Camy Tang 

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her chick lit Sushi series is out now: Sushi for One?, Only Uni, and Single Sashimi. Next year she'll release Deadly Intent with Love Inspired Suspense. Originally from Hawaii, she worked as a biologist for 9 years, but now she is a staff worker for her San Jose church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service, which specializes in book doctoring. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels twice a week and ponders frivolous things. Visit her website at and sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for monthly giveways!

Multicultural Fiction is Fun!

Many people tell me, “I don’t know if I’d like your books because I’m not Asian,” or, “I don’t think I’d like your books because I don’t know any Asian people.”

To which I reply, “If you like fun fiction, it doesn’t matter if the heroine is Asian or African American or alien. Fun fiction is fun fiction.”

Growing up, I never read about Asian American characters. At the time, the trend for more multi-ethnicity in fiction hadn’t yet caught on for young adult fiction (does that give away how old I am??? LOL), so I read about people from several other American ethnicities: Italian Americans; Greek Americans; German Americans; Irish Americans.

I enjoyed the stories even though I didn’t really know what a matzah ball was or a dolma. The Internet hadn’t yet taken off then, either (boy does that date me or what?), so I couldn’t just get on my computer and Google it. (I did eventually figure it out when I went to the library, but the black-and-white pictures really didn’t make matzah balls or dolma look appealing.)

Even though I wasn’t Caucasian, I really loved those stories. I loved hearing about other American cultures so different from my own (although my mom didn’t take kindly to my whining about how she should cook her lasagna to make it more authentic rather than her usual method).

I also read mostly romances, and really, ladies, let’s face it, just like in movies and on TV, hunky guys are hunky guys no matter what their ethnicity.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t read multicultural fiction just because it’s multicultural. I have to enjoy the storyline and like the characters, too—a necessity for any fiction I read.

But when I do enjoy the plot and characters, it’s as if I become that character for a few hours. Actually, it’s a lot like when I read historical fiction—I become that character, immersed in that historical period.

Today, a large range of multicultural fiction types is available. Some are set overseas, which can give the reader a sense of culture shock, but much of current multicultural fiction is about American ethnicities, which have ethnic flavor but are still steeped in American culture. Readers can relate to much within the story and characters, but some differences exist to make the story atmosphere interesting.

No matter what your ethnicities, families and friends are all alike. I’ve had tons of letters from readers who tell me their Swiss or Norwegian or French grandma or mother or aunt is exactly like so-and-so from my books. (Most of them write to tell me they have another Grandma Sakai in their family, which rather alarms me because I had written Grandma Sakai as a composite of the worst stories I’d heard from my friends. Yikes!)

So if you haven’t tried multicultural fiction, why not give it a shot? Find a storyline you like and dive in.

Camy Tang Books