Tag Archives: anniversary

Where’s Authors Answer?

You may have noticed that the last three Authors Answer haven’t gone up. Never fear, they will all be up this week! This is going to be a big Authors Answer week, so plenty of answers to read. What happened? Life, generally. I won’t go into details, but a lot happened.

What’s in store for October? Normalcy! Actually, it’ll be Authors Answer’s third anniversary at the end of this month, and if you’ve been following it for a long time, you’ll know what we do for our anniversary questions. Guest authors! I don’t know who’s going to be a guest yet, but I have a lot of people I want to ask. In the past, we’ve had Michael J. Sullivan, Django Wexler, Janny Wurts, Mark Lawrence, and more! I’m hoping for some more authors this month.

Who do you think I should ask? Keep in mind that most books I read are fantasy and science fiction, so I’d be more inclined to ask fantasy and science fiction authors.  Let me know in the comments section below.

3/11 – Five Years After the Earthquake and Tsunami

Is it already March 11, 2016? It’s hard to believe that the big earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region was five years ago. I’m posting this at exactly 2:46 pm, which was the time of the earthquake. I Have some pretty strong memories of that day.

I’d like to direct your attention to a few posts I made in the past about the earthquake.

First of all, please read what I wrote two days after the earthquake on my Japan blog. That’s my very fresh memory of the experience. And then, the first anniversary of the earthquake.

In 2014, I wrote a comprehensive list of posts I made related to the earthquake. I recommend you read that for some very good coverage.

And then last year, I wrote a post with videos of the earthquake. I highly recommend you check that out.

Now that it’s five years later, and we’re moving to Canada, earthquakes are one thing I won’t be experiencing. In Edmonton, the ground is stable. If we ever move to the west coast, then we can experience earthquakes again. However, there’s a chance of a megathrust earthquake there, similar to what hit Japan five years ago.

Things in Japan have mostly returned to normal. However, the area around Fukushima is still suffering the effects. Not much has been resolved, either. The people in charge of TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) have been indicted on charges related to their incompetence and lies. They will go to prison, as Japan has an extremely high conviction rate. What will happen in the future is anyone’s guess.

A disturbing trend I’ve seen at times is people condemning Japanese people for what happened. You have to understand that the Japanese are the biggest victims in this. Blame TEPCO and the Japanese government for the coverup and incredibly slow response, as well as the poor maintenance of the power plants. Whatever you do, don’t blame Japanese people and insult them about this. They had as little to do with it as you did.

Comments and questions are appreciated.

Authors Answer 52 – A Big Thank You

This is it, number fifty-two. It has been a year since I began Authors Answer, and what better way to celebrate it than to say thank you. I have some special guests in addition to our regular contributors. I hope you enjoy reading what they have to say. I would like to thank the guest authors who agreed to participate. I love authors who take the time to respond to fans and interact with them. I would also like to thank the authors who responded to me, but could not participate due to busy schedules. And of course, thank you to all of our regular contributors for sticking with this for all these months. You’ve been wonderful!

fireworksQuestion 52 – What would you like to say to your fans and readers?

Janny Wurts

In gratitude and with great admiration, I bow to readers for ignoring the misguided notion that imagination and a sweet step outside of the limitations of day to day reality fall under the stigma of what some revile as a lazy escape. If no one, ever, embraced anything other than what they knew or were taught, if nobody stepped outside of their claustrophobic personal envelope,  we would all face stagnation, in fact. Reading is not an avoidance, but all about embracing the dreams and the nightmares of where we might yet come to tread.

But more than this, my particular thanks goes to you who ventured a step farther into the unknown: those who embarked on a starting series, ahead of the plodding noise of the crowd. You who laid your money on a new venture, not knowing where, or when, or even if, that story might wend its way through the publishing world to reach a last page in conclusion. You, who stayed open minded enough to not revisit the sins of every other dangling project — left hanging for whatever reason, including an author’s untimely death — to your outstanding credit, such enthusiastic daring and support make a significant contribution, not small, toward bringing such long-term creations to term for the rest to enjoy. Pause here and realize you are the real time adventurers who sustained the journey along the way.

Thanks, above and beyond, to those readers who explore the books on the fringes, and greet eccentricities with an open mind. Your personal choice, made alone, against peer pressure, opens the path to unbounded diversity. Special thanks to the readers who will return to a book that perhaps, on first try, disappointed them. Sometimes the timing, the topic, or the concept were not in synch with that moment’s personal needs or a particular stage of life where a story line mattered. Re-examining differences and embracing change against prejudice are the rarest of skills in a complex world that cries for understanding.

As readers we have the gift and the ability to step outside of our skins. That gift of experience, borrowed from others, holds the power to re-stage the forseeable future.

Brian Staveley

When I started writing The Emperor’s Blades, I had no idea how hard it was to write a big fantasy trilogy. In fact, fool that I was, I imagined writing a seven-volume series. It seemed straightforward to write a book, then another book, then another book until it was all done. By the time I got to the start of The Providence of Fire, however, I was feeling the heat. I had a cast of dozens of characters scattered across two continents, and the plot was only growing more complex. There were a lot of things that got me through the second and third books of the trilogy, but right up there near the top of the list were my readers. Almost every day I hear from someone, often many folks. Some people just want to say hi. Some have a question about a character or the world. Some write to point out a mistake I’ve made, about anatomy, or veterinary medicine, or whatever. These interactions kept me going through all the darkest times. Whenever I wanted to trash the whole damn file and move to Fiji, I’d remember that there are readers out there, thousands of them, tens of thousands, who are excited to see how this all ends, who are rooting for the characters, and so, by proxy, for me. And every time I remembered that, I’d get another cup of coffee, sit my ass back in the chair, and keep working. This is as good a time as any to say thanks, so there it is: thank you. Without all of you, I’d probably still be dithering with the first chapter of the second book.

Andrew Rowe

Earlier this year, I released my first novel, Forging Divinity. I’ve received tremendous support since my novel’s launch, and I’m very grateful to everyone who has been willing to take a shot at a first time novelist’s work. As a result of the success of my first novel, I’ve been able to work on a second, and my sequel – Stealing Sorcery – will be coming out early in January of next year.

For other would-be authors out there, my best advice is to keep writing about what you’re passionate about. I wrote five other novels before I finally published Forging Divinity – it can take a lot of work and dedication to finally make it to the publication stage, but the effort has been very worthwhile, at least for me.

Baye McNeil

Hi! This is Baye McNeil aka Loco in Yokohama, and I just wanna thank all the readers who’ve supported me over the years, through my blogging, publishing and now journalism efforts. You guys mean everything for what’s a writer without readers? In the very near future I’ll be coming out with a couple of books. One will be almost exclusively for my Japanese fan base that I’m hesitant to speak of just yet. Just know it’s gonna be awesome (god willing). And another for my English speaking readers, a coming of age book based out of NYC. Hope you guys dig it! Thank again.  よろしくおねがいします

Erica Dakin

A very big thank you to all my readers for the support and lovely reviews, and for the constructive criticism. When I first started writing I really didn’t think too much of what I produced, but it’s been a great boost to get positive feedback. My Theft and Sorcery trilogy is finished, but I hope some of you are excited to hear that I’m working on a collection of erotic short stories centring around the protagonists of my second book, The Conspiracy. Please come and say hello on my blog.

Amy Morris-Jones

Most importantly, I’d like to congratulate Jay Dee for his success with the Authors Answers series. I appreciated being included in the “authors”–especially since I’m a higher ed professional who’s just beginning to stick a toe into the waters of fiction writing. It’s been great to read the thoughts of participants in the series and the readers’ comments. Personally, I’d like to thank those who’ve put up with my ramblings as I try to find my way on this new journey. I’ve been publishing some short fiction this past year, and I’m fervently working on a revision of my most recent novel (the third I’ve written) in hopes of seeing how it fares in the world in 2016. For those interested in seeing how it all works out, I love to chat with people on Twitter (@amorrisjones) and have some randomness at https://amymorrisjones.wordpress.com/.

H. Anthe Davis

The only thing I have to say right now is Thank You.  For your interest, for your patience, and especially Thank You to my readers for your willingness to pick up a book by an unknown author and give it a serious go-through.  Internet communities have been my life since I was a kid, and the thought of building one of my own — based around my own work — is daunting, but everyone I’ve met so far in the process has been fabulous.  Every little bit of encouragement counts, so…thank you all for being here, even if you’re just passing by.

S. R. Carrillo

Write hard and clear about what hurts.

Paul B. Spence

Thanks for reading my books, really.

I’m currently working on a fourth Awakening novel and also another novel that isn’t set in that universe but isn’t unrelated. I’m hoping to have a couple of new free short stories to give away for the holidays, so keep watch on my blogs, Facebook, and Smashwords.

Caren Rich

Thanks to all of my readers and the readers of Authors Answer. Keep reading and spread the word about new writers that you like. Buy more books.

Elizabeth Rhodes

To my readers and fans (if you’re out there,) I want to say THANK YOU!  While I’d probably keep writing without you, you’ve all given me a reason to put myself out there and share my stories with the world.  It’s a scary thing we do, especially for reserved people like me.  But you make it a little bit easier.  Stay tuned, because there’s more to come.

Eric Wood

I still haven’t figured out exactly why I started blogging, but I do know why I continue. I would like to say thank you. Thank you for coming back again and again. I enjoy writing, but you make it easier to keep writing. You help me justify the time I spend at the keyboard. You make it easy for me to share my stories, my ideas and opinions. So please keep reading, keep commenting and share, share, share!

Allen Tiffany

Obviously a big “Thank You” to all those who bought my book, and especially those who wrote me and provided feedback or shared their own experiences in Vietnam. Given the reviews, it seems like buyers feel like they are getting their money’s worth, which also makes me happy.

As my first full-length novel nears its publication date, I hope to hear more from you all, and that it meets your expectations.

Jean Davis

I would like to thank all of the Author’s Answer readers for joining us each week. I hope you’ve learned some interesting or at least entertaining things here. I would also like to thank my readers for their support during this past year, which was full of stress and not much writing. Next year is looking much more promising on the creative front. However, this year is winding down on a good note. I’m happy to announce the release of my novel A Broken Race, and the publication of two of my short stories in the Brewed Awakenings II anthology, both out this month.

D. T. Nova

Thank you for reading my blog, and despite some delays my first novel is basically on track, though I can’t say when it will be published.

Gregory S. Close

A big THANK YOU to anyone and everyone who has taken a chance and tried out my work.  It’s very gratifying to know that someone has enjoyed the characters, worlds and stories that popped out of my muddled brain.  Sharing them is truly a profound joy for me.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

What can I say to my fans? How about a good old fashioned, “Thank you”? Thanks for the support! Thanks for following me on my blog and various social media outlets. Thanks for watching my YouTube videos. Thanks for talking to me in the form of comments and “Likes”. And a million thanks to everyone who has read my zombie apocalypse novel, “Nowhere to Hide“.

For my next trick I’ll be releasing the first book in my young adult fantasy/adventure series, “The Other World“. There’s a bit of work to do yet, but I’m hoping to have it released early 2016, so keep your eyes open! Love you all! ^_^

Linda G. Hill

I appreciate anyone who reads anything I write. I’m constantly astounded that I’m able to keep anyone’s attention past the first few sentences – so if you wouldn’t mind reading my 700 page novel… Haha! Actually, it’s not published. Yet. I plan to try going the traditional route before I self-publish but either way, please keep an eye out for anything with my name on it but particularly a novel called The Great Dagmaru. It’s a paranormal romance with lots of twists and turns. Also, a very short humorous romantic novelette which will probably be released before that, titled All Good Things.

Jay Dee Archer

I must thank all of you great followers of my blog. You’ve been wonderful this past year, and Authors Answer has become a great success. And with that said, I’m happy to announce that it will continue for a second year!

I’d also like to thank of you future readers of mine who will read my books. It’s a difficult time for me at the moment to concentrate on writing, but after my family moves to Canada next March, I’ll have a far better chance to focus on my writing. So, you can expect to see a lot of Journey to Ariadne available on my official blog next year. I may be able to finish it, too. I will also begin working on my first novel, which has the provisional title Knights of Ariadne, as well as a novella or novelette series about a dying man’s wish to see the planets. Next year should be exciting, so I hope you keep coming back and will enjoy my books! Thank you to everyone.

How about you?

Do you have anyone to thank for their support in your writing? Anyone have any announcements about books they want to make? This would be a great opportunity for you to do that. The comments are yours! Thank you.

Authors Answer 45 – Real World Influences in Fiction

When drawing influence for books, authors look in many places. They may get ideas from around them, from people they know, or from history. Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York. Events like this could have a big influence on writing.

Twin_Towers-NYCQuestion 45: It’s the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. How much do major world events influence your writing?

Linda G. Hill

I try not to state the date in my writing unless it’s necessary, so there aren’t many world events that actually make it into my novels. But from a politically correct, I suppose you could say, standpoint there has to be some sensitivity to such things. I guess you could say they don’t affect my writing in a direct way, but indirectly I find myself watching what I write.

Allen Tiffany

They certainly influence the fabric of our lives, but I don’t perceive that they have materially impacted my writing. It feels to me that core themes of loyalty, loneliness, belief, love, hope, friendship, loss, etc., are bigger, more powerful and longer lasting than a single event no matter how shocking or traumatic it may be in its time.

Gregory S. Close

Yes, in two distinct ways.

1) As a human being, I am very distracted and involved in world events and human suffering.  Columbine, the 2004 Tsunami, Fukushima, 9/11…  any or all of them can throw me into a bit of a fugue.  I can dwell on it, generally not productively, and run the narratives through my head over and over trying to figure out how it happened, how it could have been prevented, what I would have done in situation A or B if I had been there, or if my wife or children or mother or brother were impacted.

That naturally leads to…

2) As a writer, building characters and situations within a story is certainly influenced by observing the world.  Both historic and current events can feed into the creative process.

D. T. Nova

A fair bit. The main reason I won’t change my first novel to be set in the year it’s published instead of the year I started writing it is because parts near the beginning involve references to then-current or recent events. (It’s likely to diverge into alternate history if I reference any real-life events in any potential sequel.)

I have a character who’s indirectly named after a controversial figure, a character who’s the religion he is because of what a certain organization has become defined by (though I don’t use the real organization itself in a fictional way), and due to the coincidence of a character’s birthday falling on the date of a certain real-life protest I even have characters participating in that.

Paul B. Spence

Most of my writing, not at all. My contemporary stuff, a lot.

Caren Rich

It’s not necessarily world events as much as national and regional events. Famous hurricanes, the Deep Water oil spill, and the Great Recession have all played a part in my writing. I think if you want your writing to be believable, you have to pull in “real” events. Those events don’t necessarily have to be the center of your plot, but I think it makes reading more interesting.

Jean Davis

While I don’t copy any real world events in my writing, I do draw upon the real evils of mankind when working on antagonists. Sadly, real people are often capable of doing worse things than the stuff I imagine.

S. R. Carrillo

I have no idea how to answer this question. 6_6 I suppose not.

H. Anthe Davis

I look back a lot on history for inspiration — for characters and themes as much as for events.  Since my work doesn’t involve the real world, though, I try not to be too affected by current issues; I have no interest in being ‘topical’.  That said, sometimes a real-world situation will illuminate something that must have happened in my own world’s history, so it will prompt me to fill out more of my backstory with my world’s reaction to a similar event.  Since you mentioned the WTC attack, though, I will admit that one of my major characters is basically a terrorist, but I conceptualized him that way back in ’93.

Eric Wood

This an awesome question. As I sit here and ponder this one, I attempt to make the connection between my writing and worldly events. I have a great respect for all those involved with the attacks in 2001. I was in university approximately 40 miles from the the plane that crashed near Shanksville, PA and was scheduled to teach a freshman orientation class that morning. But to connect that (an other events) to my writing is difficult. I suppose there’s no direct connection. Though perhaps I become more aware of what I’m writing and how it could affect the children who read my stories.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

World events do affect my writing, but mostly just in an emotional way. For instance, after a huge, horrible event like September 11th my writing will inevitably take on a somber and depressing tone. If there’s a big scandal in politics I might find myself creating corrupt authority figure characters. If there’s a mysterious tragedy, like the disappearance of a plane, then I might find myself drawn to writing about strange, supernatural occurrences. Basically, world events affect my mood and the way I feel about certain subjects, and as a result my writing is affected as well.

Elizabeth Rhodes

They don’t have a direct impact, but the influence is still there.  I don’t reference specific events, but certain movements and mentalities have influenced scenarios in my writing.  My interest in end of the world scenarios stem from a pessimism with current society that I think is common among a lot of people.  The 99% movement and working in service jobs influenced the plots of a few other stories of mine, but they aren’t fully fleshed out yet.

Jay Dee Archer

In my science fiction writing, there is some influence. I do draw on real predictions of the effects of climate change on Earth to create the future conditions that are present in the world. I have also used events in world history to create similar events in the future. But I think that it’s not so much the actual events that happen, but the way that people behave that influences me.

As for fantasy, I don’t use any real world events, and any events that happen in my story have very little resemblance to anything real, but human behaviour is what I get from real events. I think that’s the most important thing I draw from them.

How about you?

If you write, are you influenced by real world events? If you don’t write, do you like to see world events in novels? Let us know in the comments below.

The Tohoku Earthquake Four Years Later

It’s now March 11th.  At 2:46 pm Japan time on March 11th, 2011, the fourth most powerful recorded earthquake struck northeastern Japan off the coast of Tohoku.  I was in Yokohama at the time, and never in my life have I felt such violent shaking of the earth.  It’s an experience I will never forget.

Looking back, I’m amazed that it’s been four years since the earthquake and tsunami.  15,889 people died, most from the tsunami.  The buildings held up to the 9.0 magnitude earthquake remarkably well.  It was the tsunami that was devastating.  Not only did it destroy or severely damage numerous villages, towns, and cities, it also crippled the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and caused a level 7 meltdown.  The surrounding area was evacuated and is still restricted.  Few are permitted to enter the vicinity of the power plant.  60% of the people who lost their homes are still living in temporary housing.  The power plant is still leaking radioactive water.  And I still live in the Tokyo area.  But no need to worry here, as we’re not affected by the radiation.  The most immediate area around the power plant has dangerous radiation levels, and the seafood from the area is not recommended for human consumption.

I would like to show you, or rather remind you, of the earthquake and tsunami.  First, you can read my account of the earthquake here.  You can also read about what an earthquake feels like.  Now for some videos.  First up is an eerie video of the skyscrapers in Tokyo swaying during the earthquake.

Next up is a video from a sushi restaurant in Sendai, which was the closest major city to the epicentre.

Back to my area, this is from the 70th floor restaurant in Yokohama’s Landmark Tower, which was at the time the tallest building in Japan.  I’ve been up to the 69th floor several times.  Let’s just say that even though we were nearly 400 km from the epicentre, it was an extremely violent earthquake.

And here is an incredible video of liquefaction happening in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo.  He makes a comment that the movement of the ground made him feel like he was drunk.  That’s how it feels when you’re on the ground.  I was on the 4th floor of a building, so I felt much greater motion.

And this final video is of the tsunami itself as it struck Miyako in Iwate prefecture.  The incredible power of the tsunami can be seen and heard.  I saw cars driving on the street near the waterfront, and it’s quite likely some of the people in those cars died.  It should be noted that the tsunami reached 40 metres in some places.

After watching all of this, it brings back some of the powerful emotions I felt when watching it live on the internet.  I was at work and thankfully, we had power and internet access, so we could find out what was going on.  Even now, watching these videos, I could still feel the helplessness of four years ago.  This is something you never expect to go through.  Well, I sure didn’t expect it.  It’s something that changes your perspective on life.

I will never forget that day.

Three Year Blog Anniversary

I missed this blog’s three year anniversary.  It happened three days ago, January 28th.  In fact, I started this blog three days after my daughter was born.  Check out my first post.

So, let’s take a look at some numbers and see how things are different three years later.

This month has 3,674 views so far.  In my first year, the blog had 2,531 views.  One month has more than an entire year!  In fact, this month has nearly 20% of last year’s total views.

This month has 629 comments so far.  My first year had 278 comments.  Another big difference.

The first year had 105 posts.  This month has 71 so far (72 including this one).

Over the three years, I have done 58 reviews, 17 of which were independently published.  26 were science fiction, 25 were fantasy, while 7 were in other genres.

There have been a total of 795 posts including this one.  72 this month means that I’ve done nearly 10% of my posts in this month alone.

So, happy anniversary, blog! Let’s see those number get much bigger.


It’s been three years since the earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan. I got to experience it firsthand. It was a shocking event, and it’s something I will never forget for the rest of my life. Please read all about my experience. Comments are very welcome.

Jay Dee in Japan

It’s the third anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami of 2011.  Hard to believe it’s been that long.  I remember that day very well as if it were less than a year ago.  I’m going to go back in time and show you my posts after this event.

On the day of the earthquake, I posted this short post, letting people know I was fine.  The next day, I posted this quick update. On March 13th, I posted this long account of my day. If you read any of these posts, that’s the one to read.  At the time, I was still doing my first Picture of the Week series, and I posted a picture of the supermarket shelves.  On March 16th, there was an earthquake at Mt. Fuji.

After the earthquake, there was a lot of media attention, much of it about…

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For those of you who know me, and know my other blogs, you will have seen this.  But if you are only following this blog, I’d like you to read something.  Please go here (the anniversary) and here (my full experience) to read about the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  I got to experience it firsthand.

On another note, I haven’t updated recently, as I’ve been quite busy.  I have a book review to write and post soon.