Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel?
Ever fantasized about seeing YOUR name on the shelves of your favorite book store?
Linh Nguyen did. In fact, at a young age, she wrote a letter to her future 30 year old self that said, “congratulations on your first book.”
Young Linh was right to have faith in her dreams, because she did it.
If you can relate to the dream of writing and publishing (especially if your sights are set on writing children’s books or YA), you’re going to want to listen to this.
Linh Nguyen (she/her) is a Vietnamese-Canadian immigrant and writer who specializes in children’s literature and creative non-fiction. Her debut middle-grade fantasy novel, No Place Like Home, was released with HarperCollins Canada in March 2023.
Prior to working as a full time author, Linh was working a more “typical” full time job. In this interview we explore how she found time to write, got her book published, and is now living her dream of living and working as a full-time author.
In this episode we cover:
- How Linh made time to write her first novel while working a full time job — and how she makes time to write now, as a full time author.
- Why you should embrace the messy first draft … and why your draft doesn’t have to be perfect (far from it) to get published.
- Why you should be prepared for rejection, but also know that getting published IS possible!
- How Linh changed her original draft to make it deeper, more relatable, and more true to her real life experience, including her experience as an 11 year old in Canada as a Vietnamese immigrant.
- How Linh grappled with self-representation, including how she worked to dismantle her own socialized assumptions about who her characters should be; how she navigated her sense of responsibility towards representing her community; and how she put herself in her own story without losing her characters.
- Why fiction can work just as well (or better!) to communicate big, complex ideas and get your message across.
- What it’s like to market a book, and Linh’s tips on how to choose your promotional tactics. (Hint: Focus on what brings you the most joy.)
- Linh’s writing process: how she gets words on a page, how she balances the combination of inspiration and discipline… and what Linh and I agree is THE most important part of the writing process.
- What it’s actually like to live and work as a full-time author — Including the big, common misconception about being an author that Linh would like to clear up.
Linh’s work can be found at www.linhsnguyen.com or more frequently on Instagram @linh.s.nguyen.