This is the first part of the after-story notes for Daikaiju Attack.
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PART ONE: INSPIRATION ATTACKS!
I’ve wanted to write a giant monster story for years, but the right time to do so never really came.
Then, about a month before the release of Pacific Rim, I had an epiphany while eating lunch with my friend Bruce Heard.
Among other things, Bruce and I had been talking about marketing, which is something I’m not very good at. I’m an introvert, you see—a friendly hermit, but still a hermit—and making a lot of calls and sending a lot of letters and doing a lot of glad-handing in person or online … Well, just the idea of it makes my stomach twist into paralyzing knots.
Bruce, though, was approaching marketing from an entirely different direction.
He was building interest in his new series of projects by doing an ongoing blog connected to one of his core audiences (people who liked his work on The Princess Ark series) and introducing those fans to his new project, Calidar.
His theory was to find his audience for Calidar by running a post or story every week for a year (or as long as it took).
A story a week…
I could do that, I thought.
And that’s when my epiphany—two epiphanies, actually—struck.
One was that the reason I had trouble writing regular blog posts was because it’s just not something that’s natural to me.
Having been raised in a culture that valued modesty, and being somewhat shy (hermit-like, as I said) by nature, talking about myself week in and week out is just as bad as glad-handing.
But I’m happy to tell stories to people. Very happy. Storytelling is one of the things I like to do most.
I could post a story—or a chapter—every week, I realized.
And while some of my original fan base, people in gaming and comics, didn’t seem to have much interest in following my non-tie-in novels (because books are neither comics nor games), I was doing a fairly good job connecting with a new audience:
I’ve been a Monster Kid all my life—literally ever since I can remember. I owned the Aurora Universal Monster kits before I’d seen any of the movies, before I was even old enough to put the models together by myself.
Plus, I have ongoing connections with other Monster Kids through podcasts like the B-Movie Cast and Monster Kid Radio, on Facebook (both personally and through discussion groups), and even (occasionally) through forums and chat boards.
And talking about monsters and monster movies is something I like to do.
Maybe someday, if I become a big movie mogul, I’ll grow jaded about monster flicks, but for now, I remain an ardent fan.
But reviewing films on my site was out. I had tried writing movie reviews online; it became a chore.
However, contemplating all this, I realized I did have an audience in my wheelhouse, Monster Kids, as well as a topic I felt like I could write about every week: monster stories.
Those were my twin epiphanies:
1) I could post a story (or story chapter) every week online, and 2)—in doing so—I could connect with the Monster Kids who might be consumers for my new projects, like White Zombie (out now) and Frost Harrow (coming soon).
That was a marketing plan I could do and enjoy.
But how to go about it?
I’d tried a story-a-day project once (and managed to keep doing it more than 100 days), but I feared that a story a week would soon burn me out.
A serialized story, would be easier to maintain, I thought. I’m good at serials…
At that point, there remained only one question: What to write about…?
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