My book of short stories about the victims of the killer in my debut novel, Headless, is finally here.
Here’s the blurb:
The katana flashes in the night, its blade reflecting the fluorescent glow of the train station lights. A head rolls onto the tracks.
The tales within tell the stories of five of the victims of the Kofu Head Collector, the supernatural serial killer from Headless, book one of The Ghost and the Mask. In “The Peculiar Guest,” an unusual man stays at an inn at the base of Mount Fuji, worrying the innkeepers with his disturbing behavior. In “The Sea Bass,” a Korean-Japanese outcast joins the yakuza and must choose between loyalty to his new family and the life of a kidnapped girl. In “A Distant Clanging,” a salaryman’s obsession over a maid café server is his latest addiction, carrying him into a haunted world of delusion and terror. These stories and more, including a surprise story of an unknown victim not on Akio and Masami’s police briefing, are all tied together with a mysterious man and his supernatural figurines. Is he trying to help or is he playing with their lives?
This book was a longer time coming than I had anticipated, but isn’t that always the case?
I had the opportunity to go back to school in the middle of writing it, and decided I couldn’t pass it up. Trying to juggle writing and school with a toddler at home is a bit like dancing on marbles with jelly on your shoes. Things got a bit sticky. And sometimes painful.
This summer, while trying to edit The Wind on the Blade, I decided to take an intensive Japanese course—a whole year of Japanese crammed into one summer. “Intense” is an understatement. And I thought I wasn’t getting any sleep before summer… There was so much Japanese being crammed in every day, my tears of despair were kanji shaped.
But I powered on. And I was even kind of enjoying it.
And then my dad passed away.
I had dropped the class the Sunday before, because my sister told me it was coming. He’d been sick for a long time and had taken a sudden downturn. I knew there was no way I’d be able to focus on class anymore.
Although he was sick, his mind was sound, and it was just unfortunate health circumstances colliding that took him from us. I can’t tell you how much I wish he could be around to see my kids grow up. My daughter will be born in a month, and she will never know him. And my son is too young. He won’t remember his grandpa who was so full of love and positivity.
I am still numb from it. I know that I haven’t fully processed it, and every moment I wonder when the dam will burst.
Because of my sudden free time away from school, I was able to finally finish up The Wind on the Blade. I would roll it back to unfinished in a heartbeat to have my dad back. But I also know he’d be proud of me to have completed another book. He read the ones I’ve written so far and, even though it wasn’t his genre, he was always enthusiastic and supportive.
I will miss him immensely.
I really like The Wind on the Blade. I’m not, in any way, proclaiming it great literature, I’m simply saying that I enjoyed writing it very much. I enjoyed finding out what happened, and introducing the mysterious Mr. Kazami, who ties all the stories together.
I wrote it because I wanted to give my readers something. And when thinking about what to give them, I realized that those poor victims, who were so cursorily treated in Headless—a name and a brief backstory (if they were lucky)—had lives too. And then I got curious. I wanted to know more about them.
And so I found out. It was exciting. It was enlightening. And it was sometimes sad. Now, you can find out too. I hope you enjoy discovering their stories as much as I did.
A final note, which I explain in further detail inside the book, is that you really should read Headless before you read The Wind on the Blade. Even though the events within take place before Headless. Otherwise Headless will not be the experience I intended. It will have lost its mystery. These stories are intended to be revealed after you know what happens in that first book.
It’s kind of crazy really. Years and years of work, and I just hand it over for nothing. Of course, if you want to support me, you can purchase them. They’re pretty cheap. And you can go on to read book two, No Promises Large Enough, and then anxiously wait for me to finish book three, which is planned to be the last in the series.
Here’s a link to the whole series, if you like that idea.
And… if you have a minute… once you’re done reading, I’d be very grateful for an honest review.
Hope your week is full of wondrous and inspiring things.