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Member Spotlight: Abigail Hing Wen

author Abigail Hing Wen and an image of her book Loveboat Forever

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is how we convey our thoughts and lived experiences with others. Writing can evoke emotions and build out a universe. I was once part of a school program nicknamed Power of the Pen… as it turns out, that is exactly what my pen has been for me — where I’ve found my power. I’ve now penned three novels in the Loveboat, Taipei universe and worked on the film adaptation, Love in Taipei, which just came out worldwide on Paramount Plus in August. Loveboat, Taipei is a New York Times best selling novel which follows the adventures of 18-year-old Ever Wong from Ohio to Taipei to learn her family’s language and culture. But what she finds instead is a summer free for all, where the kids sneak out clubbing and the nightlife runs nonstop. Loveboat is actually based on a real program I attended after my freshman year at Harvard. It got its nickname from the 1970s show, because so many couples came out of it. It was an experience like no other, and I decided to capture it in the novels.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I work on multiple projects at a time, so I’m able to shift to another one when I need time for ideas to percolate. I’m also disciplined about writing — usually, except the past few months when I’ve been on tour for the Love in Taipei film adaptation and Loveboat Forever book launch! Being disciplined about writing means that ideas will get crystallized and I have more fodder to work with, which also helps.

What is your favorite time to write? Mornings, after a walk to school and with the dog, and I make myself a cup of tea or grab a chai latte.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Write what you know and only you can write, which is how you’ll make your own unique mark on the world. My first three novels (a series) explored my AAPI heritage, as well as what it means to pursue your passions while trying to honor your family. My next, stand-alone novel, Kisses, Codes and Conspiracies (Aug 2024) follows three teenagers on a caper and heist through Silicon Valley, where I live. I’ve never seen books like these before I wrote them, and for a long time, imposter syndrome prevented me from writing what I knew best. But the fact that these stories had never been written is exactly why they needed to be. What is your untold story or insight or unique way of blending worlds and themes?

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Diversity of voices is now more celebrated. I’ve worked in many industries, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Hollywood. And the writing community is by far the most forward-thinking, pushing and writing for a more just and equitable world. I love being a part of this community.

Abigail Hing Wen’s Loveboat Forever is out now with HarperTeen.