|photos courtesy of the author|
Christina, please could you tell us a little about The Gilded Fan and how you came to write it?
The Gilded Fan is the sequel to The Scarlet Kimono and features Midori, the daughter of the hero and heroine of that novel. I hadn’t intended to write a sequel, it just sort of happened. Some characters are hard to let go of, and I found that I couldn’t leave them to their fate after all. I had to find out what happened next.
I had done quite a lot of research for the first book and during that time I also visited Japan with my family. We went to Nagasaki to see the reconstruction of a small island called Dejima, which is where foreigners were allowed to trade in the 17th century. In fact, only Dutchmen were permitted there and by the 1640s all other nations had been expelled from Japan. Those Dutch traders had to stay on this small island (you can literally walk across it in minutes!) and not set foot on the mainland for years on end, even though it was only across a small bridge. It must have been unbearable! Anyway, it proved to be the perfect setting for the start of my heroine’s adventures, as she has to find passage on a ship bound for Europe. And having been there made it much easier to describe.
What mediums do you use to help with you research (eg library, internet, mood boards, pinterest etc)?
I usually start by buying books or borrowing them from the library to learn about the general history of the place and period I’m writing about. Then I look for books I might need on more specific subjects, such as clothing, food, customs and so on. I make notes on everything I think I might need and type them up, putting them in alphabetical order under headings so that I’ll know where to find them later.
I try to find photos on the internet of someone whose looks I can base my hero and heroine on (it helps to have something to look at, I think), which I put on my notice board. And I check the internet for other snippets of interest to do with the place/period I’m researching. Once I have all that, I will start to write and I carry on until I run out of steam. When that happens, I might sit down and try to do a brief outline of where I want the story to go next, before continuing. And so it goes on until I’m done - a little bit chaotic, but it works for me!
How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?
It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?
Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?
During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…
My review for The Scarlet Kimono can be found here
The lovely team at ChocLit are offering a copy of The Scarlet Kimono to one lucky UK reader.
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Please see giveaway policy. Ends 20th Feb 2013. UK only.