In 2009, I met feminist publisher Ruth Gottstein, owner and president of Volcano Press, a 30-year-old publishing house based outside of San Francisco that had made a name for itself by producing pioneering books on women's issues. Ruth was 83 when I first met her on Shiraishi Island, although she'd been reading my Japan Times column for several years before that. When I turned to her for advice on publishing a book on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, she took me by complete surprise when she said, "We'll publish it!" Ruth loved Japan and she had a passion for the Pilgrimage as well as confidence in me and my story. "Running the Shikoku Pilgrimage: 900 Miles to Enlightenment" was published shortly after in 2013, with a foreword by theĀ  quirky but lovable "Barefoot" Ted McDonald (known best for his starring role in "Born to Run," by Christopher McDougall (Alfred A Knopf, 2009)). Never had I been in such the right place at the right time.

Ruth is 94 now, has retired from publishing, but still writes her regular column for her local paper. I often tell people that someday I hope to mature into a person just like Ruth: forward-thinking, tenacious, practical, and gracious.

In 2016, upon Ruth's retirement, Volcano Press closed shop and my book went with it. But I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such an inspirational woman and I look forward to when the book will be re-released as an e-book on Amazon.

During the Spring of 2017, I was in the middle of a dispute between a tourist and the local restaurant here on the island. Everything turned out fine, but I returned home exasperated. Desperate for someone to listen to me, I penned an email to Peter Goodman at Stone Bridge Press with the following subject heading: A badly needed book on Japan! Peter got right back to me with, "Can you get the manuscript finished by the end of September?" I got it in two weeks late, but the result was my new book "Amy's Guide to Best Behavior in Japan: Do it Right and be Polite!" If you read this book, you will never have a dispute with a local restaurant! It won't be out until May 2018 but you can pre-order it here and they will deliver it to you as soon as it's available.

Select Magazine Articles

Outdoor Traveler "10 Tips for Hiking the Kyoto Trail" (Summer 2017)
Outdoor Japan "Art in the Inland Sea" (Summer 2016)
Kyoto Journal 78 "Pilgrimage--Time out on the Inward Journey" (November, 2013)

Articles about Amy

The Buddhist Review: tricycle, "Run Pilgrim, Run" by Sheila Burt (Winter 2016)
Writer's Digest Magazine (profile) by Jan Jaben-Eilon (March, 2008)

NHK World

Correspondent for "J-Trip Plan" reporting on the Setouchi Art Festival, Okayama's Naked Festival and the Kasaoka Islands.