Welcome to the online home of Fine Line Press, New Zealand. Here you can learn about FLP’s books on Japan: 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 (2009)and Forty Stories of Japan. There’s also Exercises for Glimpses of Old Tokyo for students of English. In 2019 we produced a memoir of Cliff Harrington, American Celebrity Interviewer in Tokyo and there was a Japan detective novel, Imperfect Strangers, by Lea O’Hara. The wish and intention of FineLine Press is to produce books of quality mostly by new writers. To begin with the focus was on Japan, where the writer of Glimpses of Old Tokyo lived. FLP 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 of work 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, enabling the publication of more books that would never have seen the light of day.
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 Centenarian” , “The Joker”, “Forgetfulness”, “Grumpy Old Bugger?”, “Joyous Living”, “Old Rock Songs”, “The Spiritual Seeker” and “The Doctors”. Some extra fun or challenge in reading this will be to try to tell the real-life talkers from the ones created by my over-working imagination. Publishing in October, 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 and hope for this fictionalised prison diary. It was almost done and dusted but writer, Charles Harter decided it would be better if the non-fiction became fiction. 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 is a doctor who is a sympathetic listener and wannabe psychotherapist.
Videos, Presentations and Podcasts
Ging Oan! Spoof by GBathgate on Rave On with profound apologies to the great Buddy Holly. Here are the lyrics:
More about Fine Line Press and its founder, Graham Bathgate
Fine Line Press (FLP) was established in 2009 by Graham Bathgate in Kapiti, New Zealand. We are now based in Kerikeri, Northland, NZ. 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 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 work 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 similar to “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” by Sue Turner-Cray; a collection of Naomi Arimura’s writings, 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.