Interview the Writer – Yousei Hime
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My psuedo-name is Yousei Hime. I wanted a bit of anonymity on my blog, so I created this pseudonym and I’ve become rather fond of it. I live in Michigan with my husband and two teenage sons on a small 4 acre farm.
When did you first begin writing?
I’m not sure exactly when I started writing, but I was very, very young. I illustrated my spelling lists and made stories with the sentences I had to write using those spelling words. I imitated stories from many of my favorite books, writing and illustrating them. My sister and I designed, wrote, and “published” our own magazine when we were preteens. Our neighbor in that town refused to give it to us when we moved. She said it was her treasure. Having to do a journal in tenth grade really revved up my writing motor. I kept up that journal all the way through high school and college. In college, I helped found a creative writing group, holding critiquing meetings and public forums.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m still a student of writing more than a writer, if being published is a writer. I had one poem published when I won second place for an Earth Day competition. Other than that, it has been a long dry spell. With the advent of marriage and children, I stopped writing for several years. Only recently have I renewed my daily writing. I am a writer, just not a confident one . . . not yet, anyway.
What is your favorite genre for writing? – fiction, poetry, non-fiction, commentary, etc.
Poetry and fiction are my mediums for writing. Poetry keeps me writing daily. I love haiku, and living in the country, I can usually find a haiku moment each day. Fiction is a bit harder, and reality keeps interrupting that process. I’m committed though. I have at least one story that shouts at me to be told, and several others that are only whispering to me.
Who has been the greatest influence in your writing.
This is a surprisingly tough question. I majored in English, so I have a lot of writers I admire. Of course I have favorites—Tolkien, Le Guin, L’Engle, Basho, Issa, Keats, Bradbury, Shakespeare, the Bible, C. S. Lewis, Diana Wynne Jones . . . ok, I’ll stop. The single greatest influence in encouraging and challenging me to write is probably my mother. She’s always praised my writing, occasionally nudged me to write more, and always, always believed in me.
What inspires you to write?
I’m daily inspired by language itself—how wonderfully other writers use it in poetry and prose, the richness and varied meanings in a single word, and the absolute magic that I can sometimes cast on a page. At other times a person or event I read about grabs me and won’t let go until painted in words. I am also inspired by the blog writers I follow online. They are an amazing group of people who lift me up and challenge me without fail.
Do you read as much as you write?
I’m always reading something. Usually I read fiction, but I also read poetry, biographies, reference books, cookbooks, science fiction, manga, comic books, plays, and most anything that catches my eye.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Harriet Reisen’s Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women. I loved it! I learned so much about Alcott, her time and the world around her. Do read it!
Is writing a career for you? If not – can you see it as one?
Writing is not a career for me now, but I can see writing as a future career. In a very few years my boys will have flown the nest. Then we’ll see!
Where did your interest in writing originate?
I believe many young people’s interests in writing originate from the same place mine did—wanting to read more of the stories they loved. If I couldn’t find more, I wrote more myself.
Where can readers find your work online?
My blog is Shiteki Na Usagi.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of writing for you?
What is the most enjoyable aspect of writing? I’d say it’s a tie between readers letting me know they really enjoyed what I’ve written and that moment I finish a piece satisfied, knowing I wouldn’t change another thing.
Are you connected to an online writing community?
I’m not currently connected with any online writing community, but when and if I do, I’ll be sure to post the links on my blog.
Some random questions here…
What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is black, closely followed by dark green.
What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast?
For breakfast, I enjoy a hot cup of coffee with mocha creamer, cheese toast, and any kind of omelet.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself?
Who would play me in a movie? No one is going to make a movie about me, but if they did, I would be honored if Anne Hathaway would play the part. (We look nothing alike. I just love her acting.)
What super power would you like to have? Why?
What super power would I like to have? I laughed when I first read this, because my boys have asked me this at least once a year for years. I use to think I’d like to be like Professor X, with amazing mind-reading and telekinetic powers. I’ll pass on that now. I wouldn’t want to know what everyone is thinking. I’ll settle for being a powerful empathy—able to understand and feel what another is feeling. Don’t we all need more of that?
What do you do to relax?
To relax I like to watch movies, read, listen to music, play piano, take walks in the woods, play Final Fantasy, and take naps.