Monday, June 23, 2014

My Trip to Italy

I just returned from a really great time in Italy! The wonderful organizers of Mare Di Libri invited me to join them in the beautiful city of Rimini for this three day festival. It's the only book festival for young adults in Italy, and it was such an honor to be part of it. Now on to the pics!

I arrived into Rimini in the afternoon and was met by a volunteer who kindly walked me to my hotel. I had a bit of time to rest up before setting out to meet with people and explore Rimini!

Here's the famous Bridge of Tiberius which I crossed later that day to meet
with some festival organizers . . . 

. . . and here they are. Alice, Eugenia, and Elsie, who were all so warm
and welcoming and introduced me to some fine Rimini cuisine.

After dinner, we crossed the bridge again and then
ate the best ice cream evah in the town square.

This is the ice cream store. Doesn't look like much,
but don't judge a book by its cover...

The next day I spent some time exploring Rimini. It's such a great city where old meets new seamlessly, and where you can spend time exploring old architecture then half an hour later be lounging on the beach. Here are some shots of the day's excursion:

The center of town

 The building where most of the festival took place.

The beach was amazing! I settled into a nice beachside cafe and got some good writing done. 

The only blemish on the beach was the ferris wheel
(which the locals understandably hate, but the
tourists seem to enjoy, apparently).

That night, I had an awesome time meeting and dining with the editors of the Italian publisher, Il Castoro. They did such an incredible job in publishing the HUNT trilogy in Italy, I was glad for the opportunity to thank them! The dinner was splendid: the food, the conversation, the company. Before we knew it, over three hours had passed and it was almost midnight!

Here's a photo of my Italian translator, Simona Brogli. It was scary at first meeting her because few have read my books more closely and know its shortcomings! Also, because she's a really big deal in Italy, having translated the whole The Hunger Games trilogy into Italian. But she turned out to be a wonderful, warm person!

The next day was showtime! It proved to be a really great time speaking about the trilogy and meeting so many young Italian students. They asked so many thoughtful (and thought-provoking!) questions. 

Later that day, I bid a fond and sad farewell to Rimini, then took a train to Milan. My wife flew in so we could spend a few days together. We had a great time visiting historic sites, eating great food, and exploring a brand new city and culture together!

The Duomo was better than advertised!

My wife got seriously photobombed by Ziggy Marley. 
We ate at a nice restaurant for dinner. Milanese eat dinner late so when we got there the restaurant was empty. One thing we realized was in Italy (or at least in Milan) they seat customers as close to each other as possible, even if the restaurant is otherwise empty! Case in point: 

You know that stereotype about Italian men being the most stylish and best dressed in the world? Well, totally true:

One of the highlights of my time in Milan was walking into a bookstore at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and finding my books (in Italian!) on the shelf!

Vienna is not the only European city with canals! Milan has them, too. You could tell it's World Cup time because of the throngs that gathered to watch.  Yes, right there on the canal.

They even had World Cup boats from which you could watch the game.

We had a great dinner by the canal. A few obligatory food shots:

Though too short, my trip was definitely brilliant! I'm going to treasure so many fond memories. A big thank you again to the organizers of Mare di Libri and the publishing team at Il Castoro for making my stay in Italy so memorable. One of the best times of my life!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cover for THE HUNT Book 3

So the cover for Book 3 of the HUNT series has just come in and I'm excited to share it with you. 

But first, we need to disclose what the title is. It is:


I really like this title - it fits the novel perfectly, shows a thematic continuity with HUNT-PREY, and just altogether sounds actiony and suspenseful. 

Anyway, here is the cover for THE TRAP (which I think totally rocks):

Pretty awesome, don't you think? The art department at St. Martin's Press have done it 
again! And look at how amazing the covers for the HUNT series look side by side (thanks to Carina at Carina's Books):

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

THE PREY is released!

The Prey hit the shelves in bookstores yesterday, and I had a pretty great time visiting a couple of local Barnes & Noble stores. I still get a thrill in seeing my book - now books! - on the shelves. I remember when I was still an aspiring author how I used to walk the aisles with something like reverence for the books around me, and wonder if I would ever be so skilled and fortunate enough to have my own book in Barnes & Noble one day.

It was a slightly different feeling this time compared to eight months ago when The Hunt was published.  Back then, it was more a oh crap, that's my book there! kind of feeling, completely adrenaline-filled and super-charged. This time round, it was still a thrill, but there was more a deep-seated sense of pride and achievement. I feel really good about The Prey, and if anything, I've proven to myself that The Hunt wasn't just a fluke, and that I have a career to look forward to. Holding my book in the bookstore yesterday, I had this really quiet, special moment when I closed my eyes - I felt grateful and blessed to be on this life path I'm on now. I'm looking forward to the coming years, to the books I will write, the worlds I will plunge into, the characters I will get to know and come to care about, and to connecting with hopefully many readers around the world.

(Image courtesy of Dan at

Friday, January 11, 2013

First blog reviews for THE PREY!

Hey, the first blog reviews for The Prey are in! For most authors, no matter how much the agent or editor or in-house publishing house team have raved about the book, you're always a bit antsy. How will the reading public receive this book? How will fans of the first book, The Hunt, receive it? So the first blog reviews are always highly anticipated and very closely read.

Well, I'm so happy to report that so far, so good! Two reviews, one from the US, the other from the UK, have rolled in, and they're both glowing!

One of my favorite reviewers, Danny from Bewitched Bookworms, gave it 5 out of 5 stars (or in her case, dolls!). Danny stated that The Prey is "a thrilling and creepy ride that kept me glued to the pages and  barely left me time to catch a breath."

Another favorite blog site, Writing From The Tub, was equally generous. "The Prey is triumphant. Possibly even better than The Hunt. Either way, it's incredible . . . This series has gone from strength to strength and I cannot wait to get my hands on the final installment. I have no idea where the story is going but I love the mystery and Fukuda has absolutely nailed the perfect cliffhanger."

Monday, December 31, 2012

Most memorable books, films, and music (2012)

Here's a list of some of the books, films, and music that made an impact on me in 2012. I've avoided compiling a Top Ten or Best Five type of list. As with most years, I read, listened and watched a lot of stuff, and trying to select then rank them all is time-consuming and of little interest to anyone but me.

Nor is this a "Best of" kind of list. Instead, I decided to compile a quick list of art that - though perhaps more flawed than other books, films, and/or music -  were highly entertaining and, for whatever reason, left an impression on me.


Prometheus was a flawed but highly ambitious movie. Yes, they should have simply run to the side to avoid the spaceship about to roll over them. But if you can ignore these flaws, it was a bodacious and highly-envisioned movie.

Looper was such a rollicking ride that you really only noticed the plot-holes afterward. Still, it was a time-traveling movie, and you almost have to cast aside logic with the time-traveling genre because otherwise, as noted in the movie, "it will fry your brain." A transportive movie that had one of the best endings in movie history.


Evil and dark, yet clinical and factual at the same time, People Who Eat Darkness shone light to the underbelly of Japanese society and culture.

Evocative, pitch-perfect language, Ivey's wonderful The Snow Child was not so much a book you read as a world you experienced. 


Monsters Calling Home is the group I discovered before they hit it big with a performance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. They've recently changed their name to River Run North, but they will always be Monsters Calling Home to me. Their music is unreal, their lyrics bone-shattering, their uncompromising artistic vision inspiring. I thanked them in my Acknowledgements of my upcoming The Prey.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New covers!

Hi everyone, 

This news has been out of awhile now, but I thought I'd post about it on my blog. The cover for the sequel to The Hunt, titled The Prey, is out now (the actual book comes out in January, 2013). Check it out below, I think it's awesome.

The art team at St. Martin's Press is pretty amazing, I have to say. They've also done a really great design for the paperback edition of The Hunt which releases in December, 2012. Check it, peeps:

I'm really digging how the two books will look side to side. Book 3 of the trilogy will no doubt have the same design template, and they are going to look truly incredible side by side by side to one another. I'm still working on titles for Book 3, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a four-letter word, don't you?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who would you cast as Gene in a movie?

Sorry for being the worst ever blogger - I can't believe so much time has passed without a post. Truth is, I've been really busy going through the proof-edits for The Prey and writing the still untitled Book 3. I'll try to do better with this blog in August!

Anyway, if The Hunt was made into a movie, who would you cast as Gene? A few months ago, I did my dream cast list over at the awesome Wondrous Reads blog - take a look at my list and tell me if you agree with my choices.

Justine Magazine wrote a piece in their upcoming August/September print issue about who they would cast in popular YA novels. Want to guess who they'd cast as Gene?

Yes, that's right: Josh Hutcherson, otherwise known as Peeta of the Hunger Games. They were looking for the strong & silent type, and Hutcherson seems to fit the bill for them. What do you think of their choice? Who would you cast as Peeta?