I am extremely happy to report that my YA adventure series, The Ninja Apprentice is now out with editors at major publishing houses. This has been a project I’ve been working on for a number of years and I am thrilled to have it fully realized at long last. My agent, Joe, has been utterly fantastic in helping me improve the book and making sure it was ready to be read by editors. He has now taken the manuscript and sent it forth into the great unknown of editorial acquisitions. I am incredibly excited about this project finding a home – it’s a 9-book series that tells the story of a 14-year old orphan who discovers he is the last descendant of a ninjutsu family that has been battling an evil warlord for centuries. In order to fully realize his place as head of the family, he must recover nine sacred relics that have been stolen and endeavor to attain mastery in the teachings of his martial art as taught to him by the ghost of his great-great-grandfather. It’s going to be interesting to see how this hits!

Also, the ninjutsu training group I started in my town now has a website located HERE!. It’s a simple sort of thing, which is fine. This past Sunday we had a great time working on knife defenses in the dark, cool drizzly night.

The Tour 2011 continues to roll ever forward. I’m booked on roughly 80 blogs between January – the end of April. Exposure for THE KENSEI should be huge. I’ve also got a few other surprises lined up. More on that later on.

Tour 2011 – Sponsored by…

The advance reading copies of THE KENSEI arrived on my doorstep today, which is very cool indeed.

Nice lookin’ books, yeah?

Along with the three boxes of books that showed up on my front stoop, came news today that I can now release details of the first corporate sponsor for my 2011 Tour.

“Sponsor?” some of you may ask. “Authors don’t have sponsors for tours. That’s crazy.”

Why is it crazy?

“Because no one else gets sponsors for their tours.”

To which I will happily say, “Yep, you’re right: authors don’t usually have sponsors.”

But y’know what? Life is too short to play by someone else’s rules. And when I started planning this tour over the summer, I knew I wanted to invite a select group of companies I respect to be a part of it. So I reached out to a few…

With that said, I am exceptionally pleased to announce that Blue Sky Factory has agreed to be one of the sponsors of my 2011 Tour to promote THE KENSEI. Over 700 corporations, like Harvard Medical School, Long John Silver Restaurants, Seiko, Johns Hopkins University, and many others use email marketing with Blue Sky Factory to maximize their email impact. Blue Sky Factory’s solutions are top-notch and I’m using them for all of my email list maintenance and marketing needs – something any author mindful of their career should also be doing.

I look forward to a long relationship with Blue Sky Factory. I’m just beginning to implement a few of their many, many techniques and strategies, but I’ve been blown away so far. So, a warm welcome to the friendly email marketing experts at Blue Sky Factory – my first official corporate sponsor for Tour 2011.

Bujinkan Komugakure Group

I’m very pleased to announce that I have formed a training group in the Metrowest Boston area for Ninjutsu. Called the Bujinkan Komugakure Group, this is NOT a dojo. Members who opt to come and train with me are expected to attend regular classes at another recognized Bujinkan dojo in the Massachusetts area. I will not be testing anyone or otherwise awarding rank in this system. I am simply too busy in other areas to commit to the kind of quality instruction that a full-time dojo can provide a dedicated student. My intent is to focus on enhancement of the basics (kihon) of the system, development of an understanding within group members of WHY they choose to train in this art, and real-world application of techniques in environments that are non-dojo.

Members of Komugakure Group will train mostly outdoors in all weather conditions, and in street attire. We’ll work the basics in all types of environments thereby helping members understand and improve on the vast tools the system affords us. Additionally, some of the training will replicate high-stress situations so that members will have the opportunity to explore how emotional and physiological changes affect their technique. The goal, of course, is for all of us to improve and better understand the art which we study. All of us. While I will lead this training group, I may have guest instructors show up from time-to-time, both Bujinkan and non-Bujinkan, who will provide interesting and educational counterpoints and perspectives to the training. But I’ll be learning as well. All of the teachers in this art that I have been fortunate enough to train with – men I respect immensely – are first and foremost students. They continue to explore, learn, challenge themselves, and evolve – even while they help guide others down the path. I’m still learning as well.

There is a lot of nonsense in the Bujinkan right now. Youtube videos uploaded by people who are clueless (at best) or only interested in self-aggrandizement (at worst) plague this system. Countless Bujinkan practitioners isolate themselves from reality by failing to address real-world situations and opponents in the interest of being seen as a master, the head of a dojo, a supposed expert on history, or some other silliness. All the while, they willfully forget that we study a “martial” art. This art was born on the battlefield; it was developed in response to unbridled aggression and greed, and as such, it is difficult & demanding to study and learn from. A practitioner needs to be honest about his or her motivations for studying. A teacher even more so.

It is my hope that members of the Komugakure Group learn a lot about this art and what it is truly capable of, outside the dojo. It is also my hope that members become better practitioners of this system, and, by being so, help to undo much of the damage that has been wrought by those who would rather pose than train and continue learning.

Training events are sent to group members closer to the actual day, but for now, Sunday nights will be fairly constant. To stay abreast of everything we’re doing, please join us on Facebook by clicking here!

I look forward to the future with you all!

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