Young adult author
creative writing Teacher
Are you Japanese?
No. I'm Scottish-American. My husband Toshi is Japanese.
Have you ever been to Japan?
Yes, I've been going to Japan every summer with my kids since they were 4 and 6 years old. We stay with their grandparents in a rural part of Gifu Prefecture for about a month each summer.
Are you fluent in Japanese?
Despite taking Japanese 102 four times (4!!!) as an adult, no, I am not. I do know enough to be able to eat, go shopping, find the bathroom, and use mass transportation most of the time. I can read hiragana, katakana, and about 100 basic kanji. My teen-aged children are not fluent either, but they are working on it. I have a hard time conjugating verbs, but my food vocabulary is quite impressive.
You look familiar. Did I meet you at an anime con once?
Maybe. I've been presenting at Saboten Con in Phoenix for several years now. I've also done presentations at Con-nichiwa, Taiyou Con, and Phoenix Comicon. I don't always wear my Author Hat though. You may know me better there as my alter ego, The Obento Lady.
What are you passionate about?
Literacy, biracial/bicultural kids, empowering girls, and supporting the arts. Therefore, it will be no surprise that these things overlap sometimes in the organizations I give my time and resources to: Kids Need to Read, Hapa Day, and Girl Scouts. I'm also a former Band Mom and currently a Dramamama.
Can you read my manuscript and give me feedback?
Unfortunately, with my current schedule and demands, I can't. I'm not even taking on paid freelance work right now. A great place to find people to review your work--both other writers and paid professionals--is by joining a professional organization. There are many different specialty groups depending on what you write. My work has been greatly improved by the guidance I've received through SCBWI and RWA.