An unlikely young female heroine takes on government corruption in martial arts master’s first book in a planned eight-part series
More than 30,000 Facebook fans await Ed Cruz’s ‘kickstarted’ novel this October
CHICAGO, Ill. – Changing the world for the better doesn’t always need to come in the form of a person with superpowers, but like in the new book Kirin Rise: The Cast of Shadows, through a young girl just brave enough to be who she truly is.
With the early backing of a Kickstarter campaign, more than 30,000 Facebook fans await the book’s arrival October 9. Ed Cruz weaves an inspirational adventure story of a heroic young woman with extraordinary martial arts skills who decides to stand up for humanity and take on government corruption and corporate greed in the year 2032.
The book follows underdog 19-year-old Kirin Rise who uses her Wing Chun Gung Fu to begin an unstoppable movement against the United Federation of Mixed Fighting, the organization that has overshadowed every major sport in the United States.
The story is fictional, but the skills and practices Kirin uses are real – and the only martial art created by a woman. Cruz is planning for The Cast of Shadows to be the first in an eight part series.
While Cruz found a thirst for martial arts, he explains how the lessons shared in the book will be the same for someone who’s spent their life mastering cooking, singing or any other passion.
“The overall message of the story is to embrace yourself. A simple unknown person can do great things; the key is being you,” Cruz said. “It would be great after people read the story they feel inspired by Kirin’s actions and often times we want to be just like our hero.”
Usually the first thing people ask me about the book is, “Who is the target audience?” “What genre does it fall under?” Immediately “young adult fiction” comes to mind, however when I sat down and began writing this book three years ago I was honestly targeting the entire world. And while it’s also easy to say it’s fiction, to me that’s the farthest thing from the truth.
I think in the beginning people aren’t quite sure how to approach the book. It’s coming from an unknown first time writer who is a Gung Fu teacher so it’s natural to assume it’s some kind of fighting book. For some this maybe interesting and for others they could care less. While, at first glance the book appears to be that, once you begin reading it you’ll come to understand it’s about life. That’s why I believe categorizing the book is to restricting. By the time you finish reading it I think it’ll change the way you see things and about yourself.
Kirin Rise The Cast of Shadows takes place in Chicago roughly 20 years from now. The book draws upon issues that we face upon society today. The story revolves around a 19 year old Korean girl who delivers a punch in an amateur fight knocking out a guy twice her size. She stuns everyone who saw the fight and now people are wondering how is this possible.
Fiction actually embracing reality is when I believe you have something that everyone can relate to. I often use the phrase, it’s just a story, but the skill is real. Being a Gung Fu teacher, everything I wrote in the book is real. I teach the art of Wing Chun Gung Fu, the only martial art in the world that was created by a woman. I honestly believe it is the greatest martial art ever and that it’s brilliant. It’s direct, effective, and simple. No guy could come up with something like this because we’re too bull headed and driven by testosterone. The art is based off common sense, a universal principle that we seemed to have strayed from. The story constantly looks at the world we live in and challenges whether or not we use that principle.
Kirin Rise I believe is a fascinating character. I can’t take credit for her creation because I stole her personality directly from my cousin Audrey. Her little quirks and sayings are something you just don’t hear too often. The story I believe is set in a unique format. There is a main story that begins in 2032 and we see how Kirin deals with things after knocking out her opponent. After every main story, there are three short stories per chapter. These short stories take place in the past when Kirin was younger and from her perspective. This ties in with the main story and gives you more depth and understanding of how Kirin came to be. Finally, there’s another section called Sifu’s Journey. Sifu means “teacher” in Cantonese and this section follows Kirin’s mentor and guide in her life. His story takes place in the past as well and links with the main story. Throughout the book you’ll find little quotes at the end of most of the chapters. Here are just a couple of my favorites.
“The choices we make create our own balance.” - Sifu
“The world will move on without you, unless you give it a reason to stop.” - Sifu
In the end the story stresses how important it is to find out who you are. That balance is never achieved in all aspects of life until we answer that question for ourselves. I plan on releasing eight books to tell the entire story. I honestly believe if you give the book a chance and read just one chapter you’ll be hooked and will be asking for more. By the end of it I have no doubt you’ll be a fan of Kirin Rise.
Meet Ed Cruz
Ed Cruz was born in Manila, Philippines in September 1970. Due to political unrest, his family decided to move and head to the United States. At the age of 3, Chicago became his home. His fascination and love for the city has always remained as he received his B.A in finance at Loyola University Chicago.
His father exposed him to martial arts at a very young age and, since then, his life has constantly revolved around it. For the first 11 years, he trained in multiple martial arts, being exposed to many different styles and concepts. Eventually, he discovered one that captured his attention and was unique to anything else. Of the hundreds of martial arts that exist in the world, Wing Chun Gung Fu is the only art ever created by a woman. Its approach was direct, to the point and extremely effective. But finding the style was not enough, he also had to find a master. It wasn’t until 1995, when he met the Legendary Gung Fu Master Augustine Fong, that everything changed. Since that time, he has devoted all of his efforts toward mastering and teaching the art. He has written several nationally published articles over the last 10 years and has a large devoted following on the internet.
The story of his first novel, Kirin Rise: The Cast of Shadows, came about through his years of training. He believed that once you find something in your life that you dedicate yourself to and master, the world around you begins to change. The birth of the internet, the growth of mixed martial arts, and the everyday happenings of the world helped forge his story. It would take years of training and dissecting the art before he finally began to create the story. The phrase, “It’s just a story, but the skill is real,” is his unique approach of sharing the art with the entire world. His plan is to preserve and share the entire art through the Kirin Rise series.
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