The e-book can be bought on the US, UK, German and French versions of Amazon - but unfortunately not Amazon Japan. The paperback should be available through the same sites in a couple of weeks or so, once the cover is sorted and everything checked. It’s been a long time coming - I started the book way back in 2007.
In this blog I plan to write not only about my novel, but also about self-publishing and e-publishing in general, Japan and Japanese history, and other things too. Some bits of this may interest some of you more than others, but I hope you will dip in from time to time.
As a first blog entry, I want to answer briefly what I think is the most important question: why this story? Of all the things to write about, why choose 1860s Japan? Well, the Japan part is easy, given it has been home for most of the past 13 years and a passion for even longer. But why this particular part of Japanese history? There is an earnest answer: because the collapse of the Shogunate and the “restoration” of the Emperor marked the birth of modern Japan, a major world power, and until the rise of China in the past 20 years the only non-Western power to emerge in the past five hundred years of dominance by Europe and its colonial offshoots. It’s important.
But there is a better answer for a novelist - because it’s so much fun! The Japan of 150 years ago has such a lot going on and is such a fascinating story. You have not only a clash of civilisations, but a domestic political clash between reformers and conservatives and a clash of great powers between Britain and France. Mixed in with all this is plenty of military action, intrigue, heroism and great characters. It is a real shame that Westerners do not on the whole know much if anything about this enthralling period of history, and my aim is through fiction to bring it to life as best I can.