This Week’s Guest Is Romance Writer Patricia Kiyono
It gives me great pleasure to welcome Patricia to my blog. Patricia writes a mix of historical and contemporary romance. Thanks for stopping by Patricia,
Tell us something about yourself – where do you live, with who, marital status, children etc.
I live in the southwestern part of Michigan, USA with my husband of 32 years. Between us we have five kids, three of whom are married, and nine grandchildren – so far. Our second granddaughter recently married, so now we’re ready for the next generation! I retired from full-time teaching eight years ago, and now, when I’m not writing, I teach at a university part-time and spoil my grandkids.
What inspired you to write romance?
I taught elementary school for twenty-eight years, while raising my daughters and helping out with my husband’s children. Things were very hectic and in order to relax at the end of the day I’d often read a romance. With a well-written book, I would get tied up in their conflicts, but by the end of the book everything was resolved and they would live happily ever after – and then I could sleep! I wanted to create something like those books.
Do you use a pen name? Why?
I use a pen name because I have a lot of educational materials published under my real name and wanted to keep them separate.
Who helps with your writing, critique partner, writing group?
I belong to two writing groups as well as a critique group, and my youngest daughter is my proof reader. She also helps me with my younger characters.
Publisher or indie?
All six of my romance titles are published through Astraea Press. I have a seventh title, a regency romance novella, coming out next week! I would not want to self-publish. I’d rather earn less on a book and have a product that’s much better than anything I could do on my own. With a publisher, I have editors, a cover artist, and someone doing some marketing.
What do your family think about your writing?
They are all very supportive and proud of me, but not many of them have actually read any of my books, Iother than my daughter the proofreader, who has read EVERYTHING I’ve written.)
Do you have an office?
Now that the kids are all on their own, we have extra rooms, and I’ve converted one into an office, sewing room. But I do most of my writing in my family room in my recliner. My husband goes to bed around 6 pm so I have plenty of quiet time to write.
Tell us all about your latest release.
The Samurai’s Garden released in November 2012. I started writing it in the summer of 2005, when I first retired from teaching. I’d heard stories about a samurai ancestor, and tried to imagine what he must have been like.
Here’s the blurb:
Hiro Tanaka prepared for a life as a samurai warrior, but his world changed when Japan’s feudal system was abolished. Now, he must find a new vocation. He travels alone, going north to the island of Hok-kaido. Many other samurai wander through the country and are known as ronin. Some have forsaken their honorable way to prey on the less fortunate.
Hanako Shimizu experienced first-hand the devastation caused by these disreputable wanderers. The previous winter, they raided her farm and killed her husband. Now, she needs to rebuild but has no money and no prospects — except for the dubious intentions of the town merchant.
When Hiro, tired of his wandering, encounters Hanako in the market, arguing with the merchant, he poses as her late husband’s cousin then offers to help her on the farm in ex-change for a place to stay. Working on the land, Hiro finally finds the peace he has been seeking. But the reappearance of the rogue ronin, led by an unscrupulous leader from Hiro’s past, forces him to take up his swords again. But now, the stakes are higher.
This time, he’s fighting from the heart.
Here’s a short excerpt, from where Hiro and Hanako first meet. Hanako is trying to purchase some livestock to rebuild her farm, but the merchant has another kind of business in mind:
“Six months is a long time for a fertile young woman to be without a man in her bed,” leered the portly merchant. “I think Shimizu-san would not want you to be alone.”
I was alone even when he was with me.
“I am not alone. I have his spirit with me in the obutsudan.” The tiny wooden box in which her husband’s ashes rested hardly resembled a true shrine, but it was enough to satisfy the proprieties of a grieving widow. Reminding herself of her mission, she faced Sato-san with resolve, but kept her gaze focused on a point just below his chin, knowing he would not welcome direct eye contact with a woman.
“You flatter me with your attention, Sato-san, but for now I must concentrate on rebuilding my farm. After all, I wouldn’t be able to bring a respectable dowry into a marriage with the present state of my property. Now, I have offered a fair price for this cow and those two chickens.”
Sato-san was not fooled by Hanako’s gentle rebuff. His lips pressed together and he scowled. “I deal only with men,” he finally responded as he turned away from her.
Hanako chewed her lip and took a deep breath, admonishing herself not to lose her temper. No matter how unreasonable Sato-san chose to be, she couldn’t hope to conduct business with him if she lost control of her emotions.
She opened her mouth, ready to present another argument, but another voice, one with deep, melodic tones, made all her thoughts disappear.
“I see you have chosen well, my little flower. What price have you and this gentleman agreed upon?”
Hanako’s mouth closed as she tried to put a face with the voice. It was deep and rich, full of confidence and strength. It belonged to a man of power. The man’s speech was much more formal than the casual dialect used by locals.
“Who are you?” Sato-san demanded.
Hanako wondered, too. She turned to look at the mystery speaker. He stood head and shoulders above the unsavory Sato-san, with muscles born of hard physical work, but his facial features radiated intelligence, and his bearing hinted at an aristocratic upbringing. Two swords hung at his side, a testament to his position as a samurai. She’d heard rumors of new laws eliminating their powers, but knew no one in this sleepy village would dare argue with this man’s right to carry his swords.
“I am Hiromasa Tanaka. I am not familiar with the merchants in this area, so I sent my intended to find the livestock and supplies we need. If all is ready, I will pay you, and we will be on our way.”
“Your intended? But Shimizu-san just told me she was still grieves for her late husband.”
“Yes, she still grieves. It is normal. But her husband was a cousin and a longtime friend, and I promised him I would care for her. When she is ready, we will marry. Until then, I will take care of the business of the farm.”
Before Hanako could blink, the stranger had made the purchase and had turned to lead the cow out of the stockyard. He indicated with a regal nod for her to pick up the cage of chickens, ignoring her frustrated glare. Without a word, he started down the road leading away from the village. Helpless to do anything else, she followed at the customary three paces behind him. He had the animals she wanted, and nothing would be gained by making a scene here.
Some silly questions
Do you wear glasses? Yes
What’s your favourite pizza topping? Ham and mushroom
How do you like your coffee? With a flavored creamer.
Tea or coffee? I like both!
Beer, wine or spirits? None. I’m allergic to alcohol.
Favourite colour? Blue
Coffee shop or ice cream parlour? Neither – I’m too cheap to spend money at either one.
Do you put on makeup in the morning or before leaving the house? No
Easiest child to raise – boys or girls? I’m not sure – I didn’t think any of them were easy!
What’s some of the things on your bucket list – I want to travel more – haven’t been to South America, Africa, or Oceania yet.
If retiring to another country/state which would you chose – why? I’d like to go someplace where it’s always warm!
You can find Patricia through the following links: