Author Spotlight - Alex A. Akira
Alex A. Akira is the author of the yaoi romance series Dojo Boys, racy tales of young, male martial artists navigating some unorthodox and adventurous paths to find love. A consummate artist, Alex worked as an illustrator, an actor, a model, a personal fitness trainer and designer before opening his own art and design studio in Rhode Island. The Deluxe two-volume box set of Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow is available at Amazon.
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Alex-A.-Akira/e/B006QRMI2E
Why do you write?
From an early age it was fairly apparent that I was going to be an artist of some type. My best subjects were art, gymnastics and creative writing. Art and design became my career, karate and fitness became my passion and writing gives me an opportunity to escape the real or imagined pressures of my life.
What genre do you write?
I write male/male romance, but my work is heavily influenced by Japanese yaoi manga and anime.
Yaoi is a sexually explicit form of Japanese manga or anime that focuses upon beautiful, troubled young men who are attracted to other beautiful troubled young men.
How did you become interested in yaoi?
One day I stumbled across “My Sexual Harassment” an anime that relays the sexual relationship between a male boss and his young male employee. I fell in love with this stylish serial and afterwards discovered yaoi manga, then slash and yaoi fan fiction. From there it was a short jump from reading yaoi to writing it.
What do you think makes a good book?
I like intense stories that engage a reader and take them places they may not have gone before. I believe a story should get increasing better as it develops; the climax should be good, but the end should be even better. I also like characters that display courage and emotional growth in concurrence with the events of the story.
Tell us about Dojo Boys, the series for which you are known.
Dojo Boys is a yaoi romance action-adventure series. The books reveal the story of a vigilante-founded espionage agency and the love lives of its operatives. In writing the series I tried to capture the simple complex nuances that appear in Japanese yaoi, but also maintain the parameters of the American male/male romance genre.
How many books are in the series?
Currently there are five books in the series.
Dojo Boys: The First Misunderstanding, Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow Volume I and Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow Volume II which are published and available at Amazon.
There has been long wait for the re-release of the next two books in the series, but I am currently editing and illustrating Dojo Boys, The Italian Connection, Volumes I and II and am hopeful that they will be released as a deluxe boxset in 2017.
Tell us about your main work, Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow.
Dragon and Crow relays the story of Michael Black, a 23-year-old martial artist, who falls in love with a mysterious stranger, Kiyoshi Kimura, under less than ideal circumstances.
Kiyoshi is a gifted, 19-year-old of Japanese and Korean descent, but it soon becomes apparent that he’s got some major mental and emotional baggage.
In trying to help Kiyoshi, Michael becomes embroiled in a longtime feud between the Japanese Yakuza, the Kimura family and a vigilante organization known as the Tanaka Group.
What inspired you to write this book?
At its core, Dragon and Crow is a “jock falls in love” story. Kyudo (archery), judo and karate are Japan’s traditional sports not, say … golf and baseball which were imported to Japan’s culture. In yaoi schoolboy tales you find the underclassmen eyeing the practitioners of Kyudo (archery) and judo much like the American high school nerd gazes at the quarterback of the school’s football team. I wanted to explore this type of relationship… what is the life of a student of martial arts like? How do they approach love?
Did the characters or the plot come to you first?
I’d have to say the characters. I knew I wanted to write about a young American martial artist falling in love with a visiting martial artist from Japan. But once I envisioned Michael and Kiyoshi… well the storyline just kind of took off to where the characters wanted to go. Of course they wanted to go everywhere, so I had a lot of research to do to make the eventual plot work.
Did you create the cover art and illustrations for the Dojo Boy series?
Yes. I’m an artist by trade. I do a lot of commercial art for my livelihood, which generally involves creating images of inanimate objects. Happily I can draw whatever I want for my own pleasure. I like character illustration and enjoy drawing male characters. I produce cover art and illustrate characters for other authors as well.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Yes. I’ve got quite a number of stories in the making. I’m working on an android love story called Doll Drone, a drug dealer-college student action-adventure romance called Sweet and another action-adventure yaoi series called Smithy that takes place in the world of fashion.
Indie publishing or traditional and why?
I like to self-publish because for me, putting a book together is just as intriguing as writing and /or illustrating it.
In this way, I would say that I am more artist than writer. I get my joy from creating the characters and their stories and also drawing the characters. But formatting a book, especially one with images, is very fulfilling too. It’s like creating a mini portfolio to share with other people.
Dojo Boys: The First Misunderstanding: Prequel to Dragon and Crow
Meet Sensei Ichiro Kimura and Detective Masato Takahashi, of Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow, as boys in this shōnen-ai story that reveals how the two met, their initial attraction and subsequent misunderstanding, as they attempt to get to know one another.
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Alp's Review on Goodreads
Get the complete story of the sizzling romance between sexy bishounen, Michael Black and Kiyoshi Kimura, in this racy, action-packed, 2-Volume deluxe set of the exciting Yaoi meets MM Romance novel, Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow!
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Honor bound by a promise to his sensei, Michael tries to keep his mounting desire for his house guest in check, but Kiyoshi’s heated kisses says the stunning Japanese youth wants Michael in his bed. As Michael wrestles with desire, Kiyoshi's painful past manifests and a twisted tale of tragedy and vengeance emerges. A perilous saga that revolves around Kiyoshi, Michael’s sensei, Ichiro Kimura, a detective called Masato Takahashi, the Japanese Yakuza and a mysterious vigilante named Yoshiro Tanaka.
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Forced to suppress his temper and play the submissive, Michael must use both his creative and martial skills to survive. He finds himself accosted at a nightclub, kidnapped at a casino, seducing secret agents and fighting Kiyoshi’s Yakuza ex-lover, in a tumultuous journey to a bittersweet endgame that he can only hope will win him the full trust and complete love of Kiyoshi Kimura.
Secrets, lies, sex and action combine in the finale of this racy, romantic thriller as two estranged couples—Michael Black and Kiyoshi Kimura, and Ichiro Kimura and Masato Takahashi—fight for justice and enduring love.
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