Q&A with Eddy Boudel Tan

Eddy Boudel Tan - muralOne of the greatest things about the writing community is meeting other authors from all over the world. But there is still something special about meeting one in my own hometown.

That’s Eddy. A kindred writing soul from right here in Vancouver. We first connected over potential launch party venues in our fair city (before the pandemic made parties a no-no) and since then we’ve been connecting and sharing our debut experiences on social media.

Eddy’s writing depicts a world much like our own — the heroes are flawed, truth is distorted, and there is as much hope as there is heartbreak. ​As a queer Asian Canadian, Eddy celebrates diverse voices through his beautiful books.

His debut novel AFTER ELIAS came out on September 12 in Canada and October 6 in the US and Internationally. I highly recommend you order your copy ASAP.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I often say that I started writing as soon as I learned how to pick up a pencil. I do tend to exaggerate, but the truth is I was very young. I was probably no older than nine when I “wrote” my first “book”—a mystery handwritten in a Hilroy notebook, inspired by the Hardy Boys books I loved at the time. I remember it involved a haunted mansion, and I illustrated a swinging chandelier for the cover. Funny enough, the sequel to that book was set in Mexico, same as my first professional novel being published nearly three decades later. 

What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was getting published?

I drank a big glass of water. When the call ended with my agent, I was just buzzing with nervous energy. It’s still a bit of a blur, but I’m pretty sure I called my husband once I was hydrated! 

How long did it take you to write your debut novel?

The first draft was written in about four months, but it took another three or so months for it to be in a state that was ready to share with anyone other than my husband. It has been refined since then, but the overall tone and structure of the story hasn’t changed much at all—except for the first chapter, which I must have rewritten at least ten times. 

What does your writing schedule look like?

I fit writing in whenever I can find the time, mostly in the evenings. When I’m in the midst of writing a novel, I tend to become quite fixated on it, and it devours every spare minute. My favourite time to write, though, is weekend mornings with a warm coffee by my side and the entire day spread out ahead of me. 

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk or habit?

I do this weird thing when I edit. I always read the sentences aloud to hear the rhythm of the words, but if something sounds off or I get interrupted, I have to reset the rhythm in my head. I do this by making strange noises, often clicks with my tongue or whistles. It can sound quite musical! 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Probably the thrill of creating such fully formed characters that I can trust them to guide the story, to a certain extent. There have been many times in which I’ve had to deviate from the plot’s outline for this reason, or I’ve had to give a supporting character a more prominent role because they demanded it. And yes, they can be demanding. 

What is your biggest writing-related dream?

I’m a lover of theatre, and I even wanted to be an actor once upon a time, so my ultimate dream would be to see one of my stories produced for the stage. If you’re reading this and looking for material for a production that’s filled with heart, drama, tragedy, and tenderness, I want to speak with you! 


9781459746428_After Elias_COV_front

When the airplane piloted by Elias Santos crashes one week before their wedding day, Coen Caraway loses the man he loves and the illusion of happiness he has worked so hard to create. The only thing left behind by Elias is a recording of his final words, and even Coen is baffled by the cryptic message.

Numb with grief, he takes refuge on the Mexican island that was meant to host their wedding. But as fragments of the past come to the surface in the aftermath of the tragedy, Coen is forced to question everything he thought he knew about Elias and their life together. Beneath his flawed memory lies the truth about Elias—and himself.

From the damp concrete of Vancouver to the spoiled shores of Mexico, After Elias weaves the past with the present to tell a story of doubt, regret, and the fear of losing everything.



Eddy Boudel Tan - colour

Eddy Boudel Tan is the author of After Elias (Fall 2020) and The Rebellious Tide (Summer 2021). His work depicts a world much like our own—the heroes are flawed, truth is distorted, and there is as much hope as there is heartbreak. He’s currently working on his third novel from his home in Vancouver. 

Instagram: @eddyautomatic

Twitter: @eddyautomatic

Facebook: @eddyboudeltan

Website: EddyBoudelTan.com 


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