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Tuesday 4 October 2016

ℚ Saying Goodbye, Parts One & Two: Passports and Promises [1] - Abigail Drake

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Saying Goodbye, Parts One & Two (, Pennrose Press), a New Adult Romance, book one of the Passports and Promises series.

Synopsis | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Abigail Drake; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Saying Goodbye, Parts One & Two?

"I studied Japanese and International Economics at university, and spent three years living and working in Japan. It was an experience that changed my life and shaped me into the person I am today.

Each book in my new series, Passports and Promises, will be about young women living, and finding love, abroad.

I wanted to share the experience of discovering a new country and culture with my readers, but these first two books were also a way to share the deep love and respect and fondness I have for Japan."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Although not autobiographical (eek!!), many of the events that happened in the books are based on things I experienced myself, witnessed myself, or heard about directly from a friend. I cover a lot of difficult topics in these books. Not all are pretty or nice, but I think they’re important.

And as far as professional expertise is concerned, it was wonderful to finally use the knowledge I’d acquired about Japan and different aspects of Japanese culture in a productive way. Until now, I’d only been using it to order in restaurants and translate Pokemon cards!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Saying Goodbye, Parts One & Two - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"My cover artist is the extremely lovely and talented Najla Qamber. She designed the covers for my young adult books as well (Tiger Lily and Starr Valentine, published under the name Wende Dikec), and did a fabulous job. I’m so glad I asked her to create the covers for my new series. Each book shows a girl with a suitcase on it, and the covers are hauntingly beautiful.

The effects on the covers were made using an overlay of Japanese paper, which is called washi. I loved collecting washi when I lived in Japan, and adored the beautiful, intricate, often geometrical designs. I was so pleased when Naj found a way to incorporate it into my covers. She is a genius."
Why should we read Saying Goodbye, Parts One & Two and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
  1. You can learn about Japan, and you might even pick up some Japanese phrases.
  2. My main character Sam and her friends deal with some horribly difficult things (date rape, drinking, controlling boyfriends, making bad choices, hurting people they love), but get through it together and never give up on each other.
  3. Airplane tickets are expensive. You can see Japan through my eyes, which is almost as good as being there.
  4. The kinky side of Japan is fascinating. Just saying.
  5. Thomas MacGregor. Trust me. You will definitely be interested in reading about Thomas."
Can you tell us something quirky about Saying Goodbye, Parts One & Two, its story and characters?
"I always stick names and actual events in my books. It’s kind of a fun game for people who know me or live in my town to try to pick out references.

In these books, I used the names of people I was friends with years ago in Japan for many of my characters. It was a very long time ago, and the characters have nothing to do with the actual people, so I don’t think they’ll mind."
Who would you recommend Saying Goodbye, Parts One & Two to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’ve found all of my readers are enjoying the Passports and Promises Series for different reasons. One of my readers told me she would encourage her daughter to read it because it was a realistic look at some things she might face in college. Many readers have commented about seeing a side of Japanese culture that they never knew existed. It’s been very interesting to me to hear their opinions, and I’m really pleased at how well the book has been received."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love to read in many genres, so I guess it’s logical that I’d end up writing in several genres as well.

I write young adult fiction under the name Wende Dikec, and adult romance under Abigail Drake. By adult romance, I mean that I have one book out that is a paranormal romance (Traveller), two that are new adult contemporary (Saying Goodbye Part One and Two) and one coming out soon that is contemporary with magical realism (The Enchanted Garden Café). I’m basically all over the place!"

What is your writing process?
"I sit and write. I know that sounds stupid, but sometimes it’s a real challenge to tune out other things in life (like the dirty dishes in the sink, the piles of laundry, and the dog that really would benefit from a long walk), and just force yourself to dive into the story and put it on paper. I’m a bit of a pantser, so although I have a general idea about where the story will go, it’s definitely not set in stone. I like having that flexibility, and I think it leads to fresher stories with more interesting characters."
What is in store next?
"I’m about halfway done with the next book in the series, which will be called Delayed Departure. It’s the story of Sam’s friend, Bethany, and her experiences on a five-week seminar in Turkey. This book is especially close to my heart because I’m married to a Turk and I lived in Istanbul for three years."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a black lab named Capone the Wonder Dog who is both a joy and the bane of my existence. He has his own Facebook page (please don’t judge me). To find out more about him, and what he puts me through, check it out."
Capone is adorable and is a star ;-)
We hope you are having a great tour and look forward to catching up with you for book two!

Saying Goodbye, Parts One & Two
Available NOW!

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