It is difficult to talk about my own novels.
Because the more I talk about the details, the more I feel as if I am robbing those who have not read it of the fun of reading.
Even so, if I am to dare to try speaking about it... The protagonist, Mari, is 50 years old.
She lives a quiet life.
She does not talk about herself and fears befriending someone.
She frequently changes jobs and locations as she lives her life.
Mari continues to live a solitary life.
This novel is about her life.
In the end, Mari makes a major decision.
When I created this plot, I thought that it was likely that my editor would reject it.
That is why I came up with what I should say to convince my editor to prepare for when it would get rejected.
But contrary to my expectation, my editor did not reject it.
He said that if I was going to write a novel with this theme, the conclusion would probably be a bitter one, and accepted my proposal.
This entire proposal went through, so I was a little surprised.
As my editor had given me the go-ahead, I started writing in line with the plot.
And thus, this novel was completed.
The decision made by the protagonist, Mari, will likely be controversial.
I think that is fine as it is.
Novels allow readers to have a taste of various people's various lives.
I hope that even if the protagonist lived in a way that you would not choose for yourself, you will watch over her decision.
Although this was supposed to be about an anecdote, my fear of spoilers has caused me to speak only abstractly, so from now on, I will write about how I create novels.
First, I start by writing the idea onto a card.
I use a card that is a little bigger than a name card.
I write one idea on this one card.
Ideas can be big ones, like novel themes, or small ones about characters, like a preference for curry and rice.
I just start by writing down such ideas on cards.
Once I am done, I line these cards up on my desk.
And I stare at these cards.
Eventually, by combining multiple cards, I come up with an idea that seems like it might be interesting.
This process creates scenes that I had never occurred to be and unique characters.
This process is quite fun.
Perhaps this is because I just have to let my ideas run free, if I disregard whether I have the ability to write down all of them.
"Hold Your Breath" started with the writing of these cards as well.
When I gazed at the cards that I had finished writing on, there were many words related to loneliness.
Thus, ideas related to loneliness kept on expanding.
This is how loneliness became one of the themes of this novel.
Please have a taste of the story of a woman who lives quietly while feeling lonely.