I thought I’d end the year (or sort of), with an interview with one of my favorite Christian chick lit authors, Camy Tang. I read and loved her latest release, Protection for Hire, and I realized that while I had an interview with her in my old blog for the release of Deadly Intent, I never had the chance to interview her here. So, without further ado, here’s Camy to talk about her latest novel.
What was your main inspiration in writing Protection for Hire?
I love Stephanie Plum and The Joy Luck Club, and so I wanted to write a book with all the humor of both and with the action/suspense of the Stephanie Plum series.
I also love strong, capable heroines like from the TV shows Alias, Nikita, Covert Affairs, and the movies Tomb Raider and Resident Evil. I wanted to write about a strong woman with a heart for God, so I came up with my character, Tessa.
I wanted to give Tessa a reason to keep being involved in different crimes (so that I could have more books with her as the heroine) and the idea came to me that if Tessa had a shady past before coming to Christ, that past would provide good spiritual conflict as well as causing external problems in her life. I am a fan of The Sopranos — I don’t care much for the violence, but I liked the more humorous parts of the series, especially those involving the family fiascos. I thought it would be fun if Tessa belonged to the Japanese mafia, and I created a Japanese version of The Sopranos, which makes it both exciting and funny, mirroring the feel of the Stephanie Plum series.
For her hero, I thought up the most unlikely pairing–a straight-laced lawyer from Louisiana–and as I wrote, I let the sparks fly!
What makes Protection for Hire so different from your other works? Was it any difficult writing it?
Protection for Hire is a slight deviation from my other books (but only slight, I promise). The
Sushi series is humorous contemporary romance, so it’s light and fluffy. My Sonoma series is romantic suspense, so it has a lot of tension and danger.
Protection for Hire is a nice mix between the two. It has the humor and family drama of the Sushi series but a bit of romance and suspense like in my Sonoma series. It’s a lot like the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, but for Christian fiction readers.
Tessa is a part of the Japanese yakuza in this Protection for Hire. I don’t think you’re a part of a yakuza (am I right…? LOL.) so I’m curious, how did you do your research for this novel?
There actually isn’t a lot about the Japanese mafia in San Francisco so I had to do a lot of research about the Japanese mafia in Japan, and then I also based the yakuza in my book off of research on other Asian mafia in the United States.
However, since this is a humorous novel, I also had the yakuza in my book not take themselves too seriously sometimes, and they have the same kinds of family problems as anyone else. I think readers will relate to my character even if they never have mafia family members. :)
Do you think Tessa would be friends with your other heroines too? Why or why not?
I like to think she’d be friends with them! I try to write heroines who are strong and flawed, and I think Tessa would definitely relate to the Sushi girls. She’s also probably relate to their numerous family issues.
If Protection for Hire would be made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
I modeled Tessa to look a bit like Jessica Alba, since I loved how she was so vulnerable and yet so strong in the TV series Dark Angel. I picture Charles as looking like Bradley Cooper, but with a syrupy Southern drawl.
2012 is just around the corner. Do you think Tessa and Charles would make New Year’s resolutions? If yes, what do you think they’d resolve to do next year?
Tessa, being optimistic, would resolve to not argue with her sister and she’d break it within three hours. But she’d still try for the rest of the year just because she can’t stand when she tries to do something and fails in doing it.
Charles would resolve to do something boring like succeed in some milestone at work, but he’d be distracted by the antics of his mama and his younger brother. He’d probably meet his milestone, but not as efficiently or as quickly as he thinks he would.
What’s in store for Tessa in the next Protection for Hire book? How many books are you planning to write in this series?
The next installment in the Protection for Hire series is A Dangerous Stage which releases in late 2012. In this book, Tessa is hired to protect a rather hunky contestant on the television show Grab the Mic (a singing competition similar to American Idol, The Voice, and The X-Factor) whose life is in danger when his young daughter discovers that the show might be rigged. I’ve had to watch tons of episodes of American Idol for research, don’t you know. ;) There will also hopefully be a third book in the series releasing in 2013!
Thanks, Camy! :) If you’re not yet convinced to add this book to your TBR, then you can read my review here (and also my reviews for Camy’s other books). Protection for Hire (as well as her other books) is already out under Zondervan, and for my Filipino friends, the book is available in Book Depository, Amazon Kindle Store and B&N Nook Store.