Tuesday, November 13, 2012
My guest today is Yvonne Wang, author of Bridge Across The Land. Yvonne is a writer, financial analyst, and Kung Fu medalist. Born in China, she came to the United States as a teenager. In 2011 she graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in Business Administration. In the past few years she worked at The Walt Disney Company, Merrill Lynch, and Yuno Inc. As a foreign born writer living in Los Angeles, Yvonne dedicates much of her time contemplating and extracting memories from her multicultural background and historical Asian knowledge base to develop and constantly create rich storylines. Her storytelling brings out exquisite depictions of the environment along with vivid physical appearances and the martial actions of the characters to create visual impact through her eyes. Thus, her novels are known as "books that read like movies."
About Bridge Across The Land:
When Angela, a woman of humble status, is revealed to be a lost Mongolian princess, she becomes the lynchpin in a plot for a warrior, Tianyin, to take down the entire Mongolian empire.
Welcome, Yvonne. Can you start off by telling us how you started writing?
I started to write at an early age. My mother was into literature, so I randomly picked up books from her desk. I read with her, book after book, and eventually started my first novel written with a pencil. The plots went back and forth and each chapter was so short. However, my mother encouraged me to go on, and I found my passion in creating stories.
Since then, I kept reading, writing, and learning literature. As pages built up, so was my ability to create a memorable story. In the past 17 years I finished three major fictions, one screenplay, and other short stories. Bridge Across The Land was created after all those “practices,” and it also took years to complete.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
Bridge Across The Land indicates the continental connection between Europe and Asia. The story is based on the Mongolian invasion, when the cultures of the West and the Far East collide. East Asia and Europe have cultures that are so different, yet they are amazingly located on the same continent. Mongols fought on horseback, so they couldn’t have reached Europe if a gulf ever existed. Just like the King of Poland sighed in the fiction, “Why did the God connect us?”
Bridge Across The Land also implies the link between the inner self and the collective. In the book, the characters undergo an awakening by taking the journey from Europe to East Asia. The scenes they see and the struggles they endure enlighten their minds. From there, they started to question their beliefs. “Bridge across The Land” means seeing things from a new perspective (a new land) and the courage of thinking differently.
Do you have another job outside of writing?
Yes, I am a full-time financial analyst at Yuno Inc., a real estate company located in downtown Los Angeles. I do property valuation, financial projection, and oftentimes, client communication. I enjoy my position and see it as a source of inspiration. Each day we meet different clients and listen to their different stories. They have varying concerns and scenarios, all of which could contribute to my future writing.
As an analyst, I think in numbers during work, but as a writer, I think in vocabularies at home. My job gives me a balanced exercise of both sides of the brain. It makes me pursue logical and scientific answers in all of my books: does this deal work for the character? What’s the most efficient way to write this scene? Is this setting realistic? After all, I love being a financial analyst just like being an author.
Are you like any of your characters?
I think I have something in common with each of the characters. I am as stubborn as Angela, as proud as Alexander, as naive as Kyrigu, as honest as Wonbayer, and as willing to sacrifice as Tianyin. When I write a character, I go deep into their hearts and see the world through their eyes. This is how I understand them and am able to represent them. Overtime, I merge with my characters and learn from them too.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
To me there is no criticism, only reviews from different perspectives. As an author, I wish each reader would have their own interpretation of the story, and I appreciate each comment I receive, no matter if it is positive or negative.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
We have so many needs in our life, but at the end of the day, all we need is to be needed.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a new contemporary fiction related to the Mafia. Well, it is not the classic Mafia type of story you always see. Or in other words, you don't have to classify it as a Mafia novel. The story is told from an innovative perspective, and it will lead you to a new world which no other Mafia movie or book has shown. Just like Bridge Across The Land, this new fiction would be a movie written in a book format, with elements of romance, martial arts, some mind-blowing, and more. It is 1/3 finished now, and I am taking my time to write it with my heart. I sincerely hope with my best efforts it would touch you one more time just like Bridge did.
Thank you for stopping in, Yvonne. Best of luck with Bridge Across The Land!
Blog in Chinese