Angela Yuen: pursuing her passion for writing by publishing book reviews

The charger account got the chance to interview Sophomore Angela Yuen about her involvement in external book websites. Angela writes literary reviews for several websites, including the Los Angeles Book Review and The Rumpus. Angela also explained that she may begin writing reviews for television shows soon, and would also like to write a book someday.

Q: How did you get into writing?

A: Well I’ve always been interested in writing, but in March of last year, I dislocated my right knee, and I could not play tennis. Usually I just focus on tennis. I play pretty competitively, but I took a break for a couple months so I started getting more into writing, and I started to email a couple websites and some of them agreed to publish my work.

Q: What kind of things do you write about on these websites?

A: I mainly do book analysis and review. I’m primarily interested in young adult fiction, so when I am done reading a book I will write my thoughts and analysis on it. It’s a little different from what I do in school because it is a lot more of your own thoughts and a lot less structured. Very often, I will write something and not know whether or not it is going to be published on the website. It is difficult because you want to know if it is going to be published. However, it also serves as a motivation to write at a higher levels

Q: How did you discover all of the different websites?

A: I read about these websites before I emailed them. Out of every ten websites only two will reply. It is certainly very difficult to get their attention.

Q: What is your entire writing process?

A: It’s a lengthy process, because I am not actually considered a top priority critic, like writers and professors. It often takes these websites a couple of months to get back to me, while other times I receive a response in a few days. Sometimes I will get an email and I will not even remember outreaching to them. I go through at least five or six edits I have written and the editors cut out a lot. I get heartbroken because I liked what you had written, but most of the time the time the editors are pretty reasonable with cutting my work.

Q: What specific books have you reviewed?

A: I recently reviewed The Fault in our Stars as well as I’ll give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I even had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Nelson, which was really cool.

Q: Why do you like reviewing authors like John Green?

A: I just want to talk about his work, how important it is, and when I write it I feel like I’m telling people how much I appreciate it, and I want publicity for him in a way. When I write about books I do so because the stories matter to me, so I want to write about them and advocate for them.

Q: How have you seen yourself change in the process?

A: This is pretty recent, but I have become better at taking rejection, because I waw rejected by a lot of websites. I’m also more willing to ask for things, because you never know what people will say. Just go for it if you want to write for a website then just email them. It doesn’t matter how big they are or if you think that you’re not good enough, just go ahead and ask. You never know.

Q: Do you plan on using your writing for future jobs?

A: Ideally, but it is hard because having a career in writing is really difficult. There is a lot of competition in the writing industry.

Q: Have you ever considered writing for the charger account?

A: I am considering it.