Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Interview with Pintip Dunn | Author of Dating Makes Perfect

Amanda: Give us a quick introduction to you. Published books, what you write, etc. 

Pintip: Hi! I am a Thai American who grew up in a small town in Kansas. From there, I went on to graduate from Harvard with an A.B. in English Literature and received my J.D. from Yale Law School. I’m a NYT bestselling author of YA fiction, and I write in a range of genres, from science fiction to contemporary thrillers to rom coms. My #ownvoices Thai YA rom com, DATING MAKES PERFECT, is my eighth book! 


Amanda: Favorite book you’ve published so far?
Pintip: Now, that’s not a fair question! It’s like asking which of my children is my favorite. Like I always tell them, they’re all my favorite.:

I will say:
FORGET TOMORROW and STAR-CROSSED are the books of my heart.
I cried the most while writing REMEMBER YESTERDAY.
MALICE was the most complex book I’ve ever written.  
DATING MAKES PERFECT, to me, is pure joy. 

Amanda: Most fun character to write? Favorite character to write? (Because they can definitely be different. ;) ) Hardest to write?
Pintip: Ha! I think I may have pre-empted this question with my last response. Winnie from DATING MAKES PERFECT was the most fun to write. She made me giggle — a LOT. I don’t think that’s ever happened while I was writing a book before. She ties with Callie from FORGET TOMORROW as my favorite character to write. Callie is probably the most similar character to me, and her story was so much my heart on the page. Most difficult character? Hands-down Alice, from MALICE. Not only was her story incredibly complex, but I also had to write her character from two timelines.

Amanda: Did you like to read as a child? Favorite book? Do you still have that book or reread it now?
Pintip: On my goodness, yes! I was the biggest bookworm. Seriously. I was the type of kid who got in trouble for reading too much, and my goal was to read every book in the children’s section of my library. (I came pretty close, too.) My favorite book was ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, but I haven’t re-read it in decades.

Amanda:  Have you always been a writer/storyteller? How did you start?
Pintip: I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I was six years old. I know because my first-grade teacher asked us what we wanted to be when I grew up, and I replied, “An author.” This response was surprising because I didn’t even speak English until I started school. (Thai was my first language, and the only phrase my parents taught me to say before starting pre-school was, “Can I use the bathroom?”) I didn’t speak much those first few years, since I was worried that the other kids would make fun of my pronunciation (which they totally did). I escaped by losing myself in fictional worlds. Even at that young age, the only thing I wanted to do was to create such imaginary worlds for others.

That being said, I didn’t write my first novel until after college.

Amanda: Do you write to music? If so, what kind? I love to hear about new music!
Pintip: I don’t, actually. This habit of not listening to music while I write stems from my days of dictation, which required total silence. More on that in question 8...

Amanda:  I know for me, there have been some funny stories since I’ve been deep in the trenches of writing. Like a realization about a work in progress or characters (the funniest has to do with the song Mirrors by JT.) Do you have any funny stories that you’d like to share?
Pintip: While I was writing DATING MAKES PERFECT, I visited my sister, Lana, for a week for a writing retreat. She would read the chapters as I wrote them, and I loved listening to her laugh as she perused the pages. I always say that Lana is the world’s best reader because she is so responsive. She’s definitely — by far — my biggest fan. One evening, my parents came over for dinner, and Lana proceeded to read aloud a scene between Winnie and her father. We all died laughing, because that scene was based on conversations that we’ve actually had with our father!

Amanda:  Do you have a typical process or any writing rituals? Anything you have to have with you while writing? (Besides computer, paper, typewriter, whichever…)
Pintip: I have fibromyalgia, which means that I can’t type on a keyboard without intense, debilitating pain. This condition started during college, so I had to dictate for about ten years (before I discovered a new method), and I hated every single minute of it. Luckily, when I got my first smart phone, I figured out that I could type on the small screen’s keyboard without pain, so long as the phone was locked in portrait position. (Even in landscape position, the keys are far enough apart to cause me pain.)

Thus, I’ve written my last eight books entirely on my cell phone.


Amanda:  Who is a character that has influenced you (not from your books)?
Pintip: Katniss, from THE HUNGER GAMES. This book changed my life. When I first started writing, I was hopping from genre to genre, trying to find the right place for my voice. After I read THE HUNGER GAMES, I knew I had found my home in the Young Adult category – and I haven’t looked back since.  

Katniss cared SO MUCH, and the entire story was built around her love for her sister. That showed me that I could also build stories around family love. All of my books have strong family bonds at its core, and DATING MAKES PERFECT is no exception.

Amanda: Which of your characters would you least want to go on a road trip with? Why? Most want to?
Pintip: Tough question. I love all of my characters, even the villains! Chairwoman Dresden, from the FORGET TOMORROW trilogy, is pretty nasty. Yes, she has goodness at her core, but I don’t think I’d be able to uncover that during a road trip. (It took until the very end of the third book to redeem her, after all!)

I’d probably pick Bandit from MALICE or Mat from DATING MAKES PERFECT to go on my road trip because they crack me up.

Amanda: Top three favorite books and authors right now.
Pinitp: CLAP WHEN YOU LAND, by Elizabeth Acevedo
FELIX EVER AFTER, by Kacen Callender
THE NIGHT CIRCUS, by Erin Morgenstern

Amanda:  Favorite writing craft book?
 Pintip: STORY, by Robert McKee

This or that:
Strawberry vs. Chocolate 
Poetry vs. Fiction 
First draft vs. Editing 
T. V. Show vs. Movie 
Book vs. Movie 
Hero vs. Villain 
Villiain vs. Anti-Hero 
Witch vs. Vampire 
E-book vs. Physical Book 
Tea vs. Coffee 

Amanda:  Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?
Pintip: I’m playing around with a couple projects, vastly different from each other. Both challenge me in a new, exciting way – which is always what I seek – and I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what happens. I also have a co-authored project in the works that I’m very excited about.   

 Amanda: Any last comments to share? :)
Pintip: DATING MAKES PERFECT releases on August 18!

If you like hilarious, heartwarming family dynamics and an enemies-to-lovers romance, I hope you’ll consider picking it up. Author Darcy Woods tells me she wants to date this book, and well, that’s one of the biggest compliments I could ever receive. There’s even plenty of mouth-watering Thai food in this story to create the perfect atmosphere!

Thanks so much for having me! This was such a fun interview!

A first-generation Thai American, Pintip Dunn grew up in a tiny town in Kansas. She went on
to graduate from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and to receive her J.D. at
Yale Law School.

Pintip is a two-time RITA® award winner and a New York Times bestselling author of young
adult fiction. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated
for numerous awards, including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and
a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. 

She's obsessed with penguins, and her childhood dream was to marry someone whose last name
is “Gwynn” — so that her name could be “Pin Gwynn.” Alas, she got stuck with Dunn instead,
but her husband and three children are worth the sacrifice.

They all visit Thailand yearly in order to stay connected with her family.

Social Media Links:
Website Facebook Twitter Instagram Goodreads

The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re
not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the
shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.

Until now.

In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech
twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by
vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of
the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.

In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin
(aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of
course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.
The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating,
and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice
balls at each other. And her parents love him.

If only he weren’t her sworn enemy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment