Winterview with Author A.Y. Chao

To celebrate 13 weeks of winter, Hàlön Chronicles will be conducting one interview a week for 13 weeks. Join us on the hashtag #13Winterviews, or check out our right-side blog hop to sneak a peek at all the wonderful authors and artists I’ll be interviewing in the coming weeks.

Hosted by: K. J. Harrowick

Without further ado, Urban Fantasy Author: A.Y. Chao.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a recovering lawyer turned novelist. I grew up in the Canadian prairies at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, but now live in London England with my hubs, two pooches, and daughter.

What types of books do you write, and why?

I write urban fantasy. I love the confluence of reality and make-believe in urban fantasy, and of course I also am enamoured of a great kick-ass heroine.

What were your early influences, and how does this manifest in your work today?

I’m a huge fan of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and also of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, but the series that sent me down the urban fantasy rabbit hole was Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series. After that came Chloe Neill, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Briggs, among others. I like stories where characters are complex and compelling, and where even the least likeable character is still somehow lovable (think Gilmore Girls, the original series), or at the very least fascinating, so I try to incorporate that into my own writing.

Are there aspects of the craft that excite you more than others?

I love word play, and the act of creating a whole world full of living breathing people out of nothing but blank paper and a keyboard.

What books or websites are your go-to places while editing?

Lisa Cron’s Story Genius, Larry Brooks Story Engineering, Robert McKee Story, John Truby’s Anatomy of Story, are all great resources.

Tell us about your writing space (music/snacks/interruptions/etc).

My writing room is in the attic of a white Victorian terraced house, one of a row of similar three story homes on a quiet tree-lined London street. A skylight keeps the room cheerful and bright, despite the scarcity of sun in England. Books on craft and binders of notes from writing classes fill the shelves above my desktop. A small bluetooth speaker set on the windowsill next to my desk streams music from Spotify, sometimes an eclectic mix of bluegrass pop song covers, sometimes instrumental studying music, always accompanied by the soft snorts and snuffles from the two dogs at my feet. Deuce, our elderly black pug, sleeps curled in a nest made from a hand-knit wool blanket, and Obi, our dingo-shepherd rescue sprawls out in his bed, long legs and bushy tail twitching in his dreams.

Tell us about your current WIP or your latest book release.

My current WIP SOUL AFFINITY is an urban fantasy set in contemporary London. By-the-book mortal lawyer Aziza Lee discovers she works for netherworld guardians, and is tasked with analysing Tor—contracts that track souls from the point they leave the netherworld to their return—as part of a trial period for her long awaited promotion. Except Tors keep disappearing. A misplaced contract is one thing, but Aziza has a secret ability: just by touching a Tor she knows who embodies the soul. She knows the people to whom the missing Tor belong—her friends. And one by one they end up dead. Aziza must figure out what is happening to the Tor, and her friends, before she loses her promotion, or worse, becomes a target herself.


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Check out ^these links^ to learn more about the amazing A.Y. Chao, creator of #Scrivathon16 and all-around amazing woman! 🙂


Before you leave, don’t forget to check out all the amazing Winterviews Authors. 🙂

One comment to Winterview with Author A.Y. Chao

  • Maria Guglielmo  says:

    Another great interview! I’ve had a few sneak peeks at Alice’s WIP–and it’s as exciting as it sounds!

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