Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Welcome author Camy Tang

Today we're visiting with one of my dearest friends, Camy Tang. Her debut novel, Sushi for One?, is a delightful chicklit that covers a variety of issues.

Welcome, Camy, to the blog. Glad you were able to stop by.
Okay, I GOTTA ask....what was your inspiration for Sushi for One?

I promise it wasn't my family! My grandma (and my parents, and my
other relatives) are nothing like Grandma Sakai. GS was a
conglomeration of stories I heard from friends about their
parents/aunties/siblings/grandparents. Of course, once I had Grandma
Sakai, what better than to pit her against Christian single women in
her family with as much backbone as she has?

Can you tell me a little about your experience with the Chinese and
Japanese cultures, as you bring out the differences in your book.

I am fourth generation Japanese, and my husband is third generation
Chinese. There's actually quite a difference in mindset and culture
between us and, say, first or second generation Asians like in Amy
Tan's books. I wanted to highlight the "American-ness" and yet
"Asian-ness" of characters whose families have been in the United
States for several generations. Chinese and Japanese cultures are
often similar in certain aspects.

Some attitudes remain the same across cultures--like exceptional
deference to elders--but other things are different--like more modern
ideas about career and family. The clash between second generation
Grandma Sakai and fourth generation Lex is the core of the book.

One thing common to many Asian families is food, whether they're
Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, or any other Asian ethnicity.
So the food scenes in Sushi for One are pretty authentic. Readers will
notice the difference between, say, the Chinese food at the Red Egg
and Ginger party and the home-made spread at Lex's uncle's birthday

I just loved your character, Lex. How much of her personality is yours?

Not as much as I'd like. Lex is much braver than I am about saying
what she thinks without caring what people think of her. If I said
some of the things she does, I'd get smacked upside the head by my

What's the story behind Captain Caffeine??

My husband love coffee. I mean, LOVES COFFEE. Strong coffee.
Cappuccinos and lattes in particular.

Picking a screen name for him took a little while, but he likes the
moniker Captain Caffeine that we decided on. It fits him to a T.

One famous--or infamous--story about him is that I promised him
anything if I got a book contract, because he very graciously let me
quit my job in order to try writing full-time. Well, I got the
contract, and he bought an all stainless-steel, Italian espresso maker
that's pictured on my blog:

What advice would you give a new author, besides the standard of "learn your
craft, hone your skills?"

Learn the market. Don't stick your head in a hole in the ground and
expect yourself to come up with brilliantly unique story ideas. You
need to be aware if there are a lot of pastor heroes being published
in your chosen genre, or that six books about wedding planners hit the
shelves last year. That way you know to avoid pastor heroes or wedding
planners. Know your market so that your story will stand out from
everything else being published. You don't have to read them all, but
the story blurbs on Amazon or Christianbook.com are priceless.

What's next for you?

The second book in the series, Only Uni, arrives February 2008. That's
Trish's story. Venus's story (I know you like Venus best) is Single
Sashimi, which comes out in the fall of 2008.

I also want to tell people about my huge website contest going on
right now. I'm giving away baskets of Christian fiction and an iPod
Nano! Only my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers are eligible, so join

Thanks for dropping by.....I'll be reviewing your book in a few days! :D

Thanks for letting me chat here, Robin!

Readers, stay tuned....I'll be reviewing Sushi For One? in the next few days!


Shauna said...

I'm enjoying the Camy Blog Tour! Thanks, Robin, for another awesome interview! And I gotta say, this book has the most beautiful cover!

Camy Tang said...

Thanks for the interview, Robin!

Thanks, Shauna--I love the cover, too! My art department rocks!

Patricia W. said...

Interesting to learn more about the cultural differences and how Camy incorporated them into her book.

I think every culture has a food thing!

Congratulations, Camy!

Robin Caroll said...

Yeah, I think Camy's covers pretty much rock! And Patricia, I loved how Camy wove in the cultural differences in the book. Opened my poor little limited eyes. LOL And that she did it so flawlessly impressed me. Wait. I. Did. Not. Compliment. Camy. LOL

Camy Tang said...

OH MY GOSH!! Wait, I have to print this out for posterity.