Interview: Lydia Kang, YA Author


Lydia Kang is an author of YA fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. She is a part-time internist and has a blog where writers can learn the most accurate way to maim their characters. She believes in science and knocking on wood, is an unapologetic salt addict and thinks Star Wars should have been Ewokless.

CONTROL, her YA sci-fi with romance and adventure, is coming December 2013 from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin). An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies. Add it on Amazon and Goodreads and keep up with Lydia on her website!

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn’t even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

“Control blew me away.”—James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy

Let’s see how Lydia answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
Knowing my family and friends are happy. Also when I feel, in my bones, that the majority of humans on this crazy earth are more good than bad.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
Holy cheezits, the only thing going though my brain right now is Air Supply. Oh, the pressure!

I have too many favorite songs, but I know my first favorite song as a kid (maybe preschool?) was Yesterday, by the Beatles. I thought it was deliciously depressing and dramatic.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to paint photorealistic portraits. Or do a back handspring. Either one.

On what occasion do you lie?
When I am trying to convince myself that one more Peppermint Patty is totally okay.

What is your present state of mind?
Full of convolutions. Seriously, that’s what everyone’s brain looks like.

What is your motto?
“I can’t complain. But I do.”

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Like mindedness. You can say things to them and they just get it without having to wave your arms around to illustrate your point.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“The bottom line is…”


*certain cuss words said in the privacy of my own mind*

Your favorite painting?
Anything by Rothko. Jules Bastien-Lepage’s Joan of Arc.

Jules Bastien-Lepage, 1879

Jules Bastien-Lepage, 1879

What is your favorite journey?
Becoming an author and becoming a mom. Creation is pretty fan-freaking-tastic.

Did you mean a real one? Then I’d say my trip to Europe with my sister when we were in college.

What is your favorite time of day?
The morning, just after I’ve had my caffeine.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Anne Elliot, from Persuasion. I’m pretty sure we’d be best buds.


What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
I’d want to know my family was happy. And have more than, say, 10 people read my book and say they liked it.

Who or what is your first love?
I would say making stuff. I was always possessed with this need to create things. Combination safes out of paper; sundials out of toothpicks. And now, books.

What’s the last dream you remember?
I went to a poet’s friend house, and his insistent Italian mom (he’s not Italian, I’ve no idea where that came from) made me pasta for lunch.

What’s your madeleine?
The scent of a humid, spring day in Maryland.

It’s my summer, it’s my childhood. It’s some terrible times when I was bullied, it’s the best forts I ever made in the woods. It’s the ruby red goblet I once found in a tangle of bushes. It’s picking raspberries off the bushes, it’s hunting for crayfish and looking for watercress and daffodils.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?

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