The last time someone asked me for a recommendation of a really fun book, Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex is what leapt to mind. Asian-American superhero ladies kicking ass to protect San Francisco from demons as quirky as they are deadly — What’s not to love? But the books also have real heart: the heroines are wrestling not just with their superpowers, but with the chaos of modern existence: life, love, money, status, social media, all of it. Can we talk about how delighted I am that there will be more books in this series? Seriously.
Sarah is a fantastic writer and a delightful human being, and I’m so happy to welcome her to the Ball!
The Deb Interview:
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
I am totally addicted to Terrace House, a Japanese reality show about strangers living together—sort of like The Real World, only the drama is much more gentle and there’s a panel of commentators who track the housemates’ every move. I am obsessed with You, one of the commentators, who is a fiftysomething actress/singer/model—she’s always wearing something ridiculously cool and really cares about what happens to all the housemates and is a badass in every way and basically I would like her to give me life tips so that I may become her one day. Also, there’s a romance this season between a female hockey player and a male model—like, they gave me a trope I didn’t even know I wanted until now!
Where do you love to be?
Anyone who follows me on social media knows that I’m always hanging out at The Ripped Bodice
, an all-romance bookstore here in LA. The owners, Bea and Leah Koch, are kind enough to let me sit on their glorious pink velvet couch and write all day. It’s such a wonderful, positive, empowering space—and there’s a real community around it. I am always happy—and feel very embraced and protected as a writer—when I’m there. Also, they let me base a character in Heroine’s Journey
on their adorable dog, Fitzwilliam Waffles—he is a one-eyed long-haired chihuahua with a kind of diva personality. A true tiny prince! Anyway, in the book, there’s a one-eyed long-haired chihuahua named Pancake. And he has the most
diva personality. Fitz did get to be on the cover of the book looking very fierce, so hopefully he won’t object too much to this portrayal.
Which talent do you wish you had?
Patience. Is that a talent? I’m a very impatient person. Which means I picked probably the worst possible occupation. Or if I could spin fire like my friend Michi Trota
, that would be cool, too.
What’s your next big thing? (new book, new project, etc.)
I have a few things coming up! In terms of the Heroine Complex series, I just signed on for three more books and a novella. The novella will be about Lucy, the kickass weapons expert/trainer on the superteam who wears frilly vintage dresses. And then the next three books will once again be about Evie, Aveda, and Bea. I don’t want to say too much yet, but I’ve picked some new-to-the-series locations for these books that I’m really excited about—we’ll actually be venturing outside of San Francisco! I also wrote a YA novel that comes out next summer—it’s about a teenage Japanese American fashionista who travels to Japan on a quest of self-discovery and ends up falling for a cute med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. Basically, I tried to make everything about it as cute as possible. And I co-wrote a second Clueless comic with my friend Amber Benson—it’s about Cher, Dionne, and Tai navigating their last summer vacation before college and getting enmeshed in all kinds of hijinks. Siobhan Keenan, who was the artist on the first book, returned for this one, and did her usual beautiful, amazing work. That will be out later this year.
What is the best perk of your job?
Meeting readers and having them tell me the Heroine books mean something to them still blows me away. I just can’t believe it. Someone cosplayed as Evie at my last book launch party and I was like, “What, seriously?!” I never imagined something like that happening for a thing I wrote.
Sarah Kuhn is the author of Heroine Complex—a popular series of novels starring Asian American superheroines battling such evils as demonic cupcakes and supernatural karaoke enthusiasts. The first book was a Locus bestseller, an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee, and one of the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog’s Best Books of 2016. Additionally, she is a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and has penned assorted comics and short fiction about geeks, aliens, romance, and Barbie (yes, that Barbie). Her YA debut, the contemporary rom-com I Love You So Mochi, comes out in 2019. She lives in LA with her husband and an overflowing closet of vintage treasures.
Heroine’s Journey is the third book in the Heroine Complex series and it stars Bea Tanaka, baby sister of Evie Tanaka. She’s grown from bratty teen to sorta mature twentysomething, but she’s just as much of a problem child as ever: impulsive, adventurous, and longing to join her big sister as a full-blown superheroine. We follow her as she experiments with her powers of emotional projection, fends off annoying customers at her mundane bookstore job, and romances one of her best friends—a hot katsu chef/mechanic who’s as much of a problem child as she is. Oh, and tries to save the city from total destruction, of course. Also, there’s a battle involving gigantic porcelain unicorns. And a cute dog!
Find Sarah online at:
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Cass Morris lives and works in central Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart.
Expectations and Exceptions - Monday, July 16, 2018
References and Rhetorical Flourishes - Monday, July 9, 2018
Interview with Sarah Kuhn, Author of HEROINE’S JOURNEY + Giveaway! - Saturday, July 7, 2018
Cass is a Pack Animal - Monday, July 2, 2018
Industry Interview Week: Introducing the Amazing Connor Goldsmith! - Monday, June 25, 2018