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Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 18:15 - 20:30

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 John Boyd      

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The idea for Killing Time in Tokyo (fiction) came about after John Boyd, the author, was approached by a yakuza in a Yokohama pub many years ago. Both the man and his boss who was sitting near by were dressed more like respectable businessmen rather than the then movie image of punch perms and flashy suits. Boyd presumed they were keizai (economic-focused) yakuza and that the boss was interested in learning English, so he turned down the invitation. But afterwards, he got to thinking what might have happened had he agreed. Eventually, his imagination took over and Killing Time in Tokyo is the result.

The Girl Who Danced Her Tears Away (fiction) involves an English girl who goes missing in Japan when working here as an English teacher. Her elder sister back in Liverpool drops everything and goes to Osaka to search for her, and she vows revenge when she learns of her sister’s fate. Boyd had the basic idea for this novel long before Lucie Blackman disappeared in Tokyo in 2000. But he incorporated certain events from that tragic happening into his novel, and owes a previous Book Break author, Richard Lloyd Parry, a tip of the hat for writing People Who Eat Darkness because his poignant account of Blackman’s disappearance and death provided Boyd with background for his own story.


The author will spend the latter part of the evening explaining the nuts and bolts of how he went about self-publishing the two suspense thrillers on Amazon—the world’s largest bookstore. He will explain how he chose the titles, acquired the covers, and wrote the book descriptions. He will also take you through the process of publishing a book manuscript and how to decide on pricing so that you receive up to 70% of the sales price—compared to the typical 12% paid by traditional print publishers.


John Boyd has been freelance writing for over 30 years. Old Japan hands may remember his long-running column Computer Corner that appeared weekly in the Japan Times during the 1980s and ‘90s. Currently, he strings for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Spectrum magazine, writes for a variety of outlets on a variety of subjects, and he’s begun work on his second novel in The Girl Who Danced series that he plans to turn into a trilogy. Both novels are published as ebooks and can be read on any Amazon Kindle or on PCs, Macs and smartphones with the free software Amazon provides.

The library committee is offering a cocktail party–"Meet the Author"–starting at 6:15 pm, followed by dinner at 6:45 pm (Menu: Grilled Chicken with Marmalade and Soy Sauce / Green Salad / Bread / Royal Milk Tea Pound Cake / Coffee or Tea). Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room. Book Break charges are 2,100yen / 3,500yen (members / non-members) per person. The member price is applicable to members’ guests.

To FCCJ members: Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.

To non-members: Sign up now at the reception desk by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Please reserve and pay in advance by Thursday, May 17. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. No refund is available unless the event is cancelled for the reasons on our part.


The talk will be in English


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