Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Lydia Kang Author Interview

Photo Content from Lydia Kang

Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction, and poetry. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
It’s essential for people to experience the world outside our lived experience. It makes us more empathetic, and better humans. Also—it’s entertaining to both create and be on the receiving end of the storytelling!

What do you hope for people to be thinking after they read your novel?
I’d love it if people could try to understand what life was like for Hector, and how they would act in his shoes. Anda’s experience helps us rethink and reappreciate the power of nature itself.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why?
Yipes, that is a hard question. It’s not a perfect book, but I can reread Jane Eyre over and over again. I love the smart, scrawny girl who finds love and happiness on her own terms.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Read a lot. I know it’s really obvious, but I haven’t been reading much in this last year because my schedule was so hectic, and I could actually feel my creative self getting kind of hungry, you know?

In your book; THE NOVEMBER GIRL, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
It’s the story of a teen boy, Hector, flees his troubled home life to survive in secret on Isle Royale, an inhospitable island on Lake Superior which closes for the winter.

For those who are unfamiliar with Anda, how would you introduce her?
Anda, who’s not quite human, is a literal force of nature with an appetite for sinking ships.

What part of Hector did you enjoy writing the most?
Being Korean-American myself, it was easy to talk about what it’s like to feel separated from our Korean roots, and yet not quite be accepted here in the U.S. either.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
This November, I’m releasing another YA book entitled TOXIC. It’s about a girl born in secret on a biological space ship that’s now dying, and she wakes up to find the ship is deserted and she’s alone. She encounters a mercenary boy doomed to die on the ship, and they fall in love.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would love for Anda to meet the ship, Cyclo, from my upcoming book, TOXIC. They both think humans are a little weird. I think they’d have good convos. ;)

What is your favorite restaurant in town and why?
Depends! Sometimes It’s Espana (I love tapas) and sometimes it’s Suji’s (Korean BBQ!) and sometimes it’s Umami (best sushi ever).

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
Selling candy at the mall. Mmm. Loved those chocolate cherries!

Have you ever written a love letter?
No! Actually, I haven’t!

Is there something you've dreamed of doing for a long time?
Visiting the Galapagos Islands.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
1900-1910. It was the turn of the century, and everything was changing so fast!

1. Read other books. I know, it’s obvious, but I promise it will inspire you to dream up great stories!

2. Do that thing you’re a little afraid to do. We all try to be so safe, but sometimes stepping outside of your safe zone (giving that speech, visiting a graveyard at sunset, writing poetry for the first time, swinging on a trapeze!) all help you get to know yourself a little better, which is always helpful in writing.

3. Remember stuff. Once in a while, I am reminded of an experience or person I’ve completely forgotten, and they help fuel the flames of creativity. I’m thinking of writing a book around a summer experience from almost 30 years ago that I’d completely forgotten.

4. Push through. Sometimes you don’t want to write that certain scene, or a difficult chapter. You avoid it like the plague. Set a timer, turn your internet off, and just make yourself write it. It won’t be perfect, but you’ll have something—as opposed to nothing—with which to work.

5. Do you have a mean inner editor? Acknowledge her, and and then keep going. Sometimes when I’m so annoyed by my own prose, or how a scene is going, that I’ll write “THIS SUCKS THIS SUCKS I NEED TO GO BACK AND FIX THIS THIS SUCKS” and then weirdly, it lets me move on and keep going.

6. Don’t get sidelines by small details that end up eating huge amounts of time getting lost on Wikipedia and research. Simply insert **find out when doorknobs were invented** into your text and move along. Fix this stuff later!

7. Get a writing buddy. It’s so much nicer to do sprints and be accountable when someone else is doing the same. Pair up, get on Google Chats or something, and aim to get a good writing sprint in 15-30-45 minute increments, and check in. Writing can be lonely, but you don’t have to write alone.

8. Exercise. I’m not talking marathons. But writing is so physically inactive, and inactivity is not healthy. Make a pact to take brisk walks, stretch out muscles, do some yoga moves every hour, or find a way that best suits YOUR body to keep it healthy in between writing bouts. Exercise (even a little bit) makes me feel like I’m doing a brain cleanse!

9. Watch movies. I know, so easy, right? But don’t watch the same stuff all the time. Mix up nonfiction, dramas, comedy, adventure, sci-fi...I’ve been so inspired by movies that surprised me utterly.

10. Disconnect. It’s so easy to be connected to your phone and computer all the time, but try to shut it off and get out there and see people, do things, and say yes to new opportunities. To fill your creative well, you need experiences, not just books and movies.

I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.

Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there's no one here but me. And now him.

Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I'm half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can't protect him from the storms coming for us.


"Complex and haunting, The November Girl looks for the light in the darkest of places. Powerful and evocative." Mindy McGinnis, Edgar Award-winning author of The Female of The Species

"Kang leaves the reader breathless as she brings the reader with Anda and Hector in a heart-pounding romance that must survive the storm." Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait

"With her trademark beautiful prose, Lydia Kang's love story between a troubled boy and a literal force of nature is exquisitely drawn and heart-wrenching. Set in the unforgiving autumn forests on Lake Superior's Isle Royale, you'll be rooting for Hector and Anda to find strength in each other despite very real threats beyond their control. Magical and thrilling, The November Girl will haunt you long after you finish." Maurene Goo, author of I Believe In A Thing Called Love

"The November Girl should be savored by lantern, under a wool blanket on a chilly rainswept night. Brimming with Lydia Kang's smart prose and evocative imagery, The November Girl is an atmospheric, haunting tale of love, sacrifice, and self-acceptance that builds like a rogue wave toward its stunning conclusion." Elle Cosimano, award-winning author of Nearly Gone

"An intense and beautifully written romance that had me bracing myself until the final page." Brenda Drake, NYT bestselling author of Thief of Lies

"Absolutely stunning in its beauty! I've never read a book quite like The November Girl. You don't want to miss this unique and mesmerizing tale." Pintip Dunn, NYT bestselling author of Forget Tomorrow

You can purchase The November Girl at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LYDIA KANG for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The November Girl by Lydia Kang.


  1. "What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?" How I wish I could fall asleep!

  2. I usually think about how cozy I feel.

  3. I usually think about breakfast before I go to sleep

  4. SADLY i THINK about work and what a shit day I'm going to have

  5. What a crappy day at work is waiting for me the next day.

  6. I always think about my dog before I fall asleep. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. I think about what happened today.

  8. I usually think about what I have to do the day after