Friday, June 26, 2009
FEATURED AUTHOR: Cathy Yardley
Meet Lisa Falloya, an aspiring half-Japanese, half-Italian American manga artist who follows her bliss by moving to Tokyo to draw the Japanese-style comics she's been reading for years. Leaving behind the comforts of a humdrum desk job and her workaholic fiancée, Lisa has everything planned-- right down to a room with a nice Japanese family-- but hasn't taken into account that being half-Asian and enthusiastic isn't going to cut it. Faced with an exacting boss and a conniving "big fish" manga author, Lisa risks her wedding, her friends, and her fears for a shot at making it big.
Cathy Yardley needs to get out more. When not writing or playing with her son, she is probably cruising the Internet, sleeping or watching D-list movies and adding to her unnatural mental store of character-actor trivia. She can hum along with all the theme songs on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" and is learning Japanese from anime. She considers Daria a positive role model. Her family is considering performing an intervention for her addiction to pop culture. Email any time... she ought to be sleeping, but let's face it. She's online. :)
What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
I'd like readers to understand what it's like to be mixed-race, and how attitude in life is more important than anything.
If you could have a conversation with one of your characters who would it be and why?
This is going to sound like a total cop-out, but writing the novels is like having a conversation with my characters. So it's not something I've ever thought about. I'd like to have drinks with the main character, Lisa... especially at Comic-Con!
What was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I suffer from writer's block periodically -- usually when I'm not taking care of myself, or when I just need to take time to figure out what I really want to communicate. That's always rough. The best answer has been to be with writer friends, improve my health, have lots of quiet time and replenishing activities to "refill the well", and to just have faith that the block will go away. It always does.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That if you write because you want to be successful, a block the size of a semi is probably waiting in the wings to wallop you. Not that there's anything wrong with success, per se. But if you lose sight of your love of a great story, and wanting to share that great story, then I think your muse tends to take a hike until you come to your senses.
What's your secret to balancing career and family?
Again, make sure I have at least a little time to myself, or else I can't take care of anything -- not the family, not the books. And I've got the slogan "progress not perfection" taped to my wall.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
My mail is going to change... I'm hoping to move to the Seattle area by the end of the summer. So email is easiest, and fastest: email@example.com. I blog and post news and new releases on my website, http://www.cathyyardley.com/.
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