Here are five random facts about Hildred Billings.
1) Most of my readers know that I’ve lived in Japan for a good bit of my youth, but I don’t think they know how many times or where. My first stint was in high school, when I did a summer homestay in the rural city of Imabari on the island of Shikoku. I then did part of my Japanese Studies degree at Tokyo International University in Kawagoe, Saitama. After college, I had a job in Gifu Prefecture, about one hour away from the central Japanese city of Nagoya. Before the pandemic, I used to go to Tokyo about once a year to recharge my creative juices and to eat way too much Mos Burger. I haven’t been since! (Yes, I am going crazy.)
2) Many people compliment my name and misattribute it to my mother’s creativity, when in reality it’s just a really old Germanic name that most Americans haven’t really been exposed to. I was actually named after my grandmother. Thank goodness her name wasn’t Myrtle or (gasp) Mildred. (Sorry, any Myrtles out there. Not sorry to any Mildreds. You know how it is.)
3) I wrote my first full-length novel, complete with subplots and character arcs, when I was in fifth grade. I used to come home every day from school to sit down at the family computer and write until it was dinner time. In high school, I used to write before bed and often forgot what I had written the next day. I like to think those teenage years were me getting my 1 million words of crap out!
4) My favorite color is orange. In college, I had a number of friends and acquaintances who would give me random orange things because it always made them think of me. Before I ended up in a relationship (with someone who likes, gasp, BLUE) my whole living area would be wall-to-wall orange.
5) I can’t drive. Or ride a bike. Or swim. Or roller skate. Or stand up without almost falling over. I can, however, write a book in a month. I think it’s a fair trade.