Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Q&A with Julie Tieu




Julie Tieu is the author of the new novel Fancy Meeting You Here. Her other books include the novel The Donut Trap. She lives in the Los Angeles area.


Q: What inspired you to write Fancy Meeting You Here, and how did you create your character Elise?


A: I love weddings and I always imagined that I would write a wedding-centric book. I was most inspired by the year several of my friends got married and I served as a bridesmaid for three. It was a hectic time, but it was so wonderful to celebrate with my friends over multiple events.


For Elise, I wanted to write a character who had a lot of grit and optimism. I think that’s necessary when running your own business and when your job requires to think on your feet when you’re on-site and problems arise.


Q: Did you need to do any research to write the novel, and if so, did you learn anything that especially surprised you?


A: I had the best time researching for this book. I essentially had to plan three weddings, so my research consisted of looking up wedding dresses, flowers and venues.

I also spent some time researching election campaigns and how politicians raise money. Ben, the love interest, comes from a political family. His mom is trying to get re-elected.


I wanted to find a position that was bigger than a local election but not as high that it would get national attention. So I focused on the California Assembly and I was surprised to learn how heated those elections could be.


Q: The writer Lauren Kung Jessen said of the book, “This heartfelt novel celebrates friendships and taking chances on yourself, and shows how people—and love—bloom on their own time.” What do you think of that description?


A: I think it’s a perfect description. It covers the theme of the book quite well and I’m glad it was received that way.


Q: How was the novel’s title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: I always liked the phrase “fancy meeting you here.” I’ve heard people say it to me when they’re surprised to see me or sometimes tongue-in-cheek because they were expecting me. In other contexts, it can be flirtatious.


I liked that it could hold different interpretations and it sets up a nice moment in the book.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m finishing Book 4, which is a contemporary romance between two former friends/lovers who reunite for the first time in 20 years at their high school reunion.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A:  With the holidays coming up, I have a few giveaways planned. The best way to hear about that is by signing up for my newsletter at my website: www.julietieu.com or following me on Instagram @julietieuwrites.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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