Tomorrow morning (July 3 in Japan, though it’s only dawning July 2 in the U.S. now) I’m traveling to Koyasan (Mount Koya), in Wakayama Prefecture — one of Japan’s most sacred peaks and the setting for my newest Hiro Hattori mystery, Trial on Mount Koya, which releases July 3. As part of my ongoing project to climb 100 of Japan’s most famous peaks in a single year, I’ll be climbing and hiking on and around Mount Koya on July 3 and 4, to celebrate the release of this new novel.Read more
It’s a Party! (A Facebook Party) With Prizes!
Everyone loves a party, and authors are no exception! This afternoon (Tuesday, August 8) from 5-6:30pm Pacific Time, fellow mystery authors Lisa Alber, Kerry Schafer, and I are hosting a Facebook party with lots of prizes and giveaways. We hope you’ll join us. Click here for all the fun! Here’s just one of the fun prize packages I’m giving away: And yes, the socks and candy came from Japan! The party celebrates not only the recent release of my newest Hiro Hattori mystery, Betrayal at Iga, but also today’s release of Kerry’s newest Shadow Valley Manor mystery, World Tree Girl, and Lisa Alber’s newestRead more
What Did Ninjas Eat?
While researching my newest Hiro Hattori mystery, BETRAYAL AT IGA, I needed to learn a little more about 16th century Japanese cuisine. So … what did ninjas eat? Click through to my guest post on the No More Grumpy Bookseller blog to find out how I answered that all-important question. As a bonus, the blog is hosting a giveaway for a free copy of the novel – as long as you enter before July 30, 2017! (And I promise, unlike some clickbait headlines, I really do answer the question – without ads.)Read more
A Visit With Suzy Approved – and Ninjas!
Since it’s release week for BETRAYAL AT IGA, I’ve had the honor to talk with a number of bloggers, radio, and TV interviewers. I’ll try to share them all, for people who want to learn more about the Hiro Hattori novels, my writing process, and the books I read when I’m not writing! First up, this great interview with Suzy Approved Book Reviews, in which I get to talk a little more about my TBR pile and my favorite cities in Japan! I took today’s ninja-related photo at the Iga Ninja Museum in Iga-Ueno, Japan, while researching Betrayal at Iga. This is only part of the large collection of shurikenRead more
Beyond the Trope: Ninjas and Japan!
Curious about ninjas–either the real, historical ones or the fictional ones that appear in my Hiro Hattori mystery novels? I recently had the opportunity to talk about ninjas, fiction, and my upcoming mystery, BETRAYAL AT IGA, with one of my favorite podcasts: Beyond the Trope. Check out the podcast here, and when you finish take a look at the archives for more fantastic podcast content!Read more
Mizugumo and Mizukaki – the Ninja’s “Mud Sandals”
Real ninjas (also known as “shinobi”) used a variety of special tools, many of which were useful when the ninja needed to infiltrate a castle or other fortified area–either for purposes of assassination or for other acts of espionage.Read more
What’s a ‘Shinobi’ Anyway?
Ninja fans will already know the answer to this one, but for those not already in the know: The word “ninja” comes from a Japanese word which is written using Kanji, or characters, borrowed from the Chinese. The Chinese pronunciation of the characters is “nin sha” – or “ninja” in the Western derivation. The Chinese pronunciation is sometimes also used in Japan, but the native Japanese pronunciation of the characters is “shinobi.” TL;DR: A Shinobi is a Ninja. The different pronunciations enable me to offer the entertaining explanation that shinobi is “the Japanese word for ninja.” (Think about it for aRead more
I miss my anxiety … but lately, my aim is improving.
For the most part, authors are wriggling balls of anxieties held together by dreams and duct tape. We like to pretend we’re not, but if you catch a writer in an honest moment, (s)he’ll admit it’s true. Before I had an agent, I thought my anxiety would disappear when I found one. Before I had a publishing deal, I thought a contract would cure my nervous woes. I believed a multiple-book deal would leave me smiling forever. I should have asked for a unicorn too – because clearly, I was dreaming. The question for authors – and, truly, for everyRead more