Christopher Cloud , a multi-genre author, begins his virtual book tour today with Pump Up Your Book. Voices of the Locusts: A Love Story is a coming of age story of a first love complicated by differing cultures and a historic look at WWII issues and events. Christopher joins us today to talk about his book and the inspiration behind it and who he would like to thank for getting him where his is today.
I attended high school in Japan for two years—my father was stationed at an Air Force base in a remote part of the main island of Honshu. My father would often take me duck hunting, a service offered by a local fisherman who would ferry us about in search of ducks in the Sea of Japan. After each hunt my father would loan his shotgun to the Japanese fisherman, allowing the man to hunt ducks himself. The Japanese man was poor, and the shotgun provided food for the fisherman’s family. The man was more than pleased by my father’s generosity, but by loaning the weapon to the fisherman, my father put his career as an Army officer at great risk; my father’s kindness was in violation of Occupation Law, which prohibited Japanese citizens from owning or using firearms. (Occupation Law was enacted following World War II.)
The loaning of the shotgun was the seed of the idea for my novel, and much of the story is based on my personal experience. I have carried this story in my head for more than 30 years, and began piecing it together in my mind about 5 years ago.
I have my father to thank for providing me the experience; he also gave me background material for some of the military weaponry referenced in the story.
About Voices of the Locusts
From his deathbed, 81-year-old Jack O’Brien reveals to his grandson the existence of a long-forgotten story he wrote as a teenager years earlier while living in Japan. The 16-year-old grandson finds the story in an old footlocker in his grandfather’s attic, and spends days pouring over the real-life account. Set at a U.S. military base in rural Japan in 1948, and playing out against a backdrop of swirling post-War social change, Jack’s Voices of the Locusts tells the story of three families—one black, one white, one Asian. The story also recounts Jack’s love for a Japanese girl, Fujiko Kobaysi, who has been promised in marriage by her parents to an older man. Told in vivid and sometimes haunting detail, Jack and Fujiko are frustrated in their romantic quest by story characters coming to terms (often violently) with the emotional scars of World War II. (The content of this novel depicts violence, and is recommended for mature young adults.)
Voices of the Locusts Excerpt
A flutter of panic races through my body. It is instantly replaced by a sweep of joy, and a strange, unnatural lucidity overcomes me.
Fujiko and I hesitate for what seems a small eternity, our eyes locked in a moment of mutual understanding. Finally, I lean in toward Fujiko and she leans in toward me. Our eyes close and our mouths touch in a whisper-soft kiss, a brief, gentle brush of lips.
I pull back slowly, my heart racing, my head alive with all manner of strange, warm images. This must all be a dream. A wonderful, glorious dream. I don’t want to ever wake up.
About Christopher Cloud
Christopher Cloud is a best-selling American author with four multi-genre novels published by Stay Thirsty Publishing. After graduating from the University of Missouri, Cloud began a long career in journalism, public relations and later operated his own public relations agency. His choice of novels is determined not by genre, but by the weight of the story.
Cloud has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist for newspapers in Texas, California and Missouri. A Fortune 100 company employed him as a public relations executive. Currently, Cloud makes his home in Missouri. Much of his Voices of the Locusts is based on his personal experience from attending high school in Japan.
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