I could not be more thrilled to be hosting author Roselle Lim this week on the Ball! I’ve been waiting many months for her magical debut, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, to come out, and now it’s almost here!
Roselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.
She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother’s) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels
An artist by nature, she considers writing as “painting with words.” When she isn’t writing, she is sewing, sketching, or pursuing the next craft project. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is about the bond of mothers and daughters, the meaning of family and community, and the language of food.
“Lim serves up love, loss, heritage, and hints of the supernatural on a silver platter in this magical and mouthwatering debut…This eminently filmable tale of finding one’s own path while honoring one’s history is delicious and spellbinding.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Vivid and lyrical with a touch of magic. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune explores culture, community, and the complex love between mothers and daughters, leaving your heart full…and your belly hungry. I absolutely loved it.”—Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient
You can get in touch with Roselle at her website, www.rosellelim.com
or on Twitter and Instagram by following @rosellewriter.
Without further ado, here’s our interview!
Which talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could dance. I have three left feet, and have marvelled at the ways a hip hop, ballet, jazz, contemporary, or ballroom dancer can carve out space with athleticism and grace. The ability to have complete control over one’s body is astounding to behold.
The road to publication is twisty at best–tell us about some of your twists.
I queried seven completed manuscripts before any agent requested to see my work. Despite some positive interest, I received no offers. I wrote another manuscript (changing genre from urban fantasy to literary), queried over 100 agents, prior to signing with my first agent.
The submission process was difficult. The book did not sell.
After parting ways with my agent, I finished yet another manuscript: one exploring the relationships and experiences closest to me. On a whim, I decided to enter the very first #DVPIT (thank you, Beth Phelan!) Jenny Bent found my pitch, requested the full manuscript, and then offered representation.
We went through two years of vigorous revisions for my debut. I learned so much from Jenny: about writing and pacing and how to edit.
The moral of the story is there is no conventional or usual way to navigate your writing journey.
Have you ever traveled to do research for your writing? Where did you go?
Not yet, but I’m planning to go this year!
My second novel is set in Paris. I consider myself an atmospheric writer. I want to capture all the sensory details in the surroundings—especially the food. I need to experience everything, including practicing my French.
Paris has such a rich history of art and architecture that I’ve only seen in my art history textbooks. I can’t wait to see it all in person: to feel Paris in my heart and in my bones.
If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?
First: Don’t be afraid to dream. As a child and a teen, I was told many times my limit: never more than an arm’s reach. Stay in the known, in the mundane, in the ordinary. I was terrified to speak a dream aloud for fear it would be snatched from me. Dreaming is the journey. If you don’t dream, how do you know how far you can soar?
Second: You will be rejected, but you will survive. Developing a thick skin, and the ability to separate yourself from your work, and your worth as a person, is crucial. Publishing is such a taste-based industry, pleasing everyone is impossible.
Publishing a book is a bucket list dream for many people—are there any other accomplishments on your bucket list right now?
The biggest things on my bucket list is travel and paying off the mortgage right now.
Travelling is very much about refilling the creative and inspiration well. I love to see other cultures and to taste everything. Right now, at the top of my list are Japan and Ireland. I want to be in Japan in the spring to see the cherry blossoms, or in the summer to witness the wisteria tunnel. As for Ireland, I want to see the Ring of Kerry, the stunning countryside, and to hear language used to delight the listener.
Paying off the mortgage is more about adulting!
Keep reading for information on how to enter our giveaway!
Lush and visual, chock-full of delicious recipes, Roselle Lim’s magical debut novel is about food, heritage, and finding family in the most unexpected places.
At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant.
The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around—she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.
For a chance to win a copy of this highly anticipated debut, follow us on Twitter or Facebook and share this post! Leave a comment below for extra entries. We’ll choose a winner on Friday, May 31st and be in touch shortly afterwards.