Yumi is a young writer on the rise from the beautiful city of Newcastle, Australia via Kyoto, Japan. Growing up amongst the rich culture of Japan, she was able to explore her imagination through comic books, short stories and classic novels. Moving to Australia at age thirteen, she experienced passion, love and sex for the first time, which she now channels into her writing. She spends her time equally between the traditional and reserved Japan and the youthful and vibrant Australia. She became a writer of erotic romance in order to embrace the duality of her life.
When did you start writing books and what was your inspiration for it?
In March 2020 COVID hit Australia and my role within the airline industry ceased. Asked to publish a book for a family member, I did that and got the indie writing bug. I’d found something more creative than my day job. I hadn’t read much in the genre but identified a lack of transgender heroines of substance. That inspired me to change the narrative.
What was your first book that you wrote?
My first book was Private Dancer. Based on a true story, it allowed me to not worry as much about plot and beats. I simply wrote what was in my head and added a few ‘what could have been’ moments. The story had been sitting in my subconscious for years and years. So, it felt like a relief to get it out.
Why did you decide to become an author?
Writing for me is a passion project. I still work a day job and write when I get spare time. That’s why I only publish a story a month. But after writing my first story, I found inspiration for stories everywhere I looked. The transgender romance genre is so diverse and contains so many strong and inspiring heroines, I simply never stopped writing their stories.
What has been the high point of your career?
I’m too new for that. And sit at the very indie end of the writer spectrum. But every 5 star review shows my message has gotten through and makes me feel the hard work is all worth it.
What are your favourite stories to write?
I love to lead my readers down a path before delivering a few twists or turns. So, my stories tend to be more than just love stories. There’s always something else going on. But travel is my passion and combining a wonderful travel story with a holiday romance is right up there.
How do you keep your ideas and stories fresh?
With only one release per month and sixty books it’s easier to keep things fresh. But my stories are traditional contemporary romances featuring strong transgender women being cherished for who they are. So, I do work on changing the setting and the plot to keep things fresh. Plus I’ve got stories full of the spectrum of transgender characters. Whether they be full time girls, part time girls, or just as happy to switch it up a little as they feel the desire.
What is your favourite book that you have written?
With only sixty stories written to date, a favourite should be easy to pick. But they are all my children and I love them all dearly. Having said that, my fifth book ‘The Apprentice‘ was so much fun to write. I really let my hair down for the first time and had an absolute ball writing it. And it’s based on a true story with just enough embellishment to make it exciting.
Do you have a writing routine?
I’m quite the plotter I’m afraid. So, I spend a bit of time thinking back from the end to the start before I write. Then I write full chapters at a time. And ideally, full acts (my stories have four). I find that dressing the part brings out my characters more richly. And I dress super sexy for the steamy climax. I always exercise before writing for the day. A solid 45 minute workout has provided some of my best plot points, twists, turns and hooks.
What’s the secret to a strong title and great cover art?
Unlike most other authors I spend too little time on selling. And it shows in my sales. But for me it’s a hobby and it’s all about getting the crazy ideas out of my head and down into a strong read. But I should take more time on both.
Do you enjoy hearing from readers?
Writing is a solitary game. And when you don’t have anyone read your work before it’s published, the first email or meaningful review is exhilarating. I enjoy receiving messages and emails from readers. And hearing about how they interpret what I have written often blows my mind.
Which authors inspire you?
In the transgender genre Nikki Crescent continues to inspire. After ten years and hundreds of stories, she still weaves a wonderful story and usually gets the juices flowing too. There’s also a strong batch of newer writers who’ve entered the genre in the past few years. Things are looking strong.
How much of your work is based on personal experience versus fantasy?
When I first started writing, I used personal experience for plot ideas and character traits. But more recently, I channel personal experience into the feelings that accompany dressing feminine and for writing my more steamy moments. The joy of writing about something that you adore is that it’s never a chore. It becomes so much fun.
Do you friends and family know that you are an erotic author? If so, how did they react when they found out?
Online friends and selective family know about my sordid double life. And it has even inspired my wonderful friend, Lilly Lustwood, to pick up a pen. But part of the excitement of writing transgender romance is the mystique surrounding the author. Are they? Aren’t they? And how do they relate to the subject matter. Not everyone needs to know that. You need to have a few secrets and surprises.
What is your best selling book, and do you know why it sells so well?
My best selling book is ‘Hiding Out‘. A tale of finding love where you least expect it. Set in the wonderful Emerald Isles, it has links to organised crime, drag queens (a common character type), loads of twists and turns, and a wonderful ending. Maybe that’s why it’s so successful.
What mistakes have you made in your career?
Where do I start? My marketing is poor and I don’t put enough time into improving it. Allowing my stories to get categorised wrongly up front was another rookie mistake. Protect that from the get go. Thankfully, I belong to a wonderful authors group where the goddesses of the transgender genre gladly assist the newbies like me. I’ve asked some dumb questions. But never once received a dumb answer.
What have been your personal triumphs?
For me it’s the small things. Like keeping a twist secret until the right moment. Or throwing a character reveal that no-one saw coming. It’s all about the story and characters. But every 5 star review makes it totally worthwhile too.
What advice would you offer a writer who wants to embark or a successful erotica career?
Success is in the eye of the beholder. For me it is writing a story that resonates with readers. Even if it’s a narrow group of readers. For others, it’s all about building a brand and funding a full time writing career. Erotica is very different to romance. Understand where you are pitching the steam and understand the expectations of the reader. Are they after a love story with a happy ending? Are they after a story that drips with excitement from page one. And focus on delivering that in spades.