Last evening I went out to dinner with a friend and was asked the question I love to answer: Where do you get your book ideas? Yes, I could wax poetic for several minutes trying to answer that question. The short version is: I don't know.
I explained that it's rather like an infection. One germ grows into many, doubling then tripling in size, over and over until I am so full of that virus it explodes through me. I can no longer think or do anything else but write the damn story. Sometimes I try to write too soon and I get bogged down. Sometimes I wait too long to start writing and the story fades. By now, I know when to start and I try to choose the best time, set up the right environment, and close off the world to lay fingers to keyboard. Then magic happens. If I'm lucky, that is.
To understand how I came up with the idea for my newest novel AIKO, you can read my previous posts:
How I got the idea.
How I changed the idea.
Even now, I told my friend, I have a story boiling in me which started probably a year ago. Nothing specific happened that I can recall: just a few disparate images, words, maybe a meme on Facebook or a quirky tweet on Twitter--something jogs my brain and I let it stay. The germ will fade on its own or it will grow. The currently boiling idea occupies my waking moments. I have decided how it will begin and how it will proceed but not yet how it will end or what the actual arc of the story will be. See how it unfolds, partly following my commands and partly at random, is the fun part of writing.
Before I can write the new book, however, I must see the latest through to bookshelf status. I've dealt with the story of AIKO the previous two blog posts this month. Now it is time to do what is commonly called -da da da da da da daaaaaaah! the cover reveal. (In my linguistically-challenged psyche, I would argue that it should be a cover "revelation" not a "reveal"--but not worth a fight at this time.) I've teased readers on the previous two blog posts, so here is the -trumpets again- cover of my newest novel AIKO.
You might wonder about the elements of the cover. The famous woodblock print of Hokusai's The Great Wave of Kanagawa works well because the sea is a major plot point throughout the story although it is not a seafaring tale. The child image is important because the entire story revolves around what to do with this child. The Japanese characters (kanji) inside the O of AIKO serve to spell her name in the characters which are meaningful to the story--and explained in the book. SPOILER: One kanji character means 'love' and the other means 'child'.
So there you have it! AIKO is available in ebook for Kindle edition now and in print soon. It makes a great Father's Day story, as father and daughter meet and decide their future together.
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Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.