(Photo by Emma Lynch, BBC)
Getting used to winter in Fukui has been a challenge for me. Much of this comes from my stubbornness—a refusal to pay Japanese prices for winter clothes, and a refusal, too, to purchase my first-ever pair of snowboots just to walk to and from the university where I teach. As I’m now in Santa Barbara for the holidays, I hope to buy all I need here for the long winter season. Thank god my shipment of Trung Nguyen coffee arrived in California safely, so at least I’ve got a few kilos of black gold to help me survive.
But my big news is that I found a publisher for my novel, Lotusland. Although the publication date is scheduled for two years down the road, it’s a big relief and an even bigger source of happiness that Lotusland will eventually reach a wide audience. The publisher, Guernica Editions, is one that I respect very much. I couldn’t be happier with this development. The feeling of validation is extremely rewarding.
What this means in practical terms is that over the next two years I’ll have much to do in preparation for my novel’s publication. I’ll need to figure out how I want to promote the novel and where—not only in North America, but also in Europe, Asia, and Australia. A book tour sounds daunting—public speaking is not my forte—but I’ll need to plan on something like that as well. It will be interesting to see if I can remain in Fukui, or even in Japan, when it comes time to promote my work.
I hope, too, that this will bring me back to a more productive writing routine. I’m working on a re-write of my first novel, which is set in Vietnam and Cambodia, and hoping to have it finished before Lotusland comes out.
What this means for my blog is uncertain—I’ve been too busy with work and five major moves over the last 18 months to blog regularly—but hopefully I can get back to it soon.