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How did you start in writing?
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 motivated you to write The Beijing Family book series?
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.
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.
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:
Where can we find your books?
Soon to be released in 2017.
Where can we find you?
Amazon author page: http://amazon.com/author/ginatang