Tag Archive for 'interview'

catching up

Wow, I haven’t blogged here for more than a month.  Sorry about that. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to blog–a lot has been going on, and I have things to talk about (like Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel, not to mention some recent controversies on the internet…). However, one of my struggles as a writer has been learning not to take on too much. I have a day job and a family and some semblance of a social life, and several other commitments on the side, like writing Star Trek reviews at The Viewscreen, and editing newsletters and magazines, and so on. I have to fit writing fiction in there somewhere, and for the last month or so, I made the decision to focus on that. The good news is, I just finished a major revision on a novel, so I consider my time away well spent. But now I have a ton of e-mails to catch up on and a backlog of things to blog about…

Since it’s been an egregiously long time since I blogged here, here’s a quick update on some very important and mostly wonderful things:

norton

Photo by Sam Morgan

  • Last month, Fair Coin received the 2012 Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book! I was completely stunned and honored, particularly since every one of the nominated books could just as easily have received it. It was an incredible experience just to be in San Jose, CA for the Nebula Award Weekend, which is where the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) organization gives out their awards, let alone take home the shiny award. (For photos from the weekend, visit Richard Man Photo, and click here for a list of all the Nebula award recipients and nominees.)
  • I am a finalist for the 2013 British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer (aka the Sydney J. Bounds Award), for Fair Coin. Wow. Nominees were voted on by members of the British Fantasy Society and winners will be selected by a jury and announced at the World Fantasy Convention in November. I’m particularly surprised and pleased to get this recognition because my books have not yet been published in the UK!
  • Last month I visited my old high school in Yonkers, NY for career day. (Fun fact: Fair Coin is set in the fictional city of Summerside, which is basically Yonkers.) Many of the vendors there were in the medical profession, and I thought it might be weird for me as a former pre-med student there to be hanging out as a writer. But it was amazing to be back there and meet so many students and faculty who are excited about books and writing, and it was wonderful to reconnect with an old teacher of mine, Dr. Clarice Morris. Shout outs to some of the great teachers and teens I talked to: Joshua, Samantha, Melanie (pictured with me), Charisma, Shyana, Marco, Dean, and Josue. And thanks to Jim Riley, the school’s media specialist, who brought me there.
  • Oh yeah, I just turned 35. Not bad.

20130523_112615Some recent blog posts of mine elsewhere:

Finally, here are some recent, noteworthy reviews and interviews:

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but that’s all I’ve got for now. Hopefully blogging will pick up a little more here now that I am not stuck in the revision cave!

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Quantum Coin: The Next Big Thing?

My friend Elisa Ludwig (author of YA books Pretty Crooked and Pretty Sly, which is forthcoming in March 2013) just tagged me at her blog to answer “Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing,” and who am I to pass up an opportunity to blather on about my next book, Quantum Coin? I’ll tag a few other authors at the end of this post, to hopefully keep the game moving along.

What was the working title of your book?

Once I started writing it, it was always Quantum Coin; my editor actually asked for something punnier, but I couldn’t come up with anything. Shocking, I know. My earliest working titles for a two-book series about a magic coin and parallel universes were Heads, You Win and Tails, You Lose. Obviously, those are terrible.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Part of it was suggested by my research for my first book, Fair Coin, which explained quantum events in terms of flipping a coin: in a very basic sense, there are two possible outcomes to a coin toss, but only one of them (heads or tails) can be observed. And part of the idea was suggested by Fair Coin itself; I didn’t set out to write a sequel, but while writing it, or during my first revision, I knew where the story could go next and I was excited by the potential. So of course I had to go there.

What genre does your book fall under?

Quantum Coin is pretty firmly science fiction, which is kind of a refreshing for me. And it’s young adult, of course, but the first book found a nice adult audience, and I hope this one will do the same.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Joel Courtney, photo by Mark Brennen

I’m not really up on teen actors, but when I saw the film Super 8, I thought Joel Courtney was perfect to play Ephraim, and he’s about the right age, too. Dylan Minnette (from the show Awake) would be a good choice for Nathan, and he already has some experience with stories about parallel universes. Victoria Justice could play Mary and Shelley Morales, and maybe Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit for Jena and Zoe Kim. Then there are still all the adults to cast…

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Seriously? One sentence? Um… “Ephraim ends up on the worst double date ever, when his girlfriend’s identical twin from a parallel reality drags them both away from their prom in order to save the multiverse.”

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About seven four months. I started writing it when I began querying literary agents, and I finished the same day just before I got an offer of representation. It was an excellent way to keep myself distracted through that whole process.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is always a tricky one for me. I’m not just being lazy or worse, arrogant, when I say I don’t think there’s anything quite like these books. I’ve read a lot, and I still can’t think of anything. I keep falling on movie comparisons, so this is Back to the Future rolled up with Star Trek and the TV shows Lost and Fringe (though I wrote the book long before that series came around) and a little bit of Sliders, with some of the wackiness of William Sleator’s books and just a touch of The Twilight Zone. But if you’re looking for recommendations for other books that deal with similar themes and plot elements, the closest and best are Ian McDonald’s Everness series (Planesrunner and Be My Enemy, also from Pyr) and Paul Melko’s Walls of the Universe. And Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Young Hugh Everett, via newscientist.com & Mark Everett

I was inspired first of all by the characters in Fair Coin, who I wanted to give one more adventure. And going way back, I was inspired by physicist Hugh Everett III, the father of the theory of multiple worlds. In some ways, I wanted Quantum Coin to be a small tribute to him and his contribution to quantum mechanics, which went largely unappreciated in his lifetime.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Fair Coin was a standalone novel, but this is very much a sequel, and you won’t find any cliffhanger endings here.

Hmm. That’s only nine questions. *shrug*

Now to wrap things up, I’m going to tag a few willing friends of mine, who will tell you about their work over at their blogs:

Gwenda Bond, author of Blackwood

Zoraida Córdova, author of The Vicious Deep

Kim Curran, author of Shift

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an interview with Hal Johnson, author of Immortal Lycanthropes + book giveaway

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Hal Johnson for more than a dozen years. I believe I first met him in Hoboken, of all places, when the Columbia University Science Fiction Society (mine) started hanging out with the NYU Science Fiction Society (his). He’s one of the people I most looked forward to seeing at the parties of mutual friends, and he also sold me many a comic book at Midtown Comics in New York. It was always nice to run into him and chat for a little while, usually about whatever he was reading, but I also faced these moments with a bit of panic because while talking to Hal, I often felt like I needed to read more books, better books, different books from what I was reading at the time. I imagined him silently judging my pathetic comic book selections and worried that at any moment, he would expose me as a fraud and send me packing to a library to straighten my life out.

I also knew that Hal wrote, because his D&D campaigns were legendary. By all accounts, he put more research and imagination into his epic quests than many authors apply to their multi-tome fantasy series, which was almost enough to convince me to start gaming. I’d heard rumors that he had a novel long before I started writing books of my own, and I was surprised and thrilled to find out last year that he had sold a middle grade book to Clarion Books. I’m very excited that we can all read it very soon now; Immortal Lycanthropes comes out this September–in only two short weeks! Hal was gracious enough to share some details about him and his work with my legions of readers. (Hey, mom.)

ETA: Check out the two giveaways for copies of Immortal Lycanthropes after the interview!

Hi, Hal. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. So first of all: Explain yourself! Who are you, and what is this book about?

Thanks, Eugene! I’m Hal, and I wrote a book called Immortal Lycanthropes that Eugene is kind enough to talk to me about. I don’t really have an elevator pitch for this book, in part because I live in a walk up, and have no place to practice it, but it’s an adventure novel with people who turn into animals, and secret societies, and nihilistic agony. I sometimes pitch it as Highlander meets The Da Vinci Code with werewolves. I hope that sounds enticing.

Continue reading ‘an interview with Hal Johnson, author of Immortal Lycanthropes + book giveaway’

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in other publications

I have been so behind on everything lately, I haven’t yet blogged about these other publications that feature me or my work:

"Oh, my!"

I have a short essay in Hyphen – Asian America Unabridged Issue 25: Generation, which is not only their tenth anniversary issue, but features an interview with George Takei. I am in a magazine with Mr. Sulu. How incredibly awesome is that? I was invited to be featured along with ten “next-gen Asian American writers” in a feature called “The Descendants.” We all wrote about the authors who have influenced us, and I wrote a little piece on William Sleator. I was very flattered and honored to be included in this great list–even more so when I received the magazine and saw what a high quality publication it is. I’m still reading through it, but I love the range of articles and perspectives. I’m going to get a subscription, and if you’re Asian American or interested in Asian Americans (uh, you know what I mean) or just other cultures, I recommend you check it out.

In addition to writing fiction, I sometimes get to write film reviews and critical analyses. I am a contributor to the Directory of World Cinema: Japan 2, edited by John Berra. (It was published in February 2012, and thus kind of eclipsed by Fair Coin.) I wrote summaries and critiques of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Mushishi, Ponyo, Tekkonkinkreet, and Tokyo Zombie. I can recommend you see all of these films, except Mushishi; for that, I would just go to the anime or, better yet, the manga. Still, I enjoyed watching and writing about them since I am a big fan of anime, and these directories are terrific resources for those interested in film and finding out more about Japanese cinema. I’m looking forward to contributing to volume 3 next year.

I can’t claim any credit for this one, but I recently learned that my friend Dave Mack Tuckerized me in his novel Star Trek Vanguard: Storming Heaven. That’s right. I am Captain Eugene Myers of the U.S.S. Repulse. I haven’t read the book yet, but I trust that he hasn’t red shirted me. Even so, I’m psyched that I am now a part of Star Trek history, even if it isn’t considered canon.

Finally, have you seen this interview with me at HalfKorean.com?

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radio interview

If you missed it on Saturday morning because you were sleeping or watching cartoons or out enjoying beautiful, pre-monsoon weather, my interview with Barry Eva of A Book and a Chat is now online for your listening enjoyment!

I really enjoyed this one. We talked a bit about books and writing, of course, but we also covered a range of topics from Back to the Future to Quantum Leap, two topics I can discuss for hours. Barry even slipped in a reference to the classic SF film Short Circuit! Given that the format for the program is “a chat over a cup of tea,” you might be wondering what my beverage of choice was throughout the half-hour interview.

It’s obvious, really. I was, in fact, sipping Earl Grey.

Please give the program a listen and leave some feedback. It’s short, it’s entertaining, and perhaps even enlightening. Many thanks to Barry for the great conversation!

While you’re at it, you can also check out interviews with my fellow Apocalypsies, Sarvenaz Tash (The Mapmaker and the Ghost, due out this Tuesday, 4/24!), J. Anderson Coats (The Wicked and the Just, just released!), and Lynne Kelly (Chained, due out 5/8/12).

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