Camy Tang’s interview

» Posted on Sep 11, 2007 in Blog | Comments Off on Camy Tang’s interview

> 1. What made you start writing?

I’ve always loved to write. It might be because my mom was an English teacher, and both my parents love reading, so I grew up thinking reading and writing were cool things to do. 🙂

I didn’t seriously start pursuing writing until I got laid off from my biology research job, and God gave me the green light on my writing. (That’s around the time I first met you, Margaret!)

> 2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I’ve been writing since 2003, but I was very lucky that friends told me to join ACFW first thing. I read all the ACFW archived workshops on writing, so I had a fast learning curve those first few years. I sold in 2006.

> 3. How do you handle rejections?

Like anybody else–cry, whine, burn a few roasts, stop vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, and buy a new dress. 🙂 It doesn’t get any easier, not in all the years I’ve been getting rejections. I even got three rejections in one day on the same manuscript. That was an all-time low. I bought TWO dresses. LOL

> 4. Why do you write?

Writing is cathartic for me. I’d be a much meaner person to my husband without my writing, let me tell you. In a strange way, writing also helps me get in touch with my more emotional side, because I’m forced to dig deep to write my character’s emotions. I think my husband is happy about that too–I get all my angsty stuff out of me before he gets home from work.

> 5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

I love working with my church youth group, so I’d probably spend more time with them (although I don’t know if they’d want to spend more time with me!). I enjoy doing worship with them, and I lead an all-youth worship team for Sunday service.

> 6. What are you working on right now?

My next series proposal! I’m branching out to Young Adult, and I have a YA Asian chick lit proposal that I’m getting into shape.

> 7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

I actually make a conscious effort not to put my personality into my characters, but I enjoy putting some of my interests in my characters. For example, in Sushi for One, Lex likes coed volleyball–I like coed volleyball. At least, I did until I tore my ACL twice and retired from the field.

> 8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Sushi for One is my debut novel, and it’s the first book in the Sushi Series. Here’s the blurb:

Will Lex Sakai be able to surrender her “perfect man” list and give Mr. All Wrong a chance?

Lex Sakai’s family is big, nosy, and marriage-minded. When her older cousin gets married, Lex will become the oldest single cousin in the clan. And that makes her a moving target for Grandma Sakai, who insists that Lex bring a date to her cousin’s wedding.

Of course, Grandma Sakai has some perfect candidates for Lex. Too bad they don’t speak English! And Lex herself has used her Bible study class on Ephesians to compile a huge list of traits for the perfect man. But the one man she keeps running into doesn’t seem to have a single quality on her list. Aiden Young is not her type. He’s not a jock, he’s not a Christian, and he has a bad history with Lex’s cousin, Trish. It’s only when the always-in-control Lex starts to let God take over that all the pieces of this hilarious romance finally fall into place.

> 9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

For an example of great writing, read Margaret’s books. 🙂

Seriously, read to learn. Read writing craft books, articles (or if you’re an auditory learner, listen to workshop MP3s). Read fiction from both the Christian market and mainstream market, to learn both good and okay writing (and, obviously strive for the good writing!).

> 10. How important is faith in your books?

I write Christian characters, who are not perfect, but they do believe in God. That faith completely changed my life, even though I didn’t become a pastor or a missionary. So it’s the same for my characters–their faith permeates everything they do, even if they never share the Four Spiritual Laws with someone or lead anyone to Christ. It just influences their decisions and actions. They make mistakes, but they press on because they belong to Jesus.

> 11. What themes do you like to write about?

Asian Americans (at least all the ones I know) are all about two things: Family and Food. So all my stories focus on a protagonist’s family and how they influence a character’s growth, angst, joy, and frustration. Then, I manage to get really yummy food snuck into the story somewhere.

> 12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

I just turned in the third book in the series, titled Single Sashimi, and it’s Venus’s story. I loved writing Venus because she’s such a cactus (yup, I’m weird). She’s also braver than I am, and she will say exactly what she’s thinking without caring what people will think of her. Single Sashimi comes out in the fall of 2008.

> 13. What is a “kick of wasabi”?

Wasabi is Japanese horseradish used with sushi, and it’s waaaaaaay strong. It will literally clear your sinus cavities if you eat too much. I like to think my writing has that little bit of an Asian edge to it to differentiate it from other romances, that kick of wasabi.

> 14. What is your writing schedule like?

I try to write at least 4 hours a day, with the rest of the day for other things like blogging, the ACFW Genesis contest, and marketing. I’ve been trying to be good about exercising in the morning, too, but that doesn’t always happen. When I’m closer to a deadline, I’m writing closer to 6 or 8 hours a day, but I can’t keep that up for longer than a week or two, it’s just too hard for me. I also take a lot of breaks to clear my mind and also to move my body so my back doesn’t give me problems (I have an old biology work-related injury to my lower spine).

> 15. Humor is hard to write. How do you get yourself in the mood to write a humorous scene?

You know, my brain is just strange, and these weird things just come to me when I’m writing. I can be completely depressed and still write something off the wall. It might be more morbid than when I write something on a happier day, but I can still write humor even if I’m not entirely in the mood. However, I’ve also never had to battle clinical depression or the loss of a loved one, and so I think that would affect me if that happened.

Thanks for letting me chat here, Margaret! Right now, I’m running a contest on my website where I’m giving away baskets of books and an iPod Nano! The contest is exclusively for my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers, so join today:
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