It’s my stop with MTMC Tours to talk about Love & Other Moods by Crystal Z. Lee!
I finished this beautiful book a few days ago and it’s a coming-of-age story set in contemporary China, about falling in love, learning to adult, finding strength, and discovering one’s place in the world. It’s one of those “slice of life” books and it follows Naomi Kita-Fan as her life plans dissolve in her face when she finds out her fiancé is cheating on her and has no idea if living in Shanghai will reinvent her or break her.
I’m excited to be interviewing the author, Crystal Z. Lee! Also there’s a giveaway happening over on my instagram. 🥰💛 Hope you enjoy the post!
Love and Other Moods is a coming-of-age story set in contemporary China, about falling in love, learning to adult, finding strength, and discovering one’s place in the world.
Naomi Kita-Fan uproots her life from New York to China when her fiancé’s company transfers him to Shanghai. After a disastrous turn of events, Naomi finds herself with no job, no boyfriend, and nowhere to live in a foreign country.
Amidst the backdrop of Shanghai welcoming millions of workers and visitors to the 2010 World Expo, we meet a tapestry of characters through Naomi: Joss Kong, a Shanghai socialite who leads an enviable life, but must harbor the secrets of her husband, Tay Kai Tang. Logan Hayden, a womanizing restaurateur looking for love in all the wrong places. Pan Jinsung and Ouyang Zhangjie, a silver-aged couple struggling with adapting to the ever-changing faces of their city. Dante Ouyang, who had just returned to China after spending years overseas, must choose between being filial and being in love. All their dreams and aspirations interweave within the sprawling web of Shanghai.
Crystal Z. Lee is a Taiwanese American bilingual writer and a member of the Asian Authors Alliance. She has called many places home, including Taipei, New York, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She was formerly a public relations executive who had worked with brands in the fashion, beauty, technology, and automotive industries. Love and Other Moods is her first New Adult novel. Her debut children’s book is forthcoming in 2021. Find her on Goodreads and Instagram.
I lived and worked in Shanghai for nearly a decade. Shanghai felt like a city on steroids; there was always something exciting or bizarre going on. It’s also one of the most international and fastest-developing metropolises, and every day I was meeting somebody with a unique background and story. I also became obsessed with the city’s history, its stunning architecture, and its myriad of delectable cuisine. The city itself and its people provided endless inspiration.
The main character of Love and Other Moods is Naomi Kita-Fan, a Japanese-Taiwanese-American who moves from New York to Shanghai with her fiance. Her wedding dreams are soon dashed and she must learn to step out of her comfort zone. This is a coming-of-age story, so we journey with Naomi as she experiences growing pains, discovers her place in the world, and along the way, falls in love.
I moved to Shanghai in 2005, and since then have dreamt about penning a novel set in Shanghai. I didn’t start writing it until about a decade later though. From the first draft to published book took about five years.
Dante Ouyang. He is the one of dreamiest Chinese men you’ll ever meet. Dante is an architect and also a culinary enthusiast. For dinner we’d go to Xin Jesse in Shanghai, one of the best restaurants that serves authentic Shanghainese cuisine. After dinner we’d go on an architectural tour. He’d point out all the art deco elements in the city because that is his specialty.
I have two young children who tend to sneak into my writing nook and misplace my papers and books. Needless to say, my writing space can get messy! I don’t always write in the same exact spot. Whenever an idea pops into my head I jot it down anywhere. I always have pens and paper in my purse!
I love that Shanghai is a city of contrasts. You can see its history and modernity coexisting everywhere in that metropolis. There are ancient temples right alongside skyscrapers, traditional food stalls outside of fancy restaurants. It’s a city that attracts people from every walk of life, from all corners of the globe.
Least favorite process is pitching the manuscript.
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