#53 Jade Chang
Jade Chang looked at the economic crash of 2008 and saw a novel.
This is just one of the many miraculous things about her. While the rest of us were running around like maniacs and freaking out, Jade started to see an idea come into form. What if a family lost everything in that crash? What would that look like? What if this character she had in her head was a self-made man who was crushed under the weight of what happened at that time? The answers to these and many other questions became The Wangs vs. The World, out in paperback this week and one of the most noteworthy books of last year.
I knew I had to speak to Jade after reading the book and laughing, feeling touched, amused, and heartbroken throughout reading it. It is a very special book for certain. So when I was lucky enough to meet her at a book event she led the q+a for, I grabbed the chance to invite her. I know I say all the episodes of the show are my favorite, but this one is absolutely my favorite as I share it with you. I had been dreaming about a discussion on character, and this one got so deeply into all of the aspects of character I find fascinating. I hope you all love Jade as much as I did. She's a wonder.
Discussed in Episode 53 with Jade Chang:
What people want to find in a book
What it's like getting reviews on your book
From the inner world of Goodreads
How to avoid the inner critic when writing
Why it's best to write for nobody
How writing is both fun and miserable
The strange difficulty of summarizing your book
Finding the voice of the characters
Writing a different kind of immigrant novel
How journalism prepared Jade to write fiction
Starting from an idea and an emotion
The outlining process
Why plot was not a big topic of conversation ever
The importance of Google maps
The beauty of writing about family dynamics
How your intentions change throughout a writing project
What authors ask of their readers
How to write in crazy times
Setting books in moments of crisis
The importance of flaws in characters
Showing characters as both amazing and vulnerable
Dreaming up the next book.
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author photo: Teresa Flowers