Monday, March 24, 2008
Guest Blog with the Delightful Camy Tang & Book Giveaway
Here are answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask Camy Tang, the author of the delightful Sushi Series. Be sure to leave a comment on today or tomorrow's post to have a chance to win a copy of Only Uni.
Top Ten Questions about the Sushi Series:
10) Is Grandma Sakai modeled after your own grandma?
NO. Grandma Sakai is a mix of the actual grandmothers, aunties, and mothers of my friends. So while she’s based on reality, she’s not real.
The scary and rather sad part about it is that I’ve had people, both Asian and even some non-Asian, who say Grandma Sakai is exactly like their own grandma/aunty/mother. It’s really true, reality is stranger than fiction.
9) Did your family nag you about your singleness like Lex, Trish, Venus, and Jenn’s families nag them?
To be honest, my family is very non-naggy. There’s kind of an unspoken non-interference rule in my family.
If something is alarming, like my chosen boyfriend is abusive or a girlfriend dishonored Grandma in some very offensive way, they might appoint a spokesperson (either my mom or my Aunty Jan) to say something to the family member, but once that’s done, that’s it. No more nagging.
(They’ll complain amongst themselves, though. What family wouldn’t? LOL)
On the flip side, my husband’s family is very much into everyone’s business, and too bad if you don’t like it. People will give their opinion whether you want it or not, and they will continue to give their opinion even if you tell them you’re not interested.
My husband says this is very typical Chinese. My family is Japanese, and my family in particular is very reserved. So you can see the differences even between two Asian cultures.
8) Which of the four cousins are you most like?
I am like and yet not like all of them.
I love volleyball like Lex, but I’m nowhere near as good at it as she is, and I wish I had her smart mouth.
I’m a bit of dingbat like Trish, and she and I share careers as biologists, but I’m not as fearless as she is.
I’m organized like Venus is, but I’m not as strong and assertive as she is, and I really wish I had her self-discipline.
I’m least like Jenn, although we both like food, and I wish I could cook as well as I wrote her abilities in the kitchen.
7) Will Jenn get a book, too?
Jenn’s story isn’t contracted, but I got permission from my publisher to write a novella about Jenn. I’ll have it available as a free ebook download to my newsletter YahooGroup members. My YahooGroup is free and easy to join: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Camys_Loft/join
There’s a blurb about Jenn’s story on my website here:
6) Are you Japanese, Chinese, or what?
I’m Japanese American, fourth generation in America. I grew up in Hawaii on the island of Oahu.
My last name is Chinese because I’m married to a Chinese American, who’s third generation in America, and who’s from Phoenix, Arizona. He still has family out there.
I’m very familiar with both the Japanese American and Chinese American cultures, and so I made the Sakai family a mix of Japanese and Chinese. Lex and Trish are both full Japanese American, but Venus and Jenn have Japanese American mothers and Chinese American fathers. Their family dynamics are quite different from Lex and Trish because of that.
5) Who’s your favorite of the cousins?
Venus, hands down. I think because she’s so hard-nosed and I kind of like that. She also has a warped sense of humor just like me.
4) What’s your favorite sushi?
My number one is soft shell crab. Kabuki, the sushi restaurant in Hawaii that my parents love, makes their soft shell crab roll as a mix of deep fried chopped crab with mayo and fish eggs, and rolled in a sushi with some Japanese bitter green shoots. It’s to DIE for.
My number two is hamachi (yellowtail) sushi. Yup, raw. It’s sooooo yummy.
3) Why is there so much food in your books?
Because in Asian American culture, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD! No joke! Families get together and bring tons of food to eat. It’s like they take any excuse to make lots of yummy Asian food.
In Sushi for One, there’s a birthday party scene where Lex never gets a chance to eat much of the delicious spread. For my book launch party, the ladies at my church made all the things I described for the party! It was soooo good!
2) Do you speak Japanese?
Nope. I took Japanese in high school, and a little in college, but it’s all dribbled out of my brain. My parents understand Japanese although they don’t speak it much. My grandmas are fluent in both Japanese and English. My great-grandmas didn’t speak English very well.
My husband’s family speaks Toisan (Taishan), a southern Chinese dialect. My husband understands some of it but doesn’t speak it at all, his parents are fluent in both English and Toisan, and his grandmas speak Toisan better than they speak English, although their English isn’t too bad, just heavily accented.
1) What’s next for you once the Sushi series is over?
I’ll still be writing Asian American characters, but my books will be more romancey. In the Sushi series, I wrote the point of view of the heroes, but most of the books are in the heroine’s point of view because the story was mostly hers. In my new books, it will be more 50/50 hero and heroine.
I’m also working on another women’s fiction proposal that’s an ensemble piece (think The Jane Austen Book Club or The Friday Night Knitting Club).
Thanks for having me here, Cara!
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 at http://www.camytang.com/ for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away five boxes of books and 25 copies of her latest release, ONLY UNI.