Good evening Moviepilot fans. Creator Chase Ricks here currently writing from Moviepilot University. Tonight I bring you a special treat: an interview with a friend of mine who has recently written his first book and published it last month. I present the author R.D. Brown.
C: Have you ever been interviewed before for your book or anything else?
R: No I have not
C: Okay then. I have never interviewed anyone before who is real and not fictional, so we are both breaking new ground before. Very well, what would you like to tell our audience about yourself first?
R: Well first off, in person you could not tell I am a complete otaku. I just don't look like one who would be. But other than my love for manga/anime, I enjoy photography, flight simulation and spending time with my family.
C: Good things to know. You mentioned you are an otaku. For those not into anime, could you give a brief explanation as to what the term "otaku" stands for?
R: Well "otaku"is a Japanese term for people with interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom.
C: As a fellow otaku I understand that writing a book about an anime world is much different than writing a manga first as a manga is drawn with the scenes as page pictures from right to left. How did you think up the process to write your first book "Guardian of Cascadia?"
R: Well Chase, every book starts with an idea. And I had an idea for a manga. But the problem I came across was I could not draw. So, I decided to write and as I wrote I began to add character elements and behavior patterns you commonly see or read in anime or manga.
C: And you definitely wrote well. I finished the book soon after I began reading it. Let's talk about the world of Cascadia. Did any particular anime/manga inspire its creation or did it come from your imagination fully?
R: I wanted the reader to become the main character and be in his shoes as his adventure took place. As they read on, I also wanted the reader to picture they were in their own anime. Yes, just a tad bit. But how Dean Phillips ended up in Cascadia completely came from my mind. I studied many character behaviors while watching other anime. I tried very hard to make this book as unique as possible. If I have to say, most ideas from anime I had to borrow will be the use of magic in many scenes.
C: You know, the tornado is very similar to how Dorothy went to Oz in The Wizard of Oz. Was Dean based at all on you personally or just pulled randomly from your imagination?
R: It's true. Dean is based a little bit on me. Growing up in my generation was tough for me because I was the 'geek.' I was the one that got bullied. I always wanted to become stronger and become the hero. And for the tornado scene, its is interesting you brought up the Wizard of Oz. The description I wrote from the book is partially from personal experience of getting too close to a very weak tornado.
C: Yes, as you have mentioned briefly you are a real life storm chaser among your many hobbies. For those reading who ever saw the movie Twister, that is what these people do. But the movie is sometimes much different from real life. Can you maybe explain what it is you do as a storm chaser?
R: But the way to describe a 'storm chaser' or to storm chase is 30 to 60 minutes of excitement and 6-8 hours of waiting. What people have seen from that movie is just a comic book version of what we really do out there. So to sum it all up your day starts with checking up on your forecast, driving to the target area and waiting.
C: So I guess in your patient time, waiting for the excitement helped out lots in brainstorming for your first novel?
R: Yes it did. But it was my last job where I was able to brainstorm a lot. I had a job at night where I fueled aircraft all by myself. So while waiting for the tanks to fill up your brain starts to wonder from boredom. Now I know that was dangerous at that time, but I had to thank that job for getting the ball rolling.
C: Okay, your heroines -Violet, Nozomi, Queen Karen, Kumiko, and Izuko. Sure, all seem to be the average anime female characters at first, but from reading your book I could easily tell each of them was created from a mixture of several female anime characters. Is this correct and if so, who were each of them based upon?
R: For Violet, I wanted her to be a strong independent character. Her design and personality were based off of many female characters, naming them would take too much time to look up. But I wanted her character and my main character to mess with each other. For Nozomi, I wanted her to be a shrine maiden character. She was completely made up. And Queen Karen, I have to admit, she is kind and caring and strong. But she has this flirtatious side that brings a sense of humor to her character when she comes across Dean in the story. When thinking of her character, Flora Nanadan from War on Geminar came across my mind more than once. Now for Kumiko, I wanted a character with a bubbly personality also with a flirtatious side to join the cast. I also wanted the readers to admire her beauty but laugh at her sarcastic remarks. I can not think of any characters in particular she was based off of. Now and last, the little sister Izuko. Young, cute, and lovable. The character Sasami from Tenchi Muyo! came across for her character.
C: Very good characters even if certain ones seem to be lolis or 'dere types from what I recall of these animes. Now then, Dean Phillips is a Guardian sent to Cascadia by mysterious magic(?) to fight an unknown evil. What causes his Guardian abilities to awaken and can you explain to our readers why characters in this world are drawn to look like anime ones, while similarly in James and the Giant Peach the character James and his traveling companions look cartoonish instead?
R: Its funny. I never read or saw James and the Giant Peach. I guess I will have to add that to my future reading list. But Dean's Guardian power is awakened during a desperate time of distress while he tried to protect Violet and Kumiko from a group of attackers. All his life, he was so used to getting knocked down and stepped on. But this one time he decides to take a stand and protect the ones he cared so much for and his true powers awaken. And for my characters being anime, I decided that it was time to take a chance and make this novel with anime based characters. That has really never been done before. I am hoping this newer writing style will be picked up by other future authors who want to write their own story in this style.
C: Okay we have time for one last question. The book ends with Dean discovering that the evil villainess he had been battling was in fact truthfully the mother of Izuko. No one but you knows anything about the mysterious mastermind behind her turning evil, but you have hinted more information will come in the next book. Is this a trilogy or beyond I ask?
R: Ah, correction. She is the mother of Kumiko and yes in the next book "spoiler" Rya is back but she will not play an important role for the next two books. Our mastermind will be revealed in the next book I am currently working on this as we speak. You can expect a few new characters and even an old one that was in one chapter and I am expecting to push this book series to 4 books possibly. We are also expecting a manga adaptation to be released before or during the second book release.
C: Excellent news. You have worked very hard and I for one will follow your career as an author with high interest. Who knows, you could become the next Jim Butcher, Shawn Speakman or Terry Brooks. Ok so with the success of your first book and your plans to make a series in books and anime hopefully, what are your future plans?
R: After the Guardian series is released. I would like to go to Japan for a short stay to do research for another book idea. This one will be more of a slice of life romance comedy that could turn in to another series. Depending on the Guardian's series success. I hope to have a full manga adaption and after that a visual novel with voice actors. Other then that I will continue to turn out books until I can not strike a key on a keyboard anymore.
C: So what types of anime and manga are your favorites to watch and read?
R: I have to admit but I am a sucker for romance and comedy. Like right now I am reading the Dance in the Vampire bund series by Nozomu Tamaki, and I love anime like the Macross Saga, Aldnoah Zero, Sword Art online, and many more.
C: If you have any advice for those who want to become writers what would it be?
R: My best advice would be if you have a great idea for a story, write it down, accept criticism, and never give up no matter what. Be humble around everyone and always thank the people who surround you. That could be your family, your publisher, cover artist, your fans and even the people who interview you. Finally always be true to your self ,because that is when the best ideas come out of you.
C: Do you have any favorite movies to recommend?
R: Well lets see- TopGun, Twister, Star Wars, Star Trek Twilight (yes I said Twilight blame the wife), Harry Potter, Disney movies, and anything with comedy pretty much.
C: When you go to conventions do you ever cosplay?
R: i have only cosplayed once. But when I go to cons I notice I am the one behind the camera so I really just focus on the other cosplayers who want photos of themselves.
C: Well thank you very much for your valuable time here and I hope you have fun continuing your Guardian series in the future. Please be sure to update me when you have confirmation on future info about it becoming an anime and manga.
R: Well thank you very much. I look forward to continuing the saga. And thank you so much for taking your time for this interview. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have.
You can follow R. D. Brown here or on Goodreads.
This is Creator Chase Ricks wishing all a good night and hoping you will try to find this wonderful book to read it for yourselves.