Naomi Hirahara

Hirahara is the author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Kibei Nisei gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes. Her new mystery series with a female hapa bicycle cop was launched in April 2014 with the publication of Murder on Bamboo Lane. The second in the series, Grave on Grand Avenue, is available now. She authored a 12-part serial for Discover Nikkei titled “The Nihongo Papers” and “Baishakunin, Inc.”

Updated June 2015

media en

The Making of Mamo's Weeds: Mystery of an L.A. Gardener's Life

As I’ve stated before in interviews, it took me 15 years to get my first novel published. I rewrote it numerous times (maybe the first chapter 33 times!), eliminated major characters, revamped the plot, and changed the title about four times. The one thing that stayed the same was the lead character, Mas Arai, a Japanese American gardener and atomic bomb survivor.

Only when the story transformed into a mystery did literary agents finally take notice. The title, Summer of the Big Bachi, also reflected the story’s mysterious plot line. Since then I’ve come to realize that ...

Read more