Interview with Peter Ninnes

What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a big fan of Haruki Murakami, although anything with a cross-cultural/diversity theme interests me.
Describe your desk
I work in a range of places - one end of my garage is a converted study, then there's the dining room table, the couch, and even the train.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Australia, but the biggest influence on my writing has been living in and experiencing various countries and cultures including the US, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Japan. I've also travelled to about 45 other countries in the Pacific, Asia, Europe, Africa and North America.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote song lyrics when I was a teenager, and produced far too many articles and book chapters when I was an academic. I started writing fiction in 2004, and guide books for Nagano in 2011.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is actually a short story called "The Japanese Bath", which I wrote for a bit of fun last Christmas. It's a cross-cultural mystery with a twist at the end.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When I lived in Japan, it was very difficult to communicate with Japanese publishing houses, let alone convince them of the merits of my work. Besides, I imagined that the Nagano guide books would only have small print runs, so it made sense to self-publish on platforms such as Smashwords.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I learned a great deal about Indie publishing from working with Smashwords. The Style Guide is a treasure trove.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When it comes to fiction, the most fun is seeing how the plot develops. I usually have a general notion in my mind, and sometimes the story goes down that path, and sometimes it takes on a life of its own and ends up in a completely different place. As for non-fiction, I get a great deal of satisfaction out of research, and a big thrill from seeing all the parts come together in the final product.
What do your fans mean to you?
It's great to write a book that give some one else pleasure, and if even one of my books has done that, then I'm happy and grateful to the readers.
What are you working on next?
A novel! I started the original story in 2004, and finished it at the end of 2015. Then I wrote a sequel in the first three months of 2016. By the beginning of 2017, I decided that both of those works were a great learning experience, and it was time to set them aside. So I started again, and finished a full manuscript from scratch in two months. Now I have to decide whether to try the traditional publishing route, or the Indie path. A few people have read the new book, and really like it. They say it is well paced, with lots of action, romance and adventure!
Who are your favorite authors?
Haruki Murakami, Amy Tan, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kazuo Ishiguro, Irene Nemirovsky, Lian Hearn, Douglas Adams
Published 2017-05-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Japanese Bath: A Short Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,230. Language: English. Published: May 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Alec and Jill return to Sydney from a stint working in Japan. They are delighted to find a house containing a real Japanese-style bath with silky-smooth water. However, a heavy rainstorm causes havoc, revealing the bath's dark secret.
Northern Nagano’s Best Après Snow Hot Springs: 40 Soaking Spots in Hakuba, Nozawa, Shiga, Iizuna, Togari and More
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,760. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Snow sports, Nonfiction » Travel » Resorts & spas
Take your Japan snow experience to another level with this detailed book introducing the best day-use hot springs in and near Nagano's major ski resort areas of Hakuba, Nozawa, Shiga, Iizuna, Togari and more. With this volume in hand, snow sports enthusiasts will never be far away from recuperating in a hot bath while recounting the day's adventures.
Legendary Nagano: Folk Tales and Legends from the Roof of Japan
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 22,590. Language: English. Published: August 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
Nagano is a land where super dogs fight demons, badgers take human form, water sprites and monsters try to drag unwitting victims to watery graves, and the gods demonstrate both their divinity and humanity. The antics of the eccentric Dr Motosada, the unique powers of the good woman from Takai district, and the shrewd antics of Red Ant Matabei will amuse and entertain readers around the world.
Hiking, Walking and Biking Nagano: 16 Tours in Nagano City
Series: Hiking, Walking and Biking Nagano. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 22,040. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks
Nagano City in central Japan offers a wealth of opportunities to explore the country's unique natural, cultural and historical features. This book provides the most thoroughly researched and comprehensive English language guide to the city's sites, including Zenkoji temple, Matsushiro castle town, Kawanakajima battlefield, the Chikuma River bikeway, and the Togakushi highland area.
Hiking, Walking and Biking Nagano: 16 Tours in Karuizawa and Environs
Series: Hiking, Walking and Biking Nagano. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,990. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Travel » By region
Lush forests, soaring mountains, a unique history mixing East and West, plus outlet shopping and golf courses galore: Karuizawa has something for everyone. This book provides a detailed guide to one of Japan's most famous highland retreats.
Hiking, Walking and Biking Nagano: 16 Tours in Ueda City and Environs
Series: Hiking, Walking and Biking Nagano. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,350. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region, Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks
Ueda City is in the east of Nagano Prefecture, in the center of Honshu Island, Japan. Less than two hours from Tokyo, the area has a wealth of hiking opportunities. Each tour in this book has a detailed English description, colour photographs, and a full-colour map. Even with no Japanese ability, readers will be able to navigate and enjoy these fascinating mountain hikes and historic city walks.
Hiking, Walking and Biking Nagano: 20 Nature, History and Culture Tours in Chikuma City
Series: Hiking, Walking and Biking Nagano. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,800. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region, Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks
Seen the big cities and tourist havens of Japan? This detailed guidebook provides you with a new and enchanting way to experience a fascinating part of the country, just 2 hours from Tokyo. Use the detailed English language maps and descriptions to tour the mountains, towns, villages and farms of Chikuma City in rugged Nagano, Japan, and learn many historical and cultural facts along the way.