Hey there travelers of the word,
Poppy Kuroki is here with us today for our Saturday Author Spotlight. We talk books, we talk writing, and then we get to know more about Poppy. I am always excited when an author stops by for an interview. Let us get started.
What inspired you to start writing?
I always loved reading, ever since my mum read to me before bedtime from a young age. I’ve been writing since I was a kid as well, hoping for rainy days in elementary school so I could sit inside during break time and write. I remember folding paper together to make a little paper book of some alien story I’d made, and my dad’s old laptop still as my fire princess stories I wrote as a preteen! I wrote all the way through high school too and was a runner up in a couple of writing competitions.
When did you decide that you wanted to publish your first story?
I always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was small. I was convinced I’d be famous by eighteen – that didn’t quite happen! But the dream has always been there, and now I couldn’t imagine my life without writing.
Describe your writing space. *I have a desk where I do everything: writing, playing games with my friends, watching movies. My desk is always clear – I hate dust and clutter – save for my Kirby desk fan and a glass of water or cup of tea. I built my PC in early 2020 and now I practically live at my desk. It’s not doing my back any favours.
How do you do research for your books?
I love researching real things and places for books. I like finding history books and visiting real places if possible. I’m actually sitting on a historical fiction book right now, but that’s still in its very early stages.
What motivates you to keep writing?
I write for a living, and the great reviews I get from clients is a big confidence boost. I lost my confidence a couple of years ago, but knowing that my writing makes people happy and that I’m good at what I do helped me get into publishing my work.
Writing can be emotionally draining and sometimes stressful- particularly when stepping into the publishing realm of things. Any tips to share for the aspiring writers out there?
My advice would be to get into the habit of writing every day. Don’t worry about your first draft; it’s okay if it sucks. And it’s OK to have bad ideas. Stephen King said the best ideas are the ones that linger, so see which ones stick. Also, avoid cliches!
Tell me about the books you write. Describe them in as many words as you like.
I love fantasy, though I sometimes branch out to horror as well. I love tragic stories with sad endings, great worldbuilding, and beautiful prose. My dream is to have someone finish a book I wrote with tears on their face.
How many books have you written so far? Are you in any anthologies? Which book has been your favorite to write? If you have a one that is. 🙂
I’ve written quite a few stories and novels, but for now I only have one published, A Bard’s Lament. It’s a fantasy with some of that tragedy I mentioned earlier. I also have a gritty dark fantasy novel that I might publish sometime in the future and a few half-finished projects I’m planning to develop.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? Why are they your favorite? Are they the main character? Tell us about them.
What a great question! Though the book isn’t finished yet, I have a character called Zoya. She’s a mercenary who has a motorbike and a pet robotic snake she built herself. I’m hoping to finish that book very soon.
Tell us about your latest writing project
Now A Bard’s Lament is out there in the wild, I’d like to work on the book I mentioned earlier. It’s a Steampunk story about seeing life from another’s perspective – not all rich people are clueless snobs, and the poor aren’t lazy and stupid. I still can’t think of a name for the story, but maybe it’ll come to me when I type “the end.”
Let’s get to know a bit more about you. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love playing video games, and I recently got into Dungeons and Dragons which I play at 6:00am every morning on Mondays (because of the time difference with my friends back home in the UK). I also love exploring nearby shrines and temples, cooking, and reading.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Goofy, passionate, hardworking 😀
If it were possible to have your favorite season all year long what season would it be? *SpringSummerFallWinter
Why did you choose that particular season?
I love the cold weather. Give me hot chocolate, a blanket, and icy rain on the windows, and we’ve got ourselves a perfect evening.
What songs/ music are on your playlist?
I always listen to instrumental violins or piano music while working. I have a lot of songs from games like Skyrim and Dragon Age. For non-work music, I listen to a lot of Smashing Pumpkins and Malukah.
What is your favorite food?
Probably curry. Thai, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Indian, Japanese… if it’s on the menu I’ll probably get it. I always like trying the spiciest level for a laugh, and the waiter is always like “are you sure?” and I just say “just f*** me up, fam.”
Who is your favorite author and why?
I love Stephen King and Jay Kristoff’s work, and Rebecca Ross’s Queen duology was lovely too.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons. It’s pretty good so far!
What is one thing your readers don’t know about you?
I cry at movies and books all the time. That’s the sign of a great story, when it makes you sob like a teenager who’s just been dumped.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Follow me on Instagram at @poppyinjapanofficial for photos of Japan and pretty dresses!
You can also find me on Twitter at @poppyinjapan and I have an awesome Facebook group called Great Books with Poppy Discussion Group where we chat about books.
Thank you for joining me on my blog today. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we head on out?
Thank you for having me!
And thank you for stopping by today. I definitely want to follow you on IG and check out your book 🙂