What’s a “serial”?

A serial is a story published in parts.  With ALP! I’m trying to post full chapters, but there may be times when I’ll have to post chapters in parts. When you look at the title of each post, you can see which part it is you are reading, i.e. “Chapter 2.1, Chapter 2.2, etc…”

So how much does it cost to read your story?

Nothing.  Not a cent, not a dime, not a dollar.  This is a FREE online serial available for you to read.  You are free to donate money, however.  I’m a college student in a floundering financial aid system.  Money takes the stress away.  No stress means I’m happy.  Me being happy means updates on time, and likely a little extra.

When did you start writing Akumu Love Panic?

The idea came to me after a long bout of depression and a marathon of Japanese anime and extreme Asian cinema. The first post for ALP! was on July 2nd, 2012. For a detailed post about how the story got started, check out this post on Ninth Suture, my author blog.

Is Illise Montoya your real name?

It’s my pseudonym. I’d like to say I was being clever and making a play off of Inigo Montoya, the swashbuckling hero from The Princess Bride, but…that would be a lie. Isn’t it funnier this way, though?

How can I navigate your story?

On the top of the site, you’ll see a tab that says “Table of Contents”.  Clicking this will take you to the table of contents, which links all the story chapters. Clicking on one of those links will list that chapter in its entirety, even if it was posted in parts.  Additionally, at the bottom of every post is a link to the previous or next post so that you can continue reading at a part-by-part basis.

I’m confused! Chapter One says “part one” at the top! What does that mean?

It means just what it means. Chapter One begins the first story arc of ALP, so at the top it says “part one.” Chapter Nine begins the second story arc, so at the top it says “part two.” I know that might be a little confusing, but just understand that though each separate story part acts like a solitary book, the chapter sequence won’t be broken just because I finished a story arc. That’s why, even though I start a new arc, the chapter number doesn’t start at one again. This is for my personal benefit. It’s just easier saying “this happened in chapter twelve,” instead of saying “this happened in part two, chapter four.” Get it?

It’ll be easier once I name ALP’s different story parts, but right now I haven’t decided on their titles. When this changes, I’ll let you all know!

HEY! This isn’t how Japan is like! You’re a liar!

And you’re a Nazi! Look, there’s this little thing called “suspension of disbelief.” If you’re somehow some sort of expert on Japanese culture and I’ve offended your vast knowledge, then I’m sorry. The front page clearly states that I am taking certain liberties with Japan’s geography, its history, and its various beliefs. This is all for the sake of weaving a compelling story. If you can’t handle that, then maybe you should read non-fiction or something. I mean, honestly, how many anime shows have you seen that accurately depicts Japan 100 percent?

None? That’s what I thought.

Cool!  So that means, since you’re posting your story online for free, I can do what I want with it?

Not necessarily. Under Creative Commons, you are free to copy, distribute, and transmit my work–but you have to attribute it to me, Illise Montoya.  To do this properly, you must have my name somewhere clearly on the work, along with an easy to locate link to this website using the url: http://eighthcirclestudios.com/alp/  You aren’t allowed to change my work, do any derivative works based on my story (i.e. fan fiction), take credit for my work, or use my story for commercial purposes without my EXPRESSED permission.  If you see someone else doing this, please let me know.  Use the contact form on this website if you have any specific questions.

For more information, you can also go here.

What does “akumu” mean?

Akumu means “nightmare” in Japanese.

What’s BDSM?

BDSM was an acronym created in the 90’s to be the phrase people used for a particular subculture that engaged in acts of bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism. You see how that works? The beginning of each word links to the other. Bondage and Discipline/Dominance and Submission/Sadism and Masochism. This subculture engages in various activities that may or may not be sexual in nature. For many, it is the ultimate expression of trust between two people. Check out the wiki for more in-depth info.

Many people assume that BDSM is just about torture and weird kinky sex. It isn’t. I mean, yes it can be kinky, and yes there can be consensual torture, but one has to understand that BDSM is not a license for being an asshole, and certainly not for committing atrocities…which brings me to the next question.

Wait, you’re not into rape are you?

NO. I don’t like rape, I don’t condone rape, I don’t get off on rape. I can watch some pretty gnarly horror movies, but if there’s a rape scene in ANY film that I watch, I squirm. I skipped the rape scene in both adaptations of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and when I went to see The Hills Have Eyes remake in theaters, I nearly walked out of that rape scene too. I. Hate. Rape.

I’ll confess that, on the surface, it can be a very fine line between some of the fantasies I have and what many would perceive as rape. The important thing to remember is consent. If both parties agree to it and take the necessary precautions, then I see no problem in aggressive sex. I’m not going to judge those who like to role play a rape scenario with their partner. I can see how aggressive sex can fit well into that fantasy. But again, there’s always that knowledge that both parties are consenting. Whatever weird baggage they may be carrying with them about that is between themselves and their therapists, honestly.

As far as what I define “rape” as–any scenario in which a person’s ability to choose is taken away. I mean, yes. There is a possibility that someone can’t say no, but also doesn’t want to say no because they actually wish for things to be that way. But what about a person who wishes to say no, but cannot due to threat of violence or worse, and so says yes instead? They may enjoy it after all is said and done, but that is still rape, IMO. Why? Because the “consent” was coerced.

Honestly, I could keep writing about this topic till the world ends, but if anyone would like to continue the discussion, you know how to reach me!

Okay. So you don’t like rape. Are you a pedophile? Your characters are all teenagers!

Technically, being a pedophile is still being a rapist. Even if the child “consents” they are too young to understand what they are doing, or how they are being taken advantage of. Thus, it’s statutory rape. Thus, no. I’m not a pedophile.

But still, to address your question more thoroughly, yes I realize my main characters are all school girls in an otherwise erotic story. Let me just remind you of one thing–ALP! is inspired by extreme Asian cinema and JAPANESE ANIME. School girls are featured in more than half of Japanese animated shows and films! Not writing about school girls is like knowing where a gold deposit is and mining for granite instead. ALP! is as much an homage to anime as it is a satire of it. I (will) draw from anime’s many niche genres which include: shounen, shoujo, hentai, ero guro, harem, slice-of-life, and shoujo-ai. The best way to address all of these is with school girls because–guess what–all of these genres have featured them.

Also, believe it or not, people as young as fourteen have engaged in sexual relationships, and furthermore, engaged in acts of BDSM. Yes. Really. I knew teens in school who did it, and I’ve seen teens online who talked about it. It’s kind of a different matter if those engaging in sex are of the same age and consenting. I’m not saying twelve-year-olds should bang each other. But teens are gonna have sex, and they may as well be safe about it. ALP! depicts teens coming of age in extraordinary ways, and that includes exploring their sexuality. That’s just how it is.

Exploring their sexuality? Come on, give me a break, this is a porn story!

Are you even asking questions anymore!? Look, there is a difference between smut stories and erotica. Big difference. Namely that smut stories don’t have a plot. So if you’re irritated about the fact that ALP! doesn’t launch into crazy wild and kinky sex from Chapter 1, then I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. That soulless bump and grind ain’t here buddy.

Okay. So where’s all this “extreme” stuff you keep talking about? I’ve seen way more intense stuff than this!

Maybe we just haven’t gotten there yet? ALP! is inspired by extreme Asian cinema, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same damn thing. Take my mentioning the genre more as a warning than a guarantee, and you won’t find yourself so disappointed at the lack of carnage in the beginning, okay?

All right, all right. Back to the basics. When do you update?

Every Monday…unless something happens that makes it otherwise.  Give me a break, you’re getting this for free!

How can I know when you update?

So that you don’t waste your Sunday visiting my site every five minutes to see if I finally posted the next installment, you can do two things:  First, you can subscribe to my RSS feed, which offers email subscription.  Second, you can follow my Twitter account.  A note about the latter option–My twitter is 1/2 Eikasia related, 1/2 goofy nonsense.  If you’d rather not deal with my tweeting about how much I love Team Fortress 2 or why I can’t stand crying babies in a movie theater, then maybe you should just stick with option 1…

Hey!  I want a better reason for why you didn’t update on time!  Your last twitter update just says, “I suck.”

And you can find one on my creator blog–“Prepare to Die”–along with chapter previews, artwork, story notes, and general musings related in some way or other to my writing.  Ninth Suture tends to be a little more focused on just talking about my work, unlike my Twitter account.  In the future, it’ll also be the place where I discuss my other projects (like Eikasia) so be forewarned…

Dude, why does your story suck so much?

Why are you such an ass? But to answer your maligned question, the reason my story isn’t best seller material is because I post first draft (sometimes even rough draft) work. I only really have a chance to look over my writing once before an update is due, so even if I had beta readers (which I don’t) or an editor (which I really don’t), there would still wouldn’t be enough time between each week to get stuff “perfect”.

In the table of contents, I’ll note which chapters have been edited and to what degree. If you want to see those nasty grammar problems and typos vanish, just politely point it out to me.  When writing like this, mistakes are bound to happen, and that can include continuity errors.  Try and find delight in seeing the creative process happen before you, there’s no real use in jeering at the inevitable.

What’s “Eighth Circle Studios”?

ECS (for short) was a group started by myself and some close friends whose primary goal was to produce art and literary works for publication, sale, and/or portfolio use.  We shared the Eighth Circle Studios domain to provide a unified front at which publishers, buyers, and supporters could contact us with relative ease.  When this domain was purchased, many of us were still getting our feet on the ground and trying to figure out the direction we wanted our lives to go in.  Over the years we’ve found certain personal goals had to be met prior to committing fully to this endeavor. As of right now, I’m the only active member for the group, and I’ve just continued using the domain name out of convenience.

So are you going to publish ALP! in book format?

Maybe. If I can find a publisher willing to take up second publishing rights, or if there’s enough interest to justify self-publishing costs.

Who did the artwork in some of the chapters?

Featured artwork will be linked to the image source or artist page. Some of the artwork is also mine, and will say as much. I’m not an art major, but I did a lot of doodling when I was in public school.  This has given me certain limited skills, which I sometimes try to use to illustrate my ideas for my stories.  You can find more concept sketches and digital art on Ninth Suture

If you’re curious too, you can see my DeviantArt, but I hardly ever update it anymore.

Sooooo….Are we done?

I am, anyway.

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