Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Crazy Sweet, Camy Tang

I met Camy at Mount Hermon right after she had been snapped up for a fabulous three-book deal with Zondervan. And here we are, celebrating the first book in her series. So I thought I'd join in and host an interview with her so you can get to know her too. Enjoy!

Sarah: Okay Camy, you write about being single but you're married, so how'd you meet YOUR hubby?

Camy: At the most unlikely place to meet guys--at church! A mutual friend brought him to our church for Easter service. Unfortunately, I'd been out sailing with friends the day before and I was as radioactive red with sunburn. So when Kinmun hollered at me, "Camy, I want you to meet someone!" I was like, "Oh God, please no, please don't tell me it's a guy. At least make him be ugly and unfriendly."

Well, he wasn't ugly or unfriendly, but I was heartily embarrassed and promised dire retribution to Kinmun for doing this to me. (I got my revenge by putting him in the second book in my series, Only Uni.)

Captain Caffeine did what most engineers in Silicon Valley do when they're interested in a girl--he emailed me. We finally had our first date at his volleyball playoffs, in front of all his eagerly interested friends.

Sarah: You seem to enjoy putting your characters in awkward situations. What would be your most "awkward situation" moment as a writer?

Camy: Oh, most definitely the first time I met my senior editor, Sue Brower.
She had attended an ACFW conference in the place of Karen Ball, and Sue was senior marketing director at the time, but she was taking appointments and listening to pitches.
I arrived and perched uncomfortably on my chair in my slippery Asian-design acetate pants, feeling as huge as a whale and about to fall onto the floor. I started my pitch, which was only five sentences long.
On sentence three, I realized I'd skipped the actual sentence three and gone on to sentence four. A more prepared writer would have said, "Before this happened, blah blah blah happened."
Instead, I shrieked, "OH MY GOSH I SCREWED UP MY PITCH!" Sue, mercifully, just laughed and asked me a question about my storyline. I never did finish my pitch.

Sue tells me she doesn't remember this at all, so I must have wowed her with my stellar personality to make her forget all about it.

Sarah: What do you love most about your main character Lex?

Camy: She says exactly what she's thinking and she doesn't care what people will think of her. She's as brave as I wish I was. She's also as good at playing volleyball as I wish I was ... sigh.

Sarah: I think most writers infuse at least parts of themselves in the characters they write, but in what ways is Lex nothing like you?

Camy: Almost all of Lex is nothing like me. I made Lex the kind of person I wish I was--good volleyball player, smart mouth, uncaring about people's opinions of her, ready and willing to try new things. I am a poor-to-mediocre volleyball player, I always think of smart things to say AFTER it's too late to say them, I care too much about people's opinions of me, and I'm always hesitant to try new things.

Sarah: What part of writing do you stress about the most? Why?

Camy: EDITS! After eight manuscripts, critiques just don't get any easier.
Maybe I'm just too attached to my writing, although I try really hard not to be.
I'm very lucky because I have fabulous critique partners who catch all my continuity problems and aren't afraid to tell me when something stinks. I also have great editors at Zondervan who really work hard to make my manuscript the best it can be.

Sarah: And lastly, what advice would you give to someone who is single right now – other than read and enjoy your book!

Camy: Don't do like I did when I was single, and stress about it. I did way too much thinking and worrying about my singleness. It consumed me and that just wasn't healthy. God wanted me to enjoy that time when I had no commitments except to Him, but I threw that time away with my desire to have a boyfriend over my desire to become closer to God. I should have been working to allow God to make me into someone who deserved Captain Caffeine when he eventually came around.

Thanks so much for having me here, Sarah! Also, I want to let people know that I've got a huge website contest going on, where I'm giving away baskets of Christian fiction and an iPod Nano! Only my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers are eligible to enter, so join today:
Sushi for One? (September 2007)
Romance with a kick of wasabi
And just a note - SO much to catch you up on. I want to update you on the movie and I've got some crazy pics to share from the ACFW conference. Let's put it this way - one of them is me in a wheelchair. Story and details to follow tomorrow so check back:-)