Sunday, January 24, 2016

Interview with the Author: Liwen Ho

I recently had the opportunity to interview Liwen Ho and review her short story called The More the Merrier. She and I connected through an online community at because we both write books that fall into the New Adult (18-30 year old characters) genre/category and we’re trying to connect with other authors who write ‘clean’ stories.

The New Adult genre has been notorious for novels that have been a little risqué and those of us who write in this category are trying to change that perception. I personally write stories that are New Adult Contemporary Christian Romance, but Liwen Ho’s stories are more New Adult Contemporary Clean Romance.

I loved The More the Merrier, and I’ll include a book review at the bottom of this post, but first I want to focus on Liwen and her experience with writing New Adult fiction.

Julie: Did you know that the New Adult genre existed (characters in the 18-30 year old age range)?
Liwen: I don’t think I knew about the NA genre until after I published my first novella in 2014. When I did find out about it my impression was that it was specifically for books written about college-aged characters, but now I know the range extends to 30 year olds, too (my books feature characters in their 20s).

Julie: Did you purposefully write your novel(s) as NA? or did they just happen that way?
Liwen: I do intend for the characters in my books to be in their 20s because I really enjoyed my 20s (AKA, my life before kids!). That decade of life is so full of opportunities for personal growth, which in turn provides lots of good ideas for stories.

Julie: How many NA novels do you have available for purchase right now? How about in the works?
Liwen: I have two novellas in my Taking Chances series and one winter-themed short story available on I’m currently working on the third novella in the series, which I’m super excited about sharing with readers.

Julie: What has inspired you to write NA novels?
Liwen: When I need inspiration for a book (or a reminder of what it’s like to be young again!), I watch a teen/young adult TV show or movie. I also love music (including teen pop), and listen to romantic songs while I write.

Julie: Do you have other genres that you write as well?
Liwen: I am working on a sci-fi/romance book with my hubby (and putting our marriage to the test! haha), which will be my first in that genre. I also have one children’s picture e-book out called A Rainbow of Nine Colors.

Julie: Do you publish through a traditional publisher or as an independent?
Liwen: I am an indie author and do all my own publishing and marketing, although I do have a wonderful designer who makes my book covers.

Julie: What do you find is the best way to advertise your books?
Liwen: The best way I’ve found to advertise my books is through social media. I recently participated in a couple of author meet and greets online that were organized by different writer groups I’m a part of on Facebook. They were great opportunities to meet potential readers and introduce them to my books.

Julie: Do you have a blog that readers can follow? A website? Both?
Liwen: I have a blog,, where I write about my life as a recovering perfectionist. I’m also active on my Facebook page: and semi-active on Twitter: @2square2behip

Julie: Give us a ‘back cover’ description of your book:
Liwen: Here’s the back cover description for my book, The More The Merrier:

Fed up with a string of bad blind dates, health blogger Alyssa Wu just wants to drown her sorrows in ice cream. But there’s one more evening she must endure - a fake date with her best friend Barry Chang. They must convince her family they are in love, an act which may (or may not) be easy to pull off, thanks to the magic of some mistletoe.

This 10,000 word short story is perfect for your lunch break, workout or while you wait in line at the mall. Read it today to get in the Christmas spirit any time of the year! 

Julie: I was confused about the title. Other than the cute reference to ice cream on the last page, was there other significance to it?
Liwen: Regarding the title, it also references the "more" that Barry brings to Alyssa's life in terms of fun and a different perspective on life (i.e. There's more to life than money and status).

Julie: That really helps! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with my readers. I enjoyed reading The More the Merrier and look forward to reading more of your stories!
Liwen: Thank you for reaching out in the CIR group and for this opportunity! It's so nice to meet another NA romance author!


Book Review of The More the Merrier by Liwen Ho

I loved The More the Merrier by Liwen Ho and I wished it were longer! I know, I know, it’s called a ‘short story’ for a reason, but I really wanted to get to know the characters even more and delve into their lives. Liwen did a great job with character development, because I feel like I can really picture them in body & mind. I loved the ‘boy next door’ aspect of the story and how they were best friends before they fell in love. The best person to fall in love with is your best friend! I asked Liwen about the title because I was a little confused by it. Other than the cute reference to ice cream at the end, I wasn’t sure what she meant by the more the merrier. She told me that it’s in reference to the ‘more’ that Barry brings to Alyssa’s life in terms of fun and a different perspective on life. In other words, there’s more to life than money and status. She’s so right about that! I look forward to reading more stories by Liwen. Have you read The More the Merrier by Liwen Ho? What’s your opinion? –Julie L. Spencer