Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Steph Cha

Steph Cha is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. She lives in her native city of Los Angeles, California. She is author of Follow Her Home and Beware Beware.

From her Q & A with Sabra Embury at The Rumpus:

Rumpus: Korean culture is well represented in Beware Beware without being too heavy-handed. Was balance an issue when it came to avoiding stereotypical characterizations—e.g., Korean males are chauvinistic or Korean parents are strict? Did you feel like a gatekeeper into a somewhat exclusive yet prolific community?

Cha: Yes! Oh man. This is a good question. I have nothing against identity novels (and am likely to write one some day), but I really wanted to write a book that was essentially Korean-American while being about something else. I wanted all the Korean stuff in the background, but I knew I had to get it pretty right since I wasn’t going to devote tons of space to contemplation on the culture, the stereotypes, etc. Some of my Korean characters do fit certain stereotypes (Lori is a bad driver; both Song’s and Lori’s mothers are strict in their own ways), but I feel like I have so many of them that I feel comfortable with that. I think that’s an easy way to avoid flat or lazy representations—to show a wide range of human traits and behaviors. And yes, I do feel a little like a gatekeeper, or at least like I have some responsibility to do things correctly. Korean-American Los Angeles doesn’t get much play in fiction.

Rumpus: You’re a graduate of Stanford and Yale Law School, is that right? What made you decide you wanted to flip off your Ivy League education in law to become a writer of crime fiction? Was it tough to make that shift overall?

Cha: Yes, I did go to those schools. I’ve always been decently book smart, as things go, but as I’ve grown older I’ve learned that...[read on]
Visit Steph Cha's website and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Steph Cha and Duke.

My Book, The Movie: Follow Her Home.

The Page 69 Test: Follow Her Home.

Writers Read: Steph Cha (April 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue