Without the push from her husband, Yangsze Choo may not have become the successful author she is today.
“My husband is actually the reason why my books are in the public,” Choo told an English class during Los Altos High School’s Writers Week in March. “He sent my novel out to a couple of friends without me even knowing, and I was sent messages to publish my story. I was very surprised. I did not expect so many people to connect with my novel.”
That novel, “Ghost Bride” (William Morrow, 2013). is now being turned into a Netflix series after its success as a New York Times Best Seller.
Her latest novel, “The Night Tiger” (Flat Iron Books, 2019), has become a best-seller as well. Set in 1930s Malaysia, Choo takes the reader on a journey with a boy named Ren who is trying to find a young girl and the severed finger of his master. He soon crosses paths with Ji Lin, who is trying to find her place in the world.
“I was very happy with this novel because I became very fond of the characters when I was writing,” Choo said. “As I was writing them, they appeared to be just like people. They did things that were consistent with their internal lives, so I am just glad that people read it and enjoy the book.”
The novel – which combines traditions, mythologies, culture, language and more – took nearly four years to complete.
“I’ve been writing for many years, ever since I was a kid, like short stories and others,” the Peninsula resident said. “Those who like to create, always like to create. Some people process things by writing, others process things by other forms of art and expression. I happen to enjoy writing.”
The positive response Choo has received proves that readers enjoy her writing as well. She connects with her fans via social media, including her blog, and has visited several book clubs in the Bay Area.
“I am so grateful,” she said. “I am so gobsmacked because I didn’t think it was possible for people to read and enjoy my novels. I really am very grateful.”
Choo has been too busy to start writing another novel – especially since she is consulting on the Netflix series now shooting in Malaysia – but she will one day.
As for other aspiring writers, Choo offered some advice.
“Write for yourself – not others,” she said.