I am DELIGHTED to bring you my good friend and crit partner CAMY TANG and her hilarious Asian chick-lit book, Sushi for One?, out now from Zondervan. This photo from last year's ACFW conference shows me with the Loud Asian Chick. The girl is absolutely amazing writer, sweet (she'll love me for that one), and a wonderful friend.
Now, on to Camy's interview:
1.) What inspires you to write?
I love writing, but I also rest in the knowledge that this is trulywhat God wants for me to do. He asked me to lay down my writing oncebefore, and then gave me the green light to pick it up again, so Iknow that this writing is something He approves of and desires for me.
2.) You've talked about how you're very much a left-brained person. Since I'm predominantly right brained, I'd love to know how you overcome the left-brain side to get into your creative streak.
Unlike most women, I actually do not shift between left and rightbrain very easily. I have to get myself into a creative mode and staythere for as long as I need to in order to get the writing done.It's usually just a matter of clearing my plate of left brain work sothat I can be in right brain mode for several days or weeks.Coming up with character personalities is right brain for me, and so I'll set aside any kind of editing or logistical work until that'sdone. The plotting is more left brain, so I'll work on plot and sceneindexes while doing other busy-work like edits from my publisher orwork on the ACFW Genesis contest.Then when it comes to writing the manuscript, I try to give myselfseveral weeks in pure right brain mode to get the story written out. Iwon't take critiquing jobs, I won't do any edits, I won't evencritique for my crit partners. I try to completely clear my scheduleso that all I need to focus on is the writing.
3.) What is an indulgence that helps your creative muse?
POTATO CHIPS!!! I also love taro chips and veggie crisps. I know they're super bad for me, but I can't help myself!
4.) I love the flavor infused in your books. Where did you get the inspiration for Lex and the others?
I like using archetypes turned on their heads. I usually use Victoria Lynn Schmidt's 45 Master Characters. As a psychology major in college, I knew that there are certainpersonality types that are repeated in fiction because they resonatepsychologically with readers. That's why I enjoy using archetypes--anarchetype usually enables me to create a richer, deeper characterthat's both consistent and fully drawn.I try my best to avoid stereotypes, so I'll take an archetype and giveit a different sort of twist--an Amazon who has already been strippedvulnerable, a Maiden who has escaped her torturous relationship with aWarlock. I ask myself, what would they do now? And I go from there tocraft their stories.
5.) Who in the industry has had a profound influence on you and your writing?
Gayle Roper. I took her Fiction Mentoring clinic at an ACFW conference, and it was a turning point in my career. She's aphenomenal teacher and a wonderful writer. If any writer has anopportunity to take her Mentoring class, they should do it.
Thanks, Camy, for this fun interview. Hey, everyone--leave a comment to win a copy of Camy's incredible book. I've read Camy's book and I have to say that the Loud Asian Chick hooks you into the Asian culture in a very cunning and funny way. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the characters are quirky but real, and the laughs are endless! I found it surprisingly how seamlessly Camy stitched in the cultural elements. She's a phenomenal writer. You've got to get this book!!
Here is the official blurb from Camy's website:
Book #1: Sushi for One? (September2007)Sports-crazy Lex Sakai isn’t too worried about “winning” the unofficial family title “Oldest Single Female Cousin” when her cousin Mariko marries in a few months. Her control-freak grandma is easy to ignore, until Grandma issues an ultimatum—if Lex can’t find a date for Mariko’s wedding, her ruthless Grandma will cut off funding to the girls’ volleyball team that Lex coaches.
Lex isn’t about to look desperate by dating every player in the dugout. She comes up with a stringent list of requirements from her Ephesians Bible study in her search for The Perfect Man. She always wins in volleyball—if she ups her game, she’s sure to succeed.
Then her brother introduces her to non-Christian, non-athletic, no-immediate-physical-appeal Aiden.
Aiden’s on the rebound from a girl named Trish, who dumped him because he wasn't Christian. Then he discovers that Lex is 1) not attracted to him at all, 2) Christian, and 3) Trish's cousin. No way is he hooking up with anyone from that crazy family, much less another hypocritical Christian chick. He's certainly not masochistic.
Time is running out for Lex, and no matter what she does, she can’t find the right guy. Especially when she keeps running into Aiden everywhere. If only the list would stop getting longer and longer...
DON'T FORGET to leave a comment to WIN A COPY of Camy's Sushi for One?, out now from Zondervan.