Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths (U.K) is out in the world, or rather the U.K and some of the Commonwealth! The lead up to the book being launched was pretty stressful if I'm being honest. I took on more work than I should have earlier in the year and with the lockdown, only had from March onwards to concentrate on new writing. There were days when I was panicking about it, was it going to go okay? Would people like the book? How would it be launching my debut novel in a pandemic when you can't have the customary cake and wine in a bookstore? But all of that disappeared eventually. You can only do what you can do.
With the help of friends and Piccadilly Press we managed to create an amazing book launch which was semi-private. That was because I wanted to have children there to celebrate my book being out in the world. In the past book launches (even those for children's books) often took place in the evening in a bookstore with cake and wine. That wasn't possible. Instead I had a zoom book launch and invited friends, family and bookish people such as other authors, bloggers, indie bookstores and people who had been on my journey with me for a long time. Like my novel's acknowledgement page, my friends and writing community have been behind me for many years and I wanted to celebrate with them. I did not expect to cry during the first five minutes of the launch though. I had been emotional all week and actually I had told myself that I wasn't going to cry. But sometimes you can't stop the flood! I had a wonderful day eating dim sum with Tita Berredo and Dean Atta in Glasgow and was sent wonderful flowers by Sarah Broadley, Susan Mann, my agency and my editor. Cakes galore arrived at my flat from Carmen, a friend from my yoga days, and also Eliza my first mentee (who had some good news of her own - she signed with an agency!) and my children were part of the launch event. My son read part of the novel whilst Anh Cao did a draw-a-long. It was the perfect day. The Twitter and Instagram buzz was amazing and I want to thank every person who shouted about Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths and all of the booksellers, the bloggers, the reader-teachers. You've all been fantastic.
I didn't know how much this book would mean to me. It was a simple story about a boy and his granny. But it does mean a lot. It means better representation for BESEA children, especially British born Chinese children. It's been a hard couple of years and it will continue to be tough. However, I hope that with the novel can in some ways make a small difference.
I still have to promote Tiger Warrior: Attack of the Dragon King (out with Hachette in July) and Danny Chung Sums It Up which comes out in the U.S in September, but I am feeling positive. I have two amazing mentors as part of DVDebuts - Kat Cho and Claribel A. Ortega who will guide me as I launch in the U.S. I love the U.S and I hate what has been happening over there in the past year with a terrible increase in anti-Asian violence where people are literally losing their lives.
We've all got more struggles ahead as we move into the latter part of 2021 but it's one step at a time. One day at a time.
A published novelist!