Gordon, It was lovely to have met you via the wonderful Social Media, and a very warm welcome to my world! I just noticed from your Facebook that it’s your special day tomorrow, so I’m publishing your interview today, as a small surprise, and also I get to say Happy Birthday before anyone else Enjoy blowing these virtual candles
Can you please tell us something unique about yourself?
Like everyone else, I am. I’ve done a lot and still doing it. I was a Chinese translator, held a career in Information Technology at an Ivy League school, Yale University. Invented, produced a successful educational trivia board game and then began writing fiction. Have six books published, and ghost wrote for others.
Ha, we have something in common here, Gordon. I’ve been working as a Chinese Interpreter and Translator for the past decade or so. Wow, you’ve been highly productive too!
Who, living or dead, do you most admire?
My wife, Ann, who has taught me so much in life about what is really important and to value those people and times above all else. Love is so powerful and we have always used this to overcome challenges in our lives. We have been fortunate to attract love minded and like-minded people in our lives. When we invite them into our house and into our lives, which is all the time, the positive energy is exhilarating.
You’re a lucky man, Gordon, and you’re so right about the power of love!
What inspired you to write your latest book?
I always believed that equal opportunity is essential in every nation and culture. Many minority groups have struggled to become at least marginally recognized in all fields of interest. But there is still one group, the Asian and Asian Americans who have been short-shrifted in all areas of equal opportunity including arts and entertainment. Because of cultural differences with majorities in many countries, the prejudice still runs deep in many parts of the world.
My last three books have been written to bring Chinese American characters to the forefront with roles of protagonist and heroine. My YA Becky Bing mystery series has been fun and catching on with people of all races and persuasions. The teenaged, feisty, bright sleuth, ala Nancy Drew of years ago, uses contemporary tools in her quest to solve crimes and bring justice.
My adult novel, THE COLOR of ICE, adapted into a feature film screenplay, provides opportunities for several Asian actors far different from the stereotypical roles.
Gordon, I applaud for your open-mindedness and your strong belief in equal opportunities for all minority groups. This has also been where my interest lies and part of my Doctoral thesis years ago addressed the Cultural Identity and Equal Opportunities of Ethnic Minorities in the UK. I love the cover of The Color of Ice!
Tell us about your favourite book/author and if they influence your writing, and how?
I really don’t have a single one. I have read the usual list of classics and a wide range of modern writers, but never followed any one in particular. I used to read voraciously, but when I turned to writing a dozen years ago, I read less of others, perhaps 1 or 2 books per year. I do this because I want my writing to reflect my personal ideas, and style and not inadvertently “borrow” from other deserving writers.
I can see your logic in this. Personally I am not reading as much as I would have liked in recent months.
Do you have a routine for writing? How long does it take you to complete your current book?
I write about 4 to 6 hours each day. Sometimes more. I don’t set daily goals. My first book took me a year. Now with confidence, I can write two novels a year if my film screenwriting doesn’t interfere too much.
What do you do when you’re not writing? What’s your favourite pastime?
I love to walk. I try to do about 4 miles each day; weather permitting. It’s nearly 2 miles from my house to the ocean where I meditate, breathe in the salty air and enjoy the gifts from God and Nature and then walk back.
I can picture how serene and beautiful that must be. You’re making me green with jealousy
Do you use Social Media for promoting your work and communicating with other writers? What’s your take on it?
I use Facebook and Twitter more and more. I found fantastic friends and authors like you, Junying Kirk, and many others around the globe who I consider kindred spirits. If we all help each other in our work, with support and marketing and promotion, we will not only become the shift in how writing and selling books is done, but also the REAL SHIFT in how people from all over the world are becoming closer to one another. This shift will change the world and my fervent hope is that it will make lives better, not just for a few, but for all.
Very kind of you, Gordon. I’m totally with you in your assessment of the changing nature of writers’ network and how it will impact our future in many and better ways.
Do your characters talk to you? Have you ever used people you know as a character?
My characters do not talk to me, but I love the question! If they did, the dialogue might prove interesting. (Hey, this could become a great idea for a new novel, eh?)
I never use real people, but do extract facets of others’ lives in my stories. For example, a friend of mine in Montreal became fluent in English and French because at a young age, his family spoke English until 6pm each day, then switched to French for the remainder of the night.
I use this technique with my Becky Bing mystery novels. She speaks English until 6pm then she and her dad speak Mandarin. I use both Pin Yin and traditional Chinese characters in these dialogues.
Great tips for writers, Gordon.
If you could go anywhere in the world to write your book. where would it be?
It would be my home here in Cape Cod. I am blessed to have all that I need. I once wrote a Cape Cod mystery, THE HYANNIS HOUSE, while staying in Santa Barbara, California. Although the novel did very well, it just didn’t seem natural to write while looking out at the Pacific Ocean and not —the Atlantic Ocean.
Oh Gordon, I want to transport myself to where you are, NOW
Here is a challenge: describe your latest novel within 140 characters, as in a tweet.
SUMMER GAMES: Becky Bing and friend, Jake, discover a series of crimes begun in the Sporting Goods store where they work part-time. The events present danger as Becky learns more about the criminals, her boyfriend, and …herself.
It was my great pleasure to talk with you, Gordon, and I look forward to reading The Color of Ice. Best of luck with your screenwriting and film, which I know will be much anticipated.
About the Author: Gordon lives with wife on Cape Cod. Volunteers to help other aspiring writers. Has completed adapting two of his novels THE COLOR of ICE and HOOK ISLAND, into feature film screenplays. A member of the Cape Cod Screenwriters Group. He is looking for interested film producers who feel like him and want to provide opportunities to Asian talent on TV and Film. The article about Gordon from Asian Boston Magazine, “Bridging East and West” is on his website and explains his objective.