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#1 Sunday Times Bestseller, baby!

Floating on Cloud 9

My book baby is out in the world and it hit #1 on the Sunday Times Bestseller list! To say I’m elated is probably a massive understatement. Check out this header from Sunday’s online paper!

And the old fashioned broadsheet version:

Shanghai Immortal topped the Fiction Hardback chart at numero uno!

It’s such an honour to top the chart especially with a book so steeped in my cultural heritage. Also makes me super proud to be there with R F Kuang whose books I admire so much and are such thought-provoking reads. ESEA represent! 🙌

It’s been a rather intense couple weeks, which I’m going to try and recount in a semi-coherent way (it has not been coherent at all in my head… just a whirlwind of high emotions and moments I want to hold onto forever!). I’ll start with Fantasy in the Court at Goldsboro books, an event where 35 authors including yours truly mingled with readers in the courtyard outside Goldsboro books. It was such a wonderful afternoon of firsts: the first time I saw my book in a shop window, the first time I signed a book for a reader, the first time I saw my book on a bookshop shelf! Goldsboro will forever hold a special place in my heart!

Grinning very widely on seeing Shanghai Immortal in the window of Goldsboro books!

Following the Goldsboro event was Comic Con. I had two events there— a bloggers brunch with fellow authors Adrian Tchaikovsky, TJ Klune, Alexander Darwin, Gareth Worthingon, Olivie Blake, and Anna Smith Spark where we got to play musical chairs and meet a whole room full of bloggers, instagrammers, booktokkers, YouTubers and more! Then I was on a panel with Shauna Lawless (The Children Of Gods And Fighting Men), Verity Holloway (Others Of Edenwell), Ashley Stokes (Gigantic), T.J. Klune (In The Lives Of Puppets) and Kit Whitfield (All The Hollows Of The Sky) discussing building immersive worlds and experiences in fantasy and folklore, followed by a signing. Phew! It was incredible meeting so many readers and fellow authors.

Bookending Comic Con, I also managed to squeeze in a trip to Liverpool and Canterburywhere I got to chat with and interview Olivie Blake. Seriously mind blowing. Such a lovely person and fascinating author.

My launch party was on the 31 May, held on the roof gardens of Hachette HQ. The dress code was deity or 1930s Shanghai… people brought their A game! It was an amazing party and I adored every second of it. My friend Crystal Sung (whose kidlit debut Spellcasters is coming out 17 August this year) made the beautiful cake and my mom came from Canada to celebrate with me. Check out my instagram video for all the highlights! (click to view the reel, sound on!)

A.Y. Chao余安利 🇨🇦🇹🇼🇬🇧 on Instagram: "Ahhhh I’ve had coffee and a chance to wake up! I’m floating on cloud 9. Thank you to everyone who made my debut party so special. I’m still processing and steeping myself in every wonderful moment! The best fairy godmothers made this party happen—so grateful to @FairyLoot for sponsoring and to @hodderscape for hosting. Biggest kisses to @anissabyday @mollusketta @readeatretreat and Laura Bartholomew. You are forever stars in my eyes. The whole evening was so full of love and I can’t thank everyone enough for coming, for dressing up, for bringing their A game to the party. Something I meant to say last night but of course forgot (I blame too many Goddess Gigi cocktails!) was to thank all the authors who came before me, especially ESEA authors who trailblazed and opened a path for diaspora heritage mashup stories, and all the writers around me who have been equally generous with their knowledge, shoulders and joy. I have had such wonderful role models to learn from and hope I can do the same for others too. The dress code was 1930s Shanghai or a deity (Chinese, other pantheon, or original!). All the costumes were fabulous, and my kidlet had prizes for best in category—my audiobook narrator @meimeimacleod won best Chinese deity, @chaosonolympus for best visiting deity, @thekatedylan for best original, and @ariannahalshaw for a stunning 1930s outfit. @taniatay88 created the amazing and delish cake and @minaikemoto119 the gorgeous dragon! Also huge love to my husband and daughter who I did not thank in my speech. I love you so much. And @jamieleenardone from @blackcrow_pr for making my debut weeks so extra special fun! And not least my wonderful agent Jamie Cowen. Squeee I’m a published author!!! 🥳🥳🥳 Also if you’ve read Shanghai Immortal, please could you add your reviews to Amazon as Amazon reviews are huge help to debut authors! This humble one offers you my abundant gratitude 😘 #shanghaimmortal #2023debuts"

June 1, 2023 - 281 likes, 22 comments - A.Y. Chao余安利 🇨🇦🇹🇼🇬🇧 (@ay_chao) on Instagram: "Ahhhh I’ve had coffee and a chance to wake up! I’m floating on cloud 9. Thank you to everyone..."

Me and Mei Mei Macleod, my amazing audiobook narrator!

After my launch it was off to Edinburgh for Cymera—a super lovely SFF festival. Had a panel with Thomas D Lee (Perilous Times—fabulous premise of Arthurian knights who come back from the dead and have to deal with fracking and a dragon on the loose in modern day England), and Genevieve Cogman (Scarlet, about vamps and the French Revolution, a retelling of Scarlet Pimpernel), and then hung out with a bunch of author friends and visited a Edinburgh’s amazing indie shops to sign my books! The weekend was very special as also got to hang with my old Faber Academy buddies.

Rarebirds in Edinburgh

Signing at Argonaut Books in Edinburgh

Wow I’m tired just reading over the summary of what I got up to. My brain was absolute mush by the time I was on the train to Edinburgh. It was difficult to put 1 and 1 together. I could manage one piece of information at a time. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous in Edinburgh and all I had to remember was to show up on time to my panel. The rest all fell into place with help from friends and my publicist Kate who made sure I got to where I needed to go.

Once home, I visited local bookshops to sign more copies of my book. Waterstones Piccadilly had an impressive display. It’s been such a trip to see my book in the shops and so lovely to see all the bookseller and reader love.

Hatchards St Pancras

In the wild at Waterstones Piccadilly (all signed!)

Lots of events still to come—two more book clubs, one tomorrow night with the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club and the next with the British Chinese Society book club (we’re being fancy and hitting the Shard!), and then two events in Taipei, Taiwan. Very excited about those too as one is in my dream event venue Eslite and for the other at the New Taipei City Library, I’ll be in convo with Pim Wangtechawat, author of The Moon Represents My Heart and one of my favourite humans! 

Later this week I'm heading to Goldsboro’s warehouse in Brighton to sign their special editions, and Forbidden Planet as well to sign their books with my glitter pens and special stamp!

I’ll have details of my US tour in October to share soon, but you can always check my website for up to date events at aychao.com/events.

Thank you for all your support. If you pre-ordered the book you directly contributed to helping me top the Sunday Times Bestseller chart so THANK YOU! If you read the book and enjoyed it, and you left a review on Amazon HUGE THANKS! It makes a huge difference to debut authors as once there are 50 plus reviews on Amazon, the algorithm will start showing Shanghai Immortal to more buyers. So if you haven’t yet left a review, please do! You have my abundant gratitude!

Til anon.

Alice x