Follow by Email

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy Book 3 TOGETHER

Titles are hard for me.  I can't think of a title until a book is nearly done.  How can I know what it's about until I can read it?

I think some people write to title.  That's more appropriate when the story is mostly about a single person and that person's changes, or when the story is about a particular place or event.

This part of the process is also hard for me.  After copy-editing, I'll just do a quick run-through, then off for formatting, and then I'll proof read.  And then...IT COMES OUT.

Books now come out in dribs and drabs, at this vendor this week, the next two weeks after, and some as many as several months after release.  During this period, Advance Review Copies are sent (the beginning) and the reviews start coming in.  Publicity starts.  It's exciting.

But my head's already off in the next adventure!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy Book 3: TOGETHER

The parts are complete.  They're tucked in their separate files, off for copy editing, a last review, and then off to formatting.

TOGETHER is the title of Book 3.  It's about a theme that I think is consistent through the book, but not rubbed in the reader's face -- something I hate about all the "message" books out there for young and not so young people.  They remind me of homework.   "Fun" homework -- the kind that is usually only marginally better than regular homework.   Boring.

I want to give you a story, an adventure, new things to learn that are fun and interesting.  In stories, people learn, but usually not like the Missouri Mule.  In training a Missouri Mule, the old, apocryphal story goes, you start by hitting it over the head with a 2 x 4 -- just to get its attention.

When a writer sets out to tell a story (as opposed to "send a message") the story has events.  The characters respond to the events and create more.  Through their responses and their trials, tribulations and victories, the characters change and grow.  Each character has a dramatic arc, her or his personal story.  All of these stories weave together to create a book, to create a community, to create events that together form the big dramatic arc of the underlying story. If there are messages there, it's up to the reader to suss them out.

TOGETHER is a story, and a good one.  I hope you enjoy it.   PM on FB if you want an Advance Review Copy.  You get:  a free e-book, soon as they are available.  You give: an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads.  What a deal!

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy
A series of fantasy-adventure novels set in Meiji era Japan by Amazon Best-Selling author Claire Youmans.  For tweens through adults.

Hard and e-formats available at:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I am writing frantically, working on deadline, overscheduled and overwhelmed, to get book 3 out on time. That's around the end of June, first of July, just in time for Summer Vacation, depending on where you buy your books.  It can take as many as twelve weeks for a book to go "live" across all sales platforms all over the world.  In some of the pickiest venues, you won't see it until Back to School.  Either way, look for it!

It's going to be good!   There is magic, the magic of a book that grabs you, hauls you in to its universe and leaves you wanting more.

Unfortunately, writing doesn't end when you think you're done, when you write "The End."  Not even when you send it to its editor.  Not even when you've done what the editor says and are now working on things like illustrations, copy-editing and so forth.

I'm not ready to send it out for a final copy-edit quite yet.  Tomorrow, perhaps.  I'm still applying a last touch of magic.

That's only one reason I haven't been posting here much.  Why is that?  SOMEHOW, I got logged out of my sign-in account and into another account.  The other account can't post here.  I finally decided to fix it, whatever it took, this morning, and that's what I found out and fixed.
How did this happen?   I suspect yukai.  Little, mischief-making yukai.

The word is usually translated as "ghost," but that doesn't really cover it.  As is often the case with Japanese words, the actual definition would take a paragraph, so a related but inaccurate word becomes the "generally accepted translation."  All ghosts are yukai, but not all yukai are ghosts.   Here are a few.

Now, I need to get back to work.

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy
A series of fantasy-adventure novels set in Meiji era Japan by Amazon Best-Selling author Claire Youmans.  For tweens through adults.
Hard and e-formats available at:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I'm a Groupie with a Title

I love science.  That's my problem.  I love ALL of science -- biology, botany, zoology, icthyology, astronomy, cosmology, physics, astrophysics .  I love all of it too much to ever just pick one.

So I'm a groupie.  I hang out at the edges of several specific sciences, following new discoveries and theories with delight.  I don't participate because I lack the credentials and dedication the people who are actual scientists bring to their individual disciplines and research.  I cheer them on, I call them out.  It's a lot of fun.  I'm not even sure they know they have fans.

Why not follow an interest you don't really want to personally pursue as a career?  Here's a great picture from one of mine. They look kind of like dragons, don't they?  The picture is called "Pillars of Creation" and it is a photograph of Space, a very interesting and beautiful place.

Together,  which is the title of Book 3, is progressing nicely.  I'm working on illustrations now, and they're great.  More on that later.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Golden Week

April 29 and May 3, 4 & 5 are national holidays in Japan.  Obviously, anybody who can is going to take as many extra days off as possible to celebrate what is popularly known as Golden Week in the glorious beauty of the Japanese spring.  Dragon Boat races are often set for Golden Week.  They're fun!

Some businesses simply give everyone the extra days off and close down.  Some people do have to work, however, especially those in the transportation, hospitality and entertainment industries who make sure everybody else can have a holiday.  

This means almost everybody's going somewhere, tickets to anything or anywhere will be hard to get, lodging reservations must be made months in advance, traffic will be dreadful, and -- surprise -- almost everybody Japanese will have a wonderful time.

People rarely use up their vacation time in Japan, so tacking a day here and there to national holiday periods is the most vacation time most people get.

Today, it's beautiful here in the mountains.  It's a great day to get outside, and I will.  We'll have snow later in the week and over the weekend, so I'm going to take advantage.

You, too.

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy
A series of fantasy-adventure novels set in Meiji era Japan by Amazon Best-Selling author Claire Youmans.  For tweens through adults.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Spring is a quirky time here in the mountains.  It's sunny and lovely one day, then snowing the next.  It feels like the garden wants to grow and there are blossom buds on the blueberry bushes and strawberry plants.  They're still piled high with mulch, though, because it's still below freezing at night.

'Don't plant before Mothers' Day' is the local folk wisdom, and I'm holding to that.

At the same time, I am stockpiling everything I need to leap into the garden next Sunday.

Now, champing at the gardening bit but unable to act, I have done what my editor required, and am organizing the rest of what needs to be done to get book three out!

There WILL be a three-book boxed set, perfect for new readers of the series.  There will be more period illustrations.  There will be front...  I feel like a warrior, slashing away at any obstacle in my path.  This book is coming out.  The set is coming out.  It's great!

I really do like my job.