A little about me: I was born in California and raised near Washington, DC. I’m a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Before becoming an author, I practiced corporate and media law in New York City for a lot of years.

People ask whether my book is autobiographical. Well, I’m Chinese-American, and I’m a lawyer. After law school I landed at a big corporate firm in Manhattan. While my book is decidedly fiction, it was very important to me to write as realistic, authentic, and unvarnished a portrayal of corporate life — as experienced by a young woman of color — as possible.

Unlike Ingrid, the protagonist of my novel — who’s competing for BigLaw partnership — I left my big corporate firm to join a media and entertainment firm, and later became Associate General Counsel at a large media and entertainment company.

Obviously, having any full-time career while trying to write, revise, and land an agent and publisher for a first novel can be daunting. I wrote my book in fits and starts: in bits of stolen time, at odd hours, on the rare weekend off. I hoarded my precious weeks of vacation and spent them holed up, phone off, churning out raw chapters. I wrote in big, infrequent bursts of late-night or early-morning activity, unshowered, my hair in a messy ponytail, Diet Coke cans scattered everywhere.

So with my day job, family obligations, and all the Life Stuff that gets in the way, a lot of time went by when I wasn’t writing at all. Then one night, I attended an event (hosted by my old law firm) where the wonderful journalist/novelist Anna Quindlen was speaking. She pointed out the distinction between people who want to write, and those who merely want to have written.

I stood there in the back of the room, thunderstruck. She was talking DIRECTLY TO ME. In order to be someone who had written, I needed to actually write! Enough excuses about having a stressful job, family obligations, being too tired when I got home from work, being too scared to embark on a novel, etc.

I signed myself up for an “Intro to Fiction Writing” class. Like a lot of busy people juggling too many balls in the air, I work best under deadline. If I owed 12 random strangers 20 pages for class Tuesday night, you can bet I got those pages done! The homework pages I wrote for that class became the seed for THE PARTNER TRACK.

I’m thrilled that my first novel’s out in the world, and I’m very grateful to do what I love for a living. I don’t take a single moment for granted. Truly, this is a labor of love.