Shelley Parker-Chan

Q When you worked as a diplomat, and when you were working on human rights in different parts of the world, were there stories floating around in your mind? And what were some of the highs and lows of your journey to getting a publishing deal for SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN?

Q Was the Tiptree Fellowship also an important milestone?

Q What does your typical writing day look like and do you always write in the same place? And do you draft longhand, or into Scrivener, or something else?

Q Did you plan a lot before you started writing? Or did you just write and fix things as you went along?

Q Have you been staying away from the reviews that are trickling out, or have you been staying away from them? Or do you have a strategy, like only reading reviews on Goodreads that give you five stars?

Q I completely agree about there being value everywhere, and I think there is a lot of crossover now, with so-called mainstream fiction incorporating genre tropes, and so-called genre fiction entering the mainstream. If you saw copies of SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN shelved in the general fiction section of a bookshop, would you leave them there, or would you sneak a copy or two into the science fiction and fantasy shelves?

Q Adding in an element like that seems really tough, but I think it works really well, and the fact that they don’t do anything makes them particularly interesting, and spooky. How did you go about that rewrite?

Q How much do you think about the future of that China in that world? Have you sat back and mused over how China, that China, might develop after that ending? And was it possible for you to ignore your own knowledge of political developments after the period SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN is set in? And does it even matter?

Q Thinking about gender, and about patriachy, what do you feel about the current state of the Anglophone publishing industry? And what would you like to see more of, or less of, in the future?

Q The 1980s New York romance sounds like a great premise. Would you consider setting that in an alternate world, a world where maybe the response to the AIDS crisis was different?

Q What is the scary alt-Bible premise? This sounds like it would totally sell.

Q You said you don’t have a million ideas on the boil at any one time. Do you normally think in terms of novels, or do you also have ideas for shorter works?

Q What have you been reading and watching lately? And are there any other authors or books you’d like to signal boost?