Today’s Focus Is the New Release:
Puppy Dog Tales by Author Liwen Y. Ho
I’m delighted to welcome Liwen Y. Ho, Author of Puppy Dog Tales, to my website today. There’s nothing better to warm your heart in February than chocolate, puppies, and newly discovered love.
Liwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA “Stay at Home Mom) and a writer by night. She penned her first children’s picture book, “A Rainbow of Nine Colors” in high school (now available at Meegenius.com). Our guest today has been writing for grown-ups for the past three years.
Liwen also enjoys writing about real-life matters, such as marriage, parenting, and faith. She tells me it’s because truth can be as strange and entertaining as fiction. Her work has appeared in various online publications, including Literary Mama and Mom Life Today, and she is a contributor at Start Marriage Right.
In her pre-author life, she received a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary. She loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. Liwen lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children. She blogs about her adventures as a recovering perfectionist at 2 Square 2 Be Hip.
Introducing Puppy Dog Tales – published in December 2016
Our guest author has produced a Puppy Dog Tales’s playlist, available now on YouTube that you can listen to as you read the book! I love to hear soft music as I read, Liwen. How did you ever come up with the idea?
I guess great minds think alike! I love music, too, and always have YouTube open while I write. One day I thought, movies have soundtracks, so why not make a playlist for a book? It’s a fun experience for me when I can find just the right song that matches what I’m trying to convey in a scene from a story.
I can’t think of a better premise for this Valentine’s story than bringing two diametrically different people together with a puppy. How did you come up with the idea for Puppy Dog Tales?
The male main character, Melvin, was a side character from one of my other books, True To You. One of my beta readers wished he could have his happily-ever-after, so I decided to give him one. I wanted to try my hand at romantic comedy, and what better way to drum up some funny moments than with an opposites-attract trope?
What was the most difficult thing to develop in Dr. Vivian Chu’s personality in Puppy Dog Tales?
The most difficult thing about bringing Dr. Chu to life was making her not come across as too harsh or judgmental of Melvin and showing that she has a big enough heart to overlook his flaws.
Do you have a favorite quote from the book?
If Sparkle hadn’t looked at her with his soulful eyes, she wouldn’t have let his owner come within a foot of her. Then again, she was the one who’d touched him first … and now he was touching her. She inhaled sharply as he lifted her hand. “Oh!”
“Does that hurt?”
“No,” she quickly responded in an effort to downplay her reaction. She wasn’t at all prepared for the impact his touch was having on her. A rush of heat flowed through her fingers all the way up her arm. This was bad, very bad. Like Carly Rae Jepsen bad. She’d just met this guy and he was already infecting her body like a catchy love song stuck on repeat.
The above quote is one of my favorites because it shows how Dr. Chu slowly, but surely, begins to fall for Melvin. You’ll have to read on further in the story to find out what song she was afraid of getting stuck in her head.
You have published other books. I giggled in delight when I saw that you have playlists for your “Taking Chances Series,” too. Tell us a little about this series.
I have playlists for all of my books! The “Taking Chances series” is like my firstborn child; the three novellas were my first attempts at writing fiction, so they are not as polished technically, but they have a lot of my heart in them. Each book is a standalone read and features characters from the other books (you can find Melvin in book 2). The whole series is about finding love in unexpected places and taking a chance on that special someone whom you wouldn’t have ever considered.
The “Seasons of Love” series of short love stories begins with The More the Merrier, and how a fake date impacts Health Blogger Alyssa Wu. I have always felt the best unions come from being best friends first. What was your biggest challenge writing this story?
Honestly, the biggest challenge was writing a winter-themed story in the middle of an August heat wave! That’s why ice-cream makes a big (and important) appearance in the story.
Tell us how your romantic husband influences your writing, especially during the month of love.
Aw! I’ve never been asked this question before; it’s a good one. My hubby was the first guy I ever kissed, and I waited a good 23 years to do so! I had always been the “last single girl standing” among my friends during college, but in retrospect, I’m thankful I only had to date one man to find the one to marry. David and I are complete opposites (surprise, surprise), and we complement one another well in all aspects, including romantically. He’s more fun-loving and nostalgic, while I’m more practical and square (haha). He reminds me of all the good and important things about love; the patient, gracious, and forgiving parts of it, and also the passionate part, which helps bring balance and depth to my writing.
In Seasons of Our Lives – Winter: Stories from WomensMemoirs.com, you have collaborated with other authors to bring together 100 inspiring stories. How did you grow professionally by working on this project?
This project was a writing contest I had the opportunity to participate in and win. The book was the combination of the winning entries.
How do you combine writing, motherhood, and the partnership with your husband and still have time for your pleasure?
Oh my, that’s a loaded question! Even though writing is my part-time job, it’s also for my pleasure and something I do that lets me just be me. It gives me an outlet for creativity and expression and helps keep me sane! I write whenever I can, when the kids are at school or after everyone goes to bed. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about what to write. I find that having my own thing (outside of being a mom and wife) helps me to be a better mom and wife.
If you could choose one character to spend a week in Hawaii with, who would it be and what would you want to see?
Oh my, I LOVE Hawaii! In fact, one of my stories, Tropical Kiss Or Miss, takes place there. I think I’d probably take along one of my favorite couples (sorry, it’s impossible to split them up!), Alyssa and Barry (by the way, I named him after one of my favorite superheroes, The Flash). Oh, or maybe Sam and Lucas (from Drawn To You) could go – they have so much chemistry it’d be fun to watch them! Regardless of who I’d bring, I’d just enjoy being on the beach and eating shaved ice and ice-cream with them.
Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know?
Although I’m an introvert at heart, I do love hearing from readers and getting to know them, so please feel free to get in touch with me!
Thank you so much, Peggy, for this excellent opportunity to chat with you.