Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blog Tour - Single Sashimi by Camy Tang

Today on OTWP, I'm thrilled to present Single Sashimi by my friend, Camy Tang. Camy is a brilliant writer whose characters leap off the page and grab you by the heart. I've loved all three of her novels, Sushi for One?, Only Uni, and Single Sashimi. Camy has graciously submitted to an interview for me. Thank you, Camy!



*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Do you start out writing a book thinking about the take-away value or theme? I thought Venus's journey felt very real and relatable, and her struggles, esp. with herself, rang true.

Thanks! I always think of what the character’s spiritual struggle is going to be before I even write the book, because I want to weave the things that happen to her in with the inner struggles she’s going through. A lot of times, the character’s spiritual struggles are things that I’ve gone through or are going through, which hopefully adds some realism to it ... especially if I were a gorgeous, successful video game developer. LOL

Venus is very conscious of her weight and the impact the change in weight had in her life and how people treat her. As someone who has recently lost quite a bit of weight myself, I found her character to be spot on. Do you have any personal experience in this, or did you interview someone in this position to gain this insight?

When I was single, I was incredibly disheartened by how guys treated the skinny girls versus the non-skinny girls, and at other times, it just made me mad.

I thought, what would happen if a gifted but overweight woman suddenly lost weight and saw what I saw, how guys acted differently and spoke differently to women just because they were slender?

And because Venus has more strength and self-confidence than I do, how would I wish I could react in those situations, and how would it impact a strong self-assurance?

I am still battling with my weight, (Erica here: Camy is tiny! Absolutely gorgeous.) but I could write Venus from the viewpoint of a woman who saw the double standard and could imagine how she’d respond to it when it was directed at her.

How much research did you have to do into gaming and software companies? (Venus is a programing executive in the video gaming industry.)

Not as much as I expected to, but more than actually got into the book. I had a friend who worked in the gaming industry who got me started, and then I got hooked up with a couple other guys who already work in the gaming industry, and I picked their brains. They were very nice. They’re listed in the acknowledgements section.

This book seems to be centered a lot more on Venus and her work environment than the large, noisy, sometimes messy Sakai family. Was this a conscious decision, or just the natural evolution of the series?

It was something that flowed out of Venus’s character. She’s not one to let family pressure influence her as much as her other cousins, and her relationship with Grandma is actually very different from the other cousins’ relationships with Grandma. Grandma relates to Venus on a business level as well as a family level, and so the business side of the story naturally came out more than in other books.

I loved and recognized the names of several of your characters. How do you keep all the characters' names straight in a huge cast?

I cheat. I have a Word document that has EVERYBODY’S name on it, so I don’t forget. Because I totally would.

What has been the fallout from Only Uni and the situation Trish found herself in at the end of the book? Positive? Negative? (I thought it was brilliant, and really showed the grace of God and the consequences of our decisions living on, even after we've repented.)

It’s been mostly positive, although most people were surprised. I really wanted to convey what you mentioned, that while God gives us grace, we still do have to live with consequences. It’s something I had been teaching the youth group at church at the time, and it was perfect for what I planned Trish to go through.

Once you, as an author, wrap up a series, what's next? Where do you go from here? Do you keep in mind your brand? Do you branch out into areas you're interested in?

I always keep my brand in mind and try not to deviate too far from it. However, I also look at marketing and the Christian fiction market to see what works and what doesn’t, and I try to make decisions based on what I observe or what I can predict will happen in a few months.

In planning a new book, I do not have a very “mystical” process. I decide what type of book I’m going to write, and then brainstorm ideas for a premise until I find one that resonates with me. Then I go for it.

For example, when I wanted my next book to be a Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense novel, I brainstormed plot and setting ideas until I came up with the Sonoma spa setting and a massage therapist heroine. Once I had that down, I could come up with a crime—a dead body in her massage room. Then I went about wondering the hows and whys, and planning who the villain was. In the midst of that, I plotted who the hero would be and how he becomes embroiled in the mystery.

Here’s the back cover blurb I wrote for that book, Deadly Intent (it releases in August 2009), although this blurb may not appear on the actual book:

THERE WAS A DEAD BODY IN HER MASSAGE ROOM

And massage therapist Naomi Grant is suspected of murder. She’s frustrated and helpless as a web of lies closes in around her, framing her. She doesn’t have time to worry about her shaky faith or think about her growing attraction to the victim’s ex-husband, Dr. Devon Knightley.

Orthopedic surgeon Devon had only needed to claim his mother’s necklace back from his ex-wife, but suddenly he’s embroiled in a murder investigation and someone is trying to kill him. He wants to somehow protect Naomi from the trap being set around her, but can he keep them both safe against a villain with deadly intent?


Thanks for having me here, Erica!
Camy

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. 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 ten boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, SINGLE SASHIMI.
My review of Single Sashimi: It's FABULOUS! Camy's writer voice is instantly recognizable. Her characters are real, flawed, hilarious people who don't escape the realities of life but embrace them. Camy brings a strong Christian message to her readers without preaching, but by showing how broken humans are redeemed and loved by a God full of grace. I HIGHLY recommend this book and this series. You won't be disappointed.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent interview! I loved the series, as well =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks SO much for the interview and the review, Erica!

    Thanks a bunch, Georgiana!

    Camy

    ReplyDelete