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Kanji_Tunnel.jpgWhat I learned on my latest adventure of building a tunnel book: 1) make sure the art in front is not so big that it obscures the art in the back. 2) Fold the accordion sides correctly so they can, you know, fold. And finally, 3) explore, learn more about tunnel books, find more exciting subject matter, make it happen! I just finished my third tunnel book which uses Japanese kanji such as 友 - friend, and, as I said last week, 希望 - hope. 

This was my third tunnel book after making three clamshell boxes. I continue exploring and pushing my boundaries a bit. I find tunnel books intriguing. I mean, it's possible to put a whole story in one three-dimensional space that allows the viewer/reader to explore, manipulate, turn, and view from many angles. I like that idea.

Next up I am thinking of working on a pop-up book in a very, very pale imitation of Colette Fu who makes magnificent pop-up books; these are not your Kanji_Tunnel2.jpgchildhood pop-up books of dinosaurs and butterflies. I, on the other hand, might just make a very simple pop-up book. Perhaps using butterflies. It is a challenge I have not yet challenged.

On the second picture of the Kanji Tunnel book is, on the right, Tomo in kanji (友) which is Friend and, on the left, is Warau in kanji (笑) which is Laughter or Laugh. You’ll notice, as I did, you can’t really see the kanji behind these two. Something I learned, yeah!

~ Fiction ~

Giapan_Cover_4.pngI have finished writing my Don Quixote-inspired novel Giapan! Yes, finished. The novel follows four people as they travel across Spain in the 17th century and the adventures they encounter: A Romani nun who quit the church, a Japanese artist, and two guards assigned to protect a tax collector played by a real-life tax collector, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, real-life author of Don Quixote. The nun wants to find her biological parents because, as a Romani, she was suffered the racism and discrimination that minorities endure; she wants to learn the Romani life from her parents. The two guards protect her on her journey home.

The book very very loosely follows Don Quixote including encounters with giants, lost love, marauders, and sexism. And, unlike most Hollywood endings, no one falls in love with the nun. The three men find her attractive, intelligent, and an equal, but they do not end up marrying her.

Now I must read, proofread, and edit this tome to make sure the correct number of horses is portrayed and the nun’s clothing is correct (she dresses and acts like a man in order to hurry across Spain with the minimum of harassment from thieves, vagabonds, and men.) and the right number of people are in the right place at the right time (they meet a number of people, some of who tell stories and those stories might have a few errors; I must check them out.)

If you are interested in being a beta reader, drop me a line at Tedorigawa Bookmakers.

Also nearly finished is a post-conglomerate takeover/pre-apocalyptic world prolog novel of a trilogy. The trilogy is called The Fear Trilogy and the prolog is called Fear Zero.

The Trilogy follows the life of a wounded veteran of a future war. The veteran goes Fear_Zero_Cover.pngfrom soldier to politician’s assistant to politician. He ends in a position of power and finds it is not as easy as when he was a soldier.

Fear Zero, the prolog, starts when the soldier is in prison for murder. He is ten years old. It ends when he and two fellow inmates join the military to escape the horrors of prison and the Conglomerate takeover of the world.

This trilogy is a genre-based action/apocalyptic fiction so I am using a pseudonym so as not to confuse myself with my other books which I think are non-genre and could be lumped in with literary fiction (although that seems to be a category book sellers use when they can’t find a convenient category for the book.)

The two other books I wrote that are genre-based are City of Cocks and Feeding Vicki’s Corpse. These are mysteries. But not straight forward Dashiell Hammett/Agatha Christie/JA Jance mysteries; they might be called Character-Driven mysteries. Which is why they are not written under a pseudonym.

 

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City of Cocks

Available on

Apple Books, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble

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Coming Soon:

Feeding Vicki’s Corpse

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For Bookbinding Videos

Giapan_Cover_4.pngIn bookbinding I am still working on my third tunnel book. This book will have six Japanese kanji. The first two will be white, the middle two light blue, and the back third a darker blue with the back wall of the tunnel white to show off the kanji. The kanji are mostly positive such as friend (友) and hope (希望). As you can see hope is intricate and requires a lot of exact cutting with the old exacto knife so it has taken more time than I expected. 

In my Don Quixote-inspired novel, Giapan, I wrote a scene where the female character gets attacked by two thugs. In Version One of the scene, she defends herself quite competently and sends the two thugs to the ground bleeding and in pain. In Version Two, she gets beaten and raped. I was unsure as to which version I should use in the novel. I thought about it. I decided to go with Version One. However, Version Two is more powerful and displays a bit of kindness on the part of the male characters. A bit of a dilemma. I opted to include Version Two as an Alternative Chapter: readers can read it after they finish the book. 

Available Now

CityofCocks2.jpgCity of Cocks ~ A Poetic Murder

A local businessman is accused of murder. His wife and an alcoholic poet must prove his innocence. They must deal with corrupt politicians (redundant, I know), drunk witnesses, an angry bartender, the owner of a fast-food chicken restaurant, and a ghost with a dynamite fried chicken recipe and a cocaine habit.

 

 

 

Now! Available on Apple iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble

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For Bookbinding Videos

Tunnel_Book_Front.jpgAfter making four clamshell boxes for small books, I moved on to the tunnel book. The tunnel book offers the ability to tell a story in one viewing, sort of like a painting. But without the painting part. I have made, so far, one tunnel book. I’m working on my second tunnel book. This second book requires me to learn how to draw the human figure in motion; something I have not been able to do so far in my life. In fact, drawing the human figure in stasis has also not exactly been my forte.

Nevertheless, I venture on pushing my personal boundaries of creativity in both drawing and creating books. In this first tunnel book you can almost see a rabbit, an elephant/bear and a cat/giraffe. Such are my drawing skills that these animals are easily confused. The final part of the tunnel is green paper which, I hope, shows off the animals and et cetera. By the way, the last panel of the tunnel are buildings. Animals and buildings mixed together; that was my idea.

Tunnel_Book_Top.jpgMy next tunnel book is in the pre-making/planning stages. This tunnel book will be people doing things: walking, using a computer, smoking, playing the flute and other difficult to draw activities that will a) Push my drawing abilities to their limits b) Engage the viewer, I hope. I think tunnel books will allow the viewer to see a complete story in one place; rather than read several pages or look at pictures on several pages. For this reason, I must work more.

Finally, I picked up everyone’s favorite Japanese binding book, Japanese Bookbinding by Ikegami. In the back are several ways to make boxes for books. After I make four or five tunnel books, I am going to try my hand at a four-sided case and, maybe, a box case.

Available for Purchase

The City of Cocks - a murder mystery starring an alcoholic poet who sees ghosts, the wife of the suspect, and a host of oddball characters who either help or hinder the wife and poet’s investigation into the innocence of the suspect. 

Available from Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble

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Also available for purchase on iBooks

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The Venetian Slime Woman
A Biological Love Story

A deadly slime is discovered in a canal in Venice; it has killed at least one woman, maybe more. The slime is sent to the EPA in Seattle for diagnosis. The researcher is stricken with a disease that eats her alive. No cure can be found.

At night, in the slime mold, a female emerges from it. She is discovered by an EPA water specialist who fears she will kill him, too. Instead, she tells him her strange story. He believes her. She finds out about the sick researcher and insists the water specialist take her to her. Once in the hospital, the slime woman cures the researcher’s sickness. However, an agent — from the CIA? the FBI? Homeland Security? — finds the slime woman and wants to dissect her. The water specialist helps the slime woman escape. They find a mysterious tunnel in St. Augustine, Florida that leads them to safety. Book Five of the Calvado Pentalogy.

 

TristramCoverSmall200x200.jpgTristram’s PrinterA Typographical Love Story.

A young female bartender embarks on a long strange ride across the US. She meets her first husband, the hyper-jealous accountant; she meets an obese egotistical artist and his skinny devoted wife.

She learns about paper making, bookbinding, drugs, jealousy, and letterpress printing. She has a drugged up lesbian affair, escapes from a police raid, and tries to be the good wife to the financial officer of a small company in a small Vermont town.

Through the artist, she meets a letterpress printer old enough to be her father. He believes she is his daughter who died in a car accident on graduation night. They fall in love. Book One of the Calvado Pentalogy.

 

 

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Bookbinding Videos by Tedorigawa Bookmakers

 

 

ClamShell_ForeEdge.jpgI expanded my skill set to include clamshell boxes, learning and improving at each box. A success ClamShell_SmallClosed.jpgstory. Why? Well, let me tell you my plan. I write a book (currently I’m working on Giapan, see below.). After I write it, I case it in nicely and finally, I make a clamshell box for it. It all becomes beautiful! And fun. 

Also, I am attempting things I have not done in the past or not done well. I believe this is called stepping out of  your comfort zone; I prefer to call it improving. Or expanding my skill set. About a month ago I did some conservation work which is something I have never done. My skill set aided me in successfully doing the conservation work. More knowledge, despite what some politicians say, is a good thing.

Next week: My first tunnel book.

Fiction

Giapan_Cover_4.pngI have been writing quite a bit on Giapan, a Quixotic Love Story. In fact I have added a whole new chapter that follows Cervantes’ Don Quixote. It is separate from the main story, takes place not in 1600 Spain but in 1590 Nagasaki, follows not the main characters but a defrocked Portuguese priest Giapan meets in a café owned by the former priest and his wife. A Love story, if you will. This added about 6,000 plus words or, in terms of a reader, about ten pages.

I have also been writing on a book that is more than half-finished. Fear Zero. In Fear Zero, the main character of the Fear Trilogy is in prison for murdering his mother. He savagely defends himself against guards and inmates. He is soon regarded as a fierce and merciless fighter. He has six to eight more years in prison. He is ten years old. Fear Zero is the prequel book to the Fear Trilogy which takes the main character from age ten to when he is an elder statesmen seeking to alter the course of a war.

~ For Sale ~

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The City of Cocks on Apple iBooksCityofCocks.png

Kobo and Barnes & Noble

 

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Bookbinding Videos!

ClamShell_Red1.jpgI made three clamshell boxes in the last week.

On the first, the corners were not covered very well at all; a complete botch up on that. I did some quick Google/YouTube research and, on the second one, did a tad better. The first one has a raised cover, is completely red, and taught me a bit about making clamshell boxes. It was made to contain a book I made called Yes! Moat Banana which is a blank notebook with graph paper, pictures of people related to bookbinding or paper making, and is A6 in size (pocketbook).

 

 

ClamShell_ForeEdge.jpgI made a very basic and simple mistake doing the corners again on the second clamshell box but, and this is important, I knew what the mistake was so it I could correct it on the next clamshell box I made. It has raised cover and my latest innovation. It has a concave bit on the fore-edge where you can put your forefinger to open it. A useful addition but difficult to cover properly, although I think I did okay. I didn't do okay securing the book cloth with a sufficient amount of glue so it is loose.

It is, however, good practice!

 

 

ClamShell_SmallOpen.jpgThe third one was a small box for a small accordion book. The corners were covered well, the measurements were precise, and it worked out well. I measured not only the book board but also the paper I used to cover the boards. Rather than leave it to chance, measurements come in hand. I have not finished it; I have not covered the inside of the  box, as you can see.

The book fits in the palm of my hand so the box itself is small. The book itself is an accordion book which opens up from about A8 to A4. It is blank but it is also a prototype to see if I can make an accordion book, which I seem to be able to. Next comes some content! 

Writing

I wrote on four novels this week: Giapan, Botchan's Bartender, Fear Itself, and Fear Zero. Fear Zero is the prequel to the Fear Trilogy. We learn of Matt's incarceration at ten, his life in prison, and how he survives. For Fear Itself, I added about 2,000 words and moved it along with a little more tension, a little more anger. For Botchan's Bartender, I wrote the penultimate and the last chapter. Now I need to go back and fill in the gap from those chapters to the chapters where I stopped writing; should be... easy? And for Giapan, I added two more chapters. The end is definitely nigh.

Finally, available from iBooks is my murder mystery that takes place in a small Oregon coastal town. City of Cocks follows a man accused of murder. His wife and her friend, an alcoholic poet, have to find evidence that he is innocent. 

The Sequel is coming soon. It is called Feeding Vicki's Corpse. It is about a murder/rape in the same town in Oregon. It pits a retired Boston policeman against the financial and political power of a local family. The characters are the same as in City of Cocks except younger. A 40-year-old in the first book is 15 or 20 in this volume. 

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City of Cocks by George Stenson

Available on

Apple iBooks

I wrote a book. I finished it. I put it up for sale on Apple iBooks. You can download it, read it, and, hopefully, enjoy it. 

CityofCocks2.jpgCity of Cocks is a “literary” Murder Mystery which means the characters are stronger than the plot although the plot is important.

Sol is accused of murder. His wife and a friend have to prove he was innocent. However, the friend is a some-what violent alcoholic poet who sees ghosts. Not the most reliable of witnesses or character witness. During the investigation and trial, we learn a lot about many of the people in this small Oregon coast town:

Sol’s wife Anne and the poet who talks to ghosts and lives in the bottle, the sheriff and her deputy, a grandfather who might be dead and his grand-daughter who loves to cook chickens, a legless bartender, two barflies, a fastfood shop (Chicken Hut) owner, and the murderer and his very casual approach to relationships.

 

Available at Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Scribd 

In Bookbinding, I made two covers and one clamshell box. The clamshell has a red book cloth cover and snugly fits an A6-size pocket book. It has a raised bit on the RedStringCover.jpgfront cover. It has also, however, very bad corners, so I’m not including any pictures here.

I am, as you can see, showing you the two covers I made.

One is better than the other. The red one is more cohesive and unique while the other looks … like scrap bits of cover material slapped on; which it is.

ScrapCopticCover.jpgIn the near future, both of these will house Moat Boat Banana content (blank graphic paper notebooks; A6 in size; available for sale; fun to use.)

RedGraphA5.jpgI managed to cut myself again. Doing exactly the same thing as the last time I cut myself: a piece of bookboard in my left hand, a knife in my right and trying to cut the bookboard’s thickness. Knife slips. Blood ensues. Fortunately this time not so much blood. I guess I failed to cut deep enough to extract it. 

What was I making when the injury occurred? An A5-sized graphic-paper blank notebook with 100 pages, a raised front cover, a closing strap, and a bookmark. The closing strap, book cloth, and bookmark are, as you can see in the photo, all red. The endpapers are green, however. Next time, they too shall be red.

Fiction

I have written on Three different novels. The first is the first book in my action-oriented conspiracy trilogy: Fear. I added two chapters, introduced a new character, and set up the conspiracy. The second is Giapan. Yes, again. I finished one chapter, started another and continued a debate between the main characters.

Stealing_November_Cover.jpgThe third was a novel I started and talked about about two plus (?) years ago: Stealing November. It’s original title was Eating November but I changed it Heart of November — an homage to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (plus Eating November made no sense) but I changed it to Stealing November because it takes place in November plus it is a huge adventure for the main character who steals the month from when he is ‘supposed’ to be in school.

Stealing November takes place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The main characters are an American high school student who joins forces with a Congolese underwear salesman to rescue an Australian woman from sex slavery after a French drug dealer/smuggler sells her to a sex ring. I guess you could call it an adventure novel. 

 

 VSM_Cover_Small.pngHere is a finished book for your reading pleasure from Apple Books.

 The Venetian Slime Woman

A woman born from the slime of a Venetian canal is sought after by the CIA or is it Homeland Security? She escapes with the help of an EPA water specialist.

Buying this book will help defray some of the costs of making this blog, podcast, and the actual making of the book itself. Plus, I hope you will enjoy it.  

Don’t forget to check out some videos I made. Enjoyable and short (some less than five minutes.)

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Bookbinding Videos

 

Bookbinding

Graph_Blue.jpgOne result of separating my podcast into two parts: Bookbinding and Fiction is to encourage me to spend more time bookbinding. I want — Need! — to have something to talk about in the bookbinding section of the podcast so I have to do more bookbinding. Makes sense, right?

This week, for example, I printed out three blank notebooks and cased in two. Two are graph paper blank notebooks in two different sizes: A5 and B5. Both have (or will have, the A5-sized book isn’t finished as of this typing) a closing strap, a bookmark, a raised portion of the front cover, and both are about 100 pages. The completed B5 notebook is pictured here with a bone folder for size comparisons. In real life the cover is much more blue than purple.

Yes_Moat_Brown.jpgThe third book is a revised edition of my Yes! Moat Boat blank notebook that features graph paper on the right page and lined paper on the left page. It also has eight or nine pictures of people important to and famous for art related to bookbinding. I believe I talked about this book in the last episode. And probably ad nauseam.  It is A5 in size which is the same as saying it is paperback size, a creation by one of the people in the book: Aldus Manutius.

Today I will probably print out another copy of this book and bind it next week. See? Productive! All of these are for sale. Contact me for details. My For Sale page is here.

Fiction

FearTheDead_Cover.jpgI wrote on, but did not even come close to completing, Fear Itself (the first book of my Fear Trilogy, a conspiracy-alien war-political thriller trilogy: Fear Itself, Fear the Dead, and The Sound of Fear) and Giapan.

Fear Itself has gone from 15,000 words to about 17,000 words but with much editing done on the first 15,000 to make it more intense, tense, competitive, and conflictive. The dialog reflects this, I believe. Less chitchat and more debate (not a formal debate, mind you, just anger).

Giapan is more conflictive as well. I’ve increased the conflict or competition between the four main characters, between them and their ultimate goal of getting to Madrid, and between their philosophies (such as they were; the artist believes all living beings – plants and animals – are connected; one guard is an atheist; the other guard is a mass-attending, confession-adhering Catholic (remember, this is not so long after the Inquisition) and the ex--rebelling--angry nun is angry at the institution but not at God itself. Maybe).

Giapan_Cover_4.pngI’ve also discovered that they are walking through the heart of La Mancha where Don Quixote was from which makes the connection between Don Quixote the novel and Giapan all that stronger.

This is to say I haven’t written on Botchan’s Bartender, Stealing November, or Caraculiambro at all even though the end is in sight for both of the first two. Usually when I can see the end, I can write quite quickly towards it and finish the novel soon. For some reason I find the first two difficult to finish.

Caraculiambro is so old I must re-read it to get the ideas and plot straight in my mind so that is still and Again! on the back burner of my typewriter (typewriter? With burners? Is he mad?)

 

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Go to YouTube to see videos of my bookbinding (and just a smidgeon of fiction).

Speed Binding Three Notebooks!

 

Seriously_OpenBack.jpgI’m not going to put up a photo of the cut in my left-hand middle finger. That’s a relief, eh? While I was cutting some backboard in half through the thick edge, I let the cutter knife slip and it nicked my finger. I bled. I made a makeshift bandage out of mull and backcloth. Just for your medical information, this method does not work. However, if you go to TDGB 21, you can see me in pain.

I was making two A6-sized blank notebooks. The Seriously Humorous One has oddly numbered pages (i.e. not in the normal sequential order), a bookmark, kimono cloth as a book cover, a strap to keep it closed, outdents on the front, and an envelope on the inside back cover, and I estimate it is about 150(?) pages. It also has brownish graph paper so it can be used for easy doodling or writing poetry while riding the bus to work. 

YesMoatBoat.jpgYes! Moat Boat also uses graph paper but it is white instead of brown and it has a nice red cover instead of a kimono cloth cover.

However, Yes! Moat Boat has some of the same items as The Seriously Humorous One. It has a strap to keep it closed, a bookmark, and outdents on the front.

Unlike TSHO, the pages are sequential so we know it has 100 pages. It does not have an envelope in the back, because I have to practice making envelopes with more forgiving paper. It does, however, have pictures of eight people involved in bookbinding. The eight are:

  1. Cai Lun, the inventor of paper in about 105 CE
  2. Bi Sheng, the inventor of movable type although his was made of porcelain, in about 1041~1048.
  3. Aldus Manutius, the inventor of a whole slug of things: the comma, the semi-colon, the cheap pocketbook (A6), Greek editions, italics, and printer of the very odd and anonymous Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
  4. Johannes Gutenberg, the popularizer of movable type; although Bi Sheng invented it and, in Japan around 768 (?), a million copies of a sutra were made using movable type, it was not used by the leaders so it was not used by the common people either; Gutenberg changed that.
  5. Peter Shöfer, (or Schoffer) the creator of typefaces for Gutenberg,
  6. Nicholas Jensen, creator of Roman typefaces,
  7. John Baskerville, creator of, well, Baskerville typefaces, and
  8. Claude Garamond, creator of the Garamond typefaces. This post is using Garamond.

 Fiction

Giapan_Cover_4.pngDespite continuing to write on two novels (Giapan and Botchan’s Bartender) I am starting a third one. This third one, however, is an action-oriented, plot-plot driven Sci-Fi, Futuristic, War Story following the exploits of Sergeant-Major Matt McKenzie as he survives the war with one arm missing and is thrust into the Byzantine battlefields of Politicians. He is aided by his doctor, Vicki Hankla, who insists on helping even though she has hundreds of wounded soldiers to attend to. This is the

Fear Trilogy

It follows War, Peace, and the inevitable War Again. In the first book, McKenzie is a pawn of the military. By the third book, McKenzie is more in charge. I want each book to be about 50,000 words (about 250 pages) and the first book is already 15,000 words.

To make things even better, I have a Fourth novel (Stealing November). I have written the ending. I merely (Merely! he says) need to connect what I have written —

• high school student gets involved with drug dealers, murderers, mystic witches, and sex in the Congo, you know, the usual high school romance (minus the singing and dancing ala Glee)

— with the ending. Simpler written than actually Done, I think.

And, yes, I have a Fifth unfinished novel (Caraculiambro) that has laid dormant for a few Years! Yes, Years!

A murder mystery that is very complicated, especially for my brain. It is, of course as you know, connected to Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote as Caraculiambro in that novel is a giant Don Quixote hopes one day to capture and send to his one true love, although he never actually meets the giant. I might need to pare my novel down a bit. Maybe a lot.

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TDGB 21: Two A6-Size Blank Notebooks (and my blood).

TDGB 23: The Envelope Book

Also available for your pleasure:

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GreenBook_1JPG.jpegI made a book this week out of the book I sewed in the TDGB 16 video about using a link stitch. It has an upraised section that might resemble a skyscraper, but I had no real thoughts about it when I added them.

Three things about this book.

• First, it has a black strap to keep it closed.

• Second, it has a red book mark so you can find your place.

• Third, is has a new feature (for me): an envelope to hold receipts and slips of paper you collect over the course of a day. This GreenBookEnvelop.jpgversion of the envelope is too stiff but it is the first version. I hope future versions that I make will be easier, much easier, to use and stuff with paper. 

I know that normally the strap on the back page is usually under the endpaper and not above it. However, I wanted to have the light brown endpaper contrast with the dark brown envelope while the black strap accents it all. I don’t think it worked and will probably keep the strap under the endpapers from now on.

Fiction

Giapan_Cover_4.pngI am continuing to write on both Giapan and Botchan’s Bartender. And, again, both are nearing their ends. I probably added about two or three thousand words to each. The main advantage of going so slow is that when I read what I previously wrote, I make changes which I think improves the book, and I correct mistakes which definitely improves the readers’ pleasure.

I’ve also written about 10,000 words on a genre novel (most of my stuff can be categorized as literary fiction) about war, conspiracies, and terror. At the same time, I try to make the characters as real as possible.

I want this genre book plus the others (Calvado Pentalogy & Japanese Pentalogy) I have written online soon. Wish me luck.

Also you might have noticed this post was divided into Making Books and Writing Books. The podcast is similar. People who want to hear me ramble on about bookbinding can listen to the first part while people who want to hear me babble about writing fiction can skip merrily to the second part. Usually it will be half and half, but sometimes one will be longer.

YouTube_75x75.pngTDGB 16: Link Stitch

 

 

 

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