Monday, December 9, 2013

Quilins, Camille and China, Oh My!

We at Twinja Book Reviews are very grateful to have a blog that promotes different cultures, lifestyles, religious beliefs, and things that often have to fight to gain attention with the mainstream audience. We get to meet and chat with a lot of "like minds" and it's not often just limited to other bloggers. We aren't 100% sure who encountered who first, but Camille thought our blog was cool, whilst we thought the same as well. She fights very hard to promote her own culture/background in her books, and that's just half the battle. Well, here goes nothing!

1. We'd love for you to start the conversation by telling us who "are" and what drives your passion to write

I am many things, but I am primarily a wife, a mother, and a writer. I’ve always loved writing. As a little girl, I used to tell stories to my stuffed animals at night before falling asleep. These days, stories pop into my head and I feel compelled to write them down and share them with others.

2. You have a very interesting story to why and how you became an author, do you mind sharing that story with our readers? 

I’m fifth-generation Chinese-American. I write science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. I grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for my heritage, is the reason I strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings.

3. You have soooo many published works out, tell us more about your books and what why you choose to explore a lot of Chinese themes? 

As an Asian-American, I have noticed a distinct Western slant to most of the books I read. I wanted to bring in Asian culture, myth, and legend to share with American readers. I think readers are genuinely interested in other cultures, and I’m thrilled to be able to share that.

4. Since you seem to incorporate a great deal of Chinese lore, myths and legends in your writing. Do you have a favorite Chinese mythical creature? 

The quilin is my absolute favorite! It’s the Asian equivalent to a European unicorn. I actually incorporated one into The Warrior & The Flower, although I opted for a more Western spelling: kylin.

5. As far as your desire to include more Asian-centric themes in your novels, do you plan exploring some other Asian cultures(Korean, Japanese, Indian) in your future WIP's? 

For now, my plan is to stick with Chinese culture. I like sharing my Chinese culture with readers.

6. Out of your many published projects, is there one you're really fond of and why?(if not give a synopsis on your top 3) 

This is a tough one. My stories are like my children. They all have a special place in my heart. Here are the descriptions of my two bestsellers:

Sulan, Episode 1: The League

Sixteen-year-old Sulan Hom can’t remember life before the Default -- the day the United States government declared bankruptcy. As a math prodigy, she leads a protected life, kept safe from the hunger and crime plaguing the streets of America. She attends the corporate-sponsored Virtual High School, an academy in Vex (Virtual Experience) for gifted children.

Beyond the security of Sulan’s high-tech world, the Anti-American League wages a guerrilla war against the United States. Their leader, Imugi, is dedicated to undermining the nation’s reconstruction attempts. He attacks anything considered a national resource, including corporations, food storage facilities -- and schools. When Sulan witnesses the public execution of a teenage student and the bombing of a college dorm, she panics.

Her mother, a retired mercenary, refuses to teach her how to defend herself. Sulan takes matters into her own hands. With the help of her hacker best friend, Hank, Sulan acquires Touch -- an illegal Vex technology that allows her to share the physical experience of her avatar. With Touch, Sulan defies her mother and trains herself to fight.

When Imugi unleashes a new attack on the United States, Sulan finds herself caught in his net. Will her Vex training be enough to help her survive and escape?

The Warrior & The Flower – 3 Kingdoms, Book 1

Yi, a retired soldier, has lost everything he loves—his wife, his daughter, and his home. He seeks refuge from his heartache by plunging into a secret mission for the World Emperor. The assignment takes him to the doorstep of a brothel, where he witnesses the madam beating a young girl. Drawn by the child’s striking resemblance to his lost daughter, Yi rushes to her defense and negotiates for her purchase—after all, how hard can it be to care for one little girl? But between the child’s inquisitive nature and the dangerous secret she carries, he gets more than he bargained for.

7. Are there any characters you've created that you've related the most to and why? 

The character I relate most to is Yi in The Warrior & The Flower. At his core, Yi is a family man – a spouse and a parent. Much of his character comes from my own about being a spouse and a parent. Much of who I am and how I view the world revolves around being a wife and a mother.

8. Over here at Twinja Book Reviews, we talk A LOT about diversity in books!Are there any books you're currently reading or have read in the past that you'd highly recommend to our readers? 

Yes! Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein is an amazing Asian-inspired fantasy novel. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn is another fantastic Asian-inspired novel. Both of these books draw on Japanese culture. Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brenna is a YA vampire book starring a Chinese American. It was a so wonderful to find a mainstream book with an ethnic character I identified with! Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon is another YA fantasy. It’s set in a world that draws on Chinese myth and culture.

9. What do you see lined up for you in the future, Camille?

I’m working on several projects at once. This month I am launching a series of articles called Writer’s Toolbox. They are articles written specifically for science fiction and fantasy writers. The first two articles are: World Integration: How to Weave Worldbuilding into Your Speculative Fiction Novel, and Indie Publishing Essentials: 9 Tools for Indie Author Success. I’m also working on the second Sulan novel, which I hope to release sometime next year.

10. Where can anyone interested in your books and opinions go to find you? 

My website is I am very active on Facebook and encourage people to send me a friend request. I love meeting new people and chatting! Find me at
Follow Camille's Twitter!

Click below to enter our giveaway for a chance to win Camille's audiobook "The Warrior and The Flower!"

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  1. Hi Ladies! Sorry it has taken me so long to leave a comment! The holidays have really gotten the better of me. Thank you so much for posting my interview on your site! You guys have an awesome site going!


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