Why I (Co)Wrote It: Her Eternal Moonlight

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

So somewhere among books on careers and worldbuilding, I co-wrote a book on how Sailor Moon impacted female fans in North America with my friend Bonnie. To this day it stands out a bit among my writings, and that is a worthwhile journey to explore in this series.

It was born at Fanime, a Bay Area anime con. Bonnie and I observed the large amount of Sailor Moon cosplayers at a gathering, and it got us asking if anyone had written about what Sailor Moon meant to people. We saw cosplayers who probably hadn’t been born when Sailor Moon first aired in the US. We remembered the impact it had from our younger days. Someone had to have written about this . . .

. . . and we checked the internet and were very disappointed. So somewhere during the con or after we agreed to write a book on it. To this day we couldn’t remember who first came up with the idea or suggested writing a book. But a book we did write.

Our idea was to simply interview as many fans as we could find of Sailor Moon of any age and interview them. We also wanted to focus exclusively on female-identifying fans so we told their story specifically. For years we had heard from female fans what Sailor Moon meant to them, and it was time to see what they had to say.

Finding people was easy and people were anxious to jump on board. We had a standard interview form, we also talked to people by various means, and compiled our notes. Every interview brought stories of passion and interest and transformation – it was humbling.

We were on the right track.

Of course we wanted to research more on what else had been written on Sailor Moon, and I ended up with a pile (virtual and otherwise) of anime books and references. It was honestly underwhelming – Sailor Moon often got shortchanged, and in a few infuriating cases written off as a “girl thing.”

It only inspired us more.

Once we had the interviews we compiled them, and found something that further inspired us – clear patterns. In the end we identified nine common ways Sailor Moon transformed people’s lives, from identification to careers. No one had the same experiences, but everyone’s experiences might touch on a few of these nine categories.

Also it allowed us to make each chapter a reference to a given Sailor Scout’s attack. Because we were not going to let that possibility slide.

The result was each chapter tightly focused on one major impact, exploring personal testimonies from the interviewees. We must have done well – when we sent people test copies they were happy!

Finally, the cover. We had to have the right cover, and Fanime had provided as well. We’d met the incomparable Jennifer Cox at Fanime, and were impressed with her style – one of her strengths was taking various ancient art styles and doing pop culture pictures. We asked for a Sailor Moon one with a Grecian theme, and she made something perfect.

So that was the story of the book. Inspired at a con when we saw something that just had to be done. Inspired by the people we talked to. Confirmed when we saw a void of thought about Sailor Moon and even disrespect in some circles. Wrapped up in a gorgeous cover.

If there’s a story to take away from this it’s that sometimes you know you have to write a book. If you know when those moments truly appear, that fire can power you through the process and even be rekindled to burn brighter.

Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 5/21/2017

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, www.SeventhSanctum.com, and Steve’s Tumblr)

It’s my weekly Scrum style standup for the audience.

Well bluntly this week also was nuts, with assorted work events, a friend having health concerns (resolved) and of course occasional allergies.  It’s not been the greatest week – but Agile method are about adapting.  So where are we?

So what have I done the last week?

  • Way With Worlds Minibook #5: Still going good and on schedule – I might even get a bit ahead of the game.
  • Seventh Sanctum Spotlight: That’s on hold.  This is due to the interruptions I’ve been having from allergies to events, and now convention time might cut into the results for me and other people.  So I’ll do it in June if it seems viable.
  • Professional: Attended that professional event – they’re running out of space so I found my apartment complex can host them!  A great way to network and meet people.
  • Social: Girlfriend’s birthday and book club went well.
  • “A Bridge To The Quiet Planet:” The latest plot outlines and character arcs are plotted.  Looks good again, and I think the book is taking on a more personal tone; for instance, there’s two minor characters (one extremely minor as in he’s in one scene) that by exploring I really did a  lot with the story.  This is a good lesson from the late Sir Terry Pratchett – you tell a lot more by having it personal, even if that person is gone after a scene.
  • Newsletter: The newsletter is out.  Which you probably saw.

What am I going to do this week:

  • Way With Worlds Minibook #5:  More writing.  Let’s just assume that’s the norm (and book #6 is next).  I’m thinking these books are best written in one or two big lumps not spread out.
  • Social: Fanime is going to consume a lot of time this week, as will events there.  I’ll be preparing presentations.
  • Speaking: I’m speaking twice at Fanime.
  • Cosplay: I’ll be Doctor Oobleck from RWBY at least one day.
  • Her Eternal Moonlight: A sale is coming, so pay attention . . .
  • “A Bridge To The Quiet Planet:” Next step is fleshing out the plot so it’s ready to be scene-for-scene outlined, as well as some character details.e

Challenges and blockers:

  • The Allergies are better, but I’m keeping an eye on them.  These were bad and hit a lot of people hard.

– Steve

In Honor Of Sailor Moon R: Her Eternal Moonlight Is On Sale!

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr)

Sailor Moon R is in the theaters, so Her Eternal Moonlight is on sale for the next week!  I figure it’s one way I can celebrate the re-release of the film.

Go on and give it a try!

– Steve