Saturday, September 01, 2007

Camy Tang Blog Tour - Sushi for One

I had the pleasure of meeting Camy Tang at Mount Hermon several years ago. We were at the same table for a meal, and after everyone else left, we stayed and's one of those "kindred spirit moments" that birthed a longterm friendship. She's a POWERHOUSE blogger, and she offered to guest blog for me today, as part of her kick-off blog tour for Sushi for One, her debut novel. Welcome, Camy!

The Risk-taker

by Camy Tang

I’m so thrilled to be guest blogging here today! Sharon has been my friend, mentor, cheerleader, slave-driver, and prayer warrior for almost the entire time I’ve been writing professionally.

I first met Sharon at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and it was a total God thing. He brought us together in line one day,

(note from Sharon: I thought it was at a lunch table...but since writer's conferences are notoriously exhausting, I admit my memories could be a bit muddled)

and we completely hit it off.

(note from Sharon: That part I remember vividly. Camy felt like a kindred spirit instantly - although she's much more hip, savvy, and strong than I could ever hope to be).

Sharon was unpublished at the time, but she’d been writing for a few years longer than I had, and was a step ahead of me on the writing journey.

Sharon inspires me because she’s always been willing to take risks. Her first and foremost purpose is to write what will encourage others, and if that involves taking risks, she’s not afraid.

(note from Sharon: HA! I'm constantly afraid. I'm just too dumb to realize how tough certain choices can be.)

At Mount Hermon, she told me about her first books—the Restorer series books. She wrote them because she felt God wanted her to use that genre to encourage people and point them toward Himself.

Science-fiction and fantasy books were hard novels to sell to publishers even then, but she persisted in obedience to God, unafraid of taking the risk.

At the time, historicals were also not selling well. But she told me about her historical novel, based on her grandmother’s life, that was also aimed at encouraging Christians, especially in the midst of war and hardship.

Sharon’s next novel, The Secret Life of Becky Miller, was also a risk because there weren’t many mom lit books in the Christian market. However, she felt convicted to speak to other women like herself who were torn between the practical demands of family and church and their own desire to do Big Things for God. God Himself had big plans for that novel, and it quickly sold to Bethany House.

Her fearlessness in the face of God’s leading became an example to me of how I ought to write.

I had started writing a romance with ethnic-neutral characters, but I thought I felt God’s leading to write with Asian characters instead. He gave me a clear message when Brandilyn Collins prayed over me at the ACFW conference that year—to “write my heritage.”

The problem was that at the time, publishers weren’t looking for multicultural books. There were no other Asian Americans in fiction publishing. The marketability of an Asian novel was iffy.

But Sharon inspired me (as well as giving me a few cyber-kicks in the butt). I wrote the story with Asian characters, aware that it was a risk. Sharon mentored me through that novel and the manuscripts after it, all with Asian characters. (Yup, you read that right, manuscripts—plural. I wrote for several years before getting a bite.)

Then Zondervan showed interest in Sushi for One. (On a side note, here’s some nifty trivia—originally the manuscript was called Solo Sashimi, except nobody knew how to pronounce it. LOL)

(Sharon's note: I'll confess that when Camy told me her tag line, "romance with a kick of wasabi," I emailed her back to ask, "what's wasabi?" Clearly this midwesterner with German/Russian heritage had missed out on some great culture--and food.)

The rest is history, but Sharon continues to remind me that we are called to take risks in our obedience to Christ. We may not see the rewards right away, but God rewards our obedience eventually.


Camy, thanks so much for guest blogging about risks.

One thing that is NOT a risk, but a sure thing -- readers will love Sushi for One. When I read it, I felt the same joy of discovery and recognition that I did when I saw the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Stop by Camy's Blog to learn more, and see all the other interviews, give-aways and stops she's making on her blog tour this month.


Unknown said...

My sister would love this book! She has been really looking for Christian Asian fiction, since it is such a hard find in the Christian market. Yummy! sushi! Oishii! (mind my japanese, I'm self teaching myself it right now!) I'm writing a Christian fantasy novel which takes place in a feudal Japan type setting! Anyways, will have to recommend that book to my sister, she would love it!

Roheryn said...

That looks cool!
I'll have to put it on my list to read!

Camy Tang said...

Thanks so much for kicking off my blog tour, Sharon!

(Justin, a feudal Japan setting for a fantasy sounds TERRIFIC!)

Camy said...

I'm a blue-eyed blond (or as I would tell people when I was three, "I have blond eyes and blue hair") but grew up in Japan and have been looking forward to this book since I first met Camy online a few months back. Hoping to get to my Christian bookstore today!

Jennifer Saake
author, Hannah's Hope

ElizabethMThompson said...

Sharon, it is wonderful to "meet" Cami on your blog, thanks for the intro.

Cami-I can't wait to read your book! Hope your blog tour is a lot of fun for you and you meet many new readers!


Merrie Destefano said...

Hi, Camy and Sharon!
Camy, I can't wait to read "Sushi for One!" And I'm so glad you had Sharon there to encourage you on the road to publication--she's so sweet.

Cam-your blog tour looks like way too much fun! I wish you the best!

Many blessings,