Something I tried not to advertise too much was that I got an early eARC copy of These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong and I loved it! It was such a great read in August, my review will be up sometime next month in anticipation for its publishing — and I also had the chance to interview Chloe Gong about it, thanks to The Nerd Daily! To spread some of the love, I thought I’d include another excerpt of the interview here for you guys to read – I loved all her answers and…she’s kind of iconic (her twitter and tik toks are blessed).
In case you guys didn’t know, a very hyped up book is awaiting its publication day in November and we absolutely loved it! Set in 1920s Shanghai, These Violent Delights is a Romeo & Juliet retelling with a gangster twist and is a debut novel that’s not one to miss. In anticipation for its publication, we got the chance to chat to Chloe Gong, the young author herself, about her experience publishing her first book and what inspired this immersive novel filled with rival gangs and a deadly monster. Read on to find out!
Hi Chloe! Congratulations on your debut novel!! Can you describe in 3 words how it feels to have your debut novel about to be published?
Exhilarating, thrilling, humbling.
Other than your love for Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, what inspired you to write this book?
Before I decided that this book would be a reimagining of Romeo & Juliet, I had the first sparks of an idea about a blood feud, and two people caught on opposing sides who hated each other so completely that it almost felt like love. I’m also a very visual-oriented writer where I need to see everything in my head before I can put it onto the page, so when I tried visualizing the concept of two enemies working together—and all the tension that occurs as a result—what came to me was a blood-soaked, glittering city. Since I already had some interest with 1920s Shanghai, I gravitated toward it immediately, and was inspired to tell this story in that setting, and then this book came to be!
The 1920’s Shanghai setting is certainly fresh and unique in the YA scene, were there any particular places that inspired the locations in the book?
Yes! The Bund and Great World are two locations that appear in the book that are still around as tourist destinations today. They have certainly changed a lot since the 1920s, but the Art Deco aesthetic is still preserved in a lot of modern-day Shanghai, which made my job easier when I visited to get a feeling for the 1920s vibe. Chenghuangmiao is another place in the book that’s around today, and probably the one with the closest resemblance to how it was back then because it’s still just as crowded with food stalls and entertainment booths!
Are you guys looking forward to this debut release at the end of the year? Let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂
Until next time,