Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Camy's Back!!!! Wooo hooo!!!!

Hey, hey everybody! Camy Tang is here again. I love Camy. Every time we see each other we give a fierce hug, and that sistah knows how to hug! No limp arms for her. And its so easy to make her laugh. I love being around her, and it doesn't happen nearly enough. So, it's my pleasure to have her in this little particle in cyberspace. And now that fabulous book we’ve been waiting for is out and ready for you to purchase.

Only Uni, y'all. Looks yummy, doesn't it? And it is.

Nice cover, eh? And the novel itself? It's even better than the last one.

Okay, Camy, give us the scintillating back-of-the-book blurb.

Sure! Here you go:

Will Trish Sakai be able to follow her three simple rules and hold out against two gorgeous guys?

Trish Sakai is ready for a change from her wild, flirtatious behavior. And her three cousins are anxious for her to change, too. Trish is always knocking something over, knocking herself out, and taking hard knocks in her perpetual confusion about men.

When Trish’s ex-boyfriend, Kazuo the artist, keeps popping up at all the wrong moments, Trish decides to be firm with herself. She creates three simple rules from First and Second Corinthians and plans to follow them to the letter. No more looking at men! No more dating non-Christians! She will persevere in hardship by relying on God.

Except now Kazuo is claiming Trish is his muse, and he can’t complete his major work of art without her. And a gorgeous coworker is reassigned, bringing him in daily contact with Trish. But her cousins are determined to hold her accountable to her plan. She thought three rules would be a cinch, but suddenly Trish’s simple rules don’t seem so simple after all.

I can tell you right now I started this book and I was plunged right into the party. And the food, Camy, the food! Apparently, like in Sushi for One, you’re still all about the food. Tempt my readers with some of the culinary delights in Only Uni.

The opening scene is straight out of a Christmas party I had at my sister-in-law’s house a few years ago. Her family is Chinese, so the food was mostly the authentic stuff—lo mein noodles, the soup with the weird (to me, at least) ingredients, and chicken long rice, which is long, thin rice noodles in a slightly brothy chicken sauce with ginger and pieces of chicken. We also had black bean shrimp (a nice salty savory dish that’s great over rice) and deep fried chicken wings, which seem to be requisite at Chinese parties. Some of the things Trish’s mother mentions are purely Japanese and traditional for New Year’s—kuromame is a slightly sweet cold salad dish made of chestnuts and beans. Konbu is seaweed, which isn’t really as nasty as it sounds, it’s actually quite tasty, if a bit strange in texture.


You dealt with some really tough issues in this novel. Characters make some "in real life," huge mistakes. Brave of you. Tell us why you tackled these difficult subjects. You can hint at what they are, just don’t give us a spoiler.

One of my biggest struggles as a single Christian woman was lusting after guys, plain and simple. And I know I wasn’t the only one. But it seemed my church and singles group just didn’t want to address the issue. They talked a lot about guys’ lust, but not girls’ sexual desires, as if we were imbued with more self-control because of our chromosomes.

But I think most women have faced a situation where she’s drawn to the bad boy she knows she shouldn’t spend time with. I wanted to show a real Christian woman with real flaws, and how she struggles and overcomes her low self-esteem and lustful nature.

Oh, those bad boys. They'll jack a sistah up every time, especially when they're "artists." Mercy! And when we make mistakes, sometimes colossal ones, they set off a chain reaction and it's all bad. And the guilt. It's awful. I really like how straight-on you dealt with Trish's guilt. She even wondered if the bad things that were happening around her was some kind of punishment. So real. Bravo!

I especially love that you give hope to people who have made mistakes and are trying desperately to recover from their choices. Speak to us about that.

We all make mistakes, right? But a lot of the time, I feel so depressed about them that I don’t feel like there’s anything good that can come of the things I’ve done, even though Christ has forgiven me. That’s what’s behind Trish’s determination to change, to “become a person God would like.” We feel like we’re so far away from God even though we know in our heads that He’s forgiven us. I want to show people that it’s okay to feel that way, but to cling to the hope that things will come around, because God is big enough to make them come around.

Yeah girl, I got a whole library of books that were purchased in my determination to change. I called them reinforcements. Ha! And man, was it ever hard to get it right. Maybe three rules would have worked better for me. Which brings me too...

Tell us about Trish’s rules. Can they work? And most of all, can you write a non-fiction book of them and get rich? I'd so buy that book, and hope I didn't need it as badly as I have at some points in my life.

I would hope Trish’s Corinthian Rules don’t work! LOL I wanted a humorous way to show a struggling Christian woman who tries to adhere to self-discipline to reshape her soul rather than learning how to rely on God, His power, His plan, His timing.

Okay, everybody. You gotta get the book to read the Corinthian Rules. And doesn't that sound intriguing? The Corinthian Rules. That can be your title Camy, and in the book business, it really doesn't matter if they work. Will they sell! That's the bottom line. Well, not with our publishers, of course (wink, wink). But I want to go back to something you said. That thing about relying on God. Not that I'm not down with the disciplines. I love how the classic spiritual disciplines enrich and invigorate our lives. They've persisted because they work, but ideally they should work as we lean on those everlasting arms for mercy and grace. It's that whole Jesus Prayer thing: Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. No matter who we are. I'm thinking of retelling this amazing story of a young anchoress who from the time she was seven grew up isolated in a cell next to her uncle, another hermit. She did everything right, but she still ended up falling into grave sexual sin. But the thing is, for all she did, all that prayer, fasting, and discipline, she didn't rely on God. That gets a lot of the good folks messed up, not relying on God. They forget that without God all the discipline and correct doctrine is a whole lot of nothin'. So, thanks for the wimsome, yet poignant way you reminded us of that fact.

What did you love about this book?

My favorite scene is the house scene—without giving anything away, everything in there is true!

Did ya get that y'all? So if you want to get the dish...

What was your biggest struggle writing it? Don’t forget I saw all the times you had on your gmail chat messages like, “I’m tired of writing this @#%^&.” Yeah, I’m telling on you, girlfriend. But I’ve been there. I have rants on my blog and I don’t say @#%^&. I say the real thing. Pray for me, sis.

LOL I had that Gmail message for both Only Uni and Single Sashimi! My biggest problem is that while I’m writing the manuscript (and you probably relate to this), it really feels like I’m puking on the computer screen. I mean, everything looks like total crap. It’s only when I’m done and doing the revisions that it seems not so bad.

I'm horrified by everything I've ever written, whether or not it's published at every stage in the process. These people who say they love my books are just really, really nice to me. Thank GOD!!!
But you’re awesome. I was so pleased to see that already your skill has deepened. And I thought you used language very masterfully in your debut novel. It's so darned hard to write a novel. I have mad respect for anyone who can do it. And if you do it even moderately well, I'm totally bowing in respect and deference. And you're so much better than "moderately well". Like I said, I think I like Only Uni even more than Sushi for One. You RAWK. I said it before, I'll say it again. Any parting words?

Thanks so much for having me here, Mair! I love being on your blog! You’re just so cool, your coolness seems to rub off on me. :)
I have to refer you to my kids, especially the teens, who will tell you in no uncertain terms that I am not cool. But I love that I've got pulled one over on you, lovie. What about the freebies.

I have special Christian fiction giveaways exclusively for my newsletter YahooGroup members. It’s free and easy to join: For the month of April, I’m giving away a copy of Sharon Hinck’s funny women’s fiction/mystery novel, Symphony of Secrets.
I'm so there. I cannot resist the opportunity to win a free book.

Thanks for the interview, Mair!
You're so very welcome. Many blessings, Camy. Ragaphiles, you can also find Camy here.



Elysa said...

Loved the interview! I had discovered Camy's blog thanks to you, Mair, several months ago. I've finally got her FIRST book sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read. I'm sure I'll love it...only thing is, I might be having a hard time finding some Japanese food to eat after my craving gets stirred up. Hmmmm...might just have to substitute some Thai food. I know, I know...its different. But when you're in the rural south, sometimes you just gotta make do.

upwords said...

Great interview, ladies. Camy really did a great job on this one (and the first!). I loved Only Uni.

Rhonda Jeanne said...

Sounds YUMMY! except the part about the lusting after the bad boys. That was completely foreign to me. (PFH! HA! I'm such a LIAR!)

Joni said...

I'm so excited that her new book is out. I loved the first one! Thanks for sharing the interview!