'Rise' Influences and How the Book Came About
Greetings! My name is Amy Winters-Voss and I write Japanese myth-based urban fantasy. Today I'd like to share how my book Rise came about. If you would have asked me ten years ago if I'd be releasing an Asian mythological urban fantasy book, I would have laughed thinking it was impossible. But here we are! Rise: The Liminal Chronicles is a reality, almost two and a half years after I first started writing.
Japan Trip InfluenceFast forward to a year later. December 1, 2018. I was on the plane to Seattle trying to fend off the jitters for the basic conversation level Japanese Language Proficiency Test, listening to ONE OK ROCK’s song ‘Stand Out Fit In’. I remember all too well what it was like to be on the outside when I was younger. To be different. So, the story bubbled up from inside and I began writing. I also wrote out of an excuse to dig deeper into the culture and to deal with the growing desire to return. If I couldn't visit in person, I could via story. Not only did I research more about Japan, but I had to learn how to write well and write a book-length story.
Other InfluencesSo many things influenced this book, so I'll keep the list down to a minimum. Lol! What modern Japan fan hasn't been influenced by anime and manga? For many, it's a first taste of the wonders of the country. I watched the Ruroni Kenshin anime and bought the series of manga in Japanese to read side by side with a translation when my eldest was a baby. It's one of those stories that stands the test of time because both my kids (one teen and one adult) enjoy the story too. What makes the story powerful is Kenshin's struggle over his past and his vow to not kill again.
This story of a yakuza starting over by opening a soba soup shop with his friends moved me. If you're not familiar with the word, the yakuza are the Japanese mob. Seeing Nakamoto-san's struggle as he and his friends worked hard to go straight inspired me to dig in to find out more about what it's like for notorious gangsters. There is such a stigma against them that it's hard to keep a job. The song 'Rise' for the League of Legends tournament came out in the fall of 2018. I'm a big Glitch Mob fan. So, when the band put out a teaser for it, fans like me were clamoring for more. The words hit me like a tsunami and I knew my MC would have to face similar odds. And yes, this is where the title for my book came from. I debated because words like 'Ascension' and 'Emergence' sound fabulous. My character, Umeji, is smart, but he's not well educated. He'd choose 'Rise' over anything fancy. So the song became the unofficial theme for the book. Kintsugi (repairing a broken vessel with lacquer and gold). See this article on Medium for more info on this lovely traditional art.
Yakuza at Sanja Matsuri by Isageum
End RemarksThank you so much for joining me today as I shared about the origins of 'Rise'. While my tale is one of fantasy, I hope 'Rise' will inspire readers to take a stand and support others. Everyone, from every faith, can do this. How will you be the difference?
Find Out More About the Liminal Chronicles
Check out the series website liminalchronicles.com to learn about the characters, location, races, lore, and free stories related to the book.
Want to Read Rise?
Rise is available at these retailers in ebook and paperback format. An audiobook is expected to follow after launch.
You can read the first two chapters of Rise, by clicking on the cover below.
About the Author
Amy is a former programmer turned author after her first trip to Japan in 2017. Now she writes Japanese myth-based urban fantasy to reconnect with the country and culture that captured her heart. She lives in South Dakota with her supportive husband, two wonderful kids, a mellow old cat who adopted the family when he was a tiny stray, and three wily and crazy ferrets.
You can read more about her and find the occasional ferret picture at amywintersvoss.com.