Monthly Archives: January 2020

Interview with Keita Nagano, author of The Sea of Japan

Keita Nagano

Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking with the author of The Sea of Japan, Keita Nagano. You will certainly enjoy this audio only version of my chat with Keita, and learn a bit about his writing style.

About the book

When thirty-year-old Lindsey, an English teacher in Japan who’s been assigned to a tiny fishing town, is saved from drowning by a local young fisherman, she’s drawn into a battle with a neighboring town that has high stakes for everyone—especially her.

As their efforts to save their town backfire, Hime gets closer to falling
apart—putting Lindsey’s friends, her budding relationship with Ichiro, and her career in jeopardy. To save Hime, Lindsey realizes she’ll have to become a true American fisherwoman and fight for her new home with everything she has. 

Get the book The Sea of Japan by clicking on the image above, or here at the link listed below:


Keita Nagano is an award-winning Japanese author who has lived almost equally in Nevada and Tokyo—more than twenty years in each place—and he reflects the difference of the two cultures in his novels. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Keio University in Japan, as well as an MBA in global business and a PhD in management from Walden University in Minnesota.

The pursuit of the authentic American experience is his hobby: he has been to all fifty states, all thirty major league ballparks, and the top sixty big cities in America. He has published seventeen business nonfiction and eight fiction books in Japan.

In 2013, he received a Nikkei (Japanese Wall Street Journal) Award for Contemporary Novel for his missing-child thriller, Kamikakushi. He also received a Mita Literary Award in 2011 for his short story  “Takino-a bank clerk.” In addition, he is an official weekly columnist for Forbes Japan.

​Nagano lives in Henderson, Nevada, with his wife and Welsh corgi. Their teenage daughter is currently studying in Tennessee.

You can find him at his website:

Did you enjoy this podcast? Please check out our other interviews on this site.

Interview with Tom Lutz, author of Born Slippy: A Novel

Tom Lutz
Tom Lutz, author of Born Slippy: a novel

About the author

Tom Lutz is a writer of books, articles, and screenplays, the founder of the Los Angeles Review of Books, and is now Distinguished Professor at UC Riverside. His books include American Book Award winner Doing Nothing, New York Times notable books Crying and American Nervousness1903, the travel books And the Monkey Learned Nothing and Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World, and coming on January 14, 2020, Born Slippy: A Novel.

He has written for television and film, and appeared in scores of national and international newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and edited collections. He is working with a Los Angeles-based production company on a television show set in the 1920s, is finishing a third collection of travel pieces, a book on the 1920s (The Modern Surface), and is in the early stages of a book on global conflict along the aridity line.


– Can you share a little of your current work with us? (short synopsis)

My novel, Born Slippy, arrives January 14. A nonfiction book on aimlessness is coming later in the year, the third book in my travel series (after Drinking Mare’s Milk and And the Monkey Learned Nothing) is almost finished, and the sequel to Born Slippy is just underway. I like to have at least two going at any time so if one feels wutchy I can move to another.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I discovered a disease, called neurasthenia, that everyone who was anyone at the dawn of the 20th century had (Edith Wharton, Henry James, Theodore Dreiser, Theodore Roosevelt, etc.). It went extinct by the middle of the century, replaced by other, more specific syndromes, like anxiety, depression, neurosis, and eventually by things like Epstein-Barr virus and others. I also was a new professor then, and needed to publish or perish, so that was an inspiration, too.

Do you have a specific writing style?

No, it changes as my subject and sense of audience changes. At least that’s the way it seems to me—other people may find something recognizable from genre to genre….

How did you come up with the title?

I actually called the novel Sugarfish, which is the password for an account that gets set up in the middle of the book. It’s the name of a restaurant here in LA, and one character looks up, sees it, and uses it as a password. I liked it because it had referenced a lot of the book’s sweetness and my antagonist’s fishiness; it also sounded vaguely sexual to me. My British editor hated it, and Born Slippy was his suggestion—he liked it because the song has a Liverpool connection (my antagonist is from Liverpool, and it became famous in part because it was on the soundtrack for Trainspotting and because the lyrics, such as they are, make sense for the book.

What book are you reading now?

I’ve just finished Olga Tokarczuk’s amazing Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft, Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans, and Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay.

Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?

Well, those three aren’t exactly new, although Tokarczuk is new to most people in America—it’s the fourth book for Lalami and for Cha. Also not exactly new, but I love Leslie Jamison and Rachel Cusk. Ayesha Attah’s Hundred Wells of Salaga is a novel of the slave trade from the African side. I love Elif Batuman’s The Idiot, a few years old already…. Miriam Gurba is a new talent to watch, and Fatima Mirza.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

A cowboy. By the time I was 14 or so, a rock star. Then, around 16, a writer.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making it better than it is. It always ends up being only just as good as it is, and I always end up wishing it was better.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Yes, I’ve been to somewhere between 130 and 140 countries (including places like French Guiana, which is technically part of France). I say, to the IRS, that all of it is for my writing, and eventually it all will be, or most of it.

-Who designed your covers?

They were done in house by each of my publishers I like them all. The most recent is by Johnny Bull for Repeater/PRH. I really like Monkey (Iowa), Crying (Norton), Mare’s Milk (O|R Books), Doing Nothing (FSG), and American Nervousness and Cosmopolitan Vistas (both Cornell).

Book Details

Title: Born Slippy: A Novel

  • Author’s name: Tom Lutz
  • Genre: noir, thriller
  • Publish date: January 14, 2020
  • Publisher: Repeater/Penguin Random House
  • Page count: 296

Get your copy today at Amazon by clicking the cover image

ABOUT THE BOOK (blurb on Amazon):

A provocative, globe-trotting, time-shifting novel about the seductions of — and resistance to — toxic masculinity.

“Frank knew as well as anyone how stories start and how they end. This fiery mess, or something like it, was bound to happen. He had been expecting it for years.”

Frank Baltimore is a bit of a loser, struggling by as a carpenter and handyman in rural New England when he gets his big break, building a mansion in the executive suburbs of Hartford. One of his workers is a charismatic eighteen-year-old kid from Liverpool, Dmitry, in the US in the summer before university. Dmitry is a charming sociopath, who develops a fascination with his autodidactic philosopher boss, perhaps thinking that, if he could figure out what made Frank tick, he could be less of a pig. Dmitry heads to Asia and makes a neo-imperialist fortune, with a trail of corpses in his wake. When Dmitry’s office building in Taipei explodes in an enormous fireball, Frank heads to Asia, falls in love with Dmitry’s wife, and things go from bad to worse.

Combining the best elements of literary thriller, noir and political satire, Born Slippy is a darkly comic and honest meditation on modern life under global capitalism.




Twitter: @TomLutz22



Barnes & Noble:

When Faith Lights the Way by Stephen H. Vincent

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Stephen H. Vincent, author of When Faith Lights the Way-The Quest to Restore Electricity to a War-Ravaged African Hospital.


The Ganta Hospital in Liberia was struggling to rebuild while serving 24,000 patients a year. Intense thunderstorms forced surgeons to finish operations with flashlights in their mouths. When Faith Lights the Way chronicles a rare altruistic quest to design and construct a vital, highly-technical, life-giving electric system for a remote African hospital destroyed by fourteen years of war



When Faith Lights the Way
Stephen H. Vincent, author of When Faith Lights the Way

Steve is a successful businessman who’s first career spanned thirty-four years in the electric utility industry. In his second career, his efforts have been redirected to provide state of the art electric systems to improve the health and education to the neediest people in the world. Steve’s extensive experience in logistics while working with U.S. electric power systems has made this unique contribution to mankind possible. Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Texas A&M University.



When Faith Lights the Way, is now published as an e-book, paperback, and audio-book. You can find out more about this book and the author at these sites:


When Faith Lights the Way dot com

YouTube interview video with Stephen H. Vincent

See the audio podcast down below


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