And in less than four weeks, my sixth novel, Under the Silk Hibiscus, will arrive!
This novel takes place in an internment camp in Wyoming where many Japanese-Americans were sent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There's upheaval, frustration, pain, and sorrow. Families are separated. Some members are accused of being spies, like Nathan Mori's father.
To balance the discrimination that evolved during this time period, I had to rely on humor and romance.
One of the most fun relationships I enjoyed crafting was between the main character, Nathan, and his aunt Kazuo. Even though she's single and has no children of her own, Aunt Kazuo knows how to keep Nathan and his brothers in line. But even she knows a body can't live on hard work alone. She loves cookies and keeps morsels in her sweater sleeves, taking them out when she needs a "pep".
And of course, there's young romance. Nathan dreams of the lovely singer, Lucy, and wants her to notice him, but she seems more interested in his older brother, Ken.
There are two characters which are not people---one is Heart Mountain, the mountain viewed every day from those in the barracks at the camp. Then there is the Mori family's coveted gold watch, a family heirloom from Japan.
So the questions form: Will Nathan get the girl? What happens to the family heirloom during the war and after the war ends? Does Nathan's father return? How does war and discrimination change hearts? How does God's love prevail?
Here's the book blurb:
During World War Two Nathan and his family are sent to Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming for Japanese-Americans. Nathan's one desire is to protect the family's gold pocket watch, a family heirloom brought over from Japan. He fails; the watch is stolen. Struggling to make sense of his life in a bleak camp as the only responsible man of the household, Nathan discovers truths about his family, God, and the girl he loves.
Read more at Amazon.