This week Naomi Aoki has popped in for a chat. Welcome and thanks so much for visiting!
Why are you doing this interview? (A new book? A new website? A re-release? Just for fun?)
For fun 😊
What started you writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and at sixteen declared I was going to publish a book. At the time I was thinking non-fiction history and would never have considered romance even though I read it quite a bit. But as always happens, life got in the way and it was shoved to the way side until I went back to University and discovered how much I loved putting pen to paper… began dabbling in fanfic and then got the confidence to write original works.
Where do you write?
I’m either at a table I hauled into the lounge so I could work while my computer is charging or sitting on the couch. My cat prefers it when I’m sitting on the couch so she can curl up on my legs.
What do you like to read?
These days the books I read are very much queer and romance. I read very little MF and usually only if a character is transgender. Sub-genre wise… I love romantic suspense, historical romance and paranormal.
What are the three books you’d take to a desert island? Why would you choose them?
Does my kindle count as a single book? (EDITORIAL COMMENT: No! No cheating! 🙂 )
Okay, but choosing three books is hard as a lot of my favourites tend to be a part of a series. But if I have too…. Anna Zabo’s Just Business (Takeover Series Bk2); Tal Bauer’s Whisper; Drake/Elliot’s Shiver. Why? Easy they’ve all got memorable characters who no matter how many times you read the book, you never grow tired of.
Writing is an intrinsically solo occupation. Do you belong to any groups or associations, either online or in the ‘real’ world? How does that work for you?
I belong to my local writer’s group and while some days not much writing gets done or shared, listening to the older members talk about their life can be just as interesting… plot bunny fodder.
Online I belong to New Zealand Rainbow Writers. They are a really supportive bunch of authors who are all ready to lend a hand, an ear or even a virtual shoulder when needed.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing I’m usually reading, gardening or watching anime—or rolling my eyes at my youngest dd’s umpteenth viewing of Gilmore Girls. I love to eat Chinese or Japanese food, especially trying all the weird and wonderful flavours of chips the Chinese shops nearby stock.
Tell me a little bit about your most recent release. What gave you the idea for it? How long did it take to write? What did you enjoy about writing it? What did you hate?
My most recent release was Rueben (Men of Science Book One), an historical novel set in Shanghai, 1878. The idea came about as I thought there really wasn’t many historical novels that involved scientists—or anyone who wasn’t a Lord or a Duke—and the Victorian era is also when a lot of discoveries and theories on the natural world were made, including the theory birds evolved from dinosaurs. Setting it in China was easy. I’ve always loved learning about Chinese culture and graduated with a BA in Chinese earlier this year. (Though my speaking skills are woefully out of practice.) Many stories set in China tend to be during the Song Dynasty or Romance of the Three Kingdoms-esque, but I’m more intrigued with the social and political upheavals associated with the 19th Century. I think it took me four or five months to write. I loved being able to weave Mandarin into the story, but there wasn’t as much as in my previous book.
Reuben, Men of Science #1
Rueben would be the first to admit he was stubborn. He hated being told something wasn’t possible when there was no scientific basis for their claims. So, when his peers told him searching for fossils in China wouldn’t be a worthwhile endeavour, instead of quitting Rueben doubled down his efforts to raise the necessary funds to travel there.
But his arrival in Shanghai started with embarrassment and left Rueben fearing his distracted clumsiness had scared away his translator and guide, Yuan Xi, before they’d even left for their destination: the Taihang Mountains in Shanxi Province.
Yet Rueben hadn’t imagined the most important discovery he’d make in those mountains would be about himself. An overwhelming and confusing discovery that had Rueben wanting to run… had him never wanting to leave Yuan’s side.
Yuan Xi prided himself on being a sought-after translator, capable of hiding his anger despite the way his European employers treated him and his countrymen. Knew how to keep a smile on his face while being treated like a servant; remaining invisible until needed.
But this latest job could be hazardous to his health, and Yuan didn’t mean physically. The endearingly clumsy scientist employing Yuan made him question whether he wanted more than emotionless, casual relationships… and whether taking a risk with his heart might be worth it.
Visit Naomi online
Thank you so much for blog-visiting, I really enjoy getting to know people through these interviews. And Rueben is now on my tbr list!