I am thrilled to have Sho Okumoto as the 1st, featured author on my Artists Helping Artists Blog! A Japanese/New Zealander with diverse experiences and interests. An innovator who hopes to revitalize a forgotten medium. This is the creative mind of Sho.
Meet Sho Okumoto:
Sho Okumoto has a number of published works, ranging from motivational books to fictional yakuza novels, in addition to photo comic books. If you enjoy stories with crime and thrilling adventures, as well as inspirational quotes, check out Sho's collection today.
If you're wondering why someone who has published such intriguing books decided to become an author, I asked Sho that very question.
I always enjoyed writing quotes when I was younger and I would write them in my notebook. My mother would always tell me, that I should publish my work in the future. That idea was something I had forgotten as I grew older and started working. And 2019 was the year that would change everything. I was living in Japan and by the time of September 2019, I had three failed startup businesses and I felt like I was digging a hole deeper and deeper in my life. And the funny thing is, I had these quotes I have been writing since February 2019, written in my notebook and I remembered my mother telling me I should publish a book when I was younger. So, I thought to myself, why not publish a book? I have already failed and I was at the very bottom of my life, so why not self-publish a book on Amazon? In November 2019, I published my first book, which is a motivational and inspirational quote book and from then on, my writing career started. In 2020, I saved enough money and I returned to New Zealand, to pursue my passion as an author.
The description of Sho's journey spoke to me and I'm sure it resonated with readers, as well. Writers often begin their journeys through regular journaling or letter writing. Many artists describe similar feelings of soul searching or struggle that eventually leads them to a path of healing through writing. Sho's quotes are inspiring because it shows that gratitude begins with simple steps that become meaningful over time.
When I read the synopses of Sho's fictional works, I wondered if he had a favourite character. It turned out to be a character named Shohei who stars in the latest comic book Sho wrote.
I love all the characters I have created but I would like to talk about the newest character in my photo comic book. Shohei is the main character in the photo comic book called I am, Yakuza, who is an innocent and a very good person. Through the bullying he receives, emotions start to build up inside of him, making him violent and causing him to get into fights. Without him knowing, he was getting recruited into the yakuza.
I learned that one of the strangest things that happens to Shohei is that he has no idea he is entering into the yakuza world, nor whom he is working with. He also does not know that he is in the recruiting process. It sounds like he has quite a mystery to solve!
Sho's yakuza is not the only recent publication he has. As you can see from the Amazon Author page linked at the top of this post, Sho has a large collection of books, including a newly-published, inspirational, life philosophy, quote book. With everything that has happened in our world in the past 2-3 years, this sounds like a must-read! Daily life became quite stressful for many people and I'm sure they could benefit from Sho's motivational quotes to help them find peace.
Sho is currently taking a break from writing, but he wanted to dispel one misconception about writing as a career.
“You have to be talented or gifted and smart to write”, which I have heard on a few occasions. For me, I believe whatever you pursue in your life, we all have the ability to become what we truly want to be in our life. Through hard work, we can achieve incredible things in life. I am not a talented or gifted writer. I am not smart. But my love of storytelling, and my passion to write, have opened these amazing doors for me to enter and to be able to become an author.
I think readers will find wisdom in Sho's words. Perhaps when one sets aside a need to be right all the time, or talented, or smart, and focuses on achieving inner peace, that is when one truly becomes talented, smart, and wise. Sho certainly embodies these traits.
Sho provided thoughtful answers to my questions that showed a propensity for deep reflection. If there are any newbie writers reading this post, Sho's advice to you is this:
Never give up. It is a very tough journey. Believe in your stories and mute the haters and doubters and pursue your dream. Go all in and always remember the journey you take, it is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep believing, work hard and stay positive.
When asked who inspires him, Sho declared,
"My mother inspires me."
It sounds like Sho's mother also encouraged him with his publishing dream, as well, when she suggested he publish a book when he was younger. Sho took her advice and has done just that, many times over!
I appreciate Sho taking the time to respond to my questions. I will leave you with this statement from the author about his interest in reviving photo comic books:
I write fictional novels and inspirational books but I also write and produce photo comic books. I love manga and comics, so my dream was to produce comics. At the time, the pace of the stories that were flowing through my head, my hands could not keep up, so I looked for an alternative way to produce comics. I found photo comics as my alternative. It was popular in the 1960s but lost popularity. Films like, Star Wars and even Titanic have made photo comic books in the past. Photo comic books are all staged and photos taken, to produce comics. It has become my passion and I truly love producing photo comic books. Maybe I can revive the photo comics and get them popular again.
Thank you for reading this feature on the multi-talented, Sho Okumoto. Please click the link below and give Sho a follow on Twitter!
Don't forget to leave Sho a review after you've read one of his books! It's one of the greatest gifts you can give an author.