Exclusive Interview with Kylie Chan!
Over the weekend, we at the House of Geekery had the pleasure of catching up with best selling author, Kylie Chan, for a chat about her books and her work as a writer.
I caught her at a heap of her panels on her last visit to the Perth convention circuit at Supanova a few years back, and I’ve read almost all of her books since then. Anyone who’s read her books knows that her writing leaps off the page with energy and humour. Well, she’s just as fun to talk to in person, and it was great listening to her at the publishing panel later in the day too.
You can read the interview below or listen to it by clicking the link!
Appa the Gypsy: Hello, enjoying yourself today?
Kylie Chan: I am having so much fun! I’ve had lots of people come up to me who are interested in my books, and so many fans who have been delighted to see me. It’s been the best.
ATG: That’s great. I was first introduced to your books at Supanova when you were last in Perth…
KC: I’ve had so many people in front of me that we had to get crowd control. Thank you, Perth!
ATG: I’ve read all of them now except for the most recent release. So I can say with great authority that they are fantastic. If you had to introduce someone to your books and convince them to read them in one sentence, what would you say?
KC: Chinese gods, martial arts, demons, romance, violence… all that good stuff. With explosions.
ATG: Yes, with explosions! I know a lot of people have been asking you when your next book will be out, so I won’t ask that…
KC: You’re allowed! It’s just been put up on pre-order on Amazon. Black Jade for Dec. 27th of this year.
ATG: Is there a chance of another trilogy after this one or are things winding down for Emma?
KC: This is the final book in the John and Emma Xuan Wu series, then I might take Simone to university and have hilarity ensue. Or I might write a steampunk samurai time travel… explosions, all that good stuff story. I’m still making up my mind.
ATG: Things are still percolating, that’s good! Well, Emma’s been on a bit of a ride throughout the books. How do you think she’s changed as a person from page 1?
KC: Oh, wow…what is happening to poor Emma is that she’s finding that everyone she touches has to suffer because of the black hole she’s drawing them into with this whole conflict. She’s feeling terribly guilty about all her family and friends suffering so horribly. She started out as a very intelligent school teacher doing a Master’s degree part time. Now towards the end of the series she’s a Taoist immortal martial arts master who has been, literally, to hell and back.
ATG: It’s just what happens in life, isn’t it? It’s been a rough ride for her, so I’d be happy to see things calm down for her.
KC: Oh, you want a happy ending? Sorry!
ATG: Awkward! (Laughs) The books are set in Hong Kong. Why Hong Kong, what made you choose that?
KC: I lived in Hong Kong for ten years, so I know the place inside out.
ATG: And how do you go about choosing the settings to put scenes in to?
KC: It just clicks sometimes. I’m thinking about where it should be and a scene pops up of the place where it should be. Also Hong Kong has some fascinating places to visit. The worst thing is going back and finding out that these places are gone. The Nine Dragon wall underneath the Wan Chai office building has been torn down, which was very disappointing for me.
ATG: That’s kinda sad because if we ever wanted to do a Dark Heavens tour of Hong Kong there’ll be places missing.
KC: “This is where it used to be.”
ATG: Well, there’ll be souvenir shops or something there instead. The books are really, really funny, but do you find that the humour comes out at the beginning or during the edit?
KC: Oh absolutely. It pops out and I’m looking at it wondering where that came from. My characters are much funnier than I am. It just sort of pops out and I have little control over it. I’m glad people find it funny.
ATG: They have a way of getting away from you, don’t they?
ATG: Have you thought about seeing your books on the screen, and how you would prefer that…
KC: I’ve had a couple of offers from movie houses, nothing has eventuated. Hollywood tends to lead you on and lead you on but nothing appears. I’m still hoping it’ll happen, that’ll be lovely.
ATG: If you had a choice would you want it to be movie, TV, animation, live action…?
KC: I don’t care so long as they do something with it and do it right. What’s more important to me is that they do it right. To capture the spirit of the books as they are.
ATG: White Tiger has a reference list at the back of the book, but what drew you to the Chinese mythology world?
KC: I wanted to write books that would be successful so I knew that I would have to write something new, something that hadn’t been done before, and something that I knew. I had been in Hong Kong for 10 years, I’d lived with a Chinese family for 20 years, so I knew that. And I used it!
ATG: Final question, if you could bring one thing with you into an adventure into the Dark Heavens world, what would you bring?
KC: That’s a really tough one, I don’t know! My kids! They would love it! Yes, absolutely.
ATG: And it would be good to have some extra minds on the task.
KC: Yes, they can help me out. My daughter is much smarter than I am.
ATG: Thanks for talking to us today, it’s great seeing you here in Perth again. I hope you come back.
KC: Thank you Perth, thank you Oz ComicCon, I had a great time! Thank you, I’m glad you loved the books!
“Kylie Chan is the best-selling author of the Dark Heavens, Journey to Wudang and Celestial Battle trilogies, which tell the story of Emma, an ordinary Australian woman thrown into the world of Chinese Gods, martial arts, and magic. Emma must deal with a bewildering variety of Chinese mythological creatures from dragons to the Monkey King as she learns martial arts from her employer John Chen, who is really the God of Martial Arts, Xuan Wu.”
For anyone looking at catching a taste of her work, she has two novellas available on Smashwords and Kindle, “Black Scales, White Fur” and “The Gravity Machine”. Otherwise, White Tiger is the place to start for interested readers wanting to enter the Dark Heavens world of modern day martial arts and Chinese gods.