About The Author

Gina Tang - Author and real estate business woman

Tell us about yourself and your background: 

I was made in Taiwan and raised in Los Angeles, California. I am a real estate businesswoman by career and a freelance writer by heart. A licensed California real estate broker, I was the former head of China Practice Group for a global real estate company.  I currently work full-time as a a real estate broker selling luxury homes for a nationwide builder.  Since 2000, I am also the CEO and Founder of Eight Corners  Inc., my own real  estate brokerage and investment company based in Los Angeles.  My family and I live and work  trans-pacifically between Los Angeles and Shanghai, China.  I have an MBA degree from  Pepperdine University and am fluent in English and Mandarin.  

What hashtags best describe you? 

#YOLO, #pioneer, #teamtaurus, #girlpower, #independentwoman 

How did you start in writing? 

I discovered a passion for writing when I began writing journals feverishly at the age of 7. But my parents are Chinese.  I am fully aware that there is a better chance in negotiating the release of prisoners from a Taliban camp than convincing the pursuit of a career in writing from Chinese tiger-parents that prioritize their children's college education above all else. I knew early on that meant fulfilling a well-paying professional white collar career and to pursue anything in the arts would bring shame and disappointment to the family.  So after achieving a white collar undergraduate and MBA degree in Business and graduating with honors, I enrolled in the UCLA Creative Writer's Program. 

It was here that I learned creative writing and explored my ever growing passion for the art.  I love to write and it's my nirvana!  I may be a real estate business woman by career, but I'm a writer at heart.  Before my UCLA writing program was over, I was hired to write art reviews for LA Artcore - a nonprofit art gallery in downtown Los Angeles which I did when I wasn't working full time in my day job.   

This is where my writing career began. I had my first art review published in an international art magazine at the tender age of 22.  When I got my first paycheck, I was hooked!  Since then I've been writing on and off.  I'm glad it's now fully back on.

What is your book series about? 

The Beijing Family book series is a fictional series about a Chinese billionaire and his family living in Beverly Hills.  It's light and entertaining reading.  Mixed in between lots of drama and comedic relief drawing from cultural nuances and people in general, underneath it all are heart warming stories about a family living their daily lives with life's everyday challenges and the lessons they learn along the way.  It's a little "The Beverly Hillbillies", "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" a dash of "Fresh off the Boat" with lots of drama spiced with comedy.   

What is the inspiration in writing your books? 

My inspiration to write The Beijing Family book series came from my own personal experiences which is still ongoing.  In fact, the main character - Kara Chan is me!  Mainly it derived from my helping the influx of Chinese clients purchase hotels, casinos and  luxury homes in Southern California including Beverly Hills as a real estate broker in Southern California. Someone asked me once what is it like working with the mainland Chinese buyers with their new found wealth?  I replied, "It's like working with 'The Beverly Hillbillies', but they are from Beijing."  They don't mean to be funny but they just are - unintentionally.  I would relay funny incidents to my fellow Chinese realtor colleagues by acting and role playing in the office and they would laugh so hard they would cry.  Finally one day a colleague asked, "Hey, have you thought about writing your experiences or putting it in a comedy show?" That's when the idea came to me.  

What motivated you to write The Beijing Family book series? 

I have so many interesting stories to tell about the modern Chinese family to the world!   There is so much happening in China today that many don't know about because the world only sees China through the news and social media which is often limiting.  Present day Chinese families are changing and evolving more rapidly than most developing countries are aware. I'm probably the first Chinese-American author to spin tales of comedy and drama about the real modern day China because my family and I live between Los Angeles and Shanghai. Many of the stories are inspired by my own life and other Chinese families in contemporary settings in both the present day United States and China.  Almost all of the characters are developed from my own social sphere. In the process, I hope  the world can see the real China from the inside dynamics of a family. 

How long did it take you to write the first book of the series? 

Altogether, it took about two months to write the complete draft of my first book - The Beijing Family.  At first I started out in non-fiction style since I have so many personal experiences to draw upon.  But after reading the first draft, it was rather boring.  So the Chinese have lots of money and they're buying everything, who cares!  It was almost a documentary about excessive one-dimensional mass consumption from the nouveau riche and it was shallow.  I then decided to change it to creative fiction and it came alive!  I can still draw upon my own personal experiences but I now have creative licensing for meaningful story lines, characters, make believe and more depth and substance.  It's more fun, colorful, unpredictable and I love it!  Books 1 and 3 were originally published in late 2013 and early 2014.  I am presently working on renovating Books 1-3 entirely and adding 4 and 5 to be published in 2017 on Amazon.  

How do you feel after writing each book?

A sense of accomplishment and at the same time some sadness and emptiness.  I live in this fictional world with the characters I've developed for weeks and then it's over. 

What is the easiest part in writing your book series? 

The easiest part is drawing upon my own personal experiences so the development of story lines and characters is simpler.  It's easier to express it when you've personally been through it.  

What is the most difficult part in writing your book series?

Trying to develop characters that I might not be familiar with.  In Book 2 or the Beijing Youths, the Chinese billionaire's son - Greg - becomes friends with Tayshawn Jackson, an African-American youth from a poor neighborhood and a broken family.  Their diverse friendship evolves into a strong catalyst of many meaningful events throughout the book which impacts many people.  I chose to create this friendship because I didn't want Greg to be this rich kid that only hung around other rich kids.  Once again, I felt that would be flat and boring.  I wanted some contrast - rich vs. poor - to create multi-dimensions and depth to the story line.  Therefore, it was challenging in trying to understand the mindset of young 17 years-old boys and even more difficult is conquering the spoken vernacular of inner street slang of Tayshawn Jackson.  

How did you resolve that? 

Lots of research involving hip hop and inner city culture by talking to friends or people that grew up in the inner city.  I had to give them written dialogues and have them rephrase it in their own language and lingo.  

Did you seek assistance in writing this book series? 

I hired a really good book illustrator for the cover.  She really understood my like of color and the visual appeal of it all and she usually got the idea right on the first drawing so there wasn't time wasted on revisions. I've hired good editors for my books and plan to release the entire book series in 2017.   

What time of day are you most creative and when do you write?  

I am most creative in the mornings and late at night.  That's when I get most of my inspirations and that's when I write.  I've also had dreams where I get my ideas. 

Did you learn anything from writing your books? 

Give yourself dedicated time for marketing and promotions, especially in the area of social media.  Whether you're self published or going traditional, authors have to promote and market their own books through social media now.  Social media is here to stay.    

What would you like to say to the readers? 

Each book of the series has so far been light and quick reads.  They are fun and entertaining with lots of people drama, comedy and people stories.  I hope that the book series will open people's minds through awareness and understanding of people different from themselves.  If  we communicate, open the dialogue, we  just might learn something new about them and in the process learn even more valuable  lessons about ourselves.  In every book, I promote charity and giving.  Since the Beijing Family donates a portion of the  proceeds to charity, I encourage the readers to give back to the world that they  take from daily.

What are your hobbies outside of writing? 

I love to cook and will try new recipes. I walk daily.  I enjoy reading, writing, art galleries, museums, hiding out at bookstores with a good coffee or tea and traveling.  

Here are my latest culinary creations: 

Shrimp, vegetables and fresh herbs over whole wheat pasta

Italian turkey meatballs, fresh vegetables, herbs, Japanese soba noodles in a light tomato broth with a splash of soy sauce. 

Sweet corn and peaches summer salad - sweet corn, peaches, radishes tossed with mint, red wine vinegarette, olive oil, salt and pepper. 

Where can we find your books?

Soon to be released in 2017. 

Where can we find you?

Amazon author page: