Thursday, April 12, 2012
Today I've got an interview with Asian author Melissa de la Cruz! You might know her from her popular Blue Bloods series or her The Au Pairs Novels. The first book in her new series Wolf Pact is coming out from Disney Hyperion this fall. Read on as Melissa shares with us what inspires her to write, her advice for young writers, and how her Asian heritage influenced her writing!
What were your favorite books as a kid?
As a kid I loved everything from Dr. Seuss to A.A. Milne, graduating to Anne of Green Gables series, Little Women, Sweet Valley High, Stephen King, Anne Rice.
What inspires you to write your book(s)?
Everything, anything. You overhear something. Or your friends talk about something. Or you read something in the newspaper or a magazine or you see something in TV. For my first novel Cat's Meow about a fashionista, I was inspired by an article I read in Vogue about this socialite who bought Sammy Davis Jr's wardrobe and WORE it--it was so fabulous. For Blue Bloods I was inspired by something I read online about how all these famous, wealthy and illustrious Americans - like the Roosevelts and Bushes and even famous people like Marilyn Monroe and Oprah - could trace their ancestry to the Mayflower. I thought, what if the reason these people are so entrenched in power and influence is because they're undead? Because they're vampires?
What advice would you give to another writer?
I have an entire section on advice on my website!
If you could have any supernatural power, what would it be?
I would make the days much, much longer so that I have enough time for everything - all my deadlines, time with my family, time for myself, time for my friends.
What are some of your favorite books with Asian characters?
Joy Luck Club was definitely very influential for me. I loved and hated it at the same time. As I've grown up, I've loved it more. I think as a young and angry Asian-American woman, I didn't like it very much when I first read it, I thought it was very much "victim-y" but now I realize how wise it is, and how it told HER story, but not mine and that was fine.
Do you think Asian characters and/or authors are prominent enough in young adult fiction?
I don't know what you mean really - I think Shaun Tan is very prominent and respected, and there are a lot of great writers out there in YA who have published books and made a name for themselves- Cherry Cheva, Paula Yoo, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Marie Lu, so our voices are being heard.
Do you feel like your Asian heritage influenced your writing at all?
Yes, it's part of me so it's in my writing. I think New York is very much like Manila, my parents always said New York was "Manila with money." Society is the same everywhere --people are the same, they have the same cliques the same foibles. When I was writing about the Blue Bloods, even though they are WASPs from the Mayflower, the way they act, the way they lived, it was very much influenced by what I saw growing up as a kid in Manila, my dad had his own investment bank and my mom was prominent socially and written about in magazines.
Thanks for such an awesome interview Melissa! To find out more about Melissa de la Cruz and her books be sure to check out her official website. You can also follower her on Twitter here.
Be sure to hit up our All Things Asian event page for all the posts and giveaways! Click HERE to see more awesomeness. (And no, you don't have to be Asian to participate!) And don't forget to check out iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books, and My Words Ate Me today for more posts!