"Share Your World" takes us to the Land of the Rising Sun! Japan, where the ancient lives side by side with the contemporary. An island nation that has held sway over Western pop culture as much as been influenced by the West. How much sway? Well, that would be a whole other blog series in itself!
It's in Japan where we connect with Kisstopher Musick, the Head of Marketing for Cinnabar Moth Publishing, an "independent traditional publisher of novels". Kisstopher and Cinnabar Moth are also known within the #WritingCommunity. You know, that Twitter hashtag I mentioned in one of the other "Share Your World" blog posts?
Okay, what say we get down to the meat and potatoes?
KD: So first, let's get the first question dialed in. Say you were on the world stage, give us an
overall scope of what makes you...well...you.
Kisstopher Musick: My heritage and roots as a Black, Indigenous, Jewish American make up a large part of my identity. That and the fact I’m agender and don’t think of myself as a fixed “he” or “she.” I was assigned female at birth and don’t care what pronouns folx use, so most use “she” when talking about me. The final piece of the puzzle is I’m an entrepreneur and I’m always starting a business or selling a business.
KD: And what do you do for relaxation?
Kisstopher Musick: I love to watch TV. I know TV gets a bad rap, but I love it. Being dyslexic can make reading a challenge when I’m trying to relax. That and the fact I run a press and a literary magazine. I also do jigsaw puzzles and do a podcast called The Musicks in Japan with my husband about life in Japan versus how life was in the US.
KD: Me being a bit of a TV junkie myself, I'm right there with you. Give a shout-out to your corner of the world by telling me the best thing about your neck of the woods.
Kisstopher Musick: Nagoya, Japan is the best city on earth because it has everything. You can go from the countryside to a seriously boppin’ downtown area in about 45 minutes. It’s also the home of Oshibori Japanese tie dye with a patented blue dye.
KD: One sentence parenting advice. What cha got for the people?
Kisstopher Musick: When your kids tell you who they are, believe them.
KD: My son has been asking a lot of questions about Lex Luthor lately. I see I'll probably need to watch him even closer now. What got you into the writing world as a whole, the publishing industry specifically?
Kisstopher Musick: My husband, Chad, wrote a book, and we met a lot of authors who had bad experiences with publishers and thought, “we can do better than that.” We were surprised by how many authors pay publishers to be published and think that practice is extortion. That is just one of the things we warn authors against.
KD: Writers and authors, hope you took note of that. Okay, so this one is a three-parter. What genre of music/movies & shows/reading do you listen to/watch/read more than others? Yeah, I know that reads a bit more complicated than it is.
I’m a huge sci-fi and horror fan. I love to read and watch both. Every now and then I don’t mind a fantasy story but prefer that they are dark or if they are upbeat they need to be specifically middle grade. At work, I read all types of stories as the press and magazine publish most genres except religious fiction, erotica, and romance. These three genres have a lot of publishing houses dedicated to them and take a lot of specific marketing and scheduling.
KD: Coffee, tea, or...?
Kisstopher Musick: Water. I know it’s a plain answer but all I drink is water with the exception of an occasional milkshake.
KD: Are we talking chocolate milkshake, strawberry, or...wait, let me backtrack a bit. I kinda wanna piggyback off that one sentence parenting advice. Two sentence writing advice. Go.
Kisstopher Musick: When your characters tell you who they are, believe them. Write the story your characters want told about them, and it will keep your story authentic.
KD: Writers and authors, hope you all took note of that gem as well! So, how would you describe yourself? That is, as far as personality and character?
Kisstopher Musick: I’m a very serious and honest person who loves to laugh but enjoys smart humor, if that makes sense. This might be controversial, but I never got the Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy.
KD: Controversial indeed! Curly was wronged, I tell you. Wronged! Anyway, how do you think your friends would describe you?
Kisstopher Musick: I hope they would say I’m funny and that I find the best places to visit and eat.
KD: Can you tell me where I can get a good shawarma? Because ever since the first Avengers movie...well...nevermind. So, where do you land on the introvert - extrovert scale?
Kisstopher Musick: I’m an introvert.
KD: Right there with ya! How active are you on social media?
Kisstopher Musick: Too active. I love Twitter. Instagram is a struggle because I prefer to be here now and don’t want to spoil the moment by taking a photo. Same with TikTok. I just don’t have time to make videos.
KD: That reminds me, I still need to find something to do with my Instagram. What, to you, is the greatest aspect of Japan?
Kisstopher Musick: How safe and peaceful it is. The police do not carry guns and Japan had zero-gun deaths in 2021.
KD: Wow, I like that. Other side of the coin, what do you feel is the greatest issue facing Japan today?
Kisstopher Musick: Economic growth. The population in Japan is getting older and fewer babies are being born. Japan is making changes in immigration law to let in more foreigners, but I worry that it might be too slow. Japan needs more workers now.
KD: Name something you wish you would have known or learned way earlier than you did?
Kisstopher Musick: Something I wish I had known about Japan is that you really do need to speak Japanese at least a little to get around and handle daily life. Also, something I wish I had known about myself is that getting angry (really angry) hurts me more than it hurts anyone else.
KD: Pet peeves?
Kisstopher Musick: When people are late or tell obvious lies.
KD: What was your biggest accomplishment of 2021? What's a goal you have for 2022?
Kisstopher Musick: For 2021, opening Cinnabar Moth Publishing and Cinnabar Moth Literary collections are by far my biggest accomplishments. In 2022, my main goal is to complete my PhD in psychology and restart my psychology practice with a focus on career development and executive coaching.
KD: Your 2021 accomplishments and 2022 goals are each commendable in their own right. What's an unpopular opinion you stand by?
Kisstopher Musick: That there is a difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. For a culture to survive and thrive, there needs to be a certain level of cultural appreciation from other cultures.
KD: I can understand and respect that wholeheartedly. So, let's dial it in again. What are things that you wouldn't mind others knowing about you and your world?
Kisstopher Musick: I am an open book. I have an "ask-me-anything" policy. Something a lot of folx may not know is that I am chronically ill. I am the one of two people ever documented with both Lupus and hereditary coproporphyria. Lupus is an autoimmune disease and hereditary coproporphyria is a blood disorder. Both cause chronic pain and damage to my internal organs, so I spend a lot of time in the hospital.
(KD's note: While I was familiar with Lupus, I'd never heard of hereditary coproporphyria. But since I myself suffer from a rare blood disorder, albeit a quite different type, I took some time to do some light research on the condition. It made for some enlightened reading.)
KD: If peeps wanted to reach out and connect, what would be a preferred method?
Kisstopher Musick: By email, Kisstopher.email@example.com
KD: And now we get to the promo plug part!
Kisstopher Musick: I’m super proud of Cinnabar Moth Literary Collections’ free monthly e-zine and reviews: Cinnabar Moth Literary Collections.
KD: I put Cinnabar Moth Literary Collections as a link to make it easier for those interested to go to the site. Thank you for being a part of my "Share Your World" series. I'll see ya around Twitter!
My thanks to Kisstopher Musick for sharing her world all the way from Japan! By the way, I am really big on anime (which, of course, originated in Japan). As before, my thanks to you, the reader, for engaging in this series! Because, this series does not hold any water without you!
I dunno, I guess my thing is this - with so much division in this world, maybe the key to at least some semblance of unity is to try to understand each other. Learn a bit more about each other. Perhaps that starts with sharing just a bit of our world with each other? Maybe, maybe not. But let's at least give it a shot, shall we?