In today’s guest post, I have the immense pleasure of welcoming author Eichin Chang-Lim to Marcia’s Book Talk. Eichin, author of the TOUCH SCRATCHES book series and FLIPPING, answers questions about her books, her thoughts on writing, and favorite pastimes. I will now allow Eichin to elaborate on the details…
Q: For how long have you been writing?
A: I have done “unpublished,” mumbling kind of writing for about 15 years, just to transpose my inner thoughts into written words. Serious writing started about six years ago.
Q: What inspired you to write your latest book?
A: The seeds of my latest book, Flipping, were there way before I wrote Tough Scratches. I infused much of my personal experience into Flipping, especially the part about raising a special-needs child, walking alongside him during his growing-up years, learning to let him go, and seeing him struggle to spread his wings and fight to be independent and be loved.
Q: What do you especially love about writing?
A: Writing is a form of art. Being an artist is sharing one’s soul with others; at the same time, it’s therapeutic. I enjoy being an artist more than being in any other profession.
Q: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?
A: Flipping, by far. I think it has more depth and layers than Tough Scratches.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: I read a broad array of genres, and my favorite authors change from time to time. If I have to pick one at this very moment, I would say Kazuo Ishiguro. However, my favorite book is All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. I have found many aspiring Indie authors with great works, and I am fond of a few of them. I earnestly support Indie authors.
Q: Do you have any upcoming releases that you would like to tell readers about?
A: I am co-authoring with my good friends to share our experiences of raising a special-needs child. It’s not a “how-to” book. Our desire is to let other parents in a similar situation to know that they are not alone. In the meantime, I am in the beginning stage of my fourth novel.
Q: Will you be writing any shorter works in the future?
A: Not in the immediate future, but it’s something that has been dancing in my head for a while.
Q: Being an optometrist, have you found any parallels between optometry and writing from your experience? Has one field complemented the other in ways you originally never thought possible?
A: The answer is yes and yes. I cannot tell you how much I love my day job and how much my patients enriched my life. I appreciate every person for giving me the privilege to look into his/her eyes, which are the windows to the soul. (I know, it may sound like a cliché.)
The anatomy of human eyes remains almost the same, yet no two pairs of eyes are identical. The soul carried by the owner of the eyes is unique. Every soul is precious and is a living story from which to learn. I usually ask my patients, “How is life treating you?” instead of “Any complaints about your eyes?” I learn of their stories this way. Inevitably, I modify, dramatize and incorporate their stories into the characters of my books.
Writing arouses my imagination and creativity, and my experience as an optometrist enriches and enhances my writing through the stories I hear and the people I meet. These two professions run parallel and yet complement each other more than I initially thought they would.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time to unwind?
A: Two major activities: listen to music and workout.
Honestly, I cannot live without music. I love many kinds of music, especially classical music and opera. My favorites are from the Classical and Romantic eras. My favorite operatic composer is Verdi.
In terms of workout, it’s a “work” to me, and I have to kick my rear-end to do it, just because I “have to” do it to keep my energy up. I do dance aerobics two-three times a week and weight lifting at least five days a week. I also do stationary biking while reading (yes, multi-tasking). Due to time restraints, all the workouts are done at home; I am not a gym person. The outdoor sports I enjoy are golfing and biking, but they are time-consuming.
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?
A: I love comedies. My favorite one is The Big Bang Theory.
Eichin Chang-Lim Links