The short answer is that I write because I must. Whenever I have tried not to write, I have been unsuccessful. My half-finished stories call to me, despite my best efforts to ignore them. Like children abandoned and left to their own devices, they beg me to finish what I’ve started and thereby allow them the chance to grow and develop, to become something more than what they are, and find their places the world.
The more cerebral answer is that I write in order to understand the world and my place in it. The universe is filled with fascinating things, and I want to know about them all! Given my desire to know and learn as much as I can, I draw inspiration from a wide variety of sources, from the obscure to the celebrated. For ideas, I look to popular culture and academia alike, and have been inspired by such disparate sources as JPop and KPop bands, RPG video games, and LGBTQ struggles, to Iron Age Britain, Welsh mythology, and the Age of Chivalry.
As novelists generally like to assert, I have been writing since childhood. The earliest story I can recall having finished was a book I wrote and illustrated in fifth or sixth grade. It was about the German Shepherd Dog my family owned at the time; his name was Max. My teacher was quite enthusiastic about my little book, and I was greatly encouraged to “keep writing,” which I did.
By now, in my mid-fifties, I often feel that I am behind with regard to my potential body of work. To date, I have only published three novels; although the most recent one is the first in a completed trilogy, and I have another trilogy in the works, the first installment of which I am getting ready to publish, as well as numerous half- and nearly-complete books and roughly twenty-three billion ideas.
Writer’s block has never been a problem for me. What continues to thwart me in my quest for a shelf full of my own books is that I have too many interests, if such a thing is possible. To make matters worse (better?), I invariably, and often purposely, choose topics that require heavy-duty research. I was not a member of a boy band during Japan’s Taisho era, but that didn’t stop me from writing “Quintet,” the first book I published.
Even though writing is the overarching theme of my life—I no longer read as a reader, but as a writer—and I hear my literary children calling to me when I leave them alone too long, I am much more than a novelist, and so I do not refer to myself as such. I am simply a person possessed of an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a facility with the written word. Where these two attributes intersect is where you’ll find me.