Espresso Love is officially COMPLETE! Thank you so much for participating on this journey, for your amazing support and wonderful insightful encouragement. You are what made this journey so worthwhile for me.
It has been a long journey, I started writing the manuscript in January of 2014 inspired by my experiences and observations in the past few years and the return to prose fiction through my university studies under the tutelage of a very wise and encouraging literature professor and visionary author. I went full throttle at as little as 1000 words per day sometimes hitting 5000 words per day from January to June.
The research and constant thinking that went into this was absolutely overwhelming, unbelievable, stress-inducing and rewarding – I had to study all sorts of topics or people on philosophy, history, politics, classical music, art, Japanese culture and geography, sciences, and literally all kinds of things. Even coffee science itself was already so much research and things that might have only appeared for one paragraph would take hours of research to make sure everything was done right. I tried to live out this novel and think about the world, experience life, and so on during the months of writing, through the lens and frame of Espresso Love, as Naoki himself – and in return it helped me grow and mature even more than before, as a person, as a thinker, and as a budding philosopher in a sense. At the same time, it has exhausted my every resource and faculty – I had never worked so hard nor been so determined and dedicated before. However, as I write by colliding my conscious and subconscious worlds, I also learned much about myself, things that were hidden surfaced throughout the novel. The novel is definitely my greatest, most ambitious accomplishment to date and I am tremendously proud of this project and what it has become at 165,000 words, crossing 300,000 views, tens of thousands of readers and countless positive feedback from professors, professional writers and editors, young readers alike.
But what truly made this journey spectacular was honestly every one of you, the readers and fellow writers, people who gave this a try, those who believed in this project from the get go, who sensed something different about this novel, those who were inspired and engaged in intellectual intelligent conversations about its themes and concepts. Your contributions whether it is just reading, voting, reading listing or leaving encouraging comments, has made this a collaboration. Just like the subjective idealist thoughts on perception, your perception and interpretations have revealed new worlds and new ideas in the novel that I had never thought of before, or might have been hidden away in my subconscious. There is no objective truth.
Truly, I hope this journey has spoken to you and inspired you in some way. Whenever I receive comments expressing how much the story has made an impact on lives and a deep lasting impression on hearts, souls and minds, it is that moment when I realize that this is what I’m doing this for. That is my greatest passion and honour. And truly, I hope that you take this novel and make it your own. Interpret it, understand it in new ways, develop your own conclusions and philosophies, and use it, in life.
I wish each of you a spectacular voyage in life ahead, may you be blessed and inspired. May you have the strength, courage, and wisdom to live a life set apart from the rest of the world, the digitalized instantaneous culture of gratification, the conditioning of state ideology and our capitalist materialistic system of consumerism. I pray you can transcend and be enlightened to the higher collective and seek meaning for your lives.
Thank you so much.
Now that it’s officially over, it’s going to leave many of us somewhat empty inside 🙁 But don’t worry, the project is NOT over. There is much to come. With the last chapter posted there are a couple of things right off the bat:
1) The super cute coffee charm free GIVEAWAY returns! (Answer some Reader’s Insight questions or share some thoughts in the comments on the last page: http://www.wattpad.com/64331285-espresso-love-a-novel-postscript-reader-insight )
2) The interactive “sequel” project part 1 launches. The CHARACTERS have JOINED TWITTER and WATTPAD! Follow or bookmark
and http://wattpad.com/ESP_Shizuka ,
http://wattpad.com/ESP_Naoki for sequel, spin-off, clues and more bonus content! Make sure to interact with them, ask them questions and see how they respond!
3) Join the ESP STREET TEAM! While the manuscript is finished, I’ll still need your amazing support to send it along the editing and publishing route! (Seeking editors, representation and publishers) Please share the novel with others, and join my exclusive contact list for special behind the scenes updates and info on how you can contribute! Send me a PM for more info about joining!
4) Give Espresso Love a review and tags on http://goodreads.com/takatsu !
5) Espresso Love Short Stories will be written – including prequel, sequel, memories, moments from different perspectives, alternate endings, fun content, and more! The official collection is called “Espresso Love: Fragments“. Cosmo Clock 21, the sequel novel, is also in the planning phase. Stay tuned!
6) MULTIMEDIA COLLABORATIONS will be in progress to take it beyond text and encourage creative interpretation! Inviting all talented artists, painters, illustrators for artwork compilation and merch and independent singer songwriter, composers and musicians to create an original mini album soundtrack. Contact me if interested!
8) Stay tuned for reader submission contests for prizes such as merch, Starbucks gift cards, shoutouts and more! Maybe in the form of “fanfiction”, fanart or other fun activities
9) Ask me any questions on Twitter @taka_chan and I will reply to you or write a blog post for full answers
I am quite overwhelmed but a large NPR-affiliated Philadelphia, New Jersey based, public media and FM radio network will be interviewing me on cell phone novels and Espresso Love live soon! Please stay tuned for more info on that.
I had another opportunity to be interviewed by Rowena on her blog. This time I talk about interesting topics like creative philosophies, multimedia transcendence and collaboration, coffee bean charms, fanfiction and more! Check out the lengthy interview here
Literary Short Story Collection
Now that Espresso Love is over, and while the sequel novel, Cosmo Clock 21 is in the plans, my writing will continue to grow and develop in the form of short stories! So check out and stay tuned to The Elephant Girl and Other Short Stories.
TABLE OF CONTENTS (Subject to change)
1. The Elephant Girl
Someone left their phone behind. It rings.
2. Sometimes I Think You Can’t Hear Me
The world keeps moving, they keep talking, but I don’t.
3. Cats and Dogs in HK
A strange thing happens in Hong Kong; no one understands.
4. Brandy (Cosmo Clock 21, Sequel to “Espresso Love” Teaser)
They discuss a contract over Schubert and brandy.
5. A Meeting at Noon
The clock strikes twelve, two people meet.
and more to come.
If you’re in Toronto, come out to the Wattpad meet up and party I’m organizing! August 24th, 6PM at the Wattpad HQ. Let’s chat over some food and drinks. More info
“Since I’m a novelist I’m the opposite of you – I believe that what’s most important is what cannot be measured. I’m not denying your way of thinking, but the greater part of people’s lives consist of things that are unmeasurable, and trying to change all these to something measurable is realistically impossible.”
― Haruki Murakami, Underground