuko author David Kudler for the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association web site on the day of Risuko’s release.

In the interview, Kudler discusses the writing process, including:

  • what it’s like to write the first book in a series,
  • how to balance leaving your readers wanting more with leaving them satisfied,
  • where he falls on the “plotting vs. pantsing” spectrum,
  • what inspired him to write the teen historical novel,
  • and much more.

Continue reading Interview: Risuko author David Kudler talks writing

Release Day: Risuko is almost here!

The Squirrel has landed! (The first shipment of Risuko first editions arrives)

Release day for Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale is almost here! We’ve got lots of exciting news for you — and more on the way. So keep checking on Risuko.net, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter!

If you haven’t read it, check out David Kudler’s post on writing Risuko, The Magic of History: Writing historical fiction as fantasy. Continue reading Release Day: Risuko is almost here!

The Magic of History

On writing historical fiction as if it were fantasy

When I first began working on my novel Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale, my daughters were both young, and they were both voracious readers. Which, not surprisingly, I am as well. And so we happily read a lot of books together — both pleasure books and books assigned by their teachers.

Now, most of the books Sasha and Julia brought home from school were wonderful. But I noticed pretty early on that a lot of the “historical fiction” was way heavier on the historical than the story.

Again, some of the books were great. The Witch of Blackbird Pond? Crispin: Cross of Lead? Number the Stars? Terrific.

But a lot of the others were… less so.

I found myself looking at the books that my daughters and I found compelling and realized that, first and foremost, they were great stories — that they had  lot more in common with the magic in the fantasy books that we all enjoyed together (Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Tamara Pierce’s Tortall books) than a history text.

And so, as I thought about what style I wanted to take on when I began writing Risuko, I decided that I was going to write my historical novel as if it were a fantasy. Continue reading The Magic of History

Risuko — Chapter 21: Lessons in Dance

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21—Lessons in Dance

The day after we butchered the cow, we began a new set of morning lessons. As we cleared up the kitchen, Mai, who never entered the kitchen if she could help it, poked her head through the door and informed us that, for the first time, we would be taught by Mieko-san.

As she withdrew, Kee Sun asked whether Mai had actually walked into the kitchen before delivering her message. When Toumi snarled that no, she hadn’t—making it clear that no one in their right mind would enter Kee Sun’s domain willingly—the cook gave a nod and a grunt, saying, “That’s good. ‘Cause I told her if she ever stepped a foot in here again, I’d cut it off.”

It was always a bit difficult to know whether he was joking or not. To be honest, I was never quite able to work that out.

Nonetheless, I was excited by Mai’s news; I had hoped that we would be able to study with Mieko, not only because she was kind and lovely but because the other women in Chiyome-sama’s service seemed to respect her so. Even the boisterous ones listened quietly when she spoke.

Continue reading Risuko — Chapter 21: Lessons in Dance

Risuko Blog Tour Starts June 1!

Risuko - Can one girl win a war? Coming June 15! Risuko.NetBlog Tour

Starting June 1, YA Bound Blog Tours will be organizing a week-long series of reviews, feature articles, and guest posts on Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale and author David Kudler! (See the schedule below.)

Over eighteen bloggers will be discussing and reviewing Risuko, which comes out in bookstores and online on June 15. Look for more updates as the tour gets underway! Continue reading Risuko Blog Tour Starts June 1!

Out-take — Crossing the River & Meeting the Mountain

Here are two chapters that were cut from the original manuscript of Risuko. This out-take — Crossing the River and Meeting the Mountain — was originally placed between what are now chapters 7 (“The Wind“) and 8 (“The Mountain“—you may recognize one bit of dialogue between Risuko and Masugu from that chapter). I cut them because it was taking too long to get to the Full Moon — to the heart of the story. But there’s some fun stuff, including a meeting with a major historical figure I’ll be talking about soon! (There are a few characters that I’ve cut out as well.)

At the beginning, Masugu and his riders have just found Lady Chiyome’s party at the Mt. Fuji Inn. Masugu offered to let Mieko ride wide him, but she refused, and so Risuko is sitting in front of the Takeda warrior on his stallion as the chapter begins.

By the way, if you read through to the end, there’s a question; be the first to answer it and win a free Audible download code!

Chapter 10—Crossing the River

The whole world seemed to roll and rumble as the great beast leapt ahead, charging down the one street of the town toward a distant white triangle that peeked up over the horizon: Mount Fuji. More Imagawa soldiers lay scattered like deadwood along the street, and several of the tiny houses were burning.

Waste. Such waste.

The rest of the squadron had formed up behind us, and so I felt as if a flood of thunder was pushing me forward. The icy wind whipped the horse’s mane and my own hair across my face until cold tears flooded my eyes. I lowered my head and cleared my vision.

Continue reading Out-take — Crossing the River & Meeting the Mountain