Category Archives: Book

How old are Risuko and the others?

I’ve been asked many times how old Risuko and the other girls are in the Seasons of the Sword books.

Since these are young adult novels, it’s a good question. It’s one, however, I specifically chose not to answer in the text of the books. Before I answer, I need you to know that my answer will include some spoilers for Risuko. Just so you’re not surprised. Continue reading How old are Risuko and the others?

Gender, Risuko, and Granny Weatherwax

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about gender.

Woman Combing Her Hair by Goyo Hashiguchi, c. 1920
Woman Combing Her Hair by Goyo Hashiguchi, c. 1920

I’ve been thinking about gender because I’m writing a series of books in which it plays an important role. But it’s also on my mind because it’s very much a part of the global conversation these days. Issues of women’s rights in general and transsexual men and women’s rights in particular flare regularly in my morning news feed. My wife is teaching an online class in theater and gender that looks at these subjects in depth. The subjects comes up frequently in my conversations with my daughters and with my friends.

Sex=Gender

I’m just old enough that when I was young we didn’t make any distinction between sex (as defined by one’s physical appearance) and gender (one’s identification and behavior). Certain toys were girl toys and others were boy toys. Some boys were girly and some girls were tomboys. When I reached high school, we were taught that people with XX chromosomes were female while people with XY chromosomes were male.

That’s just the way it was.

Continue reading Gender, Risuko, and Granny Weatherwax

Bright Eyes has arrived — and the critics are already speaking!

Bright Eyes reviews:

The sequel to David Kudler’s award-winning YA novel Risuko hit bookstores today — and critics are applauding!

“Once again David Kudler has fully succeeded as a novelist with a genuine flair for historical fiction populated by memorably crafted characters and decidedly entertaining plot twists and turns. Like the first novel in the author’s ‘Seasons of the Sword’ series, Bright Eyes is imaginative, original, exceptionally well written, and highly recommended” — Midwest Book Review

“The martial arts was well done, the mystery was riveting, and the ending unexpected!” — Azalea Dabill, Author

“David Kudler crafts an enthralling. unputdownable tale due in no small part to his outstanding world building. He ties enough aspects of real-life feudal Japanese culture to give the perfect balance of reality in this fictional world. […] The well-crafted mystery, well-honed history and world-building, and Risuko’s adventurousness leave the reader wanting more.” — Shailyn Rogers, Ind’Tale Magazine

Continue reading Bright Eyes has arrived — and the critics are already speaking!

Risuko Flash Sale!

With Bright Eyes less than a week from release, we wanted to let you know that we are offering David Kudler’s award-winning first novel Risuko on a special sale for a limited time — both ebook, paperback, and hardcover!

This week only, you can get a special deal on the first volume of Seasons of the Sword:

The ebook is only $0.99!

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The paperback is only $6.99!

Order Direct from Stillpoint • Order from Your Favorite Store

The hardcover is only $16.99!

Order Direct from Stillpoint • Order from Your Favorite Store

We’ve never offered the book at these prices before, and won’t be likely to again — if you’ve been waiting to order a copy for yourself (or for someone else) now is your chance!

Is “Gritty” Realistic?

In response to a recent post about Ursula K. Le Guin, I was challenged on some of what I’d had to say about George R.R. Martin’s writing — specifically, I was told that Martin’s gritty, brutal fantasy was somehow more realistic than Le Guin’s.

Well, to each their own. If you love A Song of Ice and Fire, then great.

I don’t love the series, though I can see the books’ virtues and appeal. But I object to the idea that gritty somehow equals realistic.

When I started reading Game of Thrones, my youngest was seven years old. I got about seventy pages in when (spoiler)… Continue reading Is “Gritty” Realistic?

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Kunoichi Companion Tales covers

Kunoichi Companion Tales introduce characters and themes from the Seasons of the Sword novels, and are currently available free exclusively to Risuko subscribers, along with news, blog posts, and other exclusive gifts!

To read the stories, subscribe now:

Kunoichi Companion Tales

This series of short stories, set before and between the novels of the Seasons of the Sword series, is available exclusively to our subscribers and to our Kickstarter supporters. Continue reading Win a signed copy of Bright Eyes!

Bright Eyes Kickstarter Live!

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We’re excited to announce that the Kickstarter campaign to support the launch of Bright Eyes: A Kunoichi Tale, is now open — and already halfway to its initial goal!

About the Kickstarter Campaign

This crowdfunding campaign, which runs through April 10, will help us create the best possible book — while guaranteeing our supporters copies at less than the retail cost.

As author David Kudler said, Continue reading Bright Eyes Kickstarter Live!

Character Mutiny, Pt. II — The Author Strikes Back

Here’s the story of how I crushed a character mutiny and finished a book.

Back when Risuko first came out, I was hard at work on the sequel, Bright Eyes. I was cruising along, with every expectation that I’d have the book ready for publication in 2018.

Then one of my characters mutinied.

I was about to kill her off (spectacularly, I thought) in order to move the plot forward. As I began to write the scene, however, I realized that I hadn’t set up the death or the character well.

In my mind, she sat there, yelling at me, telling me the scene sucked. And the way I had written her character sucked. And because they sucked, the whole book to that point sucked. Massively.

She wasn’t very polite about it.

I realized, to my horror, that she was right. Continue reading Character Mutiny, Pt. II — The Author Strikes Back

Writing from another point of view

Can a man write from a woman’s point of view?

Gosh, I sure hope so! I am, after all, currently writing a series of books from the point of view of a thirteen-year-old girl.

Now, she’s also Japanese, living in Japan.

In the sixteenth century.

I’m an American man living in twenty-first-century California.

Continue reading Writing from another point of view

Ursula K Le Guin — Grandmaster

As an author of young adult books, I’ve been asked many times about the authors who had the greatest impact on me. I’ll often start by mentioning Maurice Sendak, which people assume is a joke, but isn’t.

Next, I’ll mention Ursula K. Le Guin, the late author of science fiction and fantasy.

Continue reading Ursula K Le Guin — Grandmaster