I am a completely unabashed, unrestrained, and unadulterated fan of action flicks. I love every shape and every variation of them: the iconic 80s actioneers, hardcore Asian action, crappy 70s Chinese martial arts, Blaxploitation, Hong Kong action cinema, and everything in between.
I love action.
With my first full-length novel, “The Cestus Concern,” I wrote what I like to think of as my love-letter to my favorite action films. It was filled to the brim with everything I had ever wanted to see in a big-budget summer extravaganza. Explosions? Check. Car chases? Check. Gun fights? Double check. Insane martial arts battles? Triple check.
I tried to pack it with every crazy stunt I could imagine, and readers seemed to eat it up. “The Cestus Concern” shot to the top of Amazon’s Best Seller lists for Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Action, and Men’s Adventure. In fact, as I write this piece in late 2013, the book is just finished a run as the #1 Science Fiction eBook on the Kindle a year after its release!
Needless to say, I was pretty pleased with everything I had crammed into the book and, in truth, I was feeling pretty cocky about it. That cockiness disappeared very quickly when I sat down to begin work on the second book in the Weir Codex series. Realization and despair began to sink in as I started outlining “The Cestus Contract“: with everything I had put into the first volume, was there anything left for a sequel?
How could I top a nuclear-powered cyborg blowing up on a military base or a giant junk-covered titan?!
Luckily for me, I was able to re-energize my inner creative dynamo by returning to a love from earlier in my life: martial arts. Right around the time I started putting words to paper, I began classes in American-style karate. There was nothing cooler than being able to act out and choreograph the hand-to-hand sequences I was putting my hero, Malcolm Weir, through in the new tale. Knowing, realistically, what type of strike would follow a roundhouse kick helped me dive into my writing in a way I had never experienced before.
It was exhilarating!
Adding that element of working, practical knowledge to research which already included viewing and re-viewing hundreds of hours of action and grindhouse flicks, playing video games, and reading the over-the-top action comics of the 1990s allowed me to bring the story and emotion of “The Cestus Contract” to an entirely new stratosphere of testosterone and face-melting excitement.
Hopefully I hit the mark for you, my loyal readers.
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-Mat Nastos, Super Genius