Monday, April 01, 2013

Guest Blog by Wesley Chu, author of The Lives of Tao - April 1, 2013

Please welcome Wesley Chu to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs.  The Lives of Tao will be published in the US/Canada on April 30, 2013, in eBook everywhere on April 30, 2013, and in the UK on May 2, 2013.


Sally was kind enough to give me the podium (hah!) so I really should talk about my upcoming book, The Lives of Tao (April 30th, 2013), right? Actually, I’m going to switch gears. Instead, I’m going to talk about the first time I bought a book.

A little background; I came over from Taiwan to the United States when I was five years old. English has a whopping twenty-six letters so it took me oh about a month before I became fluent, though I did piss off my kindergarten teacher for weeks because the only word I spoke was “No!” Very emphatically I might add.

English is a very tricky and inexact language though. The Bynars would hate it (geek points if you got that reference). My English professor father wanted to expand my vocabulary and become more fluent with English’s many nuances and inflections, so he took me to a bookstore and told me that he would buy whatever book I wanted. Of course, he steered me toward the literary section before he made the offer.

Instead, I made a direct beeline to the books with the pretty pictures and picked out two. One had a red funny-looking lion with a monkey face, wings, and a scorpion tail. Another had this old dude playing with a floating, glowing sword, and this guy in a short dress was staring at him. Super geek points if you can guess these books. For those who can’t guess, the two books were A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony and The Misenchanted Sword by Lawrence Watt-Evans.

English Professor Dad was not happy with my selections and tried to convince me to pick again. I think he wanted me to choose Tom Sawyer or Beowulf or something. I was adamant though. I wanted the lion and the shiny flying sword, damn it! Eventually, after much crying and pouting, he relented; a promise is a promise after all. Who knows? Maybe if I had picked up Machiavelli’s The Prince or Sun Tzu’s Art of War, I’d be a politician or an admiral today. I coulda been a contenda! Well, I would’ve had really bad grammar too. I mean, have you read The Prince?

But no, I chose the funny looking lion with the goofy tail, and thus began my decades long love affair with science fiction and fantasy, and Lauralanthalasa Kanan (double jeopardy geek points if you get this). Now thirty years later, I’m publishing my first Sci-Fi novel—if you don’t buy the book, at least come to my book release party May 4th!— so what’s the moral of the story?
  1. Parents, don’t let your kids pick the books if you have ulterior motives.
  2. Kids, what you read early on can really influence you.
  3. Red lions with funny looking tails are frigging cool.
  4. So are magic flying swords.
But really, being a month away from my debut, it got me thinking. It’s been a long journey toward publication and this whole process has been magical and life changing. And while I’m very thankful to my parents for encouraging me to read, I won’t gush because I already dedicated the book to them.

So instead I’ll thank Lawrence Watt-Evans, Piers Anthony and all those thousands of other authors who paved the way before me. You guys kick major ass. Sometimes, you think you’re just writing stories, but really, you’re building another kid’s dreams. So to all you sirs and madams, I raise a glass to you and say thank you and rock on.

About The Lives of Tao

The Lives of Tao
Angry Robot Books, April 30, 2013 (US/Can)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.

He wasn’t.

He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes.

Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…

File Under: Science Fiction [ The Tug of War | I Was Genghis | Diary of a Slob | Spy vs Spy ]

About Wesley

Wesley Chu was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Chicago, Illinois when he was just a pup. It was there he became a Kung Fu master and gymnast.

Wesley is an avid gamer and a contributing writer for the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. A former stunt man and a member of the SAG, he can also be seen in film and television playing roles such as “Banzai Chef” in Fred Claus and putting out Oscar worthy performances as a bank teller in Chicago Blackhawks commercials.

Besides working as an Associate Vice President at a bank, he spends his time writing and hanging out with his wife Paula Kim and their Airedale Terrier, Eva.

You can catch up with Wesley online at his blog:, or on Twitter: @wes_chu.


  1. 01011001 01101111 01110101 00100111 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01101000 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100111 01100101 01100101 01101011 00100001

    1. That was directed at Wes, yes? Though I'd love to get that on a T-shirt! :-)

  2. The fact that Eugene caught that reference so fast warms my heart.

  3. That is an awesome first-book-I-bought story. I spent so much time at the junior high school library, I honestly can't remember the first time I actually bought a book. Maybe it was college. I went crazy in the clearance books section.

    Yay for your dad's plan backfiring. Can't imagine the world without THE LIVES OF TAO. It's going to be another sci-fi landmark, I think.