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On the Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Liana Tang shares the inspiration behind her co-written book with Kylie Wang, Stuck In Her Head, and their creative writing process.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Liana Tang about her life and career, co-writing her new book, Stuck In Her Head, with Kylie Wang, and the inspiration for their story.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
Greetings and salutations! Career-wise, I’m an author who has been published or forthcoming in 60+ publications and has been nominated for Best of the Net several times. I’m also a member of the Writer’s Union of Canada, and am currently working at a film company as a screenwriter and marketing advisor.
Outside of that, I’m just another person from Hong Kong who really likes video games, animation, music, running and spending time with my (most likely crazy) cousins.
When did you take a step to start writing?
Ever since I was born, I started writing stories. I only started taking it seriously when I was 10, though.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
What made you want to write Stuck In Her Head?
I was dissatisfied with many YA books growing up since I felt a disconnection between what I read and my personal experiences. Thus, I initially pitched to Kylie, a writer friend I met in primary school, the turning point of the novel and some of the themes I wanted to tackle. Since publishing a book would help with our college applications, it led to the creation of Stuck in Her Head.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Stuck In Her Head?
In general, the writing process for SIHH was extremely challenging. At the beginning, we had to have constant pitch meetings despite the time zone differences (Kylie was in America while I was in Hong Kong). Even after we laid out the initial plan for SIHH, the book had to undergo several drafts. There were a lot of deleted scenes that didn’t make the cut, and those that did had to undergo heavy revisions before it makes it in the final version.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
The most obvious way to tackle themes is to create character foils. Emma is supposed to be this passionate amateur who has her eyes on the stars, yet she doesn’t have the same unfair advantages that a piano prodigy like Naomi is born with. On the other hand, Naomi represents this “self-made” success who is dissatisfied with her talents and doesn’t know what she wants to do in life. Both of them are jealous of each other for different reasons, yet they don’t realise the other is feeling the same way. We believe it could be very relatable for a lot of people, especially teens.
Did you plot Stuck In Her Head in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Stuck In Her Head need?
Just me, and Kylie, along with a few beta-readers. We have to do LOTS of revision, though.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Don’t let anyone say no to your dreams.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I’m currently reading graphic novels like Leigh Barudgo’s Demon in the Woods or Squire by Nadia Shammas since I’m planning to publish one in the near future. I’m really excited about the project since I believe there’s a lot of commercial potential while offering commentary about issues I care about, like complicity within institutions of power, from multiple perspectives. The project also helps to develop my visual vocabulary since I want to write for films and TV shows.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Our website: https://twoteenauthors.com/stuck-in-her-head/
Kylie’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kyliewangwrites/
Liana’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lianatang.yantung/
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