Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween fun with Nene Adams

Cate: Please welcome Nene Adams to my special Halloween celebration. Nene, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Nene: While I’m an American, I currently live in the Netherlands with my partner, Corrie Kuipers, and our cat, Zelda Mae Gubbins. As an armchair historian, I find the past fascinating, so I often set my books in an historic setting, such as Victorian England or 17th century Japan. I’m equally fascinated by the supernatural, and a big fan of Halloween (my favorite holiday).

Cate: What a great name for a cat! What do you love most about Halloween?
Nene: As a kid, the candy, of course! When I became an adult, my brother and I would decorate the house and front yard with cool scary stuff. The highlight of our year came if we heard a little kid say plaintively from the sidewalk in front of our house, “Mommy, I’m scared to go up there.” Although Halloween isn’t celebrated in the Netherlands, in the last few years it’s become a bit fashionable to hold parties where adults dress up.

Cate: I'd love to see those decorations. :) Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
Nene: When I was ten, I got an idea for a costume from a magazine I found in art class in school - a ghost with a skeletal face. I added a flowered straw hat. As I made the neighborhood rounds, several people thought my costume was so cute, they took my picture.

Cate: Very cool. Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
Nene: I lived in a haunted antebellum mansion where I actually saw a little girl’s ghost; I also lived in an apartment where I was plagued by the sounds of a bowling alley that burned down on the same spot. Even here in the Netherlands, I’ve had experiences, including an old man’s spirit that kept popping into our former house, shuffling around, and even sighing.

Cate: A bowling alley! That might get old quick. What frightens you the most?
Nene: Outliving the people I love. That would suck.

Cate: Most definitely. Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Nene: Not ghost hunting per se. They usually come to me!

Cate: Any favorite Halloween recipes you’d care to share?
Nene: I never cooked anything special for Halloween when I lived in America. I usually just indulged in leftover Halloween candy, candy corn, and Brach’s autumn mix (none of which I can get here, by the way).

Cate: Tell us about your release, and where readers can find it online.
Nene: Flowers of Edo: a Ghost Story is a horror novel set in 17th century Japan. For those familiar with Japanese genres, I describe it as chanbara-eiga (samurai story) meets jidaigeki (historical drama) meets J-Horror. There are sword fights, murderous apparitions, gods and demons, honor and dishonor…in short, I’ve tried to craft a tale that will intrigue you, leave you in suspense, excite you, and scare the pants off you.

Cate: Very intriguing. Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Nene: “Kazuko lives with tattoos on her body and deadly secrets in her heart. Employed as a house guard in a brothel in the famous Yoshiwara pleasure district of Edo, the Shogun’s capital city, she also earns money intimidating gamblers who owe debts to the local gang. The life she has built with her disfigured lover, Mayumi, is a good one until the day the gang boss, Oni, hires her to kill a man who has jilted his daughter.
Her blood-soaked actions unleash a powerful spirit of vengeance that threatens to destroy everyone around her, including those she would sacrifice her life—and her soul—to protect. For Kazuko to save herself and Mayumi, she must overcome a terrifying supernatural threat as well as the infamous “flowers of Edo.”
A ghost bent on destruction… a city in flames!”
An excerpt can be found here.
The book is currently available at and other on-line retailers.

Cate: Wonderful. Love that cover too. What inspired you to write about the theme?
Nene: I enjoy a cracking good ghost story. I’ve also been fascinated by Japan since I read Shogun at a tender and impressionable age. Eastern ghosts are quite different from the Western variety. I find those differences interesting, and wanted to share with fans of my work.

Cate: That is so cool. You definitely make me want to find out more. Anything else you’d like to share?
Nene: Thank you, Cate, for allowing me to do a guest post about Flowers of Edo: a Ghost Story. I appreciate the opportunity, and I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Keep up the great work!

Cate: Thanks so much for the kind words, Nene. Thanks for adding to the Halloween fun! Best of luck to you.
The Halloween fun continues tomorrow! I'm having a great time - hope you are too!

1 comment:

Helen Hardt said...

Great to meet you, Nene!