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Interview with Camy Tang

Camy Tang majored in psychology, was a biologist researcher, and at one time thought she wanted to be a medical doctor. Lucky for us, she decided to become a writer! And, that's not all...the lady wears many hats. She runs marathons, knits, spins yarn into wool, and also works with the youth at church and leads a worship team.

Today, she shares with us her latest release, Protection for Hire, the first book in a new humorous romantic suspense series. Here's the cover blurb:

First she served as a mob enforcer. Then she found Christ in prison. Now, Tessa Lancaster is protecting an heiress whose spouse seeks to kill her. In this action-packed read, Tessa and a handsome Southern lawyer discover the reality of being made new in Christ.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
At an ACFW conference (back when ACFW was American Christian Romance Writers), I went to the prayer room with friends and Brandilyn Collins prayed over me. I had been thinking about changing my ethnic-neutral characters to Asian characters but hadn’t told anyone about it, and certainly not Brandilyn. Yet as she prayed over me, she told me “write your heritage.” I knew then that God wanted me to write Asian American characters, which were scarce in the CBA at the time. I wrote a proposal for the Sushi series, which was bought by Zondervan 18 months after that conference. If Brandilyn hadn’t prayed for me and told me that, I don’t know what direction my writing career would have gone.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
When non-urgent things pop up, I’m always tempted to take care of it right away even if it’s not a high priority task. I have to constantly make the writing the priority of my day, not the various emails and marketing tasks I have to do. They can usually wait, but I always want to do them right away rather than compartmentalizing my day so I can be most efficient. Otherwise, I’d spend all my time on email and the web rather than writing.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
There’s no way my faith could NOT play into the picture. The only reason I’m even writing is because God has led me down this path.

I think I’m fortunate in that I had a very obvious word from God to be a writer. He told me to lay it down at one point, and He made it very clear when He wanted me to take it up again. Because of this, I have no doubts that this is what God wants me to do.

It helps that I have friends who keep me accountable and pray for me. I couldn’t walk this journey without them.

I try to spend time with God every day. That time in His Word every morning helps me orient myself for the day. I also like to think it helps me to write better every day, but that might be just positive thinking.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
I don’t know if this is my greatest moment, but this is the moment I’m most proud of--my first writing conference, which was Mount Hermon. I didn’t know anyone except Meredith Efken, who I only knew from some brief emails online, and it was a really scary prospect for me to (a) declare that I was a writer by going to the conference, and (b) going into a situation so out of my comfort zone. I ended up having a great time because God orchestrated all my contacts at the conference.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
Honestly, I think God gives me my story ideas. He definitely has His own opinion about what issues He wants me to write about.

Sometimes He speaks by an idea that forms in my head, other times He speaks through friends who mention things to me. Sometimes I feel like He wants me to write from my own experience, sometimes I feel like He’s asking me to write about someone else’s experience.

I also try to keep things in prayer as I’m in the formulating-my-characters-and-storyline phase, so that He has His finger in everything.

Tell us three things about you that would surprise your readers.
I’m actually an introvert, but I enjoy talking to people one on one, so I tend to be very animated at conferences when I talk to people. But I’m like any other introvert, and I need alone time to recharge.

One day I’d really like to write a Regency romance, because I love reading them. I’m not sure how good I’d be at it, though, because the language and writing style is very different from what I normally write.

I spend weeks plotting my novel, and then I’ll write it crazy-fast. It scares my writer friends.

Any parting words?
I owe so much to ACFW. I love this organization! It has been a significant part of my career. Thanks so much for having me!

Thanks for sharing with us, Camy!

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