In 2015 Lindsay Wong joined Humber's Creative Writing - Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry program, where she worked with author-mentor Jami Attenberg. Her memoir, The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family, will be published in the fall of 2018.
Tell us about your book/project. How did it come about?
I initially began The WOO-WOO as my thesis in the MFA program at Columbia University. It came out of a chaotic time in my life, when I had just moved to New York and was trying to make sense of my childhood and weirdo upbringing.
My agent and I were getting rejections from publishers who kept saying the book was "too dark" or the voice was unrelatable, so I began to work on a collection of short stories--which is what I wrote during the correspondence program at Humber. Learning to write short fiction, especially magical realism, was such a revelation--it was an incredible relief to be able to take a breather from many of the difficult themes in my memoir.
How did you find the experience of working with your writing mentor? What insight into your writing did you gain through the mentorship process?
I loved working with Jami Attenberg. She’s brilliant, insightful, and delightfully honest. She gave me some fantastic career advice. I was devastated about not having a book published, but she kept telling me that it would eventually happen. She also corrected a ton of poor writing habits that I had developed. I had somehow picked up overwriting/over describing and generally being lazy with language and structure, and she was like, "What are you doing? You can do so much better."
Congratulations, Lindsay, on your upcoming publication. The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press and is available for preorder.