My dedicated readers will notice that my writing has trickled to a stream in 2019. There are many reasons for this but the key one is that I’ve been dedicating my time to finding a way to make money and blogging right now for me is not bringing in any money. Long story short, I’m still looking for income but I’ve also decided I’m tired of waiting to land a traditional job and may as well use my skills as a writer to come up with something I can sell: a book
And since I write a lot about the arts, I figured that book should be about art. I’m one of those people who has so many ideas bouncing around in his head that I have a hard time deciding what to do sometimes. That’s where you come in. Instead of picking which book I’d like to write–because honestly I’d like to write them all–I’m letting you pick which one I should work on as I figure most of you will be the people reading it. Here are my top four book ideas for you to vote on:
The Cinema of Abbas Kiarostami
In 2013, I wrote my thesis on the films of Abbas Kiarostami for my MA at Baylor University. If you’re not familiar with his work, you can read one of the chapters of my thesis as published here and I’d also recommend my reviews of Certified Copy if you want to get more of a sense of what the book might be like.
Honestly, I’ll be writing this book sometime in the next few years, so if you vote for this one, it’s more to have it come out sooner than later. The advantage of this project is that I already have a lot of research and writing done. All I need is to watch 24 Frames and probably hunt down some articles and books and I could be well underway to writing this book.
Mental Illness and the Arts
I’m still not sure how best to frame this book but I know a lot of what I’d be looking at is depictions of various kinds of mental illnesses in arts from a more ethnographic angle. I’m no mental health expert, but a lot of works of art have echoed my own struggles with mental health and I think this is becoming more and more of an important subject as people become more open to talking about it.
This would be the broadest book as I’d be looking at movies, TV, comics, video games and more as I take a journey through various works that speak to me about the struggles of mental health. This would probably be the most personal book and maybe the most ambitious given how broad I’d be casting my net. I honestly came up with this idea last night but I’ve easily outlined a good chunk of the book in my head already.
A History of Roguelites
This book is probably the most niche of the four as it’s about a specific segment of video games. These would be the games based on highly randomized elements that emphasize replayable game spaces with permadeath. Notable examples are Spelunky, The Binding of Isaac, Dead Cells, Rogue Legacy, Slay the Spire, Into the Breach, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Enter the Gungeon, and FTL: Faster Than Light.
There are a couple of major downsides to this book. First, I think it eliminates a good chunk of my audience who are not into video games at all. Second, I’d have to play a lot of roguelites which are notoriously hard and can take a long time to complete the first time and often demand being beaten multiple times to get the “true” ending. Still, it’s an extremely popular subset of games and I do like the idea of writing it, but I think it will require the most work and take the longest to research.
The Animation and Graphic Novels of Satoshi Kon
Satoshi Kon made some of the most mind-bending and provoking animated films in the medium as well as penning some graphic novels. I’d likely analyse how his work plays with subjectivity and examines the unreliability of our own minds. I think my review of Paranoia Agent would probably best represent my approach with this book.
The upside to this one is that the research phase would be extremely small. Kon’s body of work is tiny and I haven’t found a lot written about him in the West. It would be a chance to fill in a noticeable gap of work for a great artist. The downside is that I know some of my readers are not interested in Japanese animation or graphic novels.
Those are the book ideas. Please vote now for which one you’d like to see the most. I’ll have this poll running for a little under a week, ending Monday the 7th at midnight (CST). Feel free to share with other people and don’t feel like you need to be a regular reader to vote. One of the reasons I’m writing a book is to expand my audience and I’d love input even from potential future readers.