miscellaneous · the why of writing · writing

It Takes a Wizard and social marketing

I’ve thought about joining Twitter the past week.  But every time I tried to bring myself to join, I couldn’t.

I talked to my husband about my hesitance and he reminded me of Neal Stephenson.  For those of you who don’t know, he wrote the incredible book Cryptonomicon.  At one point on his website (this was a long time ago) he had a note explaining why he didn’t respond to fan mail.  His opinion was that his fans would rather he write more books than spend all his time responding to letters/email.  That impressed me and at the time I felt it was the kind of writer I should be.

This goes against the conventional wisdom I’ve been reading lately.  Still, I wonder how much truth is in it.  I mean, I have very little time to write in the first place.  Posting to this blog takes about 20 minutes at least, I’ve got my reading/genre research I’m still trying to do, and then there’s the stuff I read for fun so that I don’t end up hating reading (suicide for an author).  This doesn’t include the work I did recently on my cover or formatting, etc., etc. I’m boring myself.  The point is that I don’t see where Twitter or Facebook would be very helpful to me right now.  I think they would be one more thing taking away from my writing and really, that’s the big reason an author is supposed to do the “social marketing” thing, right?

Anyway, I’ve decided, since I enjoy manga, to make Mondays the day I post a review of a manga volume I enjoyed, at least for the next month or two.  I nearly called it Manga Mondays but I thought that might be a bit…[insert shudder].  I’ll begin with the manga It Takes a Wizard by Thomas R. Hart and Sean Lam.  (BTW, I’m posting the same thing on Amazon under a different user name.  It should be pretty easy to spot.)

I picked this book off the shelf because I’ve always liked stories about an upstart apprentice taking down an evil master.  After reading it, I discovered that’s not really what this story is about.
I can’t say much else about the plot because it has some very nice turns in it.  The characters are better than I expected and intriguing, even the evil ones.  I thought the magic system was good/sound and the way it was used in the story worked well, both at advancing the plot and showing the characters for who they were.  The artwork was lovely and the action scenes came across both clear and exciting.  Also, I thought the various perspectives on the takeover of Manhattan were nice.  My favorite parts were the scenes between Isaac and Hope.  Though they had very little time together, those scenes were sweet.  In fact, their final scene together is one of my favorite “final couple scenes” in manga.

That said, I hadn’t realized the strong spiritual/religious themes this story contained based on the back cover description.  They make sense in the story and I enjoyed the perspective, but some may be turned off by them.  Also, the places where the off-stage dialogue mirrored the on-stage action got a little old.  I think it’s because I’m not in the targeted audience.  It seems to be targeted to older teenage boys who don’t mind a little romance in their stories.  I’m neither a teenager nor a boy.  In spite of that, I really enjoyed this book.  I’m glad I bought it.

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