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Beta Reader Alison DeLuca on THE HOPE STORE by Dwight Okita

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NOTE: I had a few writers reading THE HOPE STORE as "beta readers." Their feedback is very helpful because they are commenting on the whole new book and giving overall input as well as sometimes more detailed notes on the manuscript. I wanted to share some notes from one such reader, author Alison DeLuca who has written several fine steampunk novels. As you may know, this novel is about the first store to sell hope over the counter. Jada is the store's first customer and Luke is one of the store owners. Here are some of Alison's comments:


"Overall, The Hope Store really succeeded on several levels for me. First, I loved the actual story, with Jada and her own self-discovery -- as well as the future of the Hope Store. Those story arcs were balanced perfectly.

I felt a lot of connection to Jada, as well as to Luke. His revelations later in the book made him very human, from my POV. Kazu is also such a vivid, alive character. The Luke/Jada chapters were perfectly don…

Beta Reader JT Kalnay on THE HOPE STORE by Dwight Okita

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NOTE: I have a few writers reading THE HOPE STORE as "beta readers." Their feedback is very helpful because they are commenting on the whole new book and giving overall input as well as sometimes more detailed notes on the manuscript. I wanted to share some notes from one such reader, author JT Kalnay who has written several fine thriller novels. As you may know, the novel is about the first store to sell hope over the counter. Jada is the store's first customer and Luke is one of the store owners.


Hi Dwight,

I finished the book this evening. It is a fantastic story, filled with just enough twists and turns. But it's the insight into Jada's viewpoint that really makes the story work.
It is fascinating how it gets inside Jada's head, literally and figuratively.
(You probably don't know this but I spend about 1/2 my time doing MRI physics.
So I thought the fMRI part was pretty interesting.)
Many people will weep while they read the story, as they identify with Ja…
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I write like
Chuck Palahniuk I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!






This is amazing. Writers, paste in some paragraphs of your novel to have it cyber-analyzed. The software I WRITE LIKE will tell you which famous writer you most write like, based on your language, phrasing, etc. Mine told me that I write like Chuck Palahniuk, which I take as a great compliment! I enjoy his writing. Try out the software and let me know who you write like.

Dwight

http://iwl.me/b/2b568272

Hope Store Advances in Contest

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Okay, this news is a little late.  But on February 13, 2013 -- I learned that my novel THE HOPE STORE advanced in the Amazon contest.  10,000 novels were entered from around the world.  2,000 of our books advanced on the based of our 300 word pitches.  I did my happy dance.
Next, on March 12, I'll find out if my book advances on the basis of my 20 page excerpt.  There will be 500 books left standing at that point.  And the public is invited to go to -- www.amazon.com/abna -- to read for themselves any of the advancing excerpts!  There's always quite a stunning variety of novels and voices on display.


My entry to the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards

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It's Monday, Jan 28. I am part of a large blogging event called the "Re-Introduce Myself" Blogfest where I get to introduce myself to new audiences. My name is Dwight Okita. I live in Chicago where I design websites and work at a nonprofit for the visually impaired. I just finished writing my second novel THE HOPE STORE and I've entered it in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. You can learn more about the contest at www.amazon.com/abna Below is the pitch for my book:
"We don't just instill hope. We install it."  That's the slogan for the first store in the world to sell hope over the counter.  
Luke Nagano goes to sleep each night dreaming about hope and how to make more of it, ever since he lost his sister. He and his partner prepare the store for its grand opening. As media interest grows, an activist group called the Natural Hopers emerges with the mission to warn the public about the dangers of synthetically created hope. Though the store invest…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Well, this is an amazing photo of Big Ben. From last new year I think.

It's been a pretty good year.  I got a cool part time job at Blind Service Association.
A Hollywood film producer treated me to steak dinner and we talked for two hours about possibilities.
I designed a website and video for an associate professor in Dubai.
My buddhist practice of chanting and daily prayers are more regular.
I've been making new friends, in town and out of town.
And I finished my second novel THE HOPE STORE.  Below is the pitch for the book.

Feel free to write back and tell me about your 2012 year, or your hopes for 2013.
As any blogger knows, it's a lonely job blogging on the internet.  So comments are great welcomed!

Dwight

Here's my latest pitch for my novel for the Amazon contest:

"We don't just instill hope. We install it." That's the slogan for the first store in the world to sell hope over the counter. Luke Nagano goes to sleep each night dreaming about hope…
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Today, I welcome author Leti Del Mar to my blog "Long Day's Journey Into Dwight." We are doing what's called a blog swap. I feature a short interview with Leti on my blog about her new novel THE INADVERTENT THIEF and she features a short interview with me on her blog about my first novel THE PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL  (On Dec. 21, you can read that interview on me at: wordswithletidelmar.blogspot.com)


1. What made you want to become a writer? My whole life, I've been thinking up and telling stories.  One day this story was just buzzing around in my head and I had to write it down. Once I started, I couldn't stop.  I gave the first few chapters to a friend who is also an editor for a magazine here in L.A. and she told me I just had to finish it.  So that was that, I knew I needed to be a writer.

2. What inspires your writing? I get most of my inspiration from the people in my life and the places around me.  I love to travel and incorporate quite a bit of what I exp…

PROSPECT in Movieland

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Chicago, Illinois -- Jon Shestack is a film producer in LA ("Dan in Real Life" with Steve Carell, "Family Man" with Nicholas Cage). He took an interest in my book PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL a while back. Interestingly, he heard of my book from a book-to-film scout for Disney Studios who is a champion of my novel. She just happened on my book while browsing Amazon. Turns out Jon was coming into town this week to teach a one-week seminar on film producing at DePaul University. He asked if he could use my book as the book-to-film source material.  Cool beans.  

So this week, my book was stocked at DePaul University with textbooks and required reading for 22 film students.  I had the privilege on Friday to sit in on the presentations.  Jon had them break into three work groups: one presenting a movie production plan for my book as if to a big studio; one presenting as if an indie venture; and one presenting as if it would be a TV series.

There were interesting suggestions fo…

In Praise of Virtual Boyfriends

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NOTE:  On Facebook, I shared the following post.  It generated a lost of enthusiastic response so I wanted to share it in my blog too.  It is a small window into the heart of one gay man in the new millennium. Mine.



I have a "virtual boyfriend." What's that? It's someone who often lives in another country but you click really well with. And though you might not ever meet, you want to feel a bit more connected. So Leon is my virtual boyfriend in Serbia. We've been VBs for a few months. I will share a bit of our correspondence today.

DWIGHT: Yes, bread is nice. Bake for me some day, Boyfriend. And feel free to call me boyfriend because i have almost never been called that. :(

LEON: hehe, I would bake bread + cook for you...you're a great guy and the best virtual boyfriend that I ever had, Boyfriend! 
:)
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FROM AUTHOR ALISON DELUCA'S BLOG "FRESH POT OF TEA"
Friday, August 24, 2012Dwight Okita, Murakami, and Jellyfish This summer I've had the pleasure to read both 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and The Prospect of My Arrival by Dwight Okita. The books were very different, and yet there was a similarity to their style - a deceptive simplicity, deepening excitement, addictive prose, and a sense of melancholy and wonder throughout.

1Q84 is a doorstop of a book that originally was published in three volumes in Japan. It is perfect for anyone who is looking for a book for autumn, one that will last through quite a few rainy nights. Murakami writes about a woman, Aomame, and a man, Tengo. They go through separate adventures that interact in Murakami's signature mysterious existentialism.

Aomame gets out of a cab one day and climbs down from the highway into a world that has two moons. There she finds that things are a bit off. The world has shifted. In that  new alternate universe, …