If you are troubled, lost in life or just feel like discussing cats and Japanese baseball, visit "Mr Murakami's Place" online. Starting yesterday, acclaimed author Haruki Murakami began taking questions. He will dispense advice and answer questions over the next two weeks. A best-selling novelist and perennial candidate for a Nobel Prize in literature, Murakami is notoriously publicity-shy, particularly in his home country. But he wants some virtual interaction with his readers, says his publisher Shinchosha. Murakami's ask-me-anything session began yesterday at "Murakami-san no Tokoro", or "Mr Murakami's Place" - a site set up by Shinchosha Publishing. "Waiting for questions, consultations, etc," said a handwritten message from Murakami on the site. A cat lover and a big fan of the underdog Japanese baseball team the Yakult Swallows, Murakami personally suggested those topics, along with likes and dislikes about places . But readers can post any questions or "little somethings" they want to tell Murakami during the sessions that run through to January 31, and Murakami is promising to try to answer as many of them as possible. Questions to Murakami, a keen runner, could also touch on running and - of course - his novels. Shinchosha says Murakami will choose the questions to which he will respond, mostly in Japanese but possibly also in English or other languages, as in the past. Murakami's protagonists are often troubled young men seeking their self identity in grim, dark or fantastical settings. But the novelist's sense of humour is apparent in his essays and short stories. "Laughter can open up people's hearts, while sorrow is introverted," he said in a rare speaking engagement in his hometown of Kyoto in 2013. Murakami, 65, began writing while running a bar in Tokyo after finishing university. His 1987 romantic novel Norwegian Wood was his first best-seller, establishing him as a young literary star. Recent best-sellers include 1Q8 " and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage . While seeking privacy amid the cultish devotion showered upon him by his fans, known as "Harukists", Murakami has spoken out on issues including nuclear energy and global peace. In 1997, the author said he wanted to present himself as a "natural, real-size person".