What fun to welcome Camy Tang, author of Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2). I’ve read both of Camy’s books, and they’re great. Check out my review at the end of the interview. But now, let’s meet Camy!
Camy Tang is the loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick lit and romance. She used to be a biologist, but these days she is surgically attached to her computer, writing full-time and running the Story Sensei critique service. In her spare (ha!) time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday 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/.
JA: Your latest book is Only Uni, the second in your Sushi Series. Please tell us about it.
CT: Here’s the back cover blurb:
Will Trish Sakai be able to follow her three simple rules and hold out against two gorgeous guys?
Trish Sakai is ready for a change from her wild, flirtatious behavior. And her three cousins are anxious for her to change, too. Trish is always knocking something over, knocking herself out, and taking hard knocks in her perpetual confusion about men.
When Trish’s ex-boyfriend, Kazuo the artist, keeps popping up at all the wrong moments, Trish decides to be firm with herself. She creates three simple rules from First and Second Corinthians and plans to follow them to the letter. No more looking at men! No more dating non-Christians! She will persevere in hardship by relying on God.
Except now Kazuo is claiming Trish is his muse, and he can’t complete his major work of art without her. And a gorgeous coworker is reassigned, bringing him in daily contact with Trish. But her cousins are determined to hold her accountable to her plan. She thought three rules would be a cinch, but suddenly Trish’s simple rules don’t seem so simple after all.
JA: Your heroine, Trish, is a biologist. At one time, you were a biologist researcher. Any other similarities between the two of you?
CT: Tons! LOL! Trish’s boss, Diana, was my manager at one of my biology jobs. Spenser and Kevin, alas, are figments of my imagination. All the biology procedures Trish does are things I’ve done in my biology jobs, too.
JA: Trish decides to reign in her wild ways and live by rules she draws from Second Corinthians, only to find it’s not as easy as she expected. What advice would you give young women facing the same problem?
CT: It’s as “easy” as Trish finds it to be! Actually, Trish’s struggles with being pure while being single were things I really struggled with as a single Christian woman. There aren’t any easy answers—for me, it was a continual battle for my mind and heart and body. Many women are very sexual creatures, and physical attraction isn’t just for guys to battle against—girls fight against it, too. It’s only by God’s power, and by picking ourselves up again every time we fall, that we can walk in his will. It’s so hard when there are so many dishy guys to look at in church! LOL
JA: What do you want people to take away after reading Only Uni?
CT: That grace is everyday, not just at salvation, not just when we feel wretched from a mistake. Grace falls over us after every mistake, even when we have to face the consequences—and God’s grace is always tied up with His perfect will, too.
JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
CT: I’m working on a few proposals, so I can’t really say much about it, but I’m excited because my next few books will be humorous romances. I love romance and can’t keep it out of any book I write, so it’ll be great to be able to immerse myself in the genre.
JA: Your catchy website tagline is “Romance with a kick of wasabi.” What does that mean to you?
CT: Wasabi is a potent horseradish that is served with sushi, and I obviously liked the Japanese reference as well as the zapperoni! effect of wasabi. My tagline means that romance doesn’t have to be boring—it can be funny and exciting. Well, for me, mostly funny. :+}
JA: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
CT: That I knit! Actually, I think my blog readers already know that about it. It just seems so old-fashioned when you tell people you knit, but I love it. I’ve knitted tons of wool socks for myself this winter and I would have DIED without them. Right now I’m working on my most complicated project, a wool cardigan with cables and diamond patterns. I’ll post a picture on my blog when I’m done.
JA: Have you read any books lately that gave you a good, positive kick?
CT: (At the time of this interview) I just started reading Cheryl Wyatt’s A Soldier’s Family, and I love how the characters have so much sass. I think I just like heroines with strong personalities, and Celia’s got serious kahones. The hero, Manny, matches her perfectly because he’s charming and goofy at the same time.
JA: Crazy scenario: You’re given the opportunity to star in an action flick with either Jet Li, Chow Yun-Fat or Jackie Chan. Which one do you choose?
CT: Jet Li! He’s so cool. Actually, they all are, but I think Jet Li is closest in age to my heroines, who tend to be in their 30s. I would write a kick-butt heroine to match him.
JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
CT: Two ways: First, I have a newsletter YahooGroup that’s only one email a month, plus I always have exclusive newsletter contests and giveaways. People can join at this link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Camys_Loft/join. Right now, I’m holding a special website contest exclusively for my newsletter subscribers, so I hope lots of people join! Secondly, I have a blog at http://camys-loft.blogspot.com/ where I post 5 days a week about fun stuff, and I give away Christian fiction, too.
Thanks so much for having me here, Jennifer!
Thanks, Camy, for putting a kick of wasabi in our day! Continued blessings to you on your writing journey!
I thoroughly enjoyed Camy’s first book, Sushi for One? but the character of Trish annoyed me. I found her flaky and shallow. So I wasn’t sure if I’d like an entire book about her. Camy, why did I ever doubt you?
In Only Uni. we get to meet the real Trish Sakai in all her wonderful, flawed glory. What I love about this book is how real Trish is. She’s made mistakes – lots of them – but she longs to live the way God wants her to. We go along for the ride as she struggles to work her way into God’s good graces, until she finally realizes that His grace was there for her all along.
There’s a lot of stuff going on in Only Uni, but Camy keeps the pace moving with loads of humor and some real heart-tuggers. Toward the last third of the book, she turned down a road I wasn’t expecting, then she did it again before the end. It’s part of what makes Only Uni such wonderful, authentic read.
Since this is the second book in the series, the obvious question is: Do I have to read Sushi for One? first? No, but it will be a lot more fun for you if you do!
WIN THE BOOK
You can win a copy of Only Uni here. Just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll combine the responses of my Blogger and ShoutLife blogs to pick a winner at random on March 28th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) ShoutLifers will be contacted via ShoutMail. Good luck!