In today’s “Meet the Author” series, I have a Ana Huang, better known as ACRL37 on the social reading platform Wattpad. Her debut novel “All I’ve Never Wanted” gained huge popularity and audience in Wattpad. It has around 17million reads in Wattpad.
Ana, welcome to my “Meet the Author” Series. Thanks Ana for being here on my blog.
I m including Ana’s Bio and links to her books in the end. Come on, lets meet Ana and know more about her which is not included in Bio 😉
- What and who inspires you to write books?
I started writing stories to improve my English. Although I was born in the US, I grew up in a Chinese household that didn’t speak much English, and my mom encouraged me to write her English-language stories every day to improve my skills (though she told me she just wanted to read my stories at the time)! I found I really enjoyed creating characters and worlds, and so I stuck with it. As I grew older, my short stories turned into full-length novels, and writing became my favorite type of creative outlet.
Me: Wow!! I can totally relate and understand your need and pressure to improvise language abilities and it turned out so beautifully.
- When did you start your writing “All I’ve Never wanted & if we ever meet again -series” and how long it took you to finish those books?
I wrote All I’ve Never Wanted when I was sixteen. It took three or four months, but I didn’t share it with anyone until I posted it on Wattpad when I was college. I officially published it as an e-book a few years later.
I wrote the first draft of If We Ever Meet Again when I was nineteen and posted that on Wattpad as well. However, that was a decade ago, and my writing style has changed a lot since then. It took me years to rewrite If We Ever Meet Again for publication—I took a break from writing after college and had to ease my way back into it. But now that I’m back in the groove, I write much faster. I finished the sequel to If We Ever Meet Again, If the Sun Never Sets, in one month!
- You have a huge audience in Wattpad, did that impact your decision to become an Indie Author?
It did. Wattpad was a huge part of my development as an author. I had never shared my full-length stories with anyone before I posted on Wattpad—not even my family—and I was both shocked and humbled to see how many people liked what I wrote. Wattpad gave me the confidence to pursue a career as an indie author, and it’ll always have a special place in my heart.
- How did releasing “All I’ve Never wanted” in Wattpad help you (apart from audience)?
I released it as a serial, so a new chapter every few days. It was helpful not just for cultivating a community and an audience, but for the ability to receive instant feedback from readers. I learned a lot about what my target audience liked, didn’t like, etc. and that was super useful.
- What does literary success look like to you?
Writing a good story that resonates with readers and stays with them. I’ve never cared much about awards or the like. Of course, I wouldn’t turn down a New York Times bestseller spot! But nothing makes me happier than receiving a personal message from a reader who my books have impacted in some way. I’d also love to make a full-time living writing one day, so fingers crossed!
- How important is marketing a book in the present condition when every day we see new titles coming up? Any tips to Share?
I’m by no means an expert, but marketing is an important and necessary part of being an author. You can write the best book in the world, but if no one knows about it, then it doesn’t really matter. Personally, I think an email newsletter is the most important tool an author can have. It’s not as “glamorous” as social media, but we don’t own social media platforms. If they change their algorithm one day, we’re out of luck, so I’m focusing my efforts on building my newsletter through exclusive content such as bonus scenes that are available only to subscribers. I’m also dipping my toe into Facebook and Amazon ads. Other authors have used paid advertising with brilliant results, but I have a ways to go before I can offer any advice on that front!
- What’s you next book you intend to write?
Right now, I’m writing book three of the If Love series, If Love Had a Price, which tells Kris and Nate’s story. No specific release date yet, but hopefully I’ll have it out by late August or September.
- Do you still plan to continue writing in Wattpad?
Not at the moment. I’d love to turn writing into a full-time career and unfortunately, that means I don’t have the luxury of publishing free stories anymore, especially since I still have a day job and my writing time is limited.
- What is your work schedule, while you are writing? How do you jiggle with your family time vs writing time Vs job (I.e. if you do any other job apart from writing)? Can you make a living out of writing books?
I still have a day job so I have to take that into account. During my most productive periods, I write a chapter every weekday and three chapters or so on both Saturdays and Sundays. So eleven or so chapters a week. Of course, that isn’t taking into account social obligations, errands, writer’s block, etc., but that’s the ideal schedule. I live in a different city than my family and don’t have children yet, so I have more time to write than most. At the moment, my book royalties are a nice supplement, but I’m not making a full-time living yet.
- According to you, what is important to be a writer? Imagination to create stories or is it a narration that is important or anything else?
I think a good story is the most important thing. An ideal book would have a great plot and beautiful writing, but if I had to choose, I’d rather write a wonderful story that transports readers than write technically perfect but boring prose. That being said, improving one’s craft is a lifelong practice, so writers should always be learning and growing.
Some Random Rapid-Fire Questions
- Did you actually visit Shanghai for the first time as a part of your Foreign exchange program?
Yes! My first—and so far, only—trip to Shanghai was part of a foreign exchange program.
- Out of all the characters you have written so far, who do you relate yourself most to and why?
Farrah. We’re similar in a lot of ways—romantic with a touch of pragmatism, interested in creative pursuits, and equipped with a sarcastic sense of humor.
- What books defined your childhood or got you into reading?
Like a lot of people, I loved Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia as a child. When I was a little older, I became obsessed with the Sweet Valley universe—Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley University, Sweet Valley Middle. All of it. That series really defined my late tween/early teen years.
- What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influencers?
Lately, I’ve been on a historical romance kick and have blazed through most of Lisa Kleypas’ books. Right now, I’m in the middle of her Ravenels series. I also enjoy LJ Shen’s writing style, which is pretty unique in the New Adult romance space and is similar to the way I like to craft my words.
Me: They are amazing authors. I have read several books of both Lisa Kleypas and LJ Shen
- Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for certain scene in your book, any fun details that would enliven your page.
1-I can name the capital of every country off the top of my head.
2-Besides my day job and writing, I also have a travel blog (which I prefer not to name because I want to keep it separate from my author world for now). Many of the locations in my stories are places I’ve visited in the past.
3-Every character in If We Ever Meet Again is inspired by someone I know in real life. Several of them are inspired by my study abroad friends, though I took some creative liberties with their personality traits and eccentricities…
ME: Capital of all countries – Amazing!!. I think you will be surprised by how many readers want to know about your travel endeavors. We will wait for you to reveal it.
PS: I would definitely love to look at it, if you share it with me separately:) . Sorry readers
- I aspire to become
A full-time writer!
- Writing book for me is
Wildly entertainment, tear-my-hair-out frustrating, and completely worth it.
- Lastly, what else do you want your readers to know? Your interests and hobbies, your favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind (Apart from what’s in your bio)
I love reading and writing, but I also love photography, traveling, and fashion. I take a lot of travel and lifestyle photos for my travel blog, though the photos on my author Instagram are less curated and more “real.” I’m an extroverted introvert and range from exceedingly talkative to quiet, depending on my mood. I always need at least a few hours’ alone time every day, though, or I’d go mad.
Ana Huang is an Amazon best-selling author of Young Adult, New Adult, and contemporary romance. Her books often feature strong heroines, sexy heroes, and Asian American characters.
The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Ana started writing stories at age five to improve her English skills (thanks to her mom’s encouragement). She picked up her first romance novel at age twelve by happy accident and never looked back.
Besides reading and writing, Ana loves traveling and learning about new cultures. She majored in international relations and her travels often inspire her story settings. For example, her novel If We Ever Meet Again was inspired by her own study abroad adventures in China.
Ana lives in New York, where she prefers cafe-hopping, exploring the city’s hidden gems, and binge-watching Netflix with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s over taking advantage of the city’s nightlife. She doesn’t drink coffee (!) but absolutely lives for matcha and chai lattes.
YOU CAN FOLLOW ANA ONLINE AT
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/authoranahuang/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authoranahuang/
Have you read any of her books? if not, check it out. Did you like knowing about Author? Let me know your thoughts.