More of my interview with Wendy Tokunaga, author of the novel

More of my interview with Wendy Tokunaga, author of the novel
I recently talked with Wendy about the re-release of her novel "No Kidding," after it won an Honorable Mention Award for mainstream/literary fiction in Writer's Digest's 10th Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This is the second of a two-part interview with her.

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Q: Do you think society is becoming more accepting of the child-free lifestyle? Or is there still a stigma associated with this choice?

A: I believe there is still a stigma associated with this choice. I think, in general, people are a little more considerate and aren’t as likely to blurt out, "When are you going to have kids?" but that’s probably because of increased awareness about infertility problems. But if you say straight out that you just don’t want to have children, I think most people think it’s a bit strange. I have run into some people who, when they find out I don’t want children, say, "Oh, I could never imagine my life without little Jason," as if I’m telling them they too shouldn’t have had their kids, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Q: What advice would you give to women who are combating the stereotype that all women want to be moms?

A: Read my book and get some comfort! I’d say speak out and don’t be shy about saying that you don’t want to be a mom. The more women who speak out will show others that this is a legitimate choice and not some gross abnormality. Yet in some parts of the country this may be hard. There are many online support groups that can help women who feel isolated and ostracized.

Q: What characteristics do you share with your main character?

A: I, of course, share her main philosophy about not wanting kids, but I have to say that most of the book is pure fiction and not based on events in my life. I, for example, never had the battles with my mother about having a baby that Audrey has in "No Kidding." My parents were very accepting of my stance and weren’t obsessed about having grandchildren.

Q: How was your book received when it first came out?

A: I got lots of great support from both childfree groups and individuals, for which I’m grateful. But I have had a number of romance readers, people who enjoyed "Bridget Jones," and readers with children who have also enjoyed the book. Being childfree is certainly one of the main themes but I think it’s a book that many people can relate to.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I am currently finishing up my second novel about three characters experiencing the exhilaration and emptiness that goes with the rejection of their own culture in favor of another, against the backdrop of the Japanese pop culture scene.

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Also check out PART ONE of my interview with Wendy, and my BOOK REVIEW of "No Kidding!"


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