Join us this month as we dig into The Imperial Alchemist and ask author A.H. Wang questions about her process, her characters, the plot, and everything in between. Check out part 1 and part 2.  What was the most challenging thing about writing The Imperial Alchemist?

The Imperial Alchemist is my debut novel. Actually, it’s the first thing I’ve ever published. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of something of a less ambitious scope than a 98,000 word novel for my first attempt at publishing, but according to my parents I’ve always had a habit of biting off more than I can chew since I was a kid. I think writing this book was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my creative career (I also work as a visual artist), and the most crippling thing for me was the constant self doubt during the whole writing process. I am now learning to approach writing the way I approach painting: in layers, with draft upon draft, instead of trying to get it ‘perfect’ the first time around. This has been a most monumental shift for me and I hope it’s going to make the next book a bit easier to approach!If you were to go on a date with your book what would you eat/drink and where would it be at? 

Oh this is a difficult one, because of my gluttonous appetites! I think the ideal spot would be out in nature somewhere, lying on a blanket with a picnic lunch (I’ll be happy as long as there’s chocolate involved).

If you had the chance to take the elixir of life, as it appears in The Imperial Alchemist, would you do it?

Well, it would be nice to have the healing abilities, the agility and the speed that Charlie has, especially as I get older now and my body definitely feels it. But I think one lifetime is plenty for me! I’m not sure I want to deal with the long term emotional baggage, and maybe that’s why our bodies are designed to decay and die – so that we can wipe the slate clean and start over again, if you believe in afterlife 🙂

Have another question for A.H. Wang? Submit it here!

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