MEET PAIGE ETHERIDGE
Of Athenian descent, Paige Etheridge is a Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, a Pisces Sun/ Leo Moon/ Aries Ascendant, a Taoist and a compulsive writer. A graduate of the SUNY Purchase's highly selective Lily Lieb Port Writing program for Creative Writing (where she carried a second major in History), Paige is an ex-MMA journalist who has been published in several magazines, including INKED.
Paige lives near Virginia Beach with her Police Officer husband, and her dog, Athena. She is an avid cook and gardener and tends to binge on True Crime, Gaming, Astrology and Paranormal You-Tube videos. Paige loves old rock music and is a fan of Metal Gear Solid games, which she admits to playing constantly.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK.
It’s a historical fiction and erotica set in Post WWII Japan. It’s based on a real subculture of Japanese women called the Pan Pan who were nearly erased from history for being too sexual and too wild.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FOR THIS BOOK?
I was trying to think of a title that would incorporate both the Japanese and American flag with a romantic flare. After playing around with that idea, I came up with “Kissing Stars Over the Rising Sun.”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK? IS IT PART OF A SERIES?
I found out about the Pan Pan while doing research for my Senior Project for college. I was enchanted and intrigued by them. I couldn’t believe that people didn’t know about them! Then I found out the Japanese went out of their way to erase these women from history. I wrote this book to ensure these women would finally be remembered. I may eventually do a prequel involving the character Shinju, but this book was originally intended to be a stand alone and may stay that way.
HOW MUCH OF YOUR BOOK IS BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES OR THOSE OF SOMEONE YOU KNOW?
It’s 50% research and 50% imagination based on that research.
WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH WENT INTO WRITING YOUR BOOK?
I interviewed my Great Uncle Georgie Andrews who was in the military and lived in Japan during the occupation. I also interviewed Matsuma Goya, a Japanese man who specialized in the same time period I was writing about. I also drew from the one film on the Pan Pan I discovered, “Gates of Flesh”, as well as any books and articles I could find. Information on the Pan Pan is pretty scarce, so it was challenging.
WHAT CRITERIA DID YOU USE WHEN SELECTING THE COVER FOR YOUR BOOK?
I was just trying to ensure whoever was on the cover looked like a Pan Pan.
WAS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR BOOK THAT YOU WERE TRYING TO CONVEY?
Sexuality is nothing to be embarrassed about, there is merit in the Pan Pan lifestyle despite it’s controversy and darker side, and no one should ever be erased from history.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT YOUR BOOK?
Besides weeding out typos, no.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU BEGIN WRITING?
Since I could pick up a pen. Before then I did it with stickers. Before then I babbled.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST CONSIDER YOURSELF A WRITER?
Always. Literally I’ve been told this since I was born. You can call it God/Tao/The Universe calling to me.
DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING STYLE.
I’ll use lucid dreams to try out some concepts. I tend to write scenes out of order and put them in order later. I also tend to write to tell the story quickly and to the point. When I was in school, my classmates told me my writing reminded them of “The Kite Runner” but I still haven’t read that book or any of that author’s work.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST LESSON YOU HAD TO LEARN AS A WRITER?
I don’t have much choice in the matter. I have to do it.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A WRITER?
The emotional baggage which comes out of writing. But it’s making me stronger too.
NOT INCLUDING FAMILY, WHO SUPPORTED YOUR EFFORTS TO BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
Deidra Catero, Arielle Sommerville, Max Rodgers, Ian Johnson, Brett Kaplan, Rebecca Rose Downs, Luba Chebotareva. Also several Tarot readers and most of my English teachers.
WHO WAS YOUR FIRST PUBLISHER AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THEM? Solstice. Everyone there is very supportive and willing to help you if you ask.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW WRITERS?
Consider why you’re doing this. Do you want fame or are you answering a higher calling? Make sure your reasons to write are the right ones.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE WRITERS?
Gaiman, Hawthrone, Twain.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Being a Pisces
IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE WHO EVER LIVED, PAST OR PRESENT, WHO WOULD THAT BE?
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWS AND MOVIES?
I’m more of a YouTube girl, but I do binge on Spongebob and Unsolved Mysteries hosted by Robert Stack. As for films I love Lost Boys, Labyrinth, Spirited Away, Beauty and the Beast.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC TOUCHES YOUR SOUL?
Motley Crue, Queen, Van Halen. “Metal Gear Solid” soundtracks are amazing as well.
WHAT DO YOU WANT WRITTEN ON YOUR HEADSTONE?
I’m planning on having my body composted after I die. If I do end up with a memorial, I’d want this line " The mysteries of mysteries is the gate way to marvels." It’s from the Tao Te Ching.
DO YOU HAVE A BLOG OR WEBSITE READERS CAN VISIT FOR UPDATES, EVENTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS?
If you follow me on these social media sites, you can vote on my future content, win some stuff, see updates on my work, as well as photos of my awesome dog.
Emerging from the ashes of Post WWII Japan, the Pan Pan were born. Transforming themselves into the antitheses of what Japanese women were supposed to be, they were the loud, vulgar, and independent lovers of the American GIs occupying their land.
For many of these Women of the Night, it became more about pleasure and riches than survival; burning brightly for a few years before being wiped out by the Japanese themselves, nearly erased from history for being too wild.
This is the story of one of these women.Her name is Miyako.