This morning, I popped in Ninja Assassin and watched some of the good parts (i.e., the fight scenes). It had been a good two years since I’d watched it, so I was taking a break from my Thursday chores and figured, “What the heck?”
I found myself comparing it to my book series. Aside from the fact that every Japanese character spoke English to each other throughout the movie (maybe they couldn’t afford subtitles?), I found it intriguing that, despite being raised by a Japanese man who had a very thick accent, Raizo’s rival sounded like he could have been raised in Kansas City, Missouri. But we don’t go to these kinds of films to hear people speak. We go to watch people kick booty. And the film delivers. With buckets of computer-generated blood. In retrospect, Scott Adkins’ Ninja was a better movie with a stronger plot. In the former movie, the renegade ninja was the hero, rebelling against the villain clan. In the latter, the renegade is the villain, kicked out of the honorable hero clan for his attempt to kill Casey (Adkins).
Invasion of the Ninja is more like the latter, although there are two clans . . . the peaceful Funakoshi and the vengeful Waruiyatsu. Unlike NINJA ASSASSINS, I purposely kept the ninja as close to reality as I could. Ninjutsu is a martial art in my book and the practitioners can’t really melt into shadow. Looking over BOOK TWO, I realize that I have taken great pains to ground the stories in reality as much as possible.
And then I started working on BOOK THREE. And reality has gone pretty much out the window. As many of you know, Books One and Two were originally released in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Due to personal issues and the revelation that the original name of my villain clan was a REAL style of ninjutsu, I waited for the lapse of my contract before continuing the series. INVASION was released earlier this year and I’m hoping to have KLANDESTINE MANEUVERS ready before Christmas. But BOOK THREE is what I’ve been looking forward to for ten years. Actually, I’ve been looking forward to it since I originally envisioned the story WAAAAAY back in 1996.
And it’s a fantasy novel.
That’s right. I’d liken it to the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, with two separate stories going on . . . one on 20th Century Earth and the second on another world. I’ll release more info after the release of BOOK TWO.