Tell us about Love in Translation in 25 words or less.
An American woman finds herself unexpectedly in Japan to search for a long lost relative who could reveal the identity of the father she never knew.
When did you first begin writing?
I didn’t start writing fiction until my early 40s when I started a job as a technical writer. Many of my colleagues were writing fiction on the side and I joined in. One thing led to another and then I decided to take a creative writing course at a community college—that was when I first started writing short stories. I got a few published and that led to me starting to write novels, but it took a long time to get one published.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Japan and Japanese culture have been a big impact on my writing because they have been important in my life. I lived in Japan for a while and ended up marrying a Japanese man. In college I studied the Japanese language.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on my third novel, which ironically has very little to do about Japan.
What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?
My favorite is the revision process: reworking rough material until it’s just right. My least favorite part is writing that rough material!
What tips would you offer to aspiring writers?
Spend time on learning your craft and practicing writing. Don’t be in such a hurry to publish. Find good readers and consultants who can give you honest, constructive feedback on your manuscript and who can help you know when it’s ready to be sent out.
Do a quick character study on yourself:
Favorite white wine: Chardonnay
Favorite red wine: Pinot Noir
Pet Peeve: People who write “loose” when they mean “lose”
Favorite beauty item: flat iron
Favorite places to buy clothes: Anthropologie and H&M
Top Bookstores: Books Inc. (San Francisco Bay Area), Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA)
Dream job: Real estate agent with her own show on HGTV
Favorite cities: Paris, San Francisco, New York, Laguna Beach
Favorite TV shows: Mad Men, 30 Rock, Modern Family
Most hated food: Any kind of beans (except jelly)
Favorite sushi: chirashi