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GHOST OF THE BAMBOO ROAD
A Hiro Hattori Novel
A Shinobi Mystery Book 7
BY SUSAN SPANN
When a vengeful spirit terrorizes a mountain village, a ninja and a Jesuit must save the villagers from the phantom’s wrath.
January 1566: En route to Edo, Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo spend the night in a rural mountain village whose inhabitants live in terror of a legendary vengeful ghost. When the innkeeper’s wife is murdered and Father Mateo’s housekeeper, Ana, is blamed for a crime she did not commit, Hiro and Father Mateo are forced to investigate and reveal the truth. But when another woman turns up murdered in the snow, the detectives must face the shocking truth that the vengeful yurei the villagers fear might be more than just a legend after all.
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full–time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
Thank you for inviting me for an interview! Although I practiced law in California for 20 years (primarily as a publishing and contracts lawyer), I retired from practicing law at the end of 2017 to spend a year writing and climbing mountains in Japan. (The book about that adventure, titled CLIMB, releases in June 2020.)
At the end of my climbing year, I accepted a position as an English-language editor in Tokyo, where I now live. In addition to writing novels and editing, I write travel articles for one of Japan’s largest English-language travel magazines.
1. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I’ve loved mystery novels all my life (and Japanese history for most of it), so I write historical mystery novels set in 16th century (medieval/”samurai era” Japan).
2. What’s your favorite beverage?
A three-way tie between coffee, tea, and sparkling water.
3. If you had to listen to one song over and over again for a whole day, what would it be?
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Truthfully…I don’t have one. I even like writing synopses. (Though I generally don’t have to do it because my agent doesn’t like reading them!)
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
For decades, I answered this question “Japan.” In 2018, I made that dream come true – and now I live in Tokyo’s Meguro ward.
6. Are you an avid reader? When you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre?
I love reading. I average 2-3 books per week when I’m not on a deadline, largely because I spend a lot of time on trains (to and from my editing job, and to and from the various places I travel for writing and research). As far as genres, I cycle between mystery/thriller, true crime, travelogue/memoir, historical fiction, general/literary, fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and horror.
I believe, as writers, we should read widely because we can learn from (and enjoy) just about everything!
7. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
With the Hiro Hattori series, I often look for interesting or unique aspects of Japanese history and culture and then find a way to set novels there. My newest mystery, GHOST OF THE BAMBOO ROAD, was inspired by the story of a famous Japanese yurei (vengeful ghost).
8. Tell me about your ideal reader.
Smart, with a sense of humor and a love for the different places (and historical eras) a book can take them.
9. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to make people be kind to one another.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
GHOST OF THE BAMBOO ROAD releases from Seventh Street Books on November 12, 2019, and my debut nonfiction book, CLIMB, releases from Prometheus Books on June 2, 2020.
Susan Spann is the award-winning author of the Hiro Hattori mystery novels, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo. Susan went to Tufts University in Boston, where she immersed herself in the history and culture of China and Japan. After earning an undergraduate degree in Asian Studies, Susan diverted to law school. She returned to California to practice law, where her continuing love of books has led her to specialize in intellectual property, business and publishing contracts. She is the 2015 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year, a former president of the Northern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime (National and Sacramento chapters), the Historical Novel Society, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
Links to Susan’s‘s Website, blog, books, etc.
Thanks, Susan, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!