Hello Book Smugglers! We hope the holiday season started off right for you. I love reading all year long, but the best part of this year is when your wallet gets a break from buying books. If you haven’t already sent your 2022’s to-read list to Santa, you’ll want to add Kenji and Yuki: A Japanese Tale to your list. Accomplished author, Hailey Sawyer has published a fantastic read about two women, sixteen-year-old Yuki and seventeen-year-old Kenjiro Furukawa. Both women are dealing with their own struggles and as luck would find them, they meet. They become fast friends through conversations, stories, and outings. The reader can only hope that through these experiences the two women can overcome their own life struggles. I’ll let Hailey, take it from here!
Was there a book or author that you admired that played a role when developing your book?
There were many different things that inspired/influenced the development of Kenji and Yuki: A Japanese Tale that I admired. One of those was The Catcher in The Rye by J.D Salinger. What I particularly enjoy about it is that, despite the fact that the book takes place in the 1940’s, Holden’s voice still sounds authentic even today. If you want to get an idea as to how to write an authentic teenaged character, I think Holden is still a good example.
It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
Oh absolutely! By believing in what you’re writing, it can make your work feel more genuine and soulful.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing? What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
For me, the hardest part about writing is coming up with the middle part of a story. When I do it, it’s kind of like I’m traveling through thick fog in order to get to my destination. The easiest aspect would be editing the story. I feel that the editing process allows me to take a step back and really see what works and what doesn’t.
Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Yes, I have. In terms of how long these blocks last, it seems random. Some will be as short as an hour and others will be as long as a couple days. In my experience, I think one of the most helpful pieces of advice in overcoming writer’s block is rule number nine of Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling that involves writing down what would not happen next. By getting those kinds of things out of the way, I feel like it makes it easier for me to figure out what I actually do want to happen next.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
A couple things actually. First, some people will suggest consuming good media as a way to learn how to write good stories. While I do agree with this sentiment, I think people should also consume bad media as well. By consuming both good and bad media, you obtain a much more well-rounded understanding of how to write and how not to write stories. Second, don’t forget to grab a copy of Kenji and Yuki: A Japanese Tale and drop a review of it on Goodreads, Amazon, or whereever else. Whether your review is positive, negative, or neutral, it’ll be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for reading, and please remember that authors appreciate honest reviews, wherever they are posted.
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