I was born in Beloit Wisconsin on Nov．6, 1930, enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17, and became an aviation electronicsman. As an aircrewman with Patrol Squadron 6, I flew 79 missions out of Japan during the Korean War. A subsequent assignment in 1954 took me to Rome, Italy, where I served with the Naval Attaché and where acquaintance with Japanese diplomats led to my return to Japan as a student in 1957.
After graduating from Tokyo’s Sophia University in 1962, I freelanced as a translator, then became a correspondent in 1966 covering Japan’s healthcare sector until retirement in 2004. My retirement took me to a new home in my wife’s hometown of Otsuchi on Japan’s Sanriku Coast. There, I returned to an earlier ambition of creating woodblock prints, but that was ended by the tsunami of March 11, 2011.
My latest book, “Tsunami Reflections,” provides insights on that disaster. I authored two earlier books, “Traditional Crafts of Japan” and “Pharma Delegates,” and also translated a number of works from Japanese into English.
What inspires you to write?
A desire to share with others those aspects of events I have experienced that I think people might find of interest, especially in connection with Japan where I have been a resident for over 50 years.
Tell us about your writing process.
Well, I am sort of an outliner in that I first write a Table of Contents (TOC), then revise the TOC as I work my way through the manuscript. This approach keeps me on track while at the same time allowing plenty of freedom to add new material or make other changes.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Who are your favorite authors?
My all-time favorite writer is James Michener, a man I was able to meet for a chat at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo when he visited Japan in the late 1960s. “Tales of the South Pacific” and other earlier works had great appeal for me, although this appeal lessened with his later works. Non-fiction is my favorite genre, especially memoirs and history books. Unfortunately, I have had little time in recent years to read fiction even when I see a title that grabs my interest.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My earlier books were published by known publishing houses such as Tuttle, Weatherhill, and Kodansha, but myy last book, “Tsunami Reflections,” was self-published under the Telemachus Press imprint. I made this choice because the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that scoured clean Japan’s Sanriku coast was fast becoming history in July of 2014 when I finished the manuscript and there was little time for the long, drawn out process of dealing with a regular publisher.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Both print and ebook publishing will continue for many more years to come, but I think ebooks will eventually be the general rule. One reason for this is that they can offer the reader the option of manipulating photo or type sizes, which several readers of “Tsunami Reflections” have commented on in a positive way.
What genres do you write?
Non-fiction and memoir.
What formats are your books in?
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