Holly Black. I’ve been a huge fan of her work for years.
Who are your biggest inspirations, both in writing and in everything?
My family. So much of what I write is drawn from the tales I heard growing up and the fierce, complex women who make up my life.
You’ve written lots of fantastic novels with fleshed out, inspiring Asian female main characters like Aru and Gauri. What parts of your main characters do you see in yourself, whether it was a conscious decision or something you realized later on?
Thank you! For each of my female characters, I try to give them one aspect of myself and then watch as that character trait transforms them into a wholly different individual due to their circumstances/backgrounds/worries. Aru is most like the version of myself when I was in middle school. I had an unfortunate reputation as a liar, a big imagination, and a sullen wish to be so much more than what I was.
What do you find the most fulfilling about writing?
The end of a book! Nothing like realizing I’ve brought a tale as far as I can take it, and feeling the immense satisfaction of that.
What do you find the most challenging about writing?
I’m extremely fortunate to have a wide audience for my work, but the downside of that is the nagging doubt that I might be letting down my readers with my next project.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
A Crown of Wishes. Writing second books require an unhinging of your very soul. It’s the book that taught me I could produce a story I was fiercely proud of in an amount of time that I was sure would be the end of my career.
What pieces of art involving Asian women have caught your eye lately?
I’m a big fan of Kinuko Y. Craft’s work, and recently purchased my first piece from her!
What’s next for you? Any exciting new projects?
I’m working on my first, adult non-fantasy project, and it’s been hugely rewarding. This summer, I’ve got my first audio novella releasing from Audible called AGAIN UPON A TIME. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.
You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!
We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.