Friday, August 15, 2014

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo Blog Tour: Character Spotlight + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop in THE GHOST BRIDE by   Blog Tour hosted by The Mod Podge Bookshelf. Today on my stop we have a character Spotlight + an awesome Tour-Wide Giveaway.

The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride
"One evening, my father asked me if I would like to become a ghost bride..."

Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs. And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound.

Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family's only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price.

After an ominous visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor, but also by her desire for the Lim's handsome new heir, Tian Bai. Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits and monstrous bureaucracy—including the mysterious Er Lang, a charming but unpredictable guardian spirit. Li Lan must uncover the Lim family's darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family—before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.


Thank you so much for having me! My book, THE GHOST BRIDE, is a historical fantasy set in 1890s colonial Malaya (the old name for Malaysia where I come from) and is about a young Chinese woman who receives a marriage proposal for the son of the wealthiest family in town. The only problem is, he’s dead.

I had a lot of fun writing this book, based as it is on the rich Chinese literary tradition of ghost stories. These strange tales are set in the shadowy, elaborate Chinese ghost world, where nothing is as it seems and beautiful women turn out to be foxes. As a child, I enjoyed reading them and I also heard many odd stories about ghosts while I was growing up in Malaysia.

When people ask me who my favourite character in this book is, I have to say that one of my favourites is the unexpected one; the one who was supposed to be a minor character but kept showing up in surprising places. Er Lang is a mysterious agent of the Afterlife, whom the heroine, Li Lan, meets while she is disembodied and wandering around as a spirit herself. Initially I thought he would just be her guide and mentor, a faceless man in a bamboo hat whom Li Lan suspects of being a monster himself. However, like all the best characters, Er Lang decided to write himself. At least, that's the only way I can explain it!

Er Lang is actually a minor deity from the Chinese mythology - he appears in the famous saga of the Monkey King as the Jade Emperor's nephew who's constantly sent out to control the rebellious Monkey King, and he is also seen as a celestial engineer who controlled a flood. In my book, Er Lang is an ambitious young bureaucrat who is out to solve a case and make his name in the department of Heavenly Affairs. He's sarcastic and charming, and entirely too self-confident, for reasons which Li Lan will eventually find out. And yet, at the same time, he is the only one who never lies to her.

In fact, he got along so well with Li Lan (in an antagonistic fashion) that he kept popping up again and again and actually took over a lot of the plot that I had originally planned for another character, but whom I was having a lot of trouble writing in. In the end, despite his hidden face and monstrous origin, Er Lang is Li Lan's dear friend and comrade, and perhaps something more... I really enjoyed writing about Er Lang - he is an unexpectedly charming character and I hope that readers enjoy him too.
 Thank you so much for having me - it's been a pleasure!

[Photo caption: Er Lang from THE GHOST BRIDE, illustrated by Singaporean comic book artist Sonny Liew who is working on the graphic novel adaptation with me]


Yangsze Choo is a fourth generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. After graduating from Harvard, she worked as a management consultant and at a startup before writing her first novel. Yangsze eats and reads too much, and often does both at the same time.

Aug 4th Guest Blog @ Fire & Ice

5th Character Spotlight @ Pages From My Thoughts

6th Author Interview @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf

7th Recipe Reveal @ Pieces of Whimsy

8th Character Spotlight @ Gobs and Gobs of Books

11th Guest Blog @ A Dream Within A Dream

12th Recipe Reveal @ Bookish Things and More

13th Author Interview @ Bibliophelia, Please

14th Recipe Reveal @ Fantasy's Ink

15th Character Spotlight @ Addicted Readers

Event Organized By:


Post a Comment

I love meeting new people through comments, and I always try to comment back! Thanks for stopping by! :)