Hello Everyone! Today I am thrilled to be a host stop for Gaijin Cowgirl by James DiBiasio(Virtual Author Book Tours). I have posted deets below of this great book, there’s also a wonderful Guest Post from Author James DiBiasio and a brief review of Gaijin Cowgirl, so take a look and enjoy!:O)
Gaijin Cowgirl by James DiBiasio
- Publisher: Crime Wave Press (March 8, 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BRHUA00
Summary:Working Tokyo nightclubs is easy money for beautiful and troubled American Val Benson – until a wealthy client with a dark past and sinister hobbies reluctantly gives up a map to one of the greatest treasures lost in World War II. With yakuza, motorcycle gangs, rogue CIA, treasure hunters, pimps, Thai boxers and her Congressman father snapping at her high heels, Val burns a trail of destruction across Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Burmese borderlands to get the loot before someone less deserving does.
–Dab of Darkness”DiBiasio has broken the mold with this fast paced thriller. I found it unique and refreshing. His writing is clear and poetic.”
–Ordinary Girlz Book Reviews”One heck of an amazing main character.”
–In This World of Books
“I could have done without the particular depravity of the Painter.”
–Books, Books and More Books
Gaijin Cowgirl Web Friendly Tour Schedule
So Many Precious Books May 29 Review & Giveaway
Books, Books & More Books May 30 Review
Books, Books & More Books May 31 Interview
In This World of Books May 31 Review & Giveaway
Dab of Darkness June 3 Review
Dab of Darkness June 4 Guest Post
Ordinary Girls June 4 Review & Giveaway
Book Dilettante June 5 Review
DWED Blog June 7 Review
DWED BlogJune 7 Interview
From L.A. to LA June 10 Review
Alive on the Shelves June 10 Guest Post
Ohana Day Academy June 11 Review
VVb32 Reads June 12 Review & Giveaway
I Feel So Unnecessary June 18 Review & Giveaway
My Cozy Corner June 19 Guest Post & Giveaway
Indie Writer’s Review June 20 Review
Indie Writer’s Review June 20 Guest Post
The folks at IndieWritersReview suggested a few themes for me to put out there. Thank you for the invitation. Music and reading are passions we share. But enjoying a good book or a great track is one thing. Putting in the labor to create one…well, that’s something else.
Although a lot goes into writing a book (and more into the commercial side – it’s a business), the initial kernel is the most interesting aspect.
I’m American but I have lived in Asia for, uh, a long time now. I came here for work and just got stuck in. My home is Hong Kong, which is on the southern coast of China. It was created in the 1840s as a British colony (the British Empire defeated China in a series of wars in order to force China to buy British opium) and was returned to the Chinese in 1997. It’s a major financial center and a great East Meets West, cosmopolitan city – like New York, but more intense.
From my base here I travel around Asia a lot, meeting people, interacting, learning about their countries, their cultures, their histories. Uncle Sam has been involved in most of these places too, in war and peace. Asia’s rise from poverty to leading world economies makes the region vibrant and exciting. But it has its dark sides.
Japan is a country I like very much, and I spent quite a bit of time there. Its business culture is different from America’s. The corporate bonds are very straight-laced and autocratic, kind of the way our big companies were in the 50s and 60s – “Mad Men” kind of stuff. The guys (it’s almost always men) all go out, often to entertain clients or just with the team, and party in private clubs full of hostesses, with karaoke, drinking games, and sometimes…more.
Although I haven’t actually been to these clubs (you need to be invited, and your guest needs to be willing to drop a lot of dough on his credit card), they are a staple of urban life in Japan (and elsewhere in Asia). A lot of foreign women – and the Japanese call all foreigners gaijin – work in these clubs too because the money used to be pretty good. Japan had a massive bubble economy in the 1980s, and during the 1990s and early 2000s there was still ridiculous cash getting thrown around these clubs. Today the scene remains but it’s a little muted: the economy’s been lousy and, frankly, a lot of these office guys have gotten too old.
But in the heyday it was pretty wild and I happened to be around during the tail end of it. There was a famous case that occurred around this time as well: a foreign hostess went missing. It would take years to prove she had been murdered but we all knew that something violent and terrible had happened.
That was real life but it sparked an idea in my head, and “Gaijin Cowgirl” was born. About a gorgeous but troubled American woman, working the Tokyo clubs. About a client with a sinister hobby and links to an ugly past…and a map to stolen treasure. I started linking the story of my American hostess, Val, to other stuff going on in my head. Other countries like Thailand and Vietnam and Burma, traumatized by war, rolled over by the American military.
And I was learning about the ties among these places created by American and Japanese armies, and later industrial groups, and the way that honest business could be twisted into something terrifying.
So one sweaty evening in my pokey little apartment in Hong Kong, I started writing about these Japanese salarymen headed to a club, where they were met by Val Benson…but she’s distracted because her number-one tipper, an old but powerful man nicknamed the Painter, hasn’t been in touch. They call him the Painter because he takes his favorite hostesses back to his country mansion to paint portraits of them…but his hobby is worse than people can imagine.
OK, that’s enough from “Gaijin Cowgirl”. I wanted to give you a sense of what it means when people say, “Write what you know.”
What I know in daily life is pretty normal. I work in an office, I go watch the movies, I hang out. Same as everybody else. You aren’t going to read a novel about me.
But over time, through travel, reading, and keeping an open mind and a curious nature, I’ve gotten to learn a lot about Asian societies, including a lot about the underbellies. That provides the color, the dialogue, the stuff in the background you don’t need to make explicit, the understanding of what could or could not happen. And from there, over a lot of long, dark hours, I moulded that life experience into a thriller, led by a complex heroine, a superficial party girl who is forced by terrible events to find an inner courage she never knew existed.
Check it out. It’s cool.