Below is a bulk of the frequently asked questions I receive about the REN'AI RENSAI series and characters. If you have a question, feel free to post it in the comments!
Is (character) named after (insert popular Japanese figure / anime character here)?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Not really.
With so many characters coming and going (ha! ha!) in the RR universe, names are going to bleed across your favorite anime and pop figures, especially when I strive to keep names in any given story as different as possible to aid readers who are not familiar with Japanese. Yes, it's merely a coincidence that Reina happens to have the same name as your favorite Morning Musume member. No, Yatsumi's last name (Katsuragi) is not a shout-out to Evangelion. And, no, not even Haruka is named after THAT same dyke-tastic Haruka from Sailor Moon. Although I knew people were going to ask the moment I wrote that name down the first time!
That said, while I do not gravitate towards certain names because of their connotations, I do AVOID some on the same basis. There are some names I will never give to characters because I associate them with certain people I know in real life, and it would make me extremely uncomfortable to do so, especially granting the subject matter of the stories.
Did you base Reina, Michiko, and Shizuka's girl group off any particular real life J-pop girl group?
The story implies that Reina and Aiko go to California to get married...but gay marriage is illegal in California in 2012 (when they get married.) Don't you know that?
Living an hour away from California, yes, I am perfectly aware. And so are they. Well, sort of. It's actually a complicated matter because 1) REN'AI RENSAI takes place in an alternate universe that is the same as that as my fantasy series CROSS//. In that universe, gay marriage is legalized in at least CA around 2008 or so. However, for the sake of answering this question, please keep in mind that symbolic marriages are performed all over the world all the time that have no legality. Besides, it ultimately doesn't matter, because it's still illegal in Japan.
What is Michiko's "story?" It seems like there's something really strange going on with her.
I'm rather amused at how many readers have picked up on something "off" about Michiko. In truth, she's a mixture of me trolling people and me being really, really careful. Because Michiko is actually a main character of a another (fantasy) series I am working on as mentioned above. (In fact, Michiko was long created before any other character in the RR series.) I'm trying to balance her backstory with the main plot going on. She only comes off as, well, "off" because you only see her through Reina or Aiko's POV, both of whom are completely ignorant to the fantasy elements around them.
If you want to read more about Michiko (and understand some of her motivations, such as suddenly running back to America) you can read her official CROSS// profile here. Or you can wait until the first book in that series drops sometime late 2013.
Okay, I'm laughing my ass off at the imagery of Reina and Michiko screwin' all their classmates on the roof during high school. But it kinda threw me out of the story as well because it's so ridiculous
Funny story about that: the whole ordeal of sex on the school roof really isn't that rare in Japan. At least, during the course of one my stays, there was this huge regional scandal about students being caught running a sex club during their lunch periods. Usually students aren't allowed on the roofs of schools, but they tend to sneak up their for lunches all the time. The ones I heard about via newspapers and gossip were all heterosexual ones, but I just kinda took it and ran with it. Come on, it's totally something those two would do. (You'd think, though, that all this scandal about sex on roofs would make Japanese schools more vigilant about watching out for that...)
How long will the series last?
There is so definite end to the series. For NOW, however, I will be stopping after five novels. I have ideas for a sixth novel, but I'm going to wait and work on other projects before tackling that. Shorts will continue on a regular basis for the rest of the year.
This doesn't mean an end of the REN'AI RENSAI universe after May, however. Two spinoffs will be occurring until the end of 2013. The first one, JIAI JOUWA, will be following Jun in her quest for love~ ♥ You can read more about it on the about page.