Hello all and welcome back to another collaborator interview. I often think of early drafts of a book as a bunch of squares of fabric. They all look really nice on their own, but they’re thrown around the room and bundled up on the floor and some are under the rug. It’s a mess in here. That’s why editors come in to sew those parts together and before long you have this friggin’ glorious quilt of ideas. So to follow this analogy, Amy Chang is one of the best quilters I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her notes consistently elevate my writing to new levels and she always knows when to help me find the words I’m looking for. Not only one of the hardest working people I know, Amy is also a very dear friend, so let’s get to know a little bit more about her.
Jaysen: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What are the cliffnotes to you?
Amy: Made in Taiwan, but my parents moved us all to Kansas when I was four years old. My younger brother Michael and I were the only Asians in our entire school. I distinctly remember that “dirty knees” chant. It was rough for a while.
As a kid, I used to have a stuffed mouse as a pet. I called it Mousey – creative, I know. I think it was an old cat toy that my babysitter gave me. And I must’ve been, like eight or nine by then, so I really should’ve known better.
Now I’m an actress living in Brooklyn, New York. Understandably, a bunch of stuff happened between then and now. But you can see how grappling with issues of identity when I was younger, coupled with my susceptibility to delusion and whimsy, would lay the foundation for the delightful individual that I am today.
Still a work in progress though, obvs.
J: Oh no! Mousey! But in more recent times, How did you get involved in this project?
A: You know, I was just wondering the same thing myself, haha. I don’t really remember, honestly – I think just cuz you asked me to, and I like editing? And I like doing stuff with you and Carl?
J: Haha, fair enough. For your part in the project, did you need to do any research?
A: Yes, sort of – mostly specifics regarding some of the violence. I wanted to double-check for accuracy (ex. killing someone by stabbing – how quickly they die depends on where you stab them). I did a lot of Googling and amateur reenactments.
J: Oh my God! I don’t recall that much violence in the book, but now that you mention it I can only imagine what sorts of things you acted out. Haha! Do you have a process when you edit?
A: Process – hmm, that probably would’ve been a good idea. Live and learn, I guess. I just tried to get the editing done as quickly and helpfully as possible. Basically, any free moment that I had, I was hunched over my laptop editing, for as long as it took to get it done.
We’re working on a better battle strategy for the next one…
J: I like the sound of ‘Next one.’ Guess that means you’re in. No takesies backsies! In the Spellcaster world, Wizards are able to turn into a single magical beast. Dragons, unicorns, jackalopes, they’re all wizards in their beast form. What magical creature would you become?
A: I would be a unicorn Pegasus, cuz I’m greedy like that. And if not that, then a phoenix, cuz I think they’re pretty, and I want to be able to fly. Ooh, or if I could be a High Elf or a fairy, that’d be neat too, but I think that’s a different branch of fantasy.
“You can see how grappling with issues of identity when I was younger, coupled with my susceptibility to delusion and whimsy, would lay the foundation for the delightful individual that I am today.”
J: Sure, witches are ladies and wizards are guys, but which one would you be if you could choose?
A: Wellll…could I be a lady wizard, a lizard? Like a dragon, but more adorbs. And I could detach my tail as my magical object, and it would just regenerate afterwards.
J: Do you have a favorite character in this series so far? Who are they and why should people love them as much as you do.
A: I have to admit, Vicky was a pretty bad-ass bitch. I dig that she was this terrible rockstar. I just wish her music of choice wasn’t pseudo-country-pop, and that everything she owned wasn’t pink.
But this is a woman who knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. Ambition, chutzpah, but still had time to make sure she looked fabulous – sounds like a winner in my book. Or Taylor Swift.
Zot is a close second-favorite for me, though. He’s just so darn cute! And I like that he’s got this ginormous amount of power, all stuffed into his compact little doggy body.
J: What is your favorite genre of books to read?
A: Fantasy and sci-fi are cool to read. But I can appreciate pretty much any type of dramas. I tend to prefer fiction vs. nonfiction, as long as they’re well-written and/or entertaining.
J: And your favorite book?
A: The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry!
J: If you had a demon partner in crime, like Eva and her pet Zot, what animal would that demon turn into to disguise itself?
“This is a woman who knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. Ambition, chutzpah, but still had time to make sure she looked fabulous.”
J: Everybody is dying to know, where in the wide world of internets can they learn more about you and how fantastic you are?
A: Google. I found some unexpected surprises when I tried that, like, “Huh. I didn’t know I was considered a Horror Hottie. Was there an awards ceremony that I missed?” Amazing thing, the internet – because, why not?
Or if you’re in a rush and want a more direct route, you can check out my website, www.AmyChangActress.com. That’d be cool too.