I had the honor of interviewing Camy Tang on her newest Asian lit release, Only Uni - in stores now! Check out the interview below! =)
What inspired this fun new chick lit series to be born?
It formed really slowly, but mostly it came from hanging out with friends and realizing we all have a family member who nags us about getting married. I made Grandma Sakai 10 times worse than anyone else, and then created the four cousins.
If there was one theme or concept a reader would take away from Only Uni, what would you want it to be?
Trish is a girl who has made mistakes. Some of us will have made worse mistakes, others of us will not have made mistakes as lasting as Trish's. But God's grace covers all of us, every day of our lives, in all the mistakes we do, whether small or big.
How do you manage the every-day details of being a busy wife, a mother, and writer?
I try to be very organized, although it doesn't always happen. I have a "winner" list of things to do each day, with tasks that should be relatively easy for me to finish. I also make liberal use of my iCalscheduling program on my computer to give me reminders of things I need to do. I take one day a week to blog for the entire week, so I can keep up my blog without taking away time from my writing. I spend most of the morning doing things like email or managing whatever contest I have going on. Right now I have a huge website contest open only to my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers. I'm giving away 5 huge boxes of books and 25 copies of my novel, Only Uni, so join today! http://www.camytang.com/contest.html
After doing emails and things, I work on my writing in the afternoon. That leaves my evenings free to spend with my husband, and I make sure to take the dog for a walk every afternoon. It doesn't always work out as well and smoothly as I'd like, but I manage to muddle through!
How many more books will there be in this series?
Only Uni is book 2, and Single Sashimi (out in August) will be the third and final book. I will also be writing a fourth novella (Jenn's story) that will be available as a free ebook download for members of my newsletter YahooGroup.
I love reading books that teach me about other cultures. How much fun did you have incorporating those types of details into this series? =)
It's always fun to write about things you've known as a child but can see how absurd they are now that you're an adult. In the opening scene, Trish knocks over a paper, mochi, and tangerine table setting that my family puts out for New Year's. I knew what some of the elements were for, although not all--I had to call my Mom up to ask! LOL--but it was fun to delve deeper into something I've known all my life, but never really thought about!
Do you find yourself as a writer putting a little bit of yourself into each of your characters? A quirk here, a favorite color there, etc.
Lex has my love of volleyball. Trish is a biologist like myself. Venus is as nonsensical as I am (well, most of the time--during certain times of the month I'm completely illogical and irrational and eat my weight in chocolate)
What is your advice for aspiring authors today?
The best advice I ever received was from Brandilyn Collins--keep working on your craft. You never "make it" in terms of your level of craft--you should always be reading more books and articles, going to more workshops, taking more online classes to improve your writing craft, even after you're published.
What is one fiction book you've read over and over and over?
Persuasion by Jane Austen. I just love it! The language is witty and droll, the romance is dramatic and swoon-worthy.
Is there a certain mentor, teacher, author or friend that has significantly helped you in your journey to publication that you'd like to mention?
Sharon Hinck was my writing mentor when I first started out. At the time we met, we were both unpublished but Sharon was a few years ahead of me in terms of craft and knowledge about the writing business. She very patiently critiqued my first really really bad manuscript and helped me with submissions to agents and editors and pitching at conferences. She and I have become good friends and I'll always be grateful for the time she took to help me as a fledgling writer.
What has been the hardest thing about writing for publication, and what has been the most fun? =)
The hardest thing is patience. This business goes VERY SLOWLY, which a lot of writers don't realize. My manuscript was under consideration at Zondervan for 6 or 7 months before I was contracted, and I was aware of each step of the process as it went from committee to committee. Sowhen I got "the call," it was more like, "Well, Camy, it's finally a go" rather than a surprise. The most fun is the writing! Who wouldn't enjoy being paid to do whatthey love most??
Thanks for having me here, Betsy!