• Kate Hawthorne

Author Spotlight - Naomi Aoki

Happy Sunday, and welcome to Naomi Aoki.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I live in rural New Zealand, about 2.5 hours from Mt Doom. When I'm not running after my teenagers, and getting into arguments with characters who'd much rather do everything but what I want them to, I can usually be found on the couch reading or watching anime.

How would you describe your brand? What makes one of your books inherently YOU?

My books are very much Asian centered with the main focus being on China and Japan. So far my Japanese set ones are all Yakuza orientated while my Chinese set ones are historical.

Tell us about what you're currently working on.

Tokyo Nights Season Three. It's a Yakuza based serial I started two years ago that got shoved to the side for awhile. Right now I have a couple of chapters written for it, but as it's the final season I'm needing to figure out how it will tie up before I get stuck into it in earnest.

If you could dream cast your favorite book into a movie, whether yours or someone else's - what book would it be and who would you cast?

As an author you always have that dream that maybe one of your books will be turned into a movie... which of course makes it hard to pick one, but I'd choose Rueben (Men of Science Book One).

Rueben: Eddie Redmayne

Yuan Xi: Eugene Lee Yang or Dennis Oh

What does the writing process look like for you? What comes first? How do you start? When do you know you have a good idea vs a dream?

Inspiration can hit at anytime and those plot bunnies can be damn distracting if I'm already working on something, so I have a notebook solely for ideas so that I can come back to them later. Some ideas are really rough--a situation, basic character info and maybe a trope to explore--while others are more detailed including major plot conflict points to be explored and sometimes snippets of dialogue. The story that gets work is usually the one whose characters won't be quiet...and they don't care if I already had a plan in place for the year. A story that remains a dream is one whose characters are never fully formed, but maybe one day they'll start talking to me too.

If you could write about any character or story that you haven't written about yet, what would it be and why?

One of my Dream stories that I'd love to write is an F/F story set in 14/15th century Japan involving a female samurai (yes they existed) and courtesan from Yoshiwara.

Which of your characters do you think is the most under appreciated and why?

I think any of historical characters are underappreciated. Why? It's hard to say. I know that in the history romance genre Regency is more popular than late Victorian and they are set in China as opposed to Great Britain... but it could be anything really.

What is your favorite book? One of yours and one of someone else's.

The favourite book I've written so far is, Rueben (Men of Science Book One) and my favourite to read... Just Business by Anna Zabo, their book is one of my go-to comfort reads.

Favorite show to binge watch?

Ace of Diamond... it's a baseball anime.

What movie have you seen more times than you want to admit?

Grease... though maybe that's not embarrassing to admit.

Where is the best place to find you online?

facebook.com/naomiaokiauthor or facebook.com/groups/KiwiAuthorsRainbowReaders

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