This past Saturday at BAIPA, I led a roundtable about the reasons that every independent author and publisher (as well as every “dependent” author) needed to have an active presence on Goodreads.com. It was one of three roundtable sessions at the time, and I assumed that most BAIPA folks (who are pretty savvy) would already know most of what I had to say. I was surprised to find that not only did they not, but they were very hungry to hear about the world’s largest book review site
I’m a bit late posting this… Been madly finishing work on an audiobook and trying to care for my very flu-felled wife. But here’s my response!
What is the title of your book?
Risuko. That’s Japanese for “Squirrel,” which is the protagonist’s nickname.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
A couple of places:
First of all, I read an article about a war widow in sixteenth-century Japan who set up a school (of sorts) that trained young girls to be kunoichi (female assassins, spies and bodyguards), all under the guise of being shrine maidens (miko) — something like the Shintō equivalent of novice nuns.[†] I’d always been fascinated with the Japanese Sengoku (civil war era), so when I read that, I thought, Wow! There’s a story someone should write! A while later, I had an image of a girl climbing a tree… and realized that someone should be me.
The other thing that got this started was reading the Harry Potter books with my kids, loving them, and thinking, Now, what about these has to be fantasy? As I’ve been writing Risuko, my intent has been to write a story that feels like a fantasy — but isn’t. Continue reading The Next Big Thing Blog Hop→