Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Author interview and book giveaway: Wendy Nelson Tokunaga

Today, we've got the wonderful Wendy Nelson Tokunaga here to chat. She's going to tell us all about her novel, MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT, and even give away two copies! Yes, TWO!!!

Enter a comment below to enter to win a copy! But now, without further ado, let's chat with Wendy!


Tell us about MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT in 25 words or less.

Ignoring her mother’s prophetic words, “Running off with a foreigner will bring you nothing but trouble,” a Japanese woman follows her fiance to the U.S. (I think that’s 26 words!)

When did you first begin writing?

From a young age I was always drawn to words and reading, but my real dream was to be a singer-songwriter, ideally fronting an all-girl rock band. After many adventures in the world of rock and roll, but without much to show for it, I found myself working as a technical writer at a database company in Silicon Valley. Every other tech writer seemed to be a closeted fiction writer, and I too became interested in writing fiction. I took a couple of creative writing classes at a local community college and eventually got a few short stories published in some small literary journals. From there I went on to writing long fiction. After receiving hundreds and hundreds of rejections on my first four novels, I finally landed a publishing deal with my fifth, MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT.

What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

My favorite part of writing is revision—I can spend hours tweaking a chapter. I read out loud to make sure I’ve gotten the right rhythm down, and look for places where I can improve the prose, dictionary and thesaurus at arm’s reach. On the other hand, I find it very difficult to write new material. I hold my nose and persevere, all the while my inner critic imploring, “This really stinks, you know.” But once I slog through it, then I can revise, and I’m happy again.

Give us a quick character study on yourself...

I’m a late bloomer and a Gemini who is always multitasking, dealing with multiple people and situations at the same time, whether in- person or via email, Facebook, MySpace, blogging, etc. My current favorite TV show is “30 Rock,” and my favorite hobby is eating out—I’m always researching new restaurants with Zagat, Chowhound, Yelp, etc. I like all kinds of music, but especially electronica, dance, and J-pop.

My husband surfs almost daily, but I am the most unathletic person I know. I have to force myself to get on the treadmill and I so do not do bicycles. The only exercise I don’t mind is yoga because my body actually feels good while I’m doing it, though not as good as when I get a massage, which is another favorite activity (and one I wish was less expensive!). I also enjoy clothes shopping and cannot pass up trips to Anthropologie or H&M. I love to travel and have been to Japan at least thirty times, but the ideal would be to have a trans-oceanic highway spanning from San Francisco to Tokyo so I could drive my Scion instead of taking a plane ride.

What’s next for you?

My second novel comes out in Fall 2009. It’s called LOVE IN TRANSLATION and is about an American woman who finds herself unexpectedly in Japan tracking down a long, lost relative who may hold a clue to the identity of the father she never knew.


Want to win a copy of MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT? Write a comment below and you're entered!  Want extra entries?  That can be arranged....  Blog about it for another entry.  Become of follower of this blog for another entry, too.  

Winners (two, yes, TWO winners!) will be announced on January 28th.

41 comments:

Kaye said...

Wow! From rock band to technical writer. You ARE versatile. Your book sounds good and I love the title. Please enter me in the drawing.
florida982002[at]yahoo dot com

Brooke Reviews said...

Love in Translation sounds good! :) I so know the feeling about bikes/working out. I wish I could surf everyday, although I'm scared of sharks! lol

Meljprincess said...

Hi Wendy,
I was in a band years ago in Orlando called, New Love Theory. I've had lots of adventures in the world of rock and roll too. What are some of yours?
I would love to win and read MIDORI. Your description (in 26 words) was great!

Mel K.

The Not So Closet Geeks said...

I'd love to be entered.

not_so_cg[at]yahoo[dot]com

K. Cleaver said...

I would also love to be entered. Thanks!

Lauren said...

Please enter me into the giveaway!

Thank you

Sheri S. said...

The book sounds great - please enter me! (I'm alread a follower of your blog :) Thanks!

taterbug said...

Count me in the running. Sounds like a great book!

liane66 said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

Victoria Law said...

I'd love to be entered in the book giveaway.

Sherri said...

I lived in Japan when I was a kid and my little sister and brother were born there. Would find a book incorporating chick-lit with Japanese culture very interesting.

Margay said...

I would love a chance to win this book. It sounds like it has a great premise.
Margay

Anonymous said...

I love the catchy titles of your books... super cool. I would like to be entered into the drawing please.. thank you. Stephanie@abooktoremember.net

Nicole said...

I left a more in-depth comment over on the MySpace blog too.

Please enter me into the contest!

Thank you so much!

Aimee said...

Thanks for the great interview and contest!

mindy said...

what a wonderful interview and thanks for the giveaway

kathy55439 said...

Sound like a great read....

Valorie said...

I love your taste in music! Electronica should always be high on a list of favorite music genres.

I would love to be entered and I blogged about the contest here:
http://morbid-romantic.net/2009/01/19/book-giveaways-0119-0125

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this.

Thanks,

Stacie said...

I'd love to be entered.

donnas said...

Your book sounds great.

Please enter me. I am also a follower in Google Reader.

wendy said...

I'm a Wendy too! I would love to read this, so heres to hopng that I win!

madamerkf at aol dot com

Meljprincess said...

Will Wendy be around to answer our questions? Thanks.

Wendy Nelson Tokunaga said...

I'm here and would love to answer any questions you have. So pleased to see all the comments. A big ARIGATO (thank you) to everyone! :-)

chstress said...

WOw, this book sounds truly great.

Shawnee G. said...

Sounds like a fun read, written by a fun lady.

Renee G said...

I'd love to read a copy of this.

rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

traveler said...

Your book sounds delightful and unique. What a great interview! Thanks for this great giveaway.

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

okibi-insanity said...

I love the sounds of Midori and Lost in Translation. Please enter me for the contest.

Sue
okibi_insanity[at]yahoo[dot]com

herblady said...

Wendy, I have read excerpts of your book before but I would love to read the whole thing! Thanks for the interview, and thanks, Brenda, for the chance to win it.

hrbeck_98 (at) yahoo (dot) com

writemeg said...

I just read a great review of Midori By Moonlight and would love to win a copy! Thanks for the opportunity :)

Megan
writing.meg[at]gmail.com

KM said...

Thanks! I'd love to read it!

Alyce said...

I would love to be entered to win this book! Thanks!
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alyce said...

I blogged about it here:

http://athomewithbooks.blogspot.com/2009/01/weekly-giveaway-roundup_24.html

Cheryl (Lucky Ladybug) said...

I'd love to read this :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

lucky[dot]ladybug[at]verizon[dot]net

Cheryl (Lucky Ladybug) said...

I blogged about the giveaway :
http://luckyladybug.wordpress.com/bloggy-giveaways/
lucky[dot]ladybug[at]verizon[dot]net

Cheryl (Lucky Ladybug) said...

I'm following you on Blogger :)
lucky[dot]ladybug[at]verizon[dot]net

bridget3420 said...

Looks like a great book!

bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

Julie said...

Midori by Moonlight sounds like a great read - thanks for the chance to win a copy! Julie

drey said...

I'm in - Midori by Moonlight sounds like something up my alley. After all, I married a foreigner, lol! =)