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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Spotlight on Camy Tang and Sushi for One

I am absolutely thrilled to feature today's spotlight author and highlight her very first novel! This is the first of several first-time novelists and their breakthrough books that I'll be featuring in the coming months up through Christmas. So, look for some exciting NEW reads from NEW authors.

Today, this spotlight is also part of the CFBA BLOG TOUR, and one stop for Camy along the blog trail for the entire month of September. For a complete listing of the other places where Camy will be stopping this month, visit her blog. She posts daily about each stop along the way.


Camy Tang is the loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick lit. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website.

By Camy Tang


1. This is your first book, and you've already got a bit of buzz stirring im the industry about your unique characters and setting. You've also chosen to link the 4 books in this Sushi series by having your main heroines be cousins. What gave you the inspiration for this book?

I actually thought up all the cousins' personalities at the same time, so I "knew" all of them before I even wrote Sushi for One. I made Lex as good at volleyball as I wished I was. :) Then I went into her family situation and her personality and thought, "What would be the best and worst things that could happen to her?"

Then I applied Donald Maass' WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK and asked, "How can I make things worse?" I'm so evil. :)

2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Lex and Aiden? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Their personalities aren't like mine. I try not to base my characters off of anyone I know, but I do include some minor traits of my friends/family in my characters. For example, Lex's interest in volleyball is like mine, although she's a great player while I'm only mediocre. Aiden's running is like my dad's love of running.

However, the core personalities of each are not like anyone I know. When I take the whole of their characters, they're unique in themselves, with traits and interests I might have cannibalized from people I know.

3. What themes exist in Sushi for One that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Lex learns over the course of the book that there are no easy answers, as much as we'd like there to be. God just doesn't work that way sometimes. Ultimately, we have to stop striving so hard on our own and submit to whatever He decides for us, resting in the fact that He does love us fiercely, no matter what happens.

Oh, and the theme that family can be both a joy and a major pain in the rear end. :)

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The deeper emotional parts were hardest to write because I dig up my own emotional "memory" in order to write them (Brandilyn Collins talks about this technique in her book GETTING INTO CHARACTER). Digging up emotional aspects of my past is never a fun thing.

My favorite scenes were the ones involving food. LOL! Asian American families tend to be very food-oriented--there's always lots of it at gatherings, at meetings, etc. I was able to include my favorites in the book.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

The next book in the series is Only Uni, releasing February 2008. Here's the blurb:

Will Trish Sakai be able to follow her three simple rules and hold out against two gorgeous guys?

Trish Sakai is ready for a change from her wild, flirtatious behavior. And her three cousins are anxious for her to change, too. Trish is always knocking something over, knocking herself out, and taking hard knocks in her perpetual confusion about men.

When Trish's ex-boyfriend, Kazuo the artist, keeps popping up at all the wrong moments, Trish decides to be firm with herself. She creates three simple rules from First and Second Corinthians and plans to follow them to the letter. No more looking at men! No more dating non-Christians! She will persevere in hardship by relying on God.

Except now Kazuo is claiming Trish is his muse, and he can't complete his major work of art without her. And a gorgeous coworker is reassigned, bringing him in daily contact with Trish. But her cousins are determined to hold her accountable to her plan. She thought three rules would be a cinch, but suddenly Trish's simple rules don't seem so simple after all.

Thanks for letting me chat here with you, Amber! I also want to mention that I have a huge website contest going on right now, where I'm giving away baskets of books and an iPod Nano! It's exclusively for my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers, so join today!

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Thank you, Camy, for being in the spotlight. You're awesome! Readers, feel free to leave a comment for your chance to be entered in the drawing for a FREE, autographed book. If you don't wish to be entered but only leave your comment, say so when you post. This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.


Anonymous said...

Camy, your books sound so great! The thing that I find weird about some books with ethnic flavors is that if you're not from that background, you almost can't understand the book. But your stories sound like people I know, just with a zingy difference! I can't wait to read one! Definitely enter me in your contest! :)

Kitty :)
kittyrosebucholtz [at] yahoo dot com

Cherie J said...

Great author spotlight! Camy's book sounds great! Would love to win!

Grace Bridges said...

Sounds soooo cool! I will definitely have to read this :)

Jessica Ferguson said...

I'd love to win Camy's book. Great interview, ladies, and thanks for the writing tips.

Camy Tang said...

Thanks, ladies! Thanks also, Amber, for the fun interview!

tetewa said...

Would love to win a copy!

ChristyJan said...

Great author spotlight. I'd love to win Camy's book.

Karen said...

Please count me in, I REALLY want to read this book:-)

Unknown said...

Please enter me for the book. forest_rose[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

I liked the "Cousin" idea and the statement that families are both a joy and a pain . . .
Happy writing, Camy.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Wow! Another full "hat" this week with all of the names. But again, only 1 winner can be drawn and that winner is:


Congratulations. Email me with your mailing address and how you would like your free book personalized, so I can have Camy mail out your book.

Thanks to everyone for your comments and continued support. New spotlight up today, October 3rd! Check it out.