Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Loved Ones, and for the two Lee families?Visit Sonya Chung's website.
A: The Loved Ones—like many ultimately successful creative projects, I'm learning and realizing—was actually born of failure and lack of confidence.
I'd been working on another novel for about three years, and in the summer of 2012, it became clear to me that the project was dead in the water. I was anxious and very low after that, wondering if I'd be able to move forward as a novelist.
Later that summer I resolved to "just show up"—at my desk, to the blank page. In baby steps, I started working in territory that felt both familiar and interesting, which turned out to be an awkward, lonely Korean American girl's adolescence in the D.C. area in the mid-1980s. The rest grew from there.
The two Lee families—Hannah's Korean immigrant family, and Charles and Alice Lee, who are an interracial couple (African American and white) with two biracial children—are ostensibly different in every way and "shouldn't" converge or collide. But they do—a series of unusual circumstances bring them together—and that...[read on]
Coffee with a Canine: Sonya Chung and Pax.