Thank you, Aimee, for taking time to write to us.
Over the course of my twenty year marriage (closer to twenty one now), I have spent a lot of time in a dojo.
If you don’t know what a dojo is essentially it’s a classroom/learning facility for martial arts. Dojo is a Japanese word that means “place of the Way” (Way coming from Dao, a Chinese word meaning path of study - yup, a Japanese word with a root definition in a Chinese word because language is super cool) and it’s a pretty ubiquitous term regardless if you’re learning Kenpo, Chung Do Kwan, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
I happened to pick those specific martial arts because those are the ones my family has been involved with that have kept me in dojos so much. Especially Chung Do Kwan.
My husband got his black belt in Kenpo before we met. Then he took my daughter, newly seven, and they began learning Chung Do Kwan and earned their black belts together in 2015 seven years later.
What does this all have to do with books and writing? I thought this was a book blog. Aimee, is this a martial arts post?
Yes and no.
See, I had a lot of time on my hands while they were in class together. That was when I decided to dip my hand back into the writing I’d been doing off and on since I was a child. Classes were three days a week, forty-five minutes a class. It was the perfect time. And full of inspiration too because getting to see how the mechanics of martial arts movements flowed made writing fight scenes so much easier.
And unless it was too cold, I wrote in my car because if you’ve ever watched a children’s martial arts class you know just how loud it can get in that room.
Also, I don’t care how big and obvious your head phones are, friends will always wave to get your attention and ask, “How’s the writing going?” They meant well and they were excited for me too. None of them had any doubt it would happen. I’d write the book and it would be published. It was nice to have other people believe that because I wasn’t sure it would happen.
I wrote a lot at the library too. In fact, I wrote almost a full sixty percent of my first book WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU at the library. Another twenty percent was at the dojo while my husband and kid were in class.
My first book launch was at the library shown in this first photo. They were amazing and made it such a fantastic event. They even held the library open late for us.
This launch will be at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dojo.
They’ve been wanting to host an event for me since the first book, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU released, which is so amazing since *I’m* not the student there. DARK STREETS, COLD SUBURBS starts with a fight scene so it made sense to tie the book into the dojo. Plus one of our amazing friends who is the only female black belt in the dojo is going to do a self-defense demonstration . Kristin is a former Fairfax County police officer and current private investigator (like my main character Willa!).
And so I’m spending more time in a dojo than most people would think a writer would. And that works for me. I’ll be surrounded by loved ones in a place full of inspiration.
One final note: My daughter has a warning for you if you’ve never been in a dojo before … they smell like feet, sweat, and desperation. I’d kill to have come up with a line that great, let me tell you.
Thank you, Aimee. Aimee Hix' website is https://www.aimeehix.com/
Dark Streets, Cold Suburbs will be released on January 8. Dark Streets, Cold Suburbs. Midnight Ink, 2019. ISBN 9780738754703 (paperback), 312p.