A little about me through the Liebster Award

Thanks to the lovely Rachel, I was nominated for a Liebster Award based on my first manuscript. It seemed the perfect way to introduce myself.

The official description for the Liebster Award is as follows:

The Liebster Award originated in Germany. The German word Liebster means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. In short, this award is given to the upcoming promising bloggers who have some worth-reading content and certainly have less than 200 followers as a recognition of their talent and as a way to greet them “welcome”. This is a small act of inspiration that might change a blogger’s whole point of view, just like it changed mine. The Liebster Award is an award for Recognition. You would not get any money, or cup, or medal, or certificate; just a recognition which will give you a spot-light mark in this crowded blogging-market!

Another thing about this award is that this is a “Pay it forward” award, like a chain-reaction. Once you have accepted the award, you have to search for other bloggers, who are emerging as new buds with some really promising content which you find worth reading. You can accept it, or you can let it go; no harm done….However, if you want to accept The Liebster Award, you have to follow six simple rules which are:

The award seems so fitting for the supportive writing community I am so proud to be a part of.

Rachel’s Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite way to get rid of writer’s block?

Reading a novel, preferably in the same genre, or watching tv. Experiencing other settings makes me picture my characters in various situations. Sometimes the light bulb brightens with a flash of lightning, other times I finish the book or show with no inspiration. Either way, I’m happy.

  1. When did you first start writing seriously?

I started writing my first novel between crown preps and fabricating dentures at dental school. After graduating and working as a general dentist, I made the difficult decision to write full-time in 2013.

  1. What’s your genre of choice to write? To read?

I love YA anything, and it was reading YA romance and fantasy books that led to my first manuscript. My first novel is YA romance, and my second is NA multicultural.

  1. Coffee or tea?

Definitely tea. I start every morning by staring at my beautiful Lake Michigan view, making a cup of green tea, and sitting down at my desk with a smile.

  1. If you have one, what inspired your current WIP?

My current WIP (BLUE GENES) takes place in a world where people with brown eyes are unintelligent and restricted to manual labor in third world conditions while the intelligent blue-eyed live in first-world luxury. The idea came to me in a dream where I was stuck in such a world and was trying to run from harm, but was shut from safety because of my brown eyes. I believe this idea stems from a lifelong struggle with racial identity. As the only Chinese student in my preschool class, I have vivid memories of feeling like an outcast. I envied my blonde, blue-eyed classmates and had a hard time finding myself. My second manuscript explores these ideas in contemporary settings.

  1. Rain or sunshine for writing weather?

I’m more inspired by a rainy lake view since there’s more variability. Swirling leaves, choppy waves, and raindrops streaking window panes are more exciting to describe than a familiar sunny day. If we’re in the fields with the hot sun beating down on us like my main character, Meliana, then that’s a different story (though I don’t want to experience that).

  1. What was the last book you read?

WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL by Donald Maass. For fiction, THE GALLAGHER GIRLS series by Ally Carter. If you haven’t read those, get to it! They’re fantastic. All-girl spy school where navigating boys is as scary as a 007-like mission? Yes, please! I actually stumbled upon the series by reading the query letter (which was also fantastic) for the first novel posted on the Nelson Agency’s website.

  1. What’s a random talent you have others may not know about?

I used to be a dancer and co-founded a non-profit Chinese dance group in high school. The ribbons were my specialty.

Ribbons5P

There are always new styles within Chinese dance to explore. In addition to the traditional style danced in the Emperor’s palace, each aboriginal tribe has a unique style that is steeped in culture and history. For example, the Dai tribe in the Yunnan Province worships the peacock, and their dances have hand postures shaped like a peacock head and curves in the arms and body to mimic the peacock’s shape.

_DSC6106-603

  1. What’s your favorite kind of scene to write?

Romance scenes. Definitely romance scenes. I should clarify. I love writing the meet-cute, the flirty beginnings, and the developing of the relationship with inside-jokes and sweet moments that (hopefully) make the reader feel the chemistry through the pages.

  1. Have you ever won a contest?

I’ve just begun participating in contests. I’ve had some bites through PitMad and hopefully there’s more to come.

  1. Would you prefer to tour Ireland, France, or the Netherlands?

I’d love to see all three, but if I had to choose one, I’d choose Ireland for its natural beauty, long history, and golf courses. My husband and I would love to play Ballybunion, Royal County Down, and Lahinch, just to name a few.

Random Facts about Me:

  1. I have an S.B. from MIT in Management Science, concentrating in Operations Research.
  2. I often eat dessert first, like my main character, Meliana.
  3. I am a second-generation Taiwanese-American, and I was raised in a traditional Chinese household.
  4. I graduated magna cum laude from Tufts Dental School.
  5. My husband is half-Greek and I cook Greek food much better than Chinese.
  6. The relationship from my first novel is loosely based on my relationship with my husband.
  7. I’m fortunate that my husband not only supports my career change, but also reads every draft of everything I write. I couldn’t do this without him.
  8. My husband is a public policy professor at UChicago.
  9. Since I started writing, I analyze every movie, tv show, and book until others can’t stand it.
  10. Two of my favorite places in the world are Edinburgh and Barcelona.
  11. I have a black belt in kung-fu.

My nominees are:

  1. Dawn Hong
  2. Catherine Drake
  3. Janna Kaixer
  4. S.J. Higbee
  5. Sara Jo Cluff
  6. Lana Wood Johnson
  7. Danielle Thurby
  8. Ioana Visan
  9. Shannon Ellison
  10. Jessica Bucher
  11. Ella Dyson

My questions for the nominees:

  1. If you met your main character (or the main character from your favorite novel) in person, would you be friends, enemies, or frenemies?
  2. What is the most unique part of your manuscript or blog?
  3. What is your career now, and what is your dream career?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  5. What inspired you to write (either your manuscript or you blog)?
  6. What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned so far in your writing journey or life?
  7. What is the best advice you’ve received?
  8. Who is your closest confidante?
  9. What’s your favorite blog and why?
  10. Books, tv, or movies?
  11. How do you make difficult decisions about your characters or settings? Any trouble “murdering your darlings”?
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