Book Title: The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn
by Amber A. Logan
Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 336 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: CamCat Books
Release date: Nov 15, 2022
Content Rating: PG. The book is clean, without excessive swearing, no sexual content or graphic violent scenes, etc.
Cracked doesn’t always mean broken.
Grieving her mother’s death, Mari Lennox travels to Kyoto, Japan to take photographs of Yanagi Inn for a client. As she explores the inn and its grounds, her camera captures striking images, uncovering layers of mystery shrouding the old resort—including an overgrown, secret garden on a forbidden island. But then eerie weeping no one else in the inn seems to hear starts keeping her awake at night.
Despite the warnings of the staff, Mari searches the deep recesses of the old building to discover the source of the ghostly sound, only to realize that her own family’s history is tied to the inn, its mysterious, forlorn garden . . . and the secrets it holds.
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Everywhere, really. I’m always on the lookout for fairy tales, folk tales, and old stories that I can retell. Sometimes I find a story and think “I HAVE to write this” and other times I’ll have a vague plot or a specific character in mind and then I have to find a story that it can map onto.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 books would you want with you?
A tricky question, but thanks for giving me three books, instead of just one! I’d have to go with Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Different books for different moods, and all good comfort reads for me.
What advice would you give budding writers?
Always be prepared to move on to the next project. The moment you finish one, start writing on the next. In fact, I love to always have one book in the percolation/plotting stage, one that I’m drafting, and one that I’m editing. When I was in the querying trenches, I would query one book until the next book was ready to go, so that I didn’t have to mourn the shelving of a book because I was already excited and ramping up with the next one. This practice will serve one well as a writer.
Are there any books or writers that have inspired your writing?
Definitely. I take inspiration from many places; I think it important for writers to read widely, in a variety of genres, because you never know where inspiration will strike. I certainly find myself inspired by the Japanese author Haruki Murakami (my PhD thesis heavily involved his writing), and of course I am always influenced by the original stories I am choosing to retell (so, in the case of The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn, I was of course inspired by The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett).
Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite character in The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn is probably Honda-san, the nature-loving Buddhist nun. I love that she is friends with wild animals and is so at ease in her own skin. Plus, she is a creative problem-solver, which is a skill I highly value.
Amber A. Logan is a university instructor, freelance editor, and author of speculative fiction living in Kansas with her husband and two children—Fox and Willow. In addition to her degrees in Psychology, Liberal Arts, and International Relations, Amber holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.
connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Book Title: THE CHAI HOUSE
by Priti Srivastava
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 123 pages
Genre: Dystopian Thriller, Feminist Fiction, Horror
Publisher: Independently Published
Release date: December 8, 2020
Content Rating: R: The story takes place under fascist rule. There are descriptions of war, violence, rape, and forced birth.
The Chai House is a haunting debut novel that explores the complexity of community when individuals are unaware of their own roles in upholding systems of oppression. Swati has spent her entire life trying to live up to her family’s expectations of her. She has learned it is easiest to just do what is asked of her, without resistance; a skill that has helped her survive in the early years of the Knights, an authoritarian regime. When her mother has a request for Swati, she agrees to it as it is the only way to help her young niece have some sort of future. An emotional page turner, The Chai House examines the desire to be true to yourself in a world where familial, cultural, societal, and political values direct you to stay small and stay silent.
1. What made you write a feminist horror novel?Like many authors, I have always written books that I wanted to read. I have always written feminist fiction and thought it was time to try and tell a horror story told from a feminist perspective.
2. Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
This question makes me think of the Bob Ross quote, ‘Beauty is everywhere. You only have to look to see it.’ The same is true of my stories, there is so much inspiration surrounding us, all it takes is a spark and then the time to get words on to paper!
3. What advice would you give budding writers?
My advice comes from the wisdom every writer has – write, write, write & when you are ready, share your words with the world!
4. What is your next project?
I am excited to be writing a post-apocalyptic feminist story that takes place outside of The Chai House universe!
5. What is the last great book you’ve read?
The Hole by Hye-Young Pyun. I could not put this book down and the story stayed with me long after I read the last page.
Meet the Author:
Priti Srivastava lives in Madison, Wisconsin with their best friends. Priti works to create inclusive spaces as they hope that one day everyone will feel as though they belong. When Priti isn’t working or doing chores, they enjoy playing video games, making their friends laugh, eating samosas, and sitting quietly. They also love to read and on the rarest of occasions Priti writes about Priti in the third person. Priti loves to connect with readers. Follow them on social media to request a virtual visit with your book club.
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