ANNE R TAN AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I love to read more than write. I have to set up hard deadlines with preorders to motivate myself to write. If left on my own, I would rather spend my writing time on "research," which basically is reading books in my favorite genres.
Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?
When I was in seventh grade, I had a burning desire to grow to be a writer. But by the time I finished high school, two English teachers killed the desire. English is not my first language, and these two teachers made sure I knew it. And even to this day, I feel a twinge of fear every time I have to put words to paper. The birth of my daughter rekindled this desire to create stories.
When I first started writing, I only hoped to document some of the Chinese-American traditions and beliefs for my children. Unfortunately, we will lose the language and the culture by the time my children are adults. Hopefully, I will still be writing in 10 years because my novels are my legacy to my children. Now if I can write full-time, that would be the icing.
What are you currently working on?
I am writing "Sunny Mates and Murders," Raina Sun Mystery #5. I've spent too much time "researching" this book. It only takes me about two months to write a book, but it has been six months since I last set a writing schedule for myself. So I set up deadlines with preorders and already booked the editors. If I didn't take such drastic measures, I probably wouldn't even get this book out until next summer.
Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?
My favorite book in my cozy mystery is "Breezy Friends and Bodies." The readers get to meet Raina's family and see a glimpse of her previous life in San Francisco. A Chinese mob boss also play a role in helping her understand her family dynamics. It was a really fun book to write.
What books have most influenced you as a writer?
I love "The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery." There's a systematic plan to work on one aspect of your novel each week for an entire year. Once you finish every chapter in the book, you should have a mystery novel. And sure enough, when I finished all the steps, I wrote "Raining Men and Corpses," which became the first novel in cozy mystery series.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?
Like all writers with a day job and a family, finding time to write is a constant battle, especially when writing don't pay the bills. And not everyone in my life understands my desire to write. They view it as a nice hobby I should set aside whenever they come calling. But writing isn't a hobby for me. It's a calling, and hopefully, something I can turn into a full-time income in the future.
The most rewarding part about being a writer is when my children can point out my book covers on the computer or flip through the paperbacks. And it is always rewarding to interact with my readers.
What book is on your nightstand?
I am reading "No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished" by Rachel Aaron. While I might be a mystery writer, I love reading fantasy, especially urban fantasy. This book is the third book in the Heartstrikers series. I love the family dynamics in this large dragon family. I came from a family of 30+ cousins, and I am smack in the middle, so the dynamics in a large family always fascinate me.
What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
First, I need to finish writing "Sunny Mates and Murders," which I hope to release at the beginning of February 2017. Then, I would like to start a paranormal cozy mystery. Of course, I've been talking about starting a new series for a year, and given my limited writing time, this might be a pie in the sky idea. If not 2017, then there is always 2018. That's the wonderful thing about writing. There is no time limit to this gig.
Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?
All my characters are a facet of me. For example, Raina is an engineer, and I am an engineer (although she is more than a decade younger than me). Po Po is the grandmother I would like to be with my future grandchildren. Yes, even the annoying characters are a part of me. They would say or do things I would never say. It's just like my children, the characters are part of me, but they are not me.
Website link: http://annertan.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnneRTanAuthor
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/annertan
Her debut humorous cozy mysteries features Raina Sun, a Chinese American amateur sleuth, dealing with love, family betrayal, and her place in the world while solving murders.
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