When Ray is sacked from his job he goes to Japan hoping to start his life afresh. Things begin well when he lands a job as an English teacher and finds a beautiful girlfriend, Tomoe. But his world is turned upside down when Tomoe’s father is found dead.
Adamant his death was a murder, Tomoe sets out after his killers, a search Ray is desperate to avoid. But when Tomoe goes missing Ray is forced to act. In his quest to find her he’s dragged into the ‘floating world’ – a place of corrupt politicians, yakuza, sumo wrestlers and call-girls - living out an adventure that echoes his dreams of Tokyo’s feudal past.
It’s an adventure guaranteed to bring further loss of life and Ray is pulled into a desperate chase to ensure it won’t be his.
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I was woken by someone pounding at my front door. I fumbled for my alarm clock. It read 3.15. I struggled up.
‘Who the hell-’
It was Tomoe. Beautiful, immaculate Tomoe - now dishevelled, her hair tumbling down, mascara led by a stream of tears down her face.
‘Tomoe, what’s wrong?’
She collapsed in my arms. I led her to the sofa.
‘What’s the matter? Are you hurt?’
‘Just hold me.’
I held her. After an hour she cried herself to sleep. It must have been another before I dropped off as I remember the birds starting to sing at first light.
I woke with a start, sprawled across the sofa, alone. Anxiety started to rise in me but then the bathroom door opened and Tomoe glided out, swathed in the luxury white towels she insisted I kept. She greeted me a sweet smile and a cheery ‘ohaiyō gozaimasu’.
I’ve never been much of a morning person but there was more to this than being confused by slow wits.
I waited for an explanation that didn’t come. Tomoe glanced over as she readied herself.
‘You can use the bathroom now Ray-chan. I’ll put on my make-up out here.’
I decided to dispense with the subtle approach.
‘Tomoe, what’s going on? You turned up in the middle of the night crying your eyes out. You can’t just act like nothing happened.’
She paused and turned toward me.
‘I’m sorry Rei-chan,’ she said, managing to lend Japanese pronunciation to a one-syllable word, as she did when playful or trying to win me around. ‘I didn’t mean to worry you. I just had a horrible day - I needed to be with you.’
She unfolded her legs, leant over and gave me the tenderest kiss. The matter apparently settled she returned to her lipstick.
‘But I am worried. What made you so upset?’
‘It was nothing, really,’ she said looking back up. ‘But I can’t talk while I’m doing my make-up. Have a shower and we can speak over breakfast when I’m done.’
When I came out of the shower she was gone.
“Sorry, late, had to go. Will be away a few days. Reception bad so can’t call. Talk when back. Don’t worry! xoxo”
I re-read the text. There was nothing I could do but wait.
The good news for the start of 2018 is I've had the first review back from my editor at Unbound... and I survived.
At this point the fear is you'll have to re-order everything, write chapters again, change characters and so on. Fortunately, while I have to make some amends they're more along the lines of tweaks rather than wholesale changes.
Once they're done the detailed edit begins - going…
The Star, Malaysia's take on how a sumo wrestling travelogue turned into a woodblock illustrated thriller.
(Sorry for the small size - they haven't published the online version yet. You can still read it by clicking on the image and magnifying as required).
So, plenty has happened since my last update. First, I hit full funding as a result of all of your kind pledges (thank you so much again). Then I went back to the manuscript and gave it another, final edit.
I'm not sure of author's etiquette on admitting these things, but having not looked at it for over a year while fund-raising, I found myself really enjoying it. Hopefully, this isn't just arrogance…
Falling from the Floating World is now 92% funded and inching ever closer to publication!
As this is down to your generosity I'd like to say a massive thank you. It's quite a challenge to get a book from idea to shop front and the moral support your pledges have provided has been just as gratefully received as the financial benefits.
I'm afraid you won't be receiving your rewards quite yet…
The UK's best selling tattoo magazine, Skin Deep, very kindly ran a feature on my book in their February edition. Unfortunately they don't have an online version, but you can read the interview (and see some of the pictures) below.
You are just about to publish your latest book which takes place in Japan. Can you tell us about the plot?
It's a Tokyo-set thriller…
I’ve been a little lax on my Shed updates… but as a starter I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who’s made a pledge.
Most recently I’ve had a very generous Patron pledge from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (www.gbsf.org.uk) which has boosted Falling from the Floating World to 30% of its target - which isn’t bad after just under a month’s crowdfunding.
The foundation aims to…
These people are helping to fund Falling From the Floating World.