My Posts


The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 1: Pre-Pearl Harbor

Japanese Flag_24Jul14As a complement to the August 12th release of my historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me? I plan to write a series of blogs detailing the history surrounding the Japanese internment of World War II. Although How Much? is a love story/mystery that is the product of my imagination, the accompanying historical details are accurate. My novel revolves around the fictional Tanaka family, their history, and their subsequent involvement in the internment process. My blogs will concentrate on the historical details, as well as their relevance to the fictional storyline.

The patriarch of the Tanaka family is Isamu Tanaka who sails from Japan to Hawaii in 1905 looking for work. Hawaii needs labor to raise and process its sugar cane. A year later, he boards a ship to the mainland state of Washington. His timing is good because the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” between the United States and Japan ends Japanese immigration in 1907. This accord follows years of anti-Japanese sentiment that crests not long after the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. In October of that year, the San Francisco Board of Education decides that Japanese-American children should attend Chinese-American schools. When word of this decision reaches Japan, it causes a furor. The agreement is the result. In exchange for the Board of Education backing off its decision, Japan agrees to halt immigration.

In Bellevue, Washington, Isamu tries a variety of jobs before settling on farming. From his experience in Japan, he knows how to grow fruits and vegetables on small tracts of land—called truck farming, that his white neighbors find demeaning and not worth the trouble.

In 1919, Isamu orders from Japan what becomes known as a Picture Bride. Her name is Akemi. Fortunately, immigration of women is still legal under the Gentlemen’s Agreement. Their marriage is legally binding long before bride and groom ever lay eyes on each other. Their children, two twin girls (Keiko and Misaki), an older brother (Masao), and a younger sister (Shizuka), come in the years to follow.

When, on the 7th of December 1941, Isamu and his family hear on the radio that Japan has bombed the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, Isamu knows instinctively that it’s not going to be good for his family. There had been trouble in the wind for years prior to Pearl Harbor, culminating in the Tripartite Pact of 1940 when Germany, Italy, and Japan formed an alliance. Not long after that alliance came to be, the FBI took note, watching the Japanese and looking for anything that might suggest that their loyalties lay somewhere beyond U.S. shores.

Up next: The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 2: Pearl Harbor

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Short story number two: Mary’s Secret

As I mentioned in my last blog, I intend to include on my web site–on approximately a monthly basis–some of my short stories.  And those stories will be available to both read and listen to.  “The Curious Miss Crabtree,” a humorous tale of two boys delivering Christmas cookies to a scary neighbor lady was the first.

Mary's Secret_Image

My second story is “Mary’s Secret,” told from the point of view of a six-year old girl who has mysterious friends who visit every night in her bedroom.  You can decide for yourself whether those friends are real or not.

 

 

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New Website Feature: stories you can listen to

Errant Ricochet Cover PhotoIn my last post, I announced that my new website paulmarktag.com was online and ready for public debut.  I alluded to a new feature. That new feature is audible story-telling.

At book signings, I’m sometimes asked if there are audio versions of my books available. I say no because the expense would be too great to justify hiring a professional to read the manuscript inside a studio. (Early on, Becky and I did buy equipment and set up a small studio, and we did record a few podcasts that I included on my website. But, we soon learned how time consuming that process can be, as well as the fact that neither of us have experience as professional readers).

But what I learned from Ed Barker (Monterey eSolutions) over the past five months of website development was how far text-to-speech technology has advanced. I had NO IDEA that current technology was as good as it is; I can only imagine the boon this is to those who are sight-impaired!

As I’ve stated before, I learned to write fiction via short stories. I did this for five years and ended up publishing fourteen of them in a small book entitled, The Errant Ricochet: Max Raeburn’s Legacy. Long story short, I’m planning to  convert each of these to an mp3 file using text-to-speech conversion software.MissCrabtree_cover

For openers, I’ve included on my website “The Curious Miss Crabtree,” a humorous tale of two boys who must take Christmas cookies to a scary neighbor. Over upcoming months, I intend to include all my stories, one at a time on an approximate monthly basis: click on Short Stories. For your listening enjoyment, I plan to include both a male and a female speaker.

As I move forward with this new feature, I’m also thinking of adding a spoken version of the first couple chapters of my novels to supplement the written versions that I provide.

Postscript: If you go to the “Crabtree” page, you’ll see that I’ve uploaded three voices, Heather, Ryan, and Alice. If you have the time, could you tell me please which of the two females you prefer, Heather or Alice?  They come from two different companies. Thanks!

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GRAND OPENING: the new paulmarktag.com

As noted in a previous blog, over the past five months my web site, paulmarktag.com, has been undergoing a complete redesign. My old website was showing its age compared to new designs.  In particular, my home page was much too wordy and unnecessarily complicated.  The new design is simpler and easier to navigate. Still, nothing… View Article


Global Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

The following is a copy of an essay I wrote that just appeared in the April 2014 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). The American Meteorological Society is the professional society for us meteorologists. Global Climate Change: Fact or Fiction Paul Mark Tag For those of you who jumped here after… View Article


Coming soon: Monterey eSolutions redesign of paulmarktag.com

My current web site has been around since 2007. Created by Monkey C Media (Jeniffer Thompson) out of San Diego, it was thoughtfully created and has served me well. However, over the past year, a friend of mine* who shall remain nameless (out of fear of retribution) has told me that it looks dated. To… View Article


Author Marketing Experts, Inc. chosen as publicist for How Much Do You Love Me?

As noted in an earlier blog, my new historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me? revolves around the Japanese internment of World War II.  It will be released by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media on August 12th. I’ve chosen Penny Sansevieri to be the official publicist for my book.  Her company, Author Marketing Experts,… View Article


Cedar Fort to conduct Blog Tour for How Much Do You Love Me?

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media will conduct a blog tour, from August 10-23, for my upcoming historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me?  If you would like to participate in a review, click here.


My first historical fiction novel due out 8/12/14: How Much Do You Love Me?

Three years ago, after finishing a trilogy of thrillers (Category 5, Prophecy, and White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy), I switched genres; I chose historical fiction. Historical fiction, as most of you know, is fiction set in the past, usually within a significant or interesting period of history. The story is fiction, but it draws upon… View Article


A luncheon date with Joel Myers

Once upon a time, a half century ago, fresh out of high school, I began my study of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University. Compared to many, my professional growth was relatively boring; I majored in meteorology from the start and never deviated from that professional track. I worked for the same research facility over a… View Article