Archive for the ‘Anime/Cartoons’ Category

On heroes, villains, and what I can get away with.

Friday, January 20th, 2012

A while back I got a rejection letter (I know, shocker, right?). It was nice as far as rejection letters go. Said my writing skills were tight. The story itself was too dark, though. I know this because the word ‘dark’ was used five times in two paragraphs.

It made me realize that I’m not so good at telling my heroes from my antiheroes from my villains, and that this could actually be a problem.

click the pic to learn more about One ShotSometimes I don’t cross a line by much and an editor will tell me how to revise. In the original manuscript of One Shot, Riley was much scarier than he is in the published version. When I made him nicer I made the mistake of not toughening up Nick by a proportional amount, but Nick’s still a little hottie in my book so that’s okay.

click the pic to learn more about Want MeWalker Cain from Want Me, however, didn’t get dialed down at all. For good or ill, it was one of the reasons I chose to self-publish. It meant I could go crazy with the storyline. I got to write a character who literally had no concept of right and wrong, not even as other people saw it. He wanted. He took. That was his life. Unfortunately what he wanted most was Joel, and the spiral they were thrown into as a result turned out to be razor sharp and painful for both of them.

Ahh, how I loved that book.

Still, there was an element of likability to Walker. Partly because he just didn’t know any better. Innocence born from madness.

click the pic if you'd like to learn more about Just PerfectDraven Donnor is not mad. He knows exactly what he’s doing. And he knows that almost everything he does is not right by human standards. So that would make him a villain, yeah? Except that he’s not human. He has a moral code, but it’s a product of who he is, of a culture very different than ours. And when it comes to Cody, he’s all about loving, he’s all about protecting, he’s all about getting closer. So he’s got flaws, but he also has one really, really good trait. Maybe that makes him an antihero. But…

When he becomes an assassin, he finds that he enjoys his job. That never changes. No angst. No crisis of conscience. Plus at the beginning of the story he steals from Cody. His best friend. Which brings us back into villain territory. On the other hand, from his perspective he is a natural, right being, rightly doing what comes naturally to him. Then again, most villains think the same thing about themselves, meaning Antihero Upgrade denied.

As you can see, I’m not entirely certain how I should feel about my newest character. But I feel for him all the same. He is Draven and I love him. Just like I love Walker. Just like all those psychotic characters I adore so much in anime. (I’m looking at you, Akabane.)

This says something serious about my psyche. I’ve yet to figure out what, exactly. As the writer of such stories, am I the hero or the villain? Maybe I’m trying to write the best story possible with a concept that’s always intrigued me, and maybe I hope Just Perfect catches on and its popularity will let me write more of it. Some of the stories I’d like to tell are cool and dark and possibly twisted. And I believe they belong on the shelf right next to my fluffy stories, because I love fluffy too.

Perhaps my ultimate goal is to bring balance to my backlist. That’s a worthy aspiration, even if the road is five times as dark.

Does that mean I’m the antihero?

Or am I just a writer with wicked thoughts, trying to see what xe can get away with?

Houseguests, anime, liquor, and…oh yeah. That writing thing I do.

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

One of my best friends is driving up on Monday and will be staying with me for two or three weeks, at which point I will be driving down with them to Florida and staying for roughly the same amount of time. Somewhere in there I’ll also be taking a side trip to Atlanta for Dragon*Con, where I fully intend to stalk Michael Biehn, who has the best death scenes ever. I assume the non-Dragon*Con days/nights (hell, probably a good percentage of those, too) will be filled with anime and liquor, because this is our way. We call it Drunken Anime Night, but it often spans a lot more than one night.

In the middle of this debauchery (hmm, is that the appropriate word? Yeah, let’s go with that), I’ll be receiving, working on, and returning the revisions for One Shot. It should be interesting since I’ve managed to bust up my wrist a bit, and I’m supposed to be going easy on the typing. You can see how well that’s working out. 🙂

At Dragon*Con, I’ll be breaking out the “Where’s Rowan?” hat, and it’ll be game on for hide-and-seek. Official rules will be posted later, but they’re similar to the previous set, which you can read here. One addition to the game is that I think I’ll be able to let everyone know my location in real time via my twitter account, so that should be fun.

Basically, the next six weeks or so will be the busiest I’ve had all year as I balance fun, work, and writing (which is a beautiful combination of both). Hopefully the Fates will be kind and gift me with more fun than work since I’d had it in my head to take a vacation in my last rambling. So Wish me luck! And caffeine!

I’m not so great at teh drawing.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

But I’m learning, and that’s what counts, yeah?

According to DeviantArt, I’ve been a member of the site for two years. I joined because I wanted to teach myself how to draw (something other than stick figures in compromising positions) and I wanted to keep an art journal of sorts tracking my progress. Currently, I’m around 200 hits away from reaching 10,000 views, which surprises the hell out of me. Usually when I draw something new, I post the direct link to the picture–bypassing the front page. Reaching 10k views there means people are actually interested in what I’m doing. Who would have thought?

I think I’ve improved a bit over the years, and I’m just now finally getting to the point where I’m edging away from my favorite head angle. Most of my drawings still require source pictures, but I’ve managed a few original characters here and there.

I figured I’d share a few of my pics here. Starting with the very first one. 🙂

1st try by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Man, I *still* cringe looking at this. I very nearly chucked the whole idea of learning to draw.


Gaara 2 by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Gaara. One of my favorite characters of all time. I’m actually thinking of drawing him again. 🙂


Akabane 1 by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Akabane. It’s all about the hat.


HG 1 – line art by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Mmm. Muscle.


Lelouch 1 – Shading by ~rpm77 on deviantART
This is still my favorite picture out of all I’ve done.


Mookyul – shaded by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Clothing folds! I was so proud.


Viral Red by ~rpm77 on deviantART
A bit of anger.


Colors by ~rpm77 on deviantART
A bit of angst.


Hand of Destiny – Line Art by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Hand practice.


Audrick’s face – inked by ~rpm77 on deviantART
A character from my royal alien rock star yaoi. 🙂


Sketch – Kamui 1 by ~rpm77 on deviantART
And Kamui. Was stressed out and basically chucked all my responsibilities so I could draw him and relax.


So that’s a peek at the progress I’ve made, such as it is. If you’d like to see more of my stuff, you can at . I’m also giving away a prize if you can screencap my front page when it hits the 10,000 views mark. More information on that is listed on the page. 🙂

PS– I apologize for the number of images in this post. Usually I try to go light on the pictures, but in this case I just couldn’t help myself.

It’s Raining Men

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, February 9, 2009.

I’m ridiculously fond of this amv by StriderTol. It makes me laugh while at the same time totally feeding my pervy nature.

Blood equals Smex

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, .

I like to think most of my characters are pretty sweet. I’ve been told by more than one person that this just isn’t true, so that probably says something about me right there.

But sometimes, gawd, I just want a hardcore blood=smex yaoi that makes my heart race.

Sadistic Seme: 1. A ridiculously hot guy who enjoys putting a little hurt on the love of his life. Said love will usually (eventually) adore him for it. 2. Teh smex.

In my anime, I always go for the sadistic seme. I don’t know what the hell that is—if I ever ran into one in real life I’d either kick his ass or run the other direction, depending on his skill level and mine. But, holy crap, in anime and video games I almost always go for the most psychotic character in the series. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy), Light Yagami (Death Note), and Seishiro (Tokyo Babylon and X/1999), just to name a few.

In my own stories, I don’t think I’ve written a genuine sadistic seme yet. Probably the closest I’ve come so far is Walker Cain. But while he does put a bit of a hurt on Joel, Walker is a little too erratic in his methodology. In my mind, a sadistic seme is deliberate with his actions, hence the scary/sexy vibe they give off.

My all time favorite sadistic seme would have to be Akabane Kuroudo, of GetBackers. Tall, dark, deadly. Rocks an utterly massive hat that only he could make look cool. He’s polite, well-spoken, ruthless. If he doesn’t like you, it’s generally a quick death. If he DOES like you, then you’re in a busload of trouble because he’ll want to play.

I get shivers just thinking about him. There’s something really wrong with me.

Wrong or not, I made an AMV (anime music video) featuring Akabane, as well as the poor shmuck he’s set his eyes on. I had a lot of fun tinkering with this, as well as a heap of frustration since it was my first time playing with Adobe Premiere. But if it turns you on to a certain sadistic seme, then it was worth it. 😉

Note: I don’t own the music, I don’t own the anime. This is a purely fan-made video and intended for fun, not profit.

If there are problems with the above video, check it out at, but be sure to click the high quality button if you can. Hope you like the vid!

Down with OTP (yeah, you know me)

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, October 16, 2008.

First, I have to apologize for the truly awful title of this particular blog. I seem to be getting worse and worse at this. 🙂

Second, below is a clip from a random IM conversation I had with Katrina Strauss the other day. I edited our screen names, so “R” stands for “Rowan” and “K” stands for “Katrina.”

R: hey, who’s your number 1 otp?
K: seph x cloud, baby.
K: opens the door for all sorts of dark, twisted, noncon lovin’ lol
R: haha
R: that’s def a good one
R: omg, love that scene where seph appears in Advent Children
R: it’s so flirtatious
R: in a ‘you might die from my lovin and i’m okay with that’ sort of way…
K: lol
K: yes it’s very sexy when he tells clouds it’s been a while
K: it’s like, a while since what? we want to know!

OTP stands for One True Pair. Nearly everyone I know has one—mine is Byakuya x Renji. The appeal of my OTP is similar to Katrina’s, in that I adore that Blood=Smex hawtness. It’s not cannon and it’s probably very, very wrong, but I can’t help it. I get thrills whenever I see them together.

The whole conversation was so much fun. Now I’m dying to know—What’s your OTP?

A hot and sanctioned couple like Katou and Iwaki?

Is it a pairing that will never, ever be cannon (er, Spock/Kirk comes to mind) but is wicked fun to imagine?

From anime/manga? From movies/TV? More traditional media?

Tell me who. Tell me why. If you have more than one favorite pairing, share the love. Byakuya x Renji is my OTP, but Chris x Darien in Jet Mykles’s Heaven Sent series still make my toes curl. Rock star, hot British lawyer… I didn’t stand a chance. 😉

Can’t wait to see your responses. I’m always curious about which characters people pair together. Every once in a while someone shares one I’d never considered before, and I’m exposed to an entirely new world of hawtness.

And, really, who couldn’t use more hawtness?

Note: Many of the original MySpace links have been changed to make surfing easier on this portal.

Blood equals Smex

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, May 2, 2008.

I like to think most of my characters are pretty sweet. I’ve been told by more than one person that this just isn’t true, so that probably says something about me right there.

But sometimes, gawd, I just want a hardcore blood=smex yaoi that makes my heart race.

Note: “Blood=smex” is a wise and ancient concept which states that if two hot guys are trying to kill each other, then of course they *must* harbor sexual feelings for each other. ExampleByakuya x Renji.

A while back I bought Best of Enemies by Cassidy Ryan, and I’d never gotten around to opening the file. I’d picked it up based on an excerpt I read at an M/M chat (lesson: e-loop chats find you all kinds of treasures), fully intent on reading it right away. Life got in the way, that didn’t happen, and I didn’t really think about it. Tonight, because I was aching to read something and didn’t know what the hell I was craving, I opened up the file. I finished the story about, oh, five minutes ago.

Holy. Freaking. Smack.

It’s only 3900 words, but damn. Hot, slightly sadistic vampire. Sexy, slightly vengeful sorcerer. Smart mouths and angry, angry sex all around. Turned out to be exactly what I needed. Since all my friends were snug in their beds by the time I read it, blogging about it was my only option. I’m still wired from my fling with Byron and Simeon, despite the fact that even now I’m not quite sure how to pronounce “Simeon.” I keep trying to pronounce it “simian,” which can’t possibly be right. “Sime-on,” maybe, although that didn’t occur to me until just now. I tend to be a little slow on the uptake.

They were great. With these two characters, I never did fully understand why it was blood=smex and not blood=BLOOD, since they’d done some pretty horrible things to each other in the past. But hell, even the not knowing works for the story because the whole thing is quick, raw, riveting. They kick ass while having sex, and that part is…

Definitely a guilty pleasure.

There it is. You’ve probably figured out by now why I don’t write reviews. When I like something, I squee and ramble, which really isn’t a good combination. So here’s the good stuff:

Best of Enemies
Cassidy Ryan
Torquere Press

If you’ve read it, or you pick it up, drop me a line and let me know what you think, okay?

I made an AMV!

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, April 2, 2008.

When I went to Katsucon in February, I got to attend their AMV (Anime Music Video) awards. It was much fun, and I didn’t even know those kind of things could be *done* with AMV’s, so I found myself enthralled.

My friend, a non-anime watcher who was nevertheless uber impressed, leaned over and said, “You should make one of those!”

My response?

“Are you nuts? That’s a whole skill-set that I don’t have!”

To which she blithely replied, “But you can do anything! I believe in you!”

My friends have too much faith in me, I think. But when I got home I gave it a try. All I had was the editing software that came with my computer (Windows Movie Maker) and I didn’t really know how to use it. I dinked around, did some stuff that made me grin and realize I was having fun. I did a Gravi video that still had the subtitles attached, but I cooed over it because it was mine.

At end of last month, I made a second video, using footage from Bleach. I love Byakuya x Renji, and even though they never hook up in the anime, I paired them together because I’m twisted that way. Adored how it turned out. I’m a newbie in every way when it comes to making these things, but I wanted to share:

Good twin fun!

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, February 28, 2008.

Got back from my two week trip to DC yesterday. The highlight was definitely Katsucon (an anime convention), and I’m planning to write a lot more about that once I’m nice and settled, but I wanted to drop in and let everyone know I was back. I also wanted to share how much I *loved* the AMV (Anime Music Video) awards. Discovered an artist named ForeverZeroo, who created an awesome AMV featuring one of my new favorite animes–Ouran High School Host Club. Her vid “Ouran! Love!Angst!Crack!!” won in the upbeat category, and afterward I got to check out one of their other vids. It’s called “Twincest” and, really, ’nuff said.

Embedding the YouTube vid below. If you’re out there, FZ, thanks for helping to make my first convention absolutely fantastic. 🙂

Where’s Rowan?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, February 9, 2008.

From February 12th to 26th, I’ll be in Washington, DC and during some of that time, I will be wearing this hat:

Like it? Made it m’self—first time I ever tried painting fabric, so it’s a bit of a mess, but I’m uber proud of it. It’s based on Urahara’s bucket hat, and one of the places I plan to wear it is at an anime convention called Katsucon.

I had much fun making the cap, and I thought it might also be fun to play a little Hide-and-Seek. If you’ll be in the DC area during the two weeks mentioned above, and you see someone wearing this hat—

—Then walk up to that person and ask, “Are you Rowan McBride?”

If it is me, I’ll flash you a big goofy grin and give you a prize ranging from an autographed 8×10 featuring one of my book covers to a brand spanking new copy of Want Me. It’s been forever since I’ve played Hide-and-Seek, and it would be amazingly cool if someone found me. So, just to be sure, let’s the flash that hat one more time:

If you know people that dig my stories, tell them it’s game on. Let’s play!