Please introduce yourself.
- When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing poems since I could write my name, and short stories just for myself. It took me six years to write THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM (TLCB).
- What motivates you to write?
An idea that keeps popping up in my head or a subject I can’t stop researching. Also writing helps me to escape my chronic pain for a little while.
- What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I chose MG for TLCB because the age of my main character, Yuriko, was 12, the same age my mom was in August 1945.
- What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I’m grateful that writing TLCB not only gave me the chance to have my mother’s story passed on to my daughter, but also gave us the chance to visit Hiroshima to honor my mom at the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Victims. I hope that TLCB will touch the readers, (especially students, our future voters) so that they are aware of how dangerous and destructive nuclear war can be. That nuclear weapons should not be used for any reason on any country (which was my mom’s hope). We need to learn from and remember the past, not for blame, but to understand that people under that famous mushroom cloud were someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, or child.
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
My desire to write was stunted after my mom passed away last year. I hadn’t written anything for a new manuscript I had started prior to that. But I keep writing in my journal. I’ve written descriptions of various events that happened to me on some days, or even just dialogue that might eventually be added to my WIP. Slowly this is moving the writing gears in my brain once again. So now to find the balance between writing and marketing TLCB (but such a wonderful dilemma) …..
- What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
Step one by a bubble to live in so you can protect your ego J or at least paper bags to hyperventilate into on occasion. But seriously, if at all possible, join a writing organization like SCBWI, or a critique group. This will help you to fine tune your craft, and also give you insight on what your expectations could or should be. Not only do you learn about writing, you can gain a wonderful support network that will cheer you on and inspire you.
- Please, tell us about your work.
The Last Cherry Blossom is about Yuriko, a 12 year old girl living in Hiroshima during the last year of WWII. A family secret is revealed right before her world ignites and becomes a shadow of what it had been.
Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed by you, Aurora!