Image by Clay Banks


I wrote this novel during the summer in 2019, following a trip to South Korea with my dad for the Junior Asian Triathlon Championships. Like the main character, Olivia, I was very apprehensive about going, as I felt very under-trained due to recent university exams and various other circumstances. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip; I raced as hard as I could on the day, got to visit a beautiful rural place, experienced a different culture and met like-minded people along the way. 

This story is set in Japan, a country that I find interesting and enriching. Throughout the book, I wanted to give a message of hope and show that everyone is capable of overcoming obstacles and fears. The protagonists are united by their passion, which I believe is a key driver to success. 

Writing this novel took me 2-3 months; I then sent it to one of my good friends, Scarlett McCabe-Abel, whom I met in my university accommodation in first year and who conveniently studies English literature, and she proofread it for me. At the same time, I worked on the cover, blurb and formatting of the book, and eventually published it as a paperback and an e-book in September 2019, just before I started university again.  

About the title: "big in Japan" is an expression used to describe Western musical groups that become popular in Japan but are not necessarily successful elsewhere in the world, including their home country.