Tag Archives: godzilla

My Interview on Geek Devotions

Me and my Kaijuvision Radio co-host, Brian Scherschel, were interviewed on Geek Devotions as the grand finale for their King of the Monsters Month. The show’s host, Dallas, is one of our biggest fans and has been name-dropping us all month in his videos and podcast. I’d also contributed to a video game stream he did as part of King of the Monsters Month a few weeks ago. Learn how and why we started Kaijuvision Radio as we geek out about Godzilla!


Wish Fulfillment in Stories

Image courtesy of www.luckymoney.net.

While working on my new podcast, Kaijuvision Radio, I re-learned that one of the appeals of fiction—particularly genre fiction—is wish fulfillment. Not just for readers/viewers but for creators as well.

You might be thinking this is a bad thing; a sign of someone living in a fantasy world. While I acknowledge that’s true in some cases, I’d also argue that it speaks to a deeper, nobler desire within people’s hearts.

In the podcast, my co-host, Brian Scherschell, and I were talking about the alien invasion plot in 1966’s Invasion of Astro-Monster (aka Godzilla vs. Monster Zero). The heroes, most of them non-military types, band together to repel invaders from Planet X. The audience is able to see themselves in those characters and live vicariously through them for 90 minutes because they understand what it means to protect what is theirs. For those living in countries that have been successfully invaded, it’s satisfying for them to defeat invaders. Americans, on the other hand, have a huge independent streak in them, and they will do what it takes to preserve their freedom.

Wish fulfillment can also come in the form of seeing characters do things one wishes he could do but can’t, which makes it a form of escapism. These could range from things that are impossible (flying like Superman, for example) to things that are possible but unlikely (like captaining a ship). In these cases, the stories could become inspirational. One can’t soar under his own power like Supes, but one could become a pilot. One may not be a ship captain, but he could become one, even if it’s only on his own private yacht.

I realized recently that even romance stories have elements of wish fulfillment. The audience wishes they could have relationships as exciting, sensual, and committed as the ones in those tales because it seems impossible to find true love in real life.

It’s in these cases that wish fulfillment speaks to someone’s inner character and desires. Maybe they can’t “leap tall buildings in a single bound” but they can still be heroic, even if it’s in a small way. They know something isn’t right in the world and want to make it better. They could volunteer at a soup kitchen or go on a missions trip. They can love the way they want to be loved. They can make their wishes a reality, and by doing so, inspire others.

I’ve heard countless stories of people who became engineers, doctors, and writers because of Star Trek. They saw characters like Scotty doing cool things in the Enterprise’s engine room and decided on their career field. Now, while they aren’t exploring the galaxy, they’re creating fantastic new technologies. That’s the inspirational power wish fulfillment can have.

It can also be a mirror into oneself. If one finds himself reveling in Superman’s abundant superpowers because he wants to have power over others, it should give him pause for concern. I’ve known people with power fantasies like that. It always makes them weaker because they don’t aspire to do greater things. I pity them.

What do you think, readers? Is wish fulfillment in fiction good or bad? Why? What are some examples from your favorite stories?

Drafted for a Panel and Other G-Fest XXIV Stories

You get two blogs this week since I missed last Thursday!

I went to G-Fest for the first time a few weeks ago in Rosemont, Illinois. I was accompanied by my Kaijuvision Radio co-host Brian Scherschel. It’s a convention dedicated to Godzilla, kaiju, and tokusatsu. I’ve heard about it for years but never attended. There are a lot of great stories I could tell about the show, most of which you can read about on the Kaijuvision Radio Twitter feed and in Brian’s latest blog on the podcast’s website, but there are a few writing-related ones I wanted to share with you.

I attended a pair of kaiju writing seminars the Saturday of the con. The first was a session for writers to share their ideas and get feedback. Since I’ve been kicking around ideas for a sequel to Destroyer (mostly because people kept feeding me ideas that I’ve churned in my head), I thought I’d talk about it in this session. However, I realized I was the only one there who’d never been published (except for the moderator), so I decided I would let the other attendees take priority and offered feedback. If there was time, then I would share. There were some great stories and concepts presented, such as a first-person tale told from a kaiju’s perspective, but the one I found most interesting was a story treatment for a fanfilm that included a potentially brilliant meta-commentary on the Godzilla franchise. I told the presenter that it reminded me of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. That was one of several pieces of advice that brought several people to me afterward wanting to add me on Facebook. I gave them my bookmark/business card that directed them to my website and other professional social medias.

(So, if you’re one of those people: Hello and welcome!)

Later in the day, I arrived early for a writing advice panel. I overheard the moderator say he wanted to add one more panelist (they brought on a new one thinking one panelist wouldn’t make it, but he did and they decided to add one more). I jokingly said I was a published writer with some kaiju credentials. “Oh?” he said. I flashed him the Amazon page for Destroyer and mentioned my kaiju short story in The Worlds of Nathan Marchand, among others, and he replied, “Get behind the table!”

Yes, True Believers, I got myself “drafted” onto the panel! It was only the second time in my life I’ve been on one.

Once more, the advice I offered impressed attendees and panelists so much, they came to me afterward for more advice and contact info. The moderator even said he would keep my name in mind when planning the same panel for next year’s G-Fest.

I know I sound like I’m bragging, but to be honest, I was surprised by all of this. Weird, right? The shameless self-promotor is surprised when people actually like him. Maybe it’s because I’ve yet to make it big or because I hang out with brilliant writers like Nick Hayden (I haven’t name-dropped him in a while, haven’t I? 😛 ). I suppose I take those as signs that I’m not as talented as I want to think I am. But success isn’t always a marker of ability. Plenty of gifted people (including Mr. Hayden) haven’t become huge successes and many untalented people are big stars. And just because someone is better than me doesn’t mean my talent is worthless. It’s hard to live among giants, though.

I guess what I’m saying is I haven’t been “discovered” yet.

Did you attend G-Fest this year? What did you think of it? Are do you deal with feelings of inadequacy as an artist?

I’m Starting a Podcast!

The tentative logo for our podcast.
The tentative logo for our podcast.

Doesn’t this blog’s title say it all?

No? Okay, I’ll explain.

You may recall when I appeared on the 50th episode of Derailed Trains of Thought, the podcast hosted by my friends Nick Hayden and Timothy Deal, that I was featured in several segments. One of those was “Cinema Selections,” a segment that normally featured amateur film historian/critic Brian Scherschel. Since he discussed a Godzilla movie, however, I was invited to join in. While I mostly deferred to Brian since it was his part of the show, we did have a lively talk about the film in question (this one). Tim suggested as he closed the segment that Brian and I should start our own podcast on Godzilla, which I joked would be called “PodZilla.”

That was November 2014. I didn’t think much more about that podcast after that. That is until a few months ago when Brian contacted me and wanted to know if I was still interested in making that a reality. He’d just finished a couple of other projects and was looking to do something new. I told him I was in.

We’ve been meeting almost every week planning things out. I didn’t realize how much work was required to make a good podcast. It’s also because Brian very much wants to make this a high-quality product that people will be interested in listening to. We haven’t had any arguments (yet), but we have had to settle some differences in opinions on how to go about this project. We’ve also been investigating potential copyright/lawsuit issues since Toho, the Japanese studio that produces the Godzilla films, is hypersensitive about protecting its intellectual properties. So far everything looks like it’ll be fine.

PodZillaCast (the name had to change since our first name choices, surprisingly, were already taken) will be a limited series that analyzes and critiques the Godzilla film franchise. It’ll discuss the merits of each film while also putting them into their cultural and historical contexts. Brian and I believe these films are massively underappreciated and underrated by most westerners, and we hope to shed some light on the films that will get more people interested in watching them.

Will we stop after getting through all 30+ Godzilla films? Maybe. I’ve said that if people enjoyed what we’re doing, we’ll turn our attentions to other kaiju (giant monster) films like King Kong or Pacific Rim, but that’ll depend on how our initial project does.

When will the show launch? I’ve no idea. We’re still hammering out some details. I think it should be up and running by the end of the year, I think. So, keep an eye out for us on your podcatcher of choice!

How will this affect my videos? I don’t know that, either. As it is, I’ve been scaling back on how many videos I make, usually limiting myself to one (or two) a month. I simply don’t have the time to make as many. I keep very busy, obviously. “But I Digress…” may go on hiatus. But only maybe.

Anyway, in the mean time…


All the Podcasts I’ve Appeared On

I’m keeping today’s blog simple and helpful, especially for those who want a quick reference for all the places I’ve appeared online. Or, at the very least, the podcasts I’ve been on. So, here’s an index of the shows and episodes I’ve appeared in. I discuss everything from storytelling to video games to Godzilla (no surprise, right? 😛 ).

Admittedly, there are few not listed here. I recorded a podcast with Zachery Oliver for “Theology Gaming” that was lost when he had computer problems. The same thing happened with “The Bestselling Fiction Podcast” hosted by Dan Dynneson last summer. I’ve subsequently recorded two more episodes with him that he has yet to post. I also appeared on GigaGeek Magazine’s podcast to talked about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but I don’t have a link for that yet since it was broadcast live.

Regardless, happy listening!

Derailed Trains of Thought
A show on storytelling and creativity hosted by my friends Nick Hayden and Tim Deal

Episode 3: From Boredom to Book – They interview me when I published by first book, Pandora’s Box.
Sidetrack 2: Peeking Inside the Box – I’m not in this, but an excerpt of my novel is read by Nick’s wife, Natasha.
Episode 17: Magic, Muggles, and Morals – I read an excerpt from Destroyer.
Episode 20: Everything But the Kitchen Sink – I’m one of multiple guests who returns briefly for the show’s first anniversary. I announce I’m writing new books.
Sidetrack 6: Children of the Wells Round Table – I and my collaborators talk about working on our ongoing post-apocalyptic contemporary fantasy series Children of the Wells.
Episode 50: Guest Starring…Everybody! – In this anniversary episode, I’m one of several returning guests who “audition” in multiple segments to be a third co-host.
Episode 61: Shut Up and Buy My Book – I return to DToT to discuss how writers can promote their books. In this day and age, writers must also do their own PR.

Strangers and Aliens
A show about faith, fantasy, and science fiction co-hosted by my buddy Ben Avery, who’s a comic writer

Episode 127: GODZILLA (Summer Movie Series) – I review the new Godzilla film with host Ben Avery.

Theology Gaming University
A show about Christianity and video games

Podcast #58 – Video Games Inspiring Other Media – Theology Gaming – My friend Eric Anderson and I discuss video game adaptations to other media with host Zachery Oliver.
Podcast #62 – I discuss why gamers replay video games they’ve already played with host Zachery Oliver and TGU regular Bryan Hall.
TG Sessions #9 – Cheapness (I.e., You’re Not Special) – Zachery Oliver and I discuss what makes certain things “cheap” in both single-player and multiplayer video games.
TG Sessions #10 – Batman’s Fifty Shades of White Privilege – Remember when this video made me a troll magnet? I also incurred the wrath of trolls about an essay I wrote for TGU. Zachery Oliver and I discuss all of this.
Podcast #72 – One in a Mijinion – I join Zachery Oliver and Roberto Iraheta 20 minutes in, and in our ramblings we set out to solve a very important mystery: What the heck is an Infinity Mijinion? (In case you don’t know, that’s a Mega Man boss).

The Weekly Hijack
A “spin-off” podcast from “Derailed Trains of Thought” that discusses TV shows

-Episode 27: Doctor Who – The Magician’s Apprentice – I discuss the season nine premiere of Doctor Who with Nick Hayden, Tim Deal, and several others. (Scroll through the episode listing to find it).

‘But I Digress…,’ Episode 28: ‘Destroyer’ Roundtable

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

Remember that kaju novella I self-published a few years ago? I just released a brand new special edition! So, I decided to interview my collaborators on that exciting project in the first ever round table f or my show. The panel includes Nick Hayden, Natasha Hayden, and Timothy Deal. We discuss how we went about writing each of our sections of the epic giant monster thriller. Lots of laughs and insights.

The Derailed Trains of Thought YouTube channel.

Purchase “Destroyer” on Amazon.

Please comment, subscribe, and share!

Presenting…’Destroyer (Deluxe Edition)’!

Artwork by Tyler Sowles. Designed by Nathan Marchand.
Artwork by Tyler Sowles. Designed by Nathan Marchand.

After several years in print, Destroyer, a giant monster novella I co-authored with Natasha Hayden and Timothy Deal, is now available in a new special edition!

I’ve migrated the book from Lulu to Createspace. Lulu was a good home for it a few years ago, but I’ve realized Createspace is where the money is at. This new edition is a bit bigger than the previous one and looks more professional and, for lack of a better term, legit.

But the big draw for this new edition is the inclusion of a bonus story. “House of the Living,” as you may recall, was written by my friend and fellow author Nick Hayden a few years back. It makes its first appearance in print in Destroyer (Deluxe Edition).

In the distant future, a group of scientists and soldiers create a giant cyborg dragon to end a destructive war, but the creature goes berserk and strands them behind enemy lines in Moscow. Now the survivors must destroy the creature before distrust and madness tears them apart.

I’ll be unveiling the book officially at the ACPL Authors’ Fair this weekend with Nick Hayden!

Buy Destroyer (Deluxe Edition) here on Amazon!

But I Digress…, Episode 21: A Review of ‘Godzilla’ (2014)

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

My hiatus is over! (“And there was much rejoicing. Yay…”) I’ve made it no secret that I’m a huge fan of Toho’s Godzilla franchise. Most of those films are among my guilty pleasures. So, since my friend Sergio Garza is a horror movie fan, I decided to have him review Garth Edwards’ big-budget reboot of Big G with me. Enjoy!

You can read my review of the film for GigaGeek Magazine here.

My review as a guest host on the Strangers and Aliens podcast is here.

I review ‘Godzilla’ (twice!)

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

In case you didn’t know, I’m a huge of Toho’s Godzilla franchise. I have been since high school. With a few exceptions, I consider these movies to be some of my guilty pleasures.

That being said, this week I reviewed the new American film–which I loved–not once, but twice (and there may be a third!) First, I wrote a review for GIGA Geek Magazine. The second, however, was the most fun. I was the guest host on the “Strangers and Aliens” podcast with my friend and fellow Christian writer and Godzilla fan, Ben Avery. I enjoyed it so much, I want to be on his show again. 😉 You can listen to it here.

What will the third one be? Most likely an overdue new vlog! (Until then, you can watch my review of last summer’s Pacific Rim).

And for all you kaiju  fans out there, be sure to check out my own giant monster story, Destroyer.