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
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.
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
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.
Well look at that! With 36 hours to spare, Risuko has crossed the dreaded Kickstarter 100% funding threshold. Risuko has truly become a flying squirrel!
Thank you so much to all of you who have pledged your support to the Kickstarter campaign — and especially to those of you who increased it, as well as those who’ve let their friends know! Every pledge counts, and I truly appreciate your help.
I’ve been thinking about stretch goals — incentives above and beyond the ones I’ve already offered — and I think I’ve come up with a good one: Continue reading Flying Squirrel: Risuko Kickstarter zooms past 100%!
I’m not afraid of heights, not really.
It’s just that, like Terry Pratchett’s wonderful protagonist Tiffany Aching, I have a well-developed respect for depths.
It’s funny, then, that I’ve written a book on climbing — a book about a young girl who loves nothing more than being as high up in the air as she can be. How did that happen? Continue reading On climbing and Risuko