Hamish Downie’s Five More Questions With Tina deBellegarde

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you, Hamish, for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all of your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.

TGGeeks: It’s been a while since Tina’s last interview, so could you please re-introduce yourself to our readers?

Tina deBellegarde: I write the Batavia-on-Hudson Mysteries for which I have received two Agatha Award nominations: Best First Novel for Winter Witness and Best Contemporary Novel for Dead Man’s Leap. My story “Tokyo Stranger” appeared in the 2021 Mystery Writers of America anthology and was nominated for a Derringer Award. I co-chair the Murderous March Mystery Writers Conference

Link: https://upperhudsonsinc.com/murderous-march-2023/

and I am a founding member of Sleuths & Sidekicks,

Link: https://www.sleuthsandsidekicks.com/

a team of four authors who blog together, tour virtually and teach writing workshops online. I live in New York, and I travel to Japan regularly to do research and to visit my son. I am the membership secretary for Writers in Kyoto 

Link: https://www.writersinkyoto.com/

and my latest passion is writing book reviews for BooksOnAsia.net:

Link: https://booksonasia.net/boa_author/tina-debellegarde/

TGG: Could you tell us about your piece/chapter in the anthology, “The Nature of Kyoto”?

TdB: “Sounds Travels” won the USA Prize in the 2021 Writers in Kyoto competition. It is based on phone calls with my son during lockdown. I was in New York, and he was in Kyoto. It is a very personal piece for me and is best understood by the postscript I included in the anthology. 

For the thirty months that border restrictions were in place in Japan, I relied on sound travel. I became resourceful about staying connected to my son and to the unique city he has called home these last twelve years. During that time, the nature of Kyoto for me was the sounds which traveled over the phone line. Kyoto became its sounds. I clung to every chirp, whoosh and clap. To every jazz note, and every train announcement. Not having the other senses available to me, the sounds became more distinct, more precious, and transported me to Kyoto. 

Upon the borders’ re-opening, I finally set out to visit my son in November 2022. I discovered that those phone calls had altered my connection to the city. Distance has indeed made my heart grow fonder, but also it has forever enriched my sensory experience of Kyoto. 

Link: The Nature of Kyoto: Writers in Kyoto Anthology 5: Weis, Robert, Sone, Lisa Twaronite, Iyer, Pico: 9798391482086: Amazon.com: Books

TGG: What does being a Writer in Kyoto mean to you?

TdB: Since my son has chosen Kyoto as his home and intends to remain, Kyoto has an outsized place in my New York life. I expect I will spend more and more time there over the years. Writers in Kyoto has given me my own community in that beautiful city. I now have a circle of warm, talented, and supportive writing friends in Kyoto that helps me believe that I am not reliant on my son to participate in the city and its culture. 

TGG: I can agree with that. It’s a wonderful community of writers. So, what’s next for you?

TdB: I am writing book #3 in my Batavia-on-Hudson series – Autumn Embers. A great deal of that book takes place in Kyoto. I am also (still) working on a collection of short stories set in Japan. I am planning a trip to Kyoto again soon. 

TGG: That all sounds wonderful! Congratulations on book three! How can we best support you? (where can we buy your work, and follow you on social media)

TdB: My books are available on Amazon and other major retailers: Amazon.com: Tina deBellegarde: books, biography, latest update

I would love it if your readers would follow me on social media and visit my websites to sign up for my newsletters.

Here are my links:

Website: Home | tdb writes

Facebook: @tina.tersigni

Facebook Author Page: @tinadebellegardeauthor

Twitter: @tdbwrites

Instagram: Tina deBellegarde (@tdb_writes) • Instagram photos and videos

Blog: Sleuths & Sidekicks

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