Let's Get the Party Started...

Diving right in

Welcome to those of you who are new around here, and welcome back to those who are old friends. It’s been a pandemic minute since I last wrote and lots has happened, including a move of my newsletter from Mailchimp to Substack. I thought I would take this opportunity to say hello properly and re-introduce myself. So here goes:

Hi! My official author name is A. Y. Chao, though you can call me Alice.

A little bit about me: I’m a big fan of coffee and xiaolongbao (if you haven’t had these delicious dumplings of soupy goodness, find yourself a Ding Tai Feng or equivalent and order some stat! You’re welcome). Mountains and cold air and the crisp swoosh of skis on fresh snow are my favourite kind of days. I am a huge fan of the Tyrolean Alps, and especially the Austrian Arlberg region. Niseko in Hokkaido Japan is also really high up on my list of happy places—their fine fluffy snow—also known as champagne powder—is second to none.

For someone so fond of the winters, it’s good and sensible that I also love to knit warm woolly jumpers. I strongly believe that love is love, no matter your orientation or gender or skin colour. That there are many different love languages that make the world go round. And that we absolutely need diverse books. The more voices the better.

Which is why I am absolutely over the moon that I’ll be adding my own Chinese diaspora Canadian born voice to the growing number of diverse authors sharing their stories. This summer was really wild—my novel SHANGHAI IMMORTAL, a jazz age fantasy—sold in a five way auction. There was quite a lot of screaming and celebration. SHANGHAI IMMORTAL follows Lady Jing – half hulijing fox spirit, half vampire, all sasshole – as she is tasked with escorting a gentle mortal through the depths of Hell, an irritating distraction from her quest to discover why her bitchy hulijing elders are scheming to steal the King of Hell’s priceless dragon pearl . . .

It will be published by Hodderscape in July/Aug 2023. If this sounds up your alley, please add SHANGHAI IMMORTAL on Goodreads here.

In publishing, two or more years is typical between signing your publishing contract and the book being published, but for me, it will be one year between signing and publishing—so now I’m in the process of doing this:

I have my editor’s edit letter, with notes on all the things that I need to work on, my own chapter by chapter outline to help me map where I need to make changes, and the full manuscript, printed in all her glory. The plan is to finish revisions in the next two weeks and send it back to Molly my editor. All being well, advance reader copies will get printed then sent off to early readers for review. EEEK!

Going forward, I plan on sharing here what’s happening at my desk and in particular the publishing process. I’m also curious as to what you’d like to see in this newsletter. Writing craft? Book recs? Random Alice thoughts? Vlogs? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading this far. If this isn’t your jam, you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking unsubscribe at the bottom of the email. If you ever feel like jumping back in, you can rejoin by visiting aychao.substack.com.

See you next missive.


Alice x