Who are you, and what did you write?
My name is Nat. I’ve worked as a software engineer, an aerospace engineer, and a Japanese interpreter/translator. But I’ve also spent the last several years living in Japan and researching Japanese mushrooms. My recently released book, Kinoko: A window into the mystical world of Japanese mushrooms is the culmination of this work.
To copy from my Amazon blurb:
Kinoko explores the rich history and cultural significance of mushrooms in Japan.
Inside, you'll find colorful and interesting etymologies of Japanese mushroom names, translated essays and stories from Japanese authors, new translations of a hundred Japanese haiku about mushrooms, cultural insights about mushrooms in Japan, and a glossary and phrasebook of Japanese terms related to mushrooms and mycology. Whether you're a mushroom enthusiast, a lover of poetry and language, or simply interested in the outdoors, you'll find something to enjoy in this beautifully written and carefully researched book.
What hardware and software do you write with?
I use Google Docs to write out the text, edit, and collect feedback from friends. I also use Google Sheets extensively to collect data (mushroom names, collected poetry, etc.) before it’s ready to put into the main document. Finally, I do layout and final editing in Adobe InDesign. I’m still a noob when it comes to InDesign, so I had a professional designer help me with layout for this project.
When and where do you write?
I have two kids and a full-time job, so it’s hard to find time to write. I wrote the majority of this book late at night, in my home office, after everyone else had gone to sleep. When it comes time to do final editing, I’m old-school and prefer to print out what I’ve written and edit it by hand. I find that this helps me catch a lot of mistakes that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.
What's your dream writing setup?
My writing requires a lot of research, so I need an office with lots of books, a comfy chair, and multiple monitors to help manage what I’m working on. I prefer to work in a quiet environment (at home) with a fast desktop PC and lots of desk space. And maybe a whiteboard for jotting down ideas.