Welcome to the online home of Fine Line Press, New Zealand. Here you can learn about FLP’s recent books: A Walk in Japan (2015) and Whisper of the Land (2014). For your delight and edification, earlier books were Downunder Japan (March 2012), Japan on Foot (Dec. 2011) and Ribbons of Fate (Dec. 2010). Our first books were Glimpses of Old Tokyo and Forty Stories of Japan. There is also Exercises for Glimpses of Old Tokyo for students of English. In 2019 we produced the memoir of Cliff Harrington, American Celebrity Interviewer in Tokyo and a Japan detective novel, Imperfect Strangers, by Lea O’Hara.
Books and projects in the works
• Gushers: People Real and Imagined Talking. Well, it’s more like “ranting” because they don’t mince their words. Topic examples are “The Hypochondriac”, The Aggrieved Husband”, “Forgetfulness”, “Grumpy Old Bugger”, “Joyous Living”, “Old Rock Songs” and “The Spiritual Seeker”. Some extra fun or challenge in reading this will be to try to tell the real-life talkers from ones produced from my over-working imagination. I’m hoping to publish this in July, 2021.
• Tokyo Daze. The fine writer Sue Turner-Cray is working on her memories of Tokyo (See her “Elvis” in “Forty Stories of Japan”), the working title is “Tokyo Daze”. She also has a good story in my tribute to the fruit of the grape, “To Wine” – it is suitably called “Francisco’s Albariño”.
• Music Behind Bars. There is still promise of this fictionalised prison diary. The musician and writer, Charles Harter is working on it now.
• Robert Louis Stevenson: Personal memories, a dialogue. This is a spoken recording between two people, one recalling his memories of RLS in his life, the other a doctor, a sympathetic listener and wannabe psychotherapist.
The wish and intention of FineLine Press is to produce books of quality mostly by new writers. To begin with the focus is on Japan, where the writer of Glimpses of Old Tokyo lives. Fine Line Press is interested in writers who feel that they can write, especially about their own real experiences, in an alluring, lyrical and delightful way.
Fine Line Press originated out of our good fortune to work on the memories of a Japanese writer, Masuho Fujita. The production of Glimpses of Old Tokyo took several years working with the writer, the artist, an independent editor and others. It seemed logical and desirable after so much work to create a personal outlet for Masuho’s book.
Videos, Presentations and Podcasts
More about Fine Line Press and its founder, Graham Bathgate
That’s me in a 2010 picture with some suitable Japanese things. A long time before this I was a high school teacher in Masterton and a communication skills tutor at Wellington Polytechnic for 12 years before going to Tokyo to teach English communication and presentation skills at the English Language Education Council (ELEC) in Jimbocho, central Tokyo. It was here that I met Masuho Fujita, an elderly student who wrote beautiful essays. We later worked together on the production of Glimpses of Old Tokyo.
Fine Line Press produces books of quality, many by first-time writers with fine stories to tell about life in Japan. There have been over half a dozen books on Japan. Another collection like “Forty Stories” and “Downunder Japan” is a possibility. Meantime, work is continuing on several fronts: “Gushers – Real and Imagined Talkers” (not only a book but also several chosen as podcasts); “Tokyo Daze”; Naomi Arimura’s writings, a collection of her stories and letters; we still have high hopes of a fictionalised prison diary based on real life experience – “Music Behind Bars”; and my own memoirs are always lurking in the wings waiting for their time on stage.