Friday, March 14, 2008

A Visit from Camy Tang

Camy and I have been critique buddies and writing pals since we met at Mount Hermon long before either of us were published. This photo shows us celebrating at Camy's amazing book signing at ICRS in Atlanta. It's my pleasure to welcome her today as she celebrates the release of her latest novel, Only Uni. And be sure to read to the end for info on a free book!

Here's Camy:

"Some of you may be surprised to hear it, but I am not a very tractable person. I can be downright stubborn (gasp!) at times. Therefore, because I am an ornery old coot, God is always asking me to do what I don’t want to do, to force me to get over myself and obey Him. (And who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?)

This theme of daily surrender to God has permeated my life, so naturally it permeates my books, too. In SUSHI FOR ONE, Lex had to surrender her own plans for herself to God and accept His will for her. In ONLY UNI, Trish has to surrender all of herself—her faults, her mistakes—in order to fully walk with Christ. And maybe like herself a little better in the process.

Both are things I’ve struggled with in the past, and continue to struggle with. Trish has a really hard time accepting who she is, how God made her, and how to like herself. I’ve struggled with the same things.

Just this past weekend, I went to a family gathering where there were lots of skinny, petite Asian girls (and young, to boot!), and I had to once again war inside myself with my self-esteem.
I have such a hard time accepting myself for who God made me. I’m always comparing myself with others and wishing I were “better” or “different.”

Trish is a little different from me in that she has a better handle on who she is and accepting herself better than I do. But we both struggle with wondering if we need to do more, be more, in order for God to love us. The truth is that God loves us and is there for us no matter what we do. Even when we feel awful because we’ve done something to disappoint him, He still loves us. That’s the bottom line. Satan likes to make us forget that. So I hope you read Trish’s story and get a bit of encouragement and hope amidst all the funny stuff that happens to her. I think she’s a fun character, but she’s dear to my heart, too." --Camy Tang

Camy Tang is the loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick lit. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away five boxes of books and 25 copies of her latest release, ONLY UNI.

BONUS: Leave a comment about an area you are learning to surrender to God (with a working email where I can follow up) - and you will be entered in a drawing for a FREE COPY of ONLY UNI!!


Anonymous said...

I am currently struggling with surrending my writing to God. I am allowing my perfectionism to get in the way. I need to BE STILL and trust that He has given me the gift everyone says I have. Therefore, HE can write the words, I only need to hold the pencil and sit in the seat. Please enter me in your contest for Only Uni. Thank you. Dawn Thomason

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Great thoughts, Camy. I think we all struggle with both surrender and self-acceptance. And we always think the other person has it all together. We're easily fooled, aren't we?

Unknown said...

while homeschooling my seven children I have had to surrender a lot. lately, that TRUTH is the main thing to teach them. all the other things like math, history, geography, science are important, but God's TRUTH (His Word) is the most important and how I need to tie that into anything else I teach.

btw, I'd love to win Camy's book and Sharon, I LOVED The Restorer and am starting The Restorer's Son. :)

Anonymous said...

You know, I had seen Sushi for One, but wasn't drawn to read it until this review.

Let's see -- it's hard to think of an area in which don't I struggle with surrender -- but one that the Lord deals with me often about is the area of time, plans, and interruptions. I need to remember that He is just as in control of what I think of as an interruption as anything else, that my life is His and not my own, and that my ministry is supposed to be to those people who interrupt me, not my to-do list.

Another area is pride. I know that "in my flesh dwells no good thing" and every good thing is from God and anything we accomplish is only by His grace and His ability -- yet that little traitor inside constantly wants attention, recognition, and credit.

I have The Restorer's Journey waiting for me to finish the current book I am on -- can't wait!

Anonymous said...

For me it's surrendering my need for control in life. I panic when I see things not working out the way I think they should - not a Godly response.

I would love to win Only Uni!

ladyufshalott [at] yahoo [dot] com



Anonymous said...

Cami's words here really hit home. I know I am weak, and God is so much more powerful and loving than I am, but I just can't get past "how could he love a person like me"? Needless to say, self esteem is a major issue for me, and I struggle with it daily.

I would really love a chance to win Only Uni -- it sounds like a book I can really connect with.


Sharon Hinck said...

Great comments, everyone!

Dawn, I agree. Perfectionism is a tough one to surrender - and it can really stall our writing.

Mindy - so true. Others seem to have it together, but we never know what hurt and struggle the person in front of us may have, just as they don't realize what we are battling.

Stamped-with-grace - so glad you liked The Restorer - and WOW, you must be awesome at letting God guide each crazy moment when you are home-schooling seven! Bless you!

Barbara - LOVED what you shared about interruptions. I agree. The most ministry God has been able to do through my life is often in the interruptions from MY agenda and to-do list. I'm trying to grow in being flexible and available to Him - especially when He guides me to a zig-zag.

Lindsey - I also relate to what you shared. I easily panic, too... and eventually remember to turn to God with the problems. I'm praying I learn to go to God immediately (and skip the panic - LOL!)

Sharon Hinck said...

Carolyn, your words really touched me. Let me reassure you - He DOES love you. In fact, He cherishes you. He knows every detail of your being and adores you. Because of Christ, He sees you as holy - the way you were designed to be.

But even when we know that God has given us a new nature - it's hard to see ourselves through His loving eyes. I pray that all of us could wear "God glasses" sometimes and get glimpses of the way He looks at us - seeing us with complete forgiveness, love, and affection.

Thanks for sharing!

Hope Chastain said...

I think where I struggle with submission the most is in thinking I know what's best for me more than the Lord does. I know He knows better than I do, but sometimes my brain gets in the way.

Thanks for entering me!

hope _ chastain [at] yahoo [dot] com (no spaces)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...what area's don't I struggle to surrender? Ohh, that sounds bad, doesn't it. But I'm a control freak and a recovering perfectionist: these permeate my life, so in a way I have to surrender my life to God every day. Praise God that His love is everlasting and beyond all boundaries!

Love to win Only Uni. I really enjoyed Sushi for One?

Blessings, Becca
becca dot dowling at yahoo dot com

Fedora said...

Thanks for the spot-on post, Camy. It's hard to look at oneself and both be accepting of those areas that aren't so lovely and to strive in other areas to let God make them better.

One ongoing not-lovely thing is my relationship with stuff--I'm such a packrat, and I know that part of it is somehow not trusting that God will provide what I need/want exactly when I need/want it. So I tend to try to make sure that we'll have it all, but the overflowing pantry and piles of things aren't giving me heart satisfaction, but in fact the opposite. So I'm asking God to help me let go and to be more trusting because He's definitely big enough to supply in abundance.

Thanks for giving us the chance to reflect and share too, Sharon!

Doreen said...

Wow, Camy sure has been busy promoting the new book in her series! :) Loved 'Sushi for One' and hope to win a copy of 'Only Uni'! An area that I'm learning to surrender to God is not to worry so much and what each day will bring. Just leave it in His hands and go forward in His love.

Camy Tang said...

Thanks for having me here, Sharon! And thanks everyone for being so honest about your own struggles!

Roheryn said...

For me, I have problems with other people. I tend to make too quick of a judgement and if I feel right off that I'm going to clash with someone else's personality, I give up for lost. I won't act that way, I'll be nice, and get along, but tis only halfhearted.

I Really want to read Sushi for One, I haven't gotten to yet, but a friend raved 'bout it
but I'd still love to win Only Uni

Donna said...

Camy, Wow! I think I really needed to read this today. I struggle to accept myself. I often feel I fail as a wife and mother falling short of my expectation. I fall short in most area in my life but those seem to bother me the most. I guess it is my identity now. I am learning daily that His love is enough to cover my failings. Thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

Camy, there are several areas that I really struggle with. I have a big struggle with control. My son calls me a control freak and when I have stopped to think about it, I realize that he is right ... that I have to be the one in control. I also struggle with self-esteem.


windycindy said...

Hi! I have two teenage sons! Thank goodness so far, so good! Of course, I worry about them! Their safety, their peers, etc. I am trying very hard to "Let Go and Let God!" Thanks,Cindi

Grateful Gramma said...

It would easier to say in which area I'm NOT struggling to submit my will to God. Like you, I'm stubborn. It took me so long to develop independence that surrendering it is very difficult.

Would love to read the book. Please enter me in your drawing.



Julie Arduini said...

I absolutely adored Sushi for One for the very reasons Camy shared. The surrender theme is real in my life and I could really relate to Lexi's struggles, and also what Camy shares her.

I'd love Only Uni!

Julie@The Surrendered Scribe

Check out our new team blog unveiled this week!
It's at blogspot called "The Narrow Gate Invites".

Kathy said...

What a great question. I am surrendering my self-indulgence, the desire to have what I want when I want it. Instead, I'm trying to learn to be happy with God's timing and his plans. I enjoyed Sushi for One and would really enjoy reading Only Uni. sumballo [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone for being so open...this helps me to know I am not alone in my struggles!

I am learning (albeit slowly) to surrender my self-hatred...I realize that this seems like a "private" struggle but God is showing me that it's really been a public sin. I don't use that word, "sin," as a "beat-up" or guilt-inducing word but rather just to show how serious I need to take God's desire for me to give up self-loathing & see how sad it makes Him. A friend prayed for me last Sunday not to "hide my Beauty" but to share it with others...but I wasn't ready to surrender to God's prompting yet & I ran away from a situation where others really could have used having me there, just as God made He's showing me that when I hate myself, as a Christian, I'm robbing the Body of Christ of my unique place, if this makes any sense?!

Carole said...

I'm learning to surrender my computer/e-mail time to God by not getting on the computer until I've had my morning devotions and Bible reading. Some days are better than others; this is a work in progress!

Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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