Saturday, January 16, 2016

Interview with Jennifer Sun author of Two Tales of the Moon

What inspired you to write Two Tales of the Moon?
There were a few people, events and reasons that inspired me to write Two Tales of the Moon. The primary one is my life experience in the Red China and America, the land of the free and opportunities. In my younger years I lived under the oppressive communist regime and witnessed the atrocities the government committed on its own people. A young adult, I came to U.S. with $20 dollar in my pocket and a single small suitcase, yet was able to achieve great success in a career of business and finance. However, as different as the two countries are politically and sometimes culturally, I’ve had the opportunities to observe that both people love and struggle the same way – the way we love and handle life’s disappointments, the way we struggle to make difficult choices in life and strive to be better human beings, are the same. This observation of mine ultimately became the premise and main theme of Two Tales of the Moon.
For the plot of Two Tales of the Moon, there has been enough headline news regarding the complex relationship and intense political and economic competition between U.S. and China for me to draw material from. Are we friends or foes, partners or rivalries? You ask a different person you get a different answer. For me personally, U.S, and China together, are like two dysfunctional families, they could love each other, they could hate each other, they both have members who are like the crazy uncles and comical aunts we’ve seen in movies or in our own families, and a lot of them behave illogically. Just think, how many times we’ve heard the U.S. accusing China of human rights violations, currency manipulations, and opaque financial and banking practices? But just about every large corporation in the US has rushed into China to chase a dream of profiting from the country's 1.3 billion people, and the U.S. government depends on Red China to fund its fiscal deficit. China, on the other hand, has embraced capitalism with unbridled passion and is practicing the most cut-throat capitalism under the communist banner. Publicly, China often bashes the capitalist and democratic systems in the West, yet craves and hacks for western technologies to advance the country's ambition to become a geopolitical and economic super power. Like families tied together by blood or marriage, U.S. and China are forever bound by money and profit. So how does this economic tie affect people’s lives in both countries? Are the rich and powerful in the West just as greedy, hypocritical and morally corrupt as their counterparts in Red China? I pondered and reflected on my own questions and observations for a while and a fictional, yet true to life plot came into shape – a high stake merger deal between two technology companies in U.S. and China that present ethical dilemmas to Lu Li the Wall Street investment banker and Will Donovan, the exNavy and owner of a cyber-technology company.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Eighteen months.
How long have you been publishing your work?
Two Tales of the Moon was my first literary endeavor. I am writing my second novel with settings in London, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
What does your writing environment look like?
I use my living room as my office. My writing desk is tucked nicely in a large bay window, looking out to a huge garden surrounded by Japanese maples trees, ever greens, azalea bushes, and rhododendrons. I give my husband full credit for taking care of the garden and keeping it beautiful year around. Most of the time, when I sit down in front of the desk to write, my cat Paung (it means chubby in Chinese) will come to sit on the right side of the desk, and my dog Nova, the Doberman Pinscher lies at my feet. On the left side of my desk, is often a mug of hot water with lemon.
Do you have any routines to help you write?
Absolutely. During weekdays, I usually get up at 4:30AM. I drink a small cup of coffee and begin to write around 5:00AM. I stop writing at 7:00AM. I do 30 minutes yoga and then go out for a run for 45 minutes. While I am running, I go over what I wrote early in the morning or what I am going to write next. It never fails – running always unclogs my mind and makes my prose flow more easily. After I get back from running, I spend 30 minutes to an hour to edit what I’ve written early morning and then I’m done writing for the day.
Author Bio:
Jennifer Sun has a MBA from George Washington University and a B.A. in English Literature from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She has held several executive financial management positions at Fortune 500 companies in telecommunication and web technology industries. She currently writes full time and lives with her husband in Vienna, Virginia. She is also an avid reader, a runner and a foodie.
Twitter: @JenniferSun8
The author is giving away a digital copy of Two Tales of the Moon.

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