How did you know you wanted to be an author? I knew when I kept writing most of my life, and the writing kept me writing. It's just always something that's been there, even when submerged at points in my life. To write is an honor and a pleasure, which I think is what it means to want to be an author.
What is your advice for aspiring authors? Write every day. Get published so others can see your work. Practice every day. But don't just write, also go to art museums, walk in the woods, talk with people, observe people, think and read. There are many skills to build up that contribute to writing well.
Do you have any writing rituals or practices? The basic ritual is to sit down and start working. It has helped me a lot to stay organized, so from time to time, I do a full-scale reorganization of my desk and files and stacks of things. I write the first few drafts on computer, but always rewrite with a pen on print-outs. I can see things to change better on paper. I do that rewrite over and over and over.
What message do you want readers to remember? I'm not sure about what message will be received, but I do want readers to experience Tokyo and the characters and life here. It's a unique place, a huge city with such diversity and complexity as to continually fascinate, confuse and engage me. I want others to be fascinated by that as well.
How can fans get in contact with you? My website is most direct, but I'm also on Facebook. I like to hear from fans, so get in touch.