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August 29, 2016


Naomi Hirahara

Thanks, Femmes, for having me!

Elaine Viets

You're welcome, Naomi. Congratulations on your film option. And I have a question. I've heard "Hiroshima" pronounced two ways:
Is it Hero-SHE-ma or He-ROE-shima?

Linda Rodriguez

I love this post, Naomi! Thanks for taking us inside your process of working through your series arc and your character.

Naomi Hirahara

Elaine: The Japanese pronounce it more like He-Roe-shima. The emphasis is on "roe" but it's not that pronounced. Shima means island.

Naomi Hirahara

Thanks, Linda! I've enjoyed your series character.

Elaine Viets

Got it. Thanks. I promise not to hit the ROE too hard in the future.


Interesting look at things. It's always hard for me when a beloved series ends, and I can only imagine how hard it would be for an author to make sure she or he did it right.

Julie Hennrikus

I love the thoughtfulness of this post, and the idea of ending a series on your note, rather than a publisher's. I am a huge fan of well ended series. I agree about Lewis, though there seemed to be a window...

Naomi Hirahara

Julie, there's always a window, right? Of course, I'm sure they are preparing a spin-off, which would be just fine with me. I'm actually very enthusiastic about the small and medium presses out there. Some of them are quite invested in authors, which makes the writing and publishing experience much more enjoyable!

Storyteller Mary

Endings are hard, knowing when is even harder, but new doors and windows are priceless. Thanks for interesting works.

Ellie Enos

Your guest blog allowed me to discover your Ellie Rush series. I am half way through the 2nd book. I suspect I will begin the Mas Ari series next.

Naomi Hirahara

Thanks, Ellie! Wow, you are a fast reader. I have to admit that the Ellie Rush series is an easier read than the Mas books. But I hope that you give Mas a try, too! :-)


Welcome, Naomi! Can't wait to see The Big Bachi on the screen!

Naomi Hirahara

Me, either, Dana! I haven't read the screenplay but an early draft is being considered for Sundance's Screenwriters Lab, so I have my fingers crossed. Our colleagues have mixed experiences, right, so I hope this will be one of the good ones. :-)

Cath Hoffner

Naomi - I remember when we first met at Bcon and The Big Bachi came out. Was so excited for you then and have been a fan throughout your writing career! Loved your Japan posts too! Great blog!

Naomi Hirahara

Thanks, Cath, for your support over the years. I can't believe it's been 12 years! I truly adore the mystery genre and book community. There's none better, really.


I have loved your Mas series. Thanks for the good stories you've produced.

Leslie Budewitz

What a lovely, thoughtful way to think about the end of a series -- and I admire your determination to find a workable arc for the 2d three, which I think is harder to do than for the earlier books. And congrats on film prospect for The Big Bachi!

Triss Stein

This all makes sense, but I will miss Mas and his world. As I will miss Lewis and his!

Naomi Hirahara

Leslie: The arc for the second three wasn't that hard, but I'm amazed I got through it. I just finished posting something on Carolyn Hart -- she's written 59 books -- so amazing. For me, writing six books in a series is an accomplishment. (I give myself a LOT of grace.)

And Triss, I will miss Mas, too, but in a way I feel he and his world will never be extinguished because he's there in print (and e-books, of course). No matter how diminished the readership gets over time, there may be one person (probably a scholar) who may pick it decades from now.

Ellie Enos

Naomi: I have now read the first two Mas books. I loved both of them, but I have a Gasa-Gasa girl of my own so the 2nd is my favorite so far. Mari (as a girl) reminded me so much of my daughter, Maile.

I lived in Hawaii for two years and always had friends from Hawaii so I'm familiar with a lot of the expressions and food, etc. in the book. My husband was from Kona and his family still lives there. We travelled around the states and Taiwan during his 20 years in the Air Force.

I read The Good Earth as a teenager and I have a passion for well written books about Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the various cultures. Thanks for providing me with you excellent books.

Naomi Hirahara

Thank you, Ellie! You are such a fast reader.

Susan O.

NO!! Please don't stop writing Mas stories!! He is most of the most real characters I've even enjoyed. I sometimes think I see him on BART trains up here in the SF bay area. PLEASE don't say never. How about "maybe one day"??

Naomi Hirahara

How lovely that you see Mas on BART trains! After the last novel, I may definitely continue to write some Mas short stories. And he will live on in readers' lives like yours. xoxo

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