Naomi Hirahara's Blog (45)

Edgar nominees to be announced soon!

The Edgar nominees will be announced any day now, and I'm on pins and needles. I participated as a judge in one of the categories and the reading of so many books renewed my love for the genre.

Who will be nominated for best first novel? Best paperback original? Do you have any favorites?

I'll be attending this year's Edgar banquet as a fan and I'm really looking forward to it.

Added by Naomi Hirahara on January 18, 2008 at 2:36am — 4 Comments

Freshly Toasted

A big bachi sandwich anyone?

It's smaller than a bread box or toaster -- yes, it's the first Mas Arai mystery in mass market format! I got it in the mail today from my editor. Hopefully it'll be in a store near you on Jan. 29 for the reasonable price of $6.99.

I'm happy that the type isn't that small. The cover is just a smaller version of the trade paperback, but it still looks pretty spiffy with some nice quotes from the Chicago…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on January 12, 2008 at 12:49pm — No Comments

Blog Comments for Sale!

Courtesy of

Unbelievable, isn't it?

Added by Naomi Hirahara on November 7, 2007 at 1:48am — 1 Comment

Publishers Weekly's Best Mysteries of the Year

They are:

Songs of Innocence (Richard Aleas)

The Cloud of Unknowing (Thomas Cook)

American Detective: An Amos Walker Mystery (Loren D. Estleman)

The Commission (Michael Norman)

The Collaborator of Bethlehem (Matt Benyon Rees)

The Water's Lovely (Ruth Rendell)

The Snow Empress (Linda Joh Rowland)

Person of Interest (Theresa Schwegel)

Kept (D.J. Taylor)

Also under the fiction category include:

The Tin Roof Blowdown…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on November 6, 2007 at 6:01am — No Comments

Watts Towers and Other Places of Beauty

My friend Essie from Nashville isn't your typical L.A. tourist. No, she doesn't want to do Hollywood or the Getty. She wants to see the Watts Towers and the Virgen de Guadalupe murals outside liquor stores in Boyle Heights (East Los Angeles). Good thing my husband is from Boyle Heights; he's the perfect tour guide.

I like Essie because she makes me see things in a new way. She really believes long…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on October 17, 2007 at 2:57am — 3 Comments

Doris Lessing Wins Nobel Prize for Literature!

She was one of my favorite writers in high school. In fact, my AP English essay was on one of her novels, SUMMER BEFORE THE DARK. I think that I may even have unconsciously named my first mystery after that book!

Added by Naomi Hirahara on October 12, 2007 at 3:20am — No Comments

Wisdom from a Middle-Grade Book Writer

Poor children's book author Lisa Yee. Her computer broke down, taking with it her latest manuscript. She bruised her face after sustaining a fall. And at a book festival this weekend, the bookseller made a mistake and ordered piles of books by Lisa See, the bestselling novelist for grownups.

Instead of being defeated, she directs her blog readers to a Wall Street Journal online piece about these "last lecture" series in which invited professors deliver a lecture as if it is their…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on October 6, 2007 at 2:30am — No Comments

Another Small Press Distributor Bites the Dust

BookWorld, headquartered in Florida, has shuttered its doors, reports Publishers Weekly. I'm not sure what publishers used BookWorld, but it's getting clearer that small presses either need to handle direct distribution themselves or get large enough so that Ingrams or Baker and Taylor will be willing to work with them.

Added by Naomi Hirahara on October 5, 2007 at 3:53am — No Comments

200,000 ARCs for Sale!

Publishers Weekly reports this morning that PMA, the independent book publishers group, is taking a strong stance against the online sale of galleys. It is encouraging its members to no longer do business with Internet outlets who sell galleys and is revoking an fee discount from its membership benefits. The story reports that 200,000 galleys are listed for sale just on! Ouch.

Added by Naomi Hirahara on October 3, 2007 at 3:05am — 2 Comments


The queries and packets have been shipped out by the agent to six publishers. Let's see if anyone bites.

Added by Naomi Hirahara on September 21, 2007 at 5:00am — 4 Comments

The Nihongo Papers

I've started writing an Internet mystery serial for Discover Nikkei (Nikkei means of Japanese descent). Titled "The Nihongo Papers," it's actually a bio terrorism/paranormal thriller involving strawberries (!). It's great fun. I'm supposed to deliver a new installment each month for a year.

Here's the first:…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on September 18, 2007 at 7:15am — 1 Comment

A Book Is Not a Product

Yesterday I went to this amazing pop culture conference, Imprint Life, which discussed Asia's and Asians' role in developing global pop culture. Got me thinking about a lot of things, which I'll probably elaborate more on my website at the beginning of October.

There was a session on blogging, and the panel moderator Josh Spear spoke about this ill-advised web banner campaign that McDonald's embarked on in 2005. It something related to its dollar meal and including the phrase, "I'd…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on September 15, 2007 at 1:24am — 2 Comments

'I Was So Ashamed'

I was channel-surfing last night and watched a host on one of those entertainment TV magazines (I think it was ET) talk about her tummy tuck that her plastic surgeon husband had done on her. She's a mother of two and had a slight tummy roll (yes, they shot it on camera). The program had some gratuitous "after" shots of her proudly baring her now flat midriff. She then expresses that she is so happy, that she was "so ashamed" before. Ashamed? What does having a slightly poofy belly after…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on September 8, 2007 at 3:15am — No Comments

Crossing Genres

My big thing is to think out of the box, especially when it comes to this business of writing.

Case in point:

I just returned from an invigorating day at the national conference of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in Los Angeles. These are some of the things I learned:

+ While mystery book conventions and conferences are often hilarious and entertaining, children's book events can be heart-warming, emotional, and transformative. I can't…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on August 5, 2007 at 5:20pm — 5 Comments

Only in Los Angeles

Went to the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building for jury service yesterday. Never got called up but noticed these cheap-looking posters up on the walls. They resembled movie matinee posters with a different "celebrity" face on each one with the message--the Office of the Los Angeles Jury Commissioner features HARRISON FORD, EDWARD JAMES OLMOS, JAMIE LEE CURTIS, JUDGE LANCE ITO, etc. Supposedly they also spent eight hours in a stuffy room on uncomfortable chairs. Never have seen a celebrity…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on August 1, 2007 at 3:04am — No Comments

Podcast Mania

I've gone crazy about podcasts. Writers Robert Gregory Browne and Brett Battles have done one on writing (, but there's a lot of other resources for authors and readers.

Just started to listen to from this past Book Expo. Listened to an interview with M.J. Rose about her upcoming book and just started the one on ethics and book…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on July 25, 2007 at 5:14am — 1 Comment

Go, Jack Liffey, Go

A very nice and well-deserved profile of mystery writer John Shannon in the L.A. Times:,0,5506891.story?coll=cl-home-more-channels

Added by Naomi Hirahara on June 23, 2007 at 1:36am — 3 Comments

Who am I selling books to?

Apparently, myself.

Galleycat ( reports on the results of A Women and Books 2007 study which describes the typical book buyer:

  • Age 45
  • Married
  • BA degree
  • Lives a large city (population of 500,000 or more)
  • Annual household income of $88,625 or more

Added by Naomi Hirahara on June 5, 2007 at 3:58pm — 4 Comments

Win a Signed Copy of SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN--Murderati Word Jumble

My throat starts to close and my hands get clammy whenever friends at a gathering start talking about board games. “Scramble! Boggle! I bet Naomi’s good at that,”…


Added by Naomi Hirahara on June 1, 2007 at 11:27pm — No Comments

Why I'm Posting So Much on Crimespace

Turned in the middle grade book to my editor today. A week break, and then back to work on a new mystery for grownups.

Added by Naomi Hirahara on May 10, 2007 at 2:08pm — No Comments

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