Norfolk author Keith Yatsuhashi recently published his first book, “Kojiki” a fantasy themed novel. Courtesy Photo

By Heather Gillis Harris

Posted Apr. 26, 2014 @ 8:29 am

NORFOLK — It took more than a decade, but Norfolk author Keith Yatsuhashi finally finished what he started, writing and publishing his first book.

“I remember (Ronald) Regan had just died,” Yatsuhashi said as to when he started writing his recently published fantasy novel, “Kojiki.”

The lifetime Norfolk resident lives with his wife Kathleen and their three children, Kaitlin, 15, Jeffrey, 13 and Justin, 11.

Writing a book was something Yatsuhashi always wanted to do, but felt intimidated by the process.

“I put the idea on the shelf,” he said. “Then one day I had an idea and started to write, one sentence at a time.”

It took him two years to write the first draft.

“It was a very long process, because I didn’t have a background in writing,” Yatsuhashi said. “So I had a lot to learn.”

He sent his book off to various publishers, only to be rejected or not receive any feedback. To get some guidance, he hired independent editor Lorin Oberweger. Oberweger works out of Tampa, Florida, so the two conversed over emails and phone.

“I was lucky, she happened to like the book,” Yatsuhashi said. “She was very hands-on. Not only did she edit the book, she acted as a consultant on how to submit. She really taught me how the industry worked.”

Yatsuhashi said Oberweger helped him pare down the book, about an 18-year-old Japanese-American girl named Keiko who finds herself on a spiritual mission after crossing through a ceremonial gate in Japan. Originally Keiko was written as an older protagonist, based loosely on Yatsuhashi’s elderly and eccentric aunt Kikiyue.

But Kaitlin, Yatsuhashi’s daughter, suggested that, since the book is fantasy, Keiko is old in mind, but something happened to her that keeps her physically young.

Yatsuhashi followed his daughter’s advice. “It made for a much more interesting story,” he said.

The story is about a quest that Keiko must take after she is left a poem and a one-way ticket to Japan following her father’s death.

“She must find a gate and uses a camera as a sort of talisman to help her find the way,” Yatsuhashi said.

Without giving too much away, Keiko finds the gate and enters a doorway where she encounters god-like beings and learns that the myths and legends she was taught as a child are actually reality based.

“The world history she learned was all a lie,” Yatsuhashi said.

While the book bears some resemblance to Japanese folklore, Yatsuhashi said the book is entirely fiction.

“People who like animation will like this book,” he said. He added that teenagers seem to be drawn to the book as well, that many of the online reviews have labeled it in the “young adult” genre.

To purchase a copy of the book Yatsuhashi said it is available at http://www.amazon.com and other e-book platforms such as iTunes, the Sony Store and the Barnes and Noble digital store.

For anyone thinking about writing and publishing their own book, he offers this advice: “It’s a lot of work. You do more work than you think. When you’re writing you can’t just say ‘it’s good enough,’ be open to editing.”

Heather Harris can be reached at hharris@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @heatherharrisWL.



47 RONIN: Movie Review

Another Castle

91e6fpZPIeL._SL1500_ Source: Amazon.com

When previews for Universal’s 47 Ronin started appearing last year, the reaction was, at best, cautiously pessimistic. Purists bemoaned the added mysticism, the politically corrected sniffed at having an englishman ostensibly save the day for the Japanese, and Keanu Reeves many haters resurfaced to ridicule the film’s star. Instead of the pre-release good-will of say, a Marvel Comics movie or Nolan’s Batman, 47 Ronin faced a steep climb to respectability.

By the time it opened, it was already considered a failure. That’s unfortunate. Thankfully, home video gives it a new life. Here, it has a chance to answer its critics without the box office pressure.

47 Ronin is the story of a group of masterless samurai trying to regain their honor and avenge their wrongly deposed and executed lord. The tale is one of Japan’s most famous and beloved–which accounts for some measure of the criticism the film received…

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First Frost Eggs-travaganza

liz dejesus

LOL See my play on words there? I thought it was funny. 😀 I felt like celebrating the arrival of Spring (finally! Hopefully I’m not the only one that was sick of snow and cold). So I’m putting First Frost on sale for 99 cents everywhere ebooks are sold!



Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook




For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She…

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The Amazing Story of a Grassroots Anime Convention

It was such a fun time!

Another Castle

Image: Keith Yatsuhashi Image: Keith Yatsuhashi

Organizing a convention is a Herculean undertaking. Planning takes months, set up slightly less. The day itself requires constant management: everything from registration to food and housekeeping to maintaining the schedule. Trade show and convention organization is big business–whole careers are dedicated to it; it’s an industry all to itself. So, when a pair of high school students from Pembroke, New Hampshire successfully opened the doors to their second annual anime convention last month, science fiction/fantasy fans everywhere should stand up and give them a round of applause.

“If you have a vision, you can do great things,” says Pembroke Academy’s anime club president, (since these are high school students, Another Castle has decided to keep the names private). That vision began in 2011 when two Pembroke Academy freshman decided to revive the school’s anime club. “At first, the club wasn’t looked at fondly by the teachers and…

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