Wednesday, December 2, 2015 | By: Taffy

2015 Author Debut with Valynne E Maetani! Author of INK AND ASHES giveaway!!



Welcome to the 2015 debut author bash!

I'm excited to have Valynne here today!


Valynne E. Maetani (pronounced Vuh-lin Mah-eh-tah-nee) grew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities.

Currently, she is a full-time writer. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013 and is a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection. She is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children's literature because every child should grow up believing his or her story deserves to be told. She lives in Salt Lake City.

 Other Trivia:
 Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird
 Favorite Snacks: Hot Tamales, Hi-Chews, Chocolate, Caramel, Dirty brand Salt & Vinegar chips, anything Peppermint (especially ice cream), popcorn
 Favorite Foods: Sushi, Eggplant Parmigiana, Green Curry
 Favorite Movies: Princess Bride, To Kill a Mockinbird, Die Hard 



 Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met.  

Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed. 

So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life. Ink and Ashes, winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, is a heart-stopping debut mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.


Tell us in one sentence about your book.


Ink and Ashes is a story about a Japanese American teenage girl who discovers her deceased father was once a member of the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia.


Are names important in your book?


Definitely!


If so, how did you come up with the names?


The family’s last name, Takata, comes from my father’s ancestry line. And because I wrote the book for my younger sister’s birthday, all of the names of girls on the soccer team are the names of my sister’s best friends.


What actors would you pick to play your characters?


Kimiko Miyashima has always been the actress I’ve pictured as Claire. She’s like a little sister to me and is currently living in L.A., waiting for her big break. As for Forrest, I envision someone like Dylan Sprayberry, but maybe a little older.


What is your greatest accomplishment?


Winning the New Visions Award was definitely a huge accomplishment for me.


What is the biggest lie you ever told?


I have never told a lie. Ever. Okay, maybe a few. Next question.


Do you have a snack you eat while writing?


Hot Tamales, chocolate, butter toffee peanuts, Big Hunk candy bars, and peppermint tea


Do you have any pets?


No, but I would love to have a dog someday.


What is your favorite part of writing?


I love writing dialogue and action scenes. If I could, I would write a book with nothing but those two things.


What is the hardest?


For me the hardest part of writing is revising because it means I have to fix all the parts that aren’t working and come up with ideas for all the moments I said, “I’ll worry about that later.”


What is your favorite book or author?


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


If you were a superhero, what would your name be?


Valynninja


Your superpower?


Stealthiness and, obviously, super ninja skills.


What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A lot of writers will tell you never to give up. But my advice would be to write because you love it. Write because you couldn’t give up even if you wanted to. Focus on craft rather than publication. Let others read your work, learn to take criticism, revise, revise again, and again and again. Rather than trying to convince the publishing industry your manuscript is ready, hone your writing skills, and the industry will let you know when it’s time.  

Thank you, Valynne! You all should run out and buy her book, right?? You could try and win one here too. Just leave a comment on this post about the best book you've read this year (and leave your email so I can let you know if you're the winner). 
The contest ends December 15 and Random.org will choose a winner. 



ABOUT ME

Valynne E. Maetani (pronounced Vuh-lin Mah-eh-tah-nee) grew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities.

Currently, she is a full-time writer. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013 and is a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection. She is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children's literature because every child should grow up believing his or her story deserves to be told. She lives in Salt Lake City.

 Other Trivia:
 Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird
 Favorite Snacks: Hot Tamales, Hi-Chews, Chocolate, Caramel, Dirty brand Salt & Vinegar chips, anything Peppermint (especially ice cream), popcorn
 Favorite Foods: Sushi, Eggplant Parmigiana, Green Curry
 Favorite Movies: Princess Bride, To Kill a Mockinbird, Die Hard

 Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met. Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed. So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life. Ink and Ashes, winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, is a heart-stopping debut mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

3 comments:

Kim said...

My favorite book this year was The Rent Collector by Cameron Wright. You should all read it and think about what you would do in similar situations. cosmomama23@yahoo.com

Cindy said...

Oh goodness, I've read so many great books this year! Let's see, some of them are:
Red Queen
Falling Kingdoms series
Throne of Glass series
The Wrath & The Dawn
The Young Elites
and so many more.
xinyi1467 at gmail dot com

Great interview! I really enjoyed reading it.

Rebecca said...

Fun post, I always enjoy reading about debut authors and Ink & Ashes sounds great. I've read so many wonderful books this year including Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Just Visiting, The Rest of Us Just Live Here and The Last Leaves Falling. readingwishes at hotmail dot com