It must all begin with a young adult on a subway car in Japan reading “Full Metal Alchemist”. This book is a manga and as such has many books which are a part of it. I’m sitting in the subway car with the white wall behind me, the white plastic seat beneath me, and the yellow hooks overhead which jangle.

I read and I’m in love with the whole bit of it. All of it. Every word on the page. I can still feel it when I think back to that moment. It was visceral, dire how much I needed to continue reading those words on those pages. And yet I couldn’t. I had to teach English. I had to do the exact opposite of what my body and mind felt I was placed here to do, and that was read, forever, forever and ever and ever. There was never any choice left to me. So, after many days just like that one I quit my job. I was lucky enough to have a father who offered to pay for such a dream.

Instead of waking up at 6 am every morning I woke up whenever I pleased. I strode to the cafe nearby. I made my way to the smoking section where the smell still lingers to this day, delicious. I chain smoked my lungs away and I wrote and I read.

Out of that time came High School Romance and a few other books as well. But it was High School Romance that got Giancarlo DiTrapano’s attention and so it was that little book that held my interest.

That was back in the day, about 8 years ago, and since then I’ve moved back to the States. I no longer affiliate High School Romance with my time in Japan. The book has gone through so many different iterations since then.  It was just such a nice moment I thought I’d share it with you.