Anyone who is bored enough to follow me on Twitter knows that I love a good Twitter Chat! One of my favorites is the #writestuff discussion (hosted by the lovely Tamara Woods!), which is where I met today’s sexy scribe! Amy Tasukada, who hails from Texas, loves to write with infusions of Japanese culture. In a literary world where calls for diversity within pages are daily (hourly!), Amy’s contributions are the start of something extraordinary.
Her first novel, The Yakuza Path, invites its readers into the corrupt and violent world of the Asian Mafia. Then there’s Happy Merry Christmas, a M/M romance short that combines the drama of the holidays with a relationship under pressure. Read along about Amy’s love for tea, Neil Gaiman, and why she loves watching her characters grow together.
In a few sentences, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m obsessed with hot tea and have over 37 loose leaf teas. I live in Texas with my husband and cat and love wearing Japanese street fashion.
What do you love most about the craft of writing?
I love being able to create new world and people. It also a good excuse to day dream.
Tell us about your latest project.
Every month, I send a ‘slice-of-life’ short story about Aoi, an erotic voice actor, and Sato a nerdy accountant to people signed up for my newsletter. I love creating stories about the ups and downs of making their relationship work for the long haul. In the April story, Aoi wanted to get a pet. Sato is unsure at first but agrees that they can dog sit for a friend. The dog ends up chewing one of Sato’s favorite action figures.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was eight, we were given a class assignment to write a story. While the other students created ones that were one or two pages, mine was over ten.
What drew you to writing romance/erotica?
I love seeing the development of getting two people who seems like they’d never fit into a relationship and watching them grow together.
Which book(s) have influenced your writing style the most?
I adore Marcel Proust and his descriptions. Also, the book Maurice by E.M. Forster has influenced the way I write a romance story.
Share a piece of your work that showcases our writing style best.
This is from the novella Happy Merry Christmas:
Somehow, even with two glasses of beer in him, Aoi couldn’t muster up the courage to tell Sato he was going away for their perfect Christmas Eve that Aoi had insisted on planning out a month ago. Sato jumped in front of him and walked backwards to keep up with Aoi’s pace.
“Are you cold?”
“No …” Of course Aoi was cold. It was snowing and his jeans were ripped, but it would only worry Sato if he admitted it. The next thing he’d do was offer up his jacket.
“Are you sure? Your jacket looks thin, and you’re small, so you naturally lose more body heat.”
Aoi stopped; his shoes scuffing against the sidewalk. “What?”
“Like a chipmunk.”
“I’m not a chipmunk.”
“You know what I mean. You can wear my jacket if you want.”
The jacket in question would be three times bigger than Aoi’s size; it would go past his knees, and his hands would be buried in the sleeves. There was no way he was wearing it. It would be one of those moments Sato would think of every time he was with him, and he’d get a dopey grin on his face and say he was thinking of nothing.
“What would you wear?” Aoi picked up his pace, his cheeks growing warm.
“It’s not like you can fit into my jacket.”
“I have my blazer underneath.”
“I’ll be fine. We’re almost at the train station.”
“Are you sure?”
Aoi loved that look in Sato’s eyes, the one that made Aoi lose track of time and want to forget the world. He wanted nothing more than to reach out and pull Sato into a deep embrace, but they were half a block from the train station. There were at least three dozen people dotting the streets. The world was not his and Sato’s alone.
“I’m fine.” Aoi gestured to the station. “Let’s go before we miss the last train.”
“Are you sure you’re not freezing?”
Aoi walked away, leaving Sato behind for four steps until he took two strides and was again by Aoi’s side. Sato bought their tickets and made their way to the last train of the night. It was crowded with drunks and disheveled salarymen on their phones going home after their own night of drunken revelry. They managed to find a seat across from a young man passed out and smelling like vomit.
Putting his duffle bag into his lap, Aoi bit the inside of his cheek. He still needed to tell Sato about canceling their Christmas Eve plans. It had been impossible with his co-workers there, and somehow a crowded train filled with drunks seemed like a worse place.
As the minutes passed, the clanging of the train did little to untangle Aoi’s nerves. Aoi took out his phone and thumbed through it. He couldn’t really do anything with Sato until they were safe in his apartment. He pulled up the train’s schedule from Tokyo to Hokkaido. Perhaps he could find some way to get back sometime before Christmas Eve.
Aoi licked his lips. “Sato …”
“Remind me that I need to tell you something when we get home.”
Name three of your best writing tips.
- Don’t edit until you completed your first draft.
- Make your characters suffer.
- think about your book every day.
Dead or alive, name the writer you wish were your mentor and why.
Neil Gaiman. I would love to dive deep into this brain and figure out how he comes up with his unique story ideas.
What would you say is your own interesting writing quirk?
Did I mention I have 37 different teas? I always make a pot of tea and start writing away.
Shout out an indie writer whose work you love.
I have a big soft spot for Lyssa Darling and her vampire novels.
Do you have any specific writing goals in your radar?
I plan on releasing two more Aoi/Sato books this year as well as two more in my thriller series!
Thanks for joining us today. Readers, feel free to stalk this sexy author at the following links:
Website & Blog: www.amytasukada.com