Monday, September 24, 2007
Introducing Camy Tang...And A Free Book!
Today I'd like to welcome a special author and friend to the blog, Ms. Camy Tang. (And the crowd goes wild)
Camy's first book, Sushi For One? hit the shelves this past September. I was lucky enough to get a preview and snag an interview. You can be lucky, too, and WIN a copy yourself. Just leave a comment on this blog to be entered.
Jen: What is Sushi for One? about?
Camy: 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.
Jen: What’s your favorite scene or moment in the book?
THE KISS!!!! Of course. Can you tell I’m a romance reader?
Jen: Hey, we have that in common! No, er, wait. I meant to say, we are so not alike. I only read inspirational non-fiction and books written before 1850.
Anyway, tell us how you got the idea for the book. I love this story!
Camy: Originally, Sushi for One was Non-Ethnic Food for Single Girl. I read a lot of romances, and most of them didn’t have an ethnically diverse cast, so when I started writing, I wrote ethnically-neutral characters.
(And by the way, that first book I wrote, called The Corinthian Rules, was REALLY BAD.)
Then at an ACFW conference, author Brandilyn Collins prayed over me and three friends. I told her to pray whatever she felt led, and she said, “Write your heritage.”
Talk about freaky, huh? I had been wondering about writing Asian characters, but I certainly hadn’t told Brandilyn that.
So I rewrote The Corinthian Rules to open at a Chinese wedding banquet, with an Asian heroine beset by nagging relatives (see a common theme in my stories?). The Corinthian Rules was complete dreck, but I wrote four other manuscripts with Asian characters. The fifth manuscript was Sushi for One, and that was picked up by Zondervan.
Jen: What advice do you have out there for both aspiring adult and teen writers?
Camy: Learn your writing craft. Someone who wanted to be a concert pianist wouldn’t sit down at a piano for the first time and expect to play a Mozart concerto. They’d start with Chopsticks (and there’s nothing wrong with Chopsticks, BTW).
It’s the same for writers. They need to spend time and some money on perfecting their craft—reading books and magazines and online articles, attending conferences, listening to workshops on MP3 or taking online workshops.
And one more thing—write something else. Your first manuscript will always hold a special place in your heart, but once it’s been rejected by a few editors (even if it’s finaled in a few contests), move on and write another story.
And not a sequel to your first book—a completely different storyline and characters.
That way, editors and agents know you’re not just a one-book wonder, that you can complete several manuscripts, can think up several different storylines.
Jen: Okay, let's get to the really important stuff. What's your most embarrassing high school or junior high memory?
Camy: I was at a late night study group and we were getting slap happy. I laughed so hard I farted. Really loudly. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t say a word.
I can’t believe I actually confessed that. Confession is good for the soul, right?
Jen: I am deeply offended and want you to leave my blog immediately. I'm totally calling your publisher.
No, actually you are SO one of us here at this blog. Tell us about a favorite picture you have.
Camy: This is my husband, Captain Caffeine (although in this picture he doesn't have that maniacal "I need java now!" look that he often has), hanging onto our dog, Snickers, because otherwise she'd bolt toward the camera. She's into jumping at any new and interesting object and thinking it's a new chew toy for her.
Jen: You're stranded on a desert island and can only have one CD with you. What is it and why?
Camy: Pirates of the Caribbean, so I can dream of Johnny Depp sailing around the reef to come rescue me.
Jen: Any guy who can keep eyeliner on out at sea has to be pretty resourceful. Tell us your idea of the funniest movie?
C: Love, Actually
Jen: Saddest movie?
I hate sad movies and will only watch a few because practically anything remotely sad will make me bawl.
Jen: OH, my gosh. Were we separated at birth? I REFUSE to read or watch anything sad. I still have scars from being forced to watch Bambi, Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, and Beaches. So what's the worst movie you've ever seen?
Camy: Worst movie? Do I have to pick? I can’t even remember them because they were that bad. Plus I’ll usually walk out of a theater or stop the DVD if it’s bad, because life is just too short to waste on bad cinema.
Jen: Again, me too! Especially with books--if I'm not hooked quickly, I drop the book and get a new one. How about...if you were a super hero, what power would you have?
The ability to turn someone into a toad. Everyone would be really nice to me.
Jen: Good to know. Camy, thanks so much for stopping by with your fart stories and book discussion. I finally want to mention that Camy has a great blog. Anything exciting going on over there?
Camy: I have a huge website contest going on right now where I’m giving away baskets of Christian novels and an iPod Nano! You have to belong to my newsletter YahooGroup in order to enter, so join today:
Thanks for having me here, Jenny!
Jen, here. Be sure and check out a preview of Sushi for One? at Camy's website by clicking here.
Also don't forget to leave a comment on this blog to get your name in the hat for a free copy of the fabulous Sushi For One?