Interview with Stephanie Suga Chen

stephStephanie Suga Chen, a US expatriate based in Singapore and author of Travails of Trailing Spouse that I reviewed here answered a few questions regarding her book and her life.

How much of you, your experiences, your personality, is your characters? 

The thoughts and feelings of the main character, Sarah, are very much true to my heart. The book started as a memoir, but quickly evolved into a novel as I didn’t think my actual life would be that interesting to other people.

Is Singapore where you want to spend the foreseeable future? 

Singapore is a wonderful place to raise young children, and we are very happy here. But we also recognize that job and family situations can change quickly!

Are you working on a new book, if you are what’s it about? 

Yes! I have several projects in process; one is a more suspenseful novel than Travails that envisions one of the worst haze seasons Singapore has ever seen.

What was the greatest hurdle in writing this book? 

Soliciting feedback and accepting criticism. Since writing is so personal, it’s hard not to be defensive.

What kind of response have you received, especially from Singaporeans?

So far, so good! The book debuted at #2 on the Straits Times Top Fiction Bestsellers last week, so seems like people are at least buying it! So far, the feedback from my local friends has been very positive – and of course everyone wants to know how much is fiction.

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