In the wake of a tragedy and fueled by guilt from a secret she's kept for years, a woman discovers how delicate the thread that binds family is in this powerful novel by Lyn Liao Butler.
Two days before Tam and Tony Kwan receive their letter of acceptance for the son they are adopting from China, Tony and his estranged cousin Mia are killed unexpectedly in an accident. A shell-shocked Tam learns she is named the guardian to Mia's five-year-old daughter, Angela. With no other family around, Tam has no choice but to agree to take in the girl she hasn't seen since the child was an infant.
Overwhelmed by her life suddenly being upended, Tam must also decide if she will complete the adoption on her own and bring home the son waiting for her in a Chinese orphanage. But when a long-concealed secret comes to light just as she and Angela start to bond, their fragile family is threatened. As Tam begins to unravel the events of Tony and Mia's past in China, she discovers the true meaning of love and the threads that bind her to the family she is fated to have.
Q & A with Lyn~
What did you think you’d be when you became an adult?
I wanted to be a ballet dancer. And I did dance
professionally, ballet and modern, in NYC for many years. It was a dream come
true, but also a very hard life. I think it prepared me for all the rejections
and bad reviews of being an author. The dancer life gave me a very thick skin
which is handy as an author.
Where do you get your ideas?
From life, the news, and my imagination. I have a very active imagination and anything can make me go, “Oh! That would make a great story.” Sometimes my imagination scares even me. J
Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
Yes! Liane Moriarty. She’s the reason I decided to write a book. I think in every interview I’ve ever done, I’ve mentioned that she is my writing idol and inspiration. If I ever meet her in real life, I will probably faint at her feet.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (or this book?)
My first book came out in a pandemic, and was pushed back because of Anti-Asian sentiments in the US. At least, that was what I was told. It took two years from the time my agent sold it for it to be published, and it was a very long two years. And now, my second book will come out still in a pandemic. I’d dreamed of being able to do author events, signings, etc. when I sold my books, but alas, the pandemic put a damper on all that. But I’m still grateful that I PUBLISHED TWO BOOKS! and that I can walk into a bookstore or library and find my books. Absolute dream come true.
What are you working on now?
I just finished a thriller that my agent sold and will be coming out in early 2023, and also just finished a fourth book that just came out of me. I literally wrote it in two weeks. I have ideas for another thriller and another rom-com type book, as well as a YA. So yeah, I’ve got a lot of ideas in the works.
Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?
My second book, Red Thread of Fate, is based on my husband and my adoption journey of our son. It is not our story at all. But the part of the book where the MC, Tam goes to China to adopt a son was based on our own experiences.
What was some unique research you had to do for a book?
In the thriller which is based in Kauai, I needed someone to die a certain way. So when my family lived in Kauai for two months in 2021, I realized a flood on the Wailua River would be a good way. I started asking people who lived there about the flooding, bad storms, and if someone could be swept away and drown if they couldn’t swim. And they all slowly backed away from me, thinking I was plotting a murder. LOL
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
If you truly love to write, keep writing. And develop a thick skin as soon as you can. Writing life is brutal (unless you are one of those 1% who things just happen for) and you will get many, many rejections. Everyone’s path is different so don’t compare yourself to someone else. Just keep writing and learning. With each book I write, I learn a little more.