Name: Lindsay Wong
Asian background: Chinese-Canadian
What is it about your experience and upbringing that inspired you the most to write?
I grew up in a dysfunctional Chinese family that doesn’t believe in mental illness so I ended up writing a memoir called The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, And My Crazy Chinese Family (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018). I honestly didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I majored in Creative Writing at The University of British Columbia. The department was the only one that would take me. Let’s just say I wasn’t a stellar student haha.
Most authors say that they always loved reading or writing, but I think I just “fell into it.” When everything felt too difficult or unbearable, writing made the world seem like it could be okay.
Name 3 authors and 3 books
These three female Asian authors are extremely bad-ass and I love their books so much. Definitely check them out for Asian heritage month!
- That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung
- Older Sister, Not Necessarily Related by Jenny Heijun Wills
- How Does A Single Blade Of Grass Thank The Sun? by Doretta Lau
What do you think is the best quality a writer can have?
A sturdy sense of humor! The rejections are abundant, plus writing a book is a long and exhausting process, and the day jobs (yes, multiple) are horrendous. Your Asian parents were right about going to law school. Being a writer is neither glamorous or fun. A few weeks ago, a whole bunch of people just happened to email, DM, and tag me in shitty reviews of my work at the exact same time, and I already had a really bad day, as in, I worked 16+ hours, my boss yelled at me, and then my grandmother died, so I was like, Omg please noooooo, I just don’t want to deal with this right now and ate my weight in Twix bars lol. I think the key to surviving being an author is the ability to laugh at yourself and whatever bullshitty thing happens because writing has a lot of really WTF moments.
Any last words? (Fun facts, comments, something you’d like to share with the world, etc.)
Confession: I used to pay for these long-ass flights go on these weird writing residencies where I’d self-isolate in a cozy cabin in the woods or just sit in this cottage in Key West by myself, but now that the whole world is social distancing or in lock down, I wonder if writing residencies will become less popular after COVID-19. During the pandemic, I’m spending my time hiding and catching up on writing and eating too many homemade marshmallows.
Also, I’ll be reading and answering Q&As for My Summer Of Love and Misfortune on Facebook Live as part of #CanadaPerforms on May 22 at 2 PM PST/5 PM EST. Please come hang out with me! (Bring snacks!) 😉
Challenge: Write a one-sentence story!
True story: I was craving mint chocolate ice cream for dinner, ran to the kitchen, tripped over furniture, broke my foot in three places, and never wanted to eat that flavor for 1.5 years.