The Divining Wand

Discovering authors beyond their pages…

The Revealing of Wendy Tokunaga

November 11, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

Wendy Tokunaga debuted two years ago with her highly praised novel, Midori By Moonlight. In this writing, the author told a tale based on her personal “experience in studying the Japanese language and culture; living, working and playing in Japan; and her cross-cultural marriage.” Yet her main theme and character focused on why some people feel the need to trade in their native culture for a new one.

In less than two weeks the writer’s second novel, Love in Translation, will be released with a similar theme but a very different setting. A full presentation of Love in Translation is scheduled to appear here on Monday, November 23rd, but until then let’s read beyond this website bio:

Born in San Francisco, Wendy has lived her whole life in the San Francisco Bay Area (except for a stint in Tokyo in the 1980s). She lives with her Osaka-born surfer-dude husband, Manabu Tokunaga, several virtual West Highland white terriers, and a champagne-sable Burmese cat dubbed Meow in a house that is a ten-minute walk from the Pacific Ocean.

Instead it’s time to reveal Wendy Tokunaga — a most creative, multi-talented individual:

Q: How would you describe your current life in 8 words?
A: Writing Marketing Writing Marketing Writing Marketing Writing Marketing

Q: What is your motto or maxim?A: Never, never give up.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: A good bottle of wine and a great dinner out with my husband.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: The power of fear itself.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Depending on my mood either Shinjuku Station in Tokyo or Makawao, Maui.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: Miep Gies

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: Tap dancing

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: A toss-up between getting my novels published and returning to school to get my MFA in Writing.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: My lack of interest in housework.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: My lack of interest in housework.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Je ne regrette rien!

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: A contented cat.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Winnie-the-Pooh (A. A. Milne version)

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
Q: Duchess the Cat in “Babe”

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Hideki Matsui – Sushi o tabe ni ikimasen ka? (Shall we go eat some sushi?)

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: People writing “loose” when they mean “lose.”

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: Real estate agent with my own show on HGTV.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Sincerity, a sense of humor, and good time management skills.

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Sushi!

Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians?
A: Bill Charlap (jazz pianist), Kelly Clarkson, Booty Luv, Allison Iraheta, Manabu Tokunaga.

Q: What are some of your favorite novels you’ve read recently?
A: Oh! A Mystery of Mono no Aware by Todd Shimoda; No One You Know by Michelle Richmond; American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld; How to Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward.

Charmingly, complex, get to know Wendy Tokunaga even better by following her on Twitter or become a friend on Facebook.

“Moonlight” Becomes This Debut Author

July 13, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books


Although Wendy Tokunaga’s novel, Midori By Moonlight, was published in September, 2007, readers are still discovering this debut author’s light-hearted touch of exploring why some people feel the need to trade in their native culture for a new one. Combining substance with delicious fun comes naturally for Wendy as she applies her extensive experience in studying the Japanese language and culture; living, working and playing in Japan; and, of course, the lessons learned from her cross-cultural marriage,

And GoodReads has taken notice as the writer’s blog post on Friday, July 10th announced, Midori By Moonlight Book Giveaways on GoodReads. The Contest runs until July 31st so please check it out there. And, if you’re fortunate enough to win one of the three copies, you’ll be enjoying a book praised as:

“Tokunaga depicts Midori’s determination to create her own version of the American dream with exuberance [in this] delectably frothy debut.”__Publishers’ Weekly

“[Midori by Moonlight] draws upon vivid imagery when defining traits of Japanese culture and really hits the nail on the head when depicting some American attitudes toward others…. witty and charming.”__Charleston Gazette

“Midori is endearing, feisty, and funny: the novel is a delight.”__ Ellen Sussman, editor of Bad Girls and author of On a Night Like This

Best selling author Cara Lockwood (Dixieland Sushi) says, “Midori by Moonlight is part wasabi, part ginger, and as scrumptious as a California roll. You’ll devour this book in a day!”

Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Vertigo) says, “A delightful fusion of East meeting West, as if Banana Yoshimoto and Meg Cabot got together to create a romantic comedy.”

From Margo Candela, author of Life Over Easy: “Shedding light on Japanese culture and modern dating, relating, and living woes, Tokunaga blends both with an insider’s eye for nuance and a real love for her characters. Delightfully sweet, just like Midori.”

Here’s a brief Synopsis:

“Midori Saito’s dream seems about to come true. Too independent for Japanese society, Midori is a young woman who has always felt like a stranger in her native land. So when she falls in love with Kevin, an American English teacher, she readily agrees to leave home and start a new life with him in San Francisco—as his fiancée. Kevin seems to be the perfect man. That is, until he dumps her for his blond ex-fiancée, whom Midori never even knew existed. With just a smattering of fractured English, not much cash, and a fiancée visa set to expire in 60 days, Midori realizes she’s in for quite a struggle. Unable to face the humiliation of telling her parents she’s been jilted, she decides to go it alone, surprising even herself as she proves she will do almost anything to hang on to her ‘“American Dream.”’

Now prepare to be charmed by the Midori by Moonlight Book Trailer. Wendy’s husband Manabu composed the great music.

And, finally, you can Read an Excerpt since Midori By Moonlight was featured in the St. Martin’s Press “Read-It-First” Program.

While it’s possible you could be a winner in the GoodReads Contest, chances are you’d feel even luckier to purchase Midori by Moonlight at your local bookstore or one of these other online retailers: Barnes & Noble and Borders.

There’s something special about getting to know a debut author and Wendy Tokunaga will not hold that title much longer since her second novel, Love in Translation, (to be released November 24, 2009) is already available for Pre-order. By all means, it’s time to discover her now!