New Office, New Look

"Don't let statistics do a number on you." For those of you who don't know, I've been writing for years at my kitchen table. Finally, I've upgraded to my own office (slash guest room)! Knowing that I have an Asian-themed decor, my dad gave me this artwork. Gorgeous, huh? The main character in it is: patience. Patience is key to a writer's life. It always takes longer than you anticipate to produce and write something, or to edit and publish a piece. Fun photo: After two books, I finally … [Read more...]

Do Online Friends Make Good Real-Life Friends?

"The social scene can be fun today." Writing used to be a lonely profession. With the advent of modern technology, it's turned out to be more of a creative party. Boundary lines between online friends and in-person ones are getting blurred. In fact, I'm meeting more and more with virtual buddies in real places. I've gotten valuable critique partners from online classes. And years of connecting via the Web led me to a side trip last Christmas to meet up with Wordsmith Studio buddies. But … [Read more...]

Mystery Writing Tips (ALAAC 2014 part 3)

"When the rabbits are dead, the hounds that tracked them will be cooked." --Chinese proverb A new crime every time--that's the vital essence of a thriving mystery series. At the ALA conference in June, I saw a panel of women mystery authors. The group consisted of  Hannah Dennison (MURDER AT HONEYCHURCH HALL, "Downton Abbey meets Midsomer Murders"), Kelli Stanley (CITY OF SECRETS, "a noir tale of high order"), Rachel Howzell Hall (LAND OF SHADOWS, "hard-hitting tale of a modern, complex Los … [Read more...]

Author Celebrity Sightings (ALAAC 2014 part 2)

"Spilt water cannot be retrieved." --Chinese proverb Words spilled out as writers can't be retrieved. Words said as admirers can't be taken back either, which I found out while blubbering to my favorite authors at the ALA conference. (Okay, so I wasn't crying, but I still wasn't suave.) Here are my celebrity shots: Jean Kwok One of my favorite Asian American writers, we share a Hong Kong connection (my mom's from there). Jean was the first well-known author (think NYT bestseller) to … [Read more...]

The Art of Sampling

"An old horse knows the way." - Chinese proverb ~In the spring and autumn period (770-476BC), Duke Huan of Qi went to attack Guzhu. When winter settled in, the army lost their way, but Huan's minister Guan Zhong had a great plan: They would release their old horses and follow them back home.~ Experience matters, and that is why I'm relying on the collective wisdom of my online writers' community, Wordsmith Studio, today. This post will be based on their current creative prompt about … [Read more...]

Writers Tell All – Blog Hop

I have an extra post this week because I’m doing a blog hop called, “Writers Tell All.” Question 1: What are you working on? Releasing my debut novel, The 228 Legacy, on August 1st Polishing a cozy mystery featuring an Asian-American sleuth investigating a senior home Editing a previously shelved manuscript Question 2: How does your writing process work? I look around for inspiration in my daily life. When an image, a phrase, or a theme sticks, I’ll expand on it. I do a … [Read more...]

Should I Create a Newsletter?

The cunning hare has three burrows. August 1st, the release date for my forthcoming novel, is fast approaching. As I plan for its arrival, I'm contemplating setting up a mailing list. I've read that newsletters are informative and fun ways to keep readers up to speed on your work. As a bonus, some mail management sites, like MailChimp and Constant Contact, offer free services if the number of subscribers is under a certain amount. A newsletter sounded like a great idea until I found the … [Read more...]

Author Blurbs, Part Two

Tok Daaihgeuk: to flatter (lit. to carry on one's shoulders a pair of big feet) In the Tang dynasty, an empress called Mouh Jak Tin (A.D. 625-705) had a favorite lover called Sit Waaih Yih. A low ranking official named Jeung Kap always followed Sit Waaih Yih to serve as his attendant. Whenever Sit wanted to mount his horse, Jeung Kap prostrated himself on the ground to serve as a stepping stool for his master. This may be the origin of the phrase tok daaihgeuk.Big feet, little feet.I've been … [Read more...]

The Book Trailer: A Visual Sneak Peek

Haapchou: to be jealous (lit. take a sip of vinegar)In ancient China, there was an emperor who wanted to give one of his female attendants as a concubine to a loyal minister. The minister did not dare accept because his wife was a jealous woman. The emperor called the woman to court and asked her, "I'm going to give your husband a concubine. Will you say yes or no?" "No, Your Majesty," she said. "I would rather die." The emperor said, "Well then, I'll give you a cup of poison." He told his … [Read more...]

How to Get an Author Blurb

Gigi Gahtgaht: to stammer or stutterIn The History of the Han Dynasty, there is a story about a man named Jau Cheung who suffered from stammering. The first emperor of the Han dynasty (206-194 B.C.) had already made the son of Queen Leuih the crown prince, but he loved his concubine Lady Chik so much that he changed his mind. He wanted to make her son the new crown prince. Jau Cheung, an old official, challenged the emperor: "I can't talk very well, but as far I know, it would be ve...very wrong … [Read more...]