PM: Thank you so much for joining us today, Liwen! I appreciate your taking the time to share more about yourself!
LH: Thank you for having me, Paula!
PM: I read your bio and see that you are a family and marriage counselor. I bet that can really help when writing love stories! How hard was it to transition from your career to being a full time mom and author?
LH: My background in counseling certainly plays a role in how I write my stories. I aim to write realistic (aka. flawed) characters who overcome obstacles in life and find love along the way. In terms of transitioning from working life to being a stay at home mom, it was (and still is) an adjustment! I never intended to stay home, but God had better plans for me and my family. As a result of staying home, I’ve learned to value relationships more and also been forced to grow in patience and flexibility. I’m a better person because of my children (and also my husband, too!). And now that my kids are older and more independent, I have time to develop my skills as an author. Writing romance was another unexpected door that God opened for me, and I’m so grateful He did!
PM: What’s your favorite color? Any reason why?
LH: I absolutely LOVE the color pink! I’m just a very girly girl and love how feminine and sweet pink is.
PM: What is one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers today, given your own path to becoming a published author?
LH: I’d definitely recommend that all aspiring authors find their “village”, a group of like-minded authors who can help to support and guide them through all the ins and outs of writing, publishing, and marketing. Writing may be a solitary activity, but the journey of being an author doesn’t have to be.
PM: I enjoyed how you subtlety wrote about your cultural background into the story I’ve read. I am curious to know if you find you have to “work” at this, or does it come naturally as you write?
LH: Even though I immigrated to the U.S. when I was five, there are many aspects of my Chinese culture that have been ingrained in me through how I was raised. Thankfully, I don’t have to try very hard to incorporate them into my stories with Chinese characters. It’s actually quite fun for me to include them.
PM: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
LH: Oh wow, this is a big question! I would have to go with the power of healing. Not so much physical healing (although that would be wonderful!), but more for emotional healing. I have a heart for those who are hurting. I suppose this is why I went into counseling.
PM: I always find it interesting how and when writers decide to become an author. Were you always aware you’d be a writer?
LH: I always enjoyed writing, even as a child. It was my dream to write a book, although I never planned for it to be fiction, much less romance. I kind of stumbled into this career when my husband found out about a writing contest (for a children’s picture book) a few years ago. Even though my entry didn’t win, the publisher chose to publish it anyway. After that, I dabbled in some freelance writing for parenting and marriage websites, and also started my own blog. These opportunities all helped me to develop my “writing muscles”. In 2014, I published my first romance story just for fun and to fulfill my dream, and I haven’t looked back since! After four plus years and almost two dozen books, I finally feel like an author and am being more intentional about growing my career now.
PM: What is your favorite go to snack, midnight or any time?
LH: Oh, I have to say chocolate! Especially dark chocolate with nuts. Yum, yum, yum!
PM: What are you reading for fun right now?
LH: I’m sad to say that I’m not currently reading a book at the moment (I have deadlines coming up!), but I did read several cowboy romances last month (including one by Valerie Comer) for research and for fun.
PM: Lol, that’s too funny, I am totally into Valerie’s cowboy books too! If you could go anywhere in the world you have never been for 24 hours, where would that be?
LH: I’d love to visit Australia and see the animals there.
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
LH: The best way to stay in touch with me is to sign up for my newsletter. I send out 2-3 three a month with news about my upcoming releases, book recommendations, and giveaways. Here’s the link to subscribe: http://eepurl.com/bt2nEL. I love to hear from readers, and I make sure to reply to every email I receive!
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
LH: Tea, most definitely, tea! I love all kinds of tea, especially boba tea. 🙂