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Yume Kitasei Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Deep Sky (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stardust Grail (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

LampLight - Volume 8 Issue 1(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Yume Kitasei
Yume Kitasei is a Brooklyn-based Japanese and American speculative fiction writer. She is half American and half-Japanese and grew up in a space between two cultures, the same exact space her stories reside in.

Yume has written five novels, with the first one that she wrote at the age of 13, so many of them are nowhere near publishable. However she’s always known that she wanted to write.

She has been writing since she was a little kid, since she was afraid of the dark, which she still is. As she would fall asleep, she somehow got into the habit of telling herself these epic stories, sort of like her own version of counting sheep, and this naturally evolved into wanting to write and tell stories. It was always something that she wanted to do.

Yume graduated from Princeton University and Stuyvesant High School. After graduating college, she began writing short stories since they are a manageable size and a good way to hone your craft. It took Yume roughly ten years before she began getting her short stories published, which is a good thing, since her writing before that was not too great.

The fourth novel that she wrote, which she still loves, was the book which got her an agent however it didn’t sell unfortunately. It was science fiction, an Ice Age Western, where the lead character was a woman with a samurai sword, who was also part Japanese, who was a lot like a sheriff’s deputy solving a murder mystery while riding around on a woolly mammoth.

Yume reads just about everything, from mystery, fantasy, literary fiction, romance, nonfiction, and science fiction. Every year she reads the Booker Prize longlist during the month of August. She figures when she writes, a lot of these elements wind up blending together.

One specific reason that she is attracted to speculative fiction especially is because, as someone that is biracial, it is a place that she can live. In science fiction especially.

In “The Deep Sky”, she began writing the feminist space part first and foremost. Yume grew up reading a bunch of different things, however particularly science fiction. She read writers like Robert Heinlein and would watch “Star Wars”, and was a huge “Star Wars” fan, and they’re great however it is always stories about a lot of cis men that run around on a spaceship where every now and then they throw in a token Princess Leia. She wanted to write a science fiction novel that would be for everybody else.

Then with the mystery aspect, she vowed to herself after the previous book that she would never write another mystery again. It is just much too hard. However somehow it just sorta happened. It must be because she enjoys mystery and gravitated to it unconsciously.

Yume actually forgot who the culprit was, however it wasn’t who it wound up being. She had it stored in the back of her mind that it could’ve really been a bunch of different people, and then, while the narrative kept coming out, the perpetrator revealed themselves to her and she thought it was the person that made the most sense to her. It was during revision that she really attempted sharpening this.

This is what is so challenging to writing a mystery. How do you write it so your readers do not guess who it is up until hopefully close to the reveal? However then the reader can go back and look at everything and see all of the clues along the way.

The flashbacks were in the novel from the start as she was constructing it. She wanted to play around with her structure, and she hopes it’s not too alienating since she realized only later on that not everybody likes flashbacks. However she wanted the novel to have this interesting structure which allowed you to peel the onion back of why someone would decide to even do a mission like this. And what were the factors which propelled them to do this?

She doesn’t like villains. She believes that everybody has a reason for doing the things they do that isn’t just they decided to be evil that day. So she wanted to try exploring this much further and see how the pieces came together. It was also important to her, while she was structuring it, to line up the climaxes of the progression of the flashbacks so they’d land right when you reached the climax of the present day thriller. And it was a fun puzzle for her to put together, making sure that each flashback begins revealing something more about the relevant plot point which is happening during the present day.

Yume’s stories have appeared in publications that include SmokeLong Quarterly, New England Review, Nashville Review, Catapult, and Baltimore Review.

“The Deep Sky” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2023. This is about a mission into deep space which starts with a deadly explosion which leaves the survivors questioning the crew’s loyalty.

They left Earth to save humanity. But they’ll have to save themselves first.

It is the eve of Earth’s environmental collapse. One solitary ship is carrying humanity’s last hope: eighty elite graduates from a competitive program, who are going to give birth to a nation of children in deep space. However halfway to a distant yet livable planet, this lethal bomb kills three crew members and knocks The Phoenix off its course. Asuka, who is the only surviving witness, is now an immediate suspect.

While the mystery continues to unfold onboard the ship, poignant flashbacks reveal just how Asuka got selected for this mission. Despite struggling through training back on Earth, she got chosen to represent Japan, a country which just knows partly since she’s a half-Japanese girl that was raised in America. However estranged from her mom back home, The Phoenix is all that she’s got left.

Asuka, with the crew turning on one another, is now determined to find this culprit before everybody loses faith in their mission, or even worse, the bomber strikes again.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Yume Kitasei

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