Crime novelist Fuminori Nakamura might be a self-described pessimist with a dark personality, but one thing he's never had to worry about is writer's block.

"I'm bursting with story ideas. It's not a talent, it's more like a disease," he told a small gathering through an interpreter at the University of Southern California on his first visit to the U.S. in late April.

With a second novel out in English this June, his work is starting to gain international recognition.