"Armed with a stolen samurai sword and a dark family history, Adrian Green embarks on a soul-searching journey of redemption to Japan in Michael R. French’s Ghost With Two Hearts. Confronting the intricacies of Japanese culture and the intrusion of ghosts, he grapples with the fine line between reality and obsession. It’s a captivating exploration of one man’s journey of self-discovery in a richly evoked if unfamiliar land.
"Eclectic and engaging, French seamlessly weaves fascinating facts about Japanese culture and Shintoism into his insightful and original narrative. A novel that is both character-rich and page-turning, this story will have readers yearning to explore and discover Japan, acting equally as an exquisite work of travel writing and a compelling work of contemporary fiction." Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½
Read the full editorial review at: https://www.selfpublishingreview.com/editorial-reviews/
The relationship between characters and plot in any novel is pivotal and tricky. A story is often plot driven but what I remember most when I finish a satisfying read are the characters. Of course, good plots make characters memorable—how they get in and out of jams, express or repress their emotions, and make sacrifices—but down deep I just like who they are above and beyond what they do. They may start out as the “tail” but they end up as the “dog".
I’ve been publishing books for a long time, into the grisly old age of my late seventies, My last four novels, crossing the threshold of challenging storytelling, I could never have imagined while writing books in my thirties or forties.
I care for, sometimes love, book jackets. I am drawn to their imaginative art work—a dynamic mirror of some kind of collective storytelling consciousness. But what about all those large-font sentences flying over the front and back covers, insisting that I might really like this book? Over the decades, I honestly lose track of what is written, and which famous people wrote them. They often seem interchangeable, and sometimes a string of cliches. Even the most accurate accolades merge into sensory overload.
I’ve gone blurbless for my new novel, Ghost With Two Hearts. It’s about a troubled, young American coder seeking out ancient Japanese spirits for guidance, with too much at stake even for him to understand at first.
How do I convey all this on a book jacket? I’m not sure, but I’m willing to experiment. For Ghost, I chose two images, created by two different artists, one for the front cover and one for the back cover. I added a 100 word excerpt from the novel at the bottom of the back cover which tells a reader a lot more, I hope, than would the most well-intended blurbs, especially if they carry on into a book’s interior.
Save your reading time for the story you just spent your money on, I would like to tell people. Whether you like the story or not, you can always write a review.
Michael's thoughts on writing, politics and everything in between.
Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family.