Sunday, November 09, 2014

Indie Author Interview: Steven Fujita


Indie Author Interview with Steven Fujita - Author of the Health / Fitness Book Toe Up to 10K: A Journey of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury.

Steven Fujita is the author of the supernatural thriller, Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but with the vampire being a Japanese samurai warlord.
In 2012, his spinal cord was damaged during a bout with meningitis. He wrote about the recovery in his latest book, Toe Up to 10K: A Journey of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury.

Interview with Steven Fujita

Author Steven Fujita
Author Steven Fujita
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Steven Fujita: I had written on the side since I was a child, but in 2010, I published my first book, Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, except that the vampire is a Japanese samurai warlord who moves to Los Angeles, California, USA in 1872. I then wrote a book, $10 a Day Towards $1,000,000, which focuses on using employer based retirement contribution plans to save for one's retirement. In 2012, I suffered damage to my spinal cord due to a bout with meningitis. I wasn't guaranteed to walk, but I did regain that ability. In September 2014, I published Toe Up to 10K: A Journal of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury. I know my topics have been eclectic, but in the future, I'd like to focus on supernatural fantasies and historical fiction.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
My current favorite writer is Sue Grafton, and although she has not influenced my style of writing per se, she has reinforced in me, my confidence in the conversational style in which I write. I go through phases with "favorite" writers, in the past, I have devoured books by John Grisham, Dean Koontz, and Tom Clancy. Although I haven't read it in a long time, Phantom of the Opera is probably my favorite book of all time. As far as influences, I would name Sue Grafton, Dean Koontz and Charles Dickens.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was a child, I saw the movie, Jaws. That movie sparked the creative urge in me.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. The influence of Jaws is apparent. It was about a group of kids who discover a pre-historic giant fish in a lake.

"I will lock myself in a room [...]"

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
I really don't have a routine. Sometimes I write 300 words, sometimes I will lock myself in a room (except for brief 1/2 breaks to eat, bathe, and a short outdoor walk) morning through night, and when particularly productive, will write up to 6000 words. I don't write everyday, but I do some research on most days, and do jot down notes and thoughts everyday.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
A mess. A lot of the mess is comprised of little sheets of paper with a single thought written on them. I also usually have a book or two on the subject I am researching at that time.

"Sometimes the words do not flow out at all."

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?

The easiest part about writing is the research, when the information is readily found. It's not that anything about writing is easy, but there are times when writing is easy. Sometimes words just flow out naturally. Same with what is hard about writing. Sometimes the words do not flow out at all. Before I know it, an hour has passed and I would yet to write a sentence.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There are three joys that come to mind. First is forming a narrative, whether fiction or non-fiction, based on my research. The second is actually finishing a project. The third big joy is when receiving positive feedback from readers.

Steven, please tell us a little about your Health/Fitness Memoir Toe Up to 10K.
In June 2012, I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with viral meningitis. A few days later, I fell into a semi-conscious state, and when I regained full consciousness, I found myself paralyzed from the chest down. I was not guaranteed to walk again, perhaps in two years time, I would recover well enough to walk "well enough." I was expected to spend at least one year using a wheelchair. However, I was walking with the aid of a cane within six months, and 15 months after my initial paralysis, I was was walking mostly "cane-free." Toe Up to 10K is a story about my recovery.

Toe Up to 10K (Steven Fujita)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
Initially, I was inspired to write the book because I had so much trouble finding information about what it is like to have a spinal cord injury. I wanted to know not only how I would recover, but how long it would take. It turned out that I had a "remarkable" recovery, and then, I wanted to write a book that could also inspire others facing an obstacle.

"My target audience is anybody who likes to read stories about overcoming obstacles."

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
My target audience is anybody who likes to read stories about overcoming obstacles. But I hope to reach those who have been recently diagnosed with a spinal cord injury and provide them with some sort of reference about what they might face, some strategies I used to adapt, and inspire them to work hard at their own recovery even when "experts" provide a bleak prognosis. I also would like to target those who are caretakers for those with spinal cord injury, either family members, or healthcare professionals, to help them understand the patient's point of view.
The book can be purchased either in ebook format or paperback from many retailers, such as Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

What makes your book special?
I believe my book is special because it can be read on several levels. It is an inspiring story about overcoming odds. It can also be used as a reference book for those who have recently been diagnosed with spinal cord injury, and also a reference book for caretakers, whether family members or healthcare professionals, who would like to have an idea of what spinal cord injury is like from the patient's point of view. I also cover some areas which other books about recovery gloss over due to the topic being an embarrassing one, such as bladder and bowel issues.

"[...] the book was the #1 bestseller on Amazon in the category"

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
I am elated at the feedback I've received so far. It is especially nice to hear when a reader comments, "It isn't the type of book I would normally read, but I'm glad I did." Thus far, there have been two or three different times when the book was the #1 bestseller on Amazon in the category, "Spinal Cord Injuries." Of course, it is a narrow category, but I can't complain.

How long did it take it to write the book?
It took approximately a year to write the book.

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
Find a routine that works for you. Some writers write everyday. Some do not. I do not everyday, but I do research on most days, and I am always jotting down notes and thoughts. So, even though I don't actually "write" everyday, I do things associated with writing everyday.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am currently working on the sequel to Sword of the Undead, and also fleshing out a character I created for a short story titled, "Zombie Brawl."

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I don't think physical books will disappear altogether. I believe brick and mortar bookstores will become even more scarce than they are now, and most of the ones that are still around will be of the smaller, independent, specialized type.

How can readers connect with you?
Readers can go to my website: Stevenfujitaauthor.com
My twitter handle: @wordsmithsteve
My Facebook author page: Steven Fujita author on Facebook

Thank you very much for the Interview, Steven.



About the Book Toe Up to 10K: A Journey of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury

Toe Up to 10K (Steven Fujita)
Click to Read an Excerpt
In 2012, the author was stricken with meningitis and four days later, lapsed into semi-consciousness.

When he regained full consciousness, he could not speak, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs. His spinal cord was damaged at the T4 level.

Toe Up to 10K takes the reader on a journey of recovery from the spinal cord injury, from ICU, to wheelchair to the regained ability to walk.

It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, and of gratitude towards those around the author: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.

- "This book was really hard to put down. It's the compelling story of Steven Fujita's recovery from meningitis. The first few chapters were very detailed from his first headache to the downward spiral that left him clinging to life in the ICU. The author goes into such detail about his recovery, you really get a sense of the pain and strength it took to get to where he is today. He offers his story and resources at the back of the book that he found helpful." - Reader Review






Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback Toe Up to 10K with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook Toe Up to 10K with Excerpt on Amazon


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