Writing Regencies and Author Origins with Camille Elliot (Camy Tang) Interview + Giveaway!

I am so excited that one of my all time favorite authors has released her first full length novel in nearly 5 years (or at least it seems that long)!  Read on to find out about Camy Tang's newest Regency series (writing under the pen name Camille Elliot) and how to win a copy of Archer!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Camy, here is her author bio: 

Photo of author Camy Tang, an Asian American woman with short dark hair wearing a pink blouse.
"Camy Tang writes Christian Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense as Camy Tang and Christian Regency Romantic Suspense under her pen name, Camille Elliot. She grew up in Hawaii but now lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She graduated from Stanford University in psychology with a focus on biology, and for nine years she worked as a biologist researcher. Then God guided her path in a completely different direction and now she’s writing full time, using her original psychology degree as she creates the characters in her novels. She was a staff worker for her church youth group for over 20 years and she currently plays on one of the Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit, spin wool into yarn, and is learning Japanese. Visit her websites at https://www.camytang.com/ and http://www.camilleelliot.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter."

Hi Camy! Thanks for visiting The Artist Librarian.  What made you start writing Regency Romance? 

Book cover of "Prelude for a Lord" by Camille Elliot
I have loved reading Regency Romances since I was 13 years old. I love the dresses and balls, the elegant culture and society, and the humor that often accompanies these love stories. My editor at my publisher at the time, Zondervan, knew about my love for Regencies and approached me about writing one under a pen name, so I jumped at the chance. My first Regency Romantic Suspense was Prelude for a Lord

I also fell in love with Regency set fiction as a teen!  It's all your fault, Jane Austen, haha! What inspired you to write the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series?

While I love Regency Romances and Jane Austen’s books, I also really love action movies. When plotting the rest of the series, especially in light of Sol’s clandestine job for the Crown, I realized that I really wanted to do a mash-up of Mission: Impossible in the Regency era! So I created Sol’s team of agents, some who used to work for the Foreign Office as spies and some who are civilians with unusual skill sets. And, of course, there will be lots of romance for each of the team members, as well as lots of action and suspense. 

Book cover of The Spinster's Christmas by Camille Elliot
Archer was such a fun read and I look forward to following the whole team (my full review will be posted next week in conjunction with Celebrate Lit's blog tour!) Why did you decide to do an epic serial novel? What exactly is an epic serial novel?

Originally I had written The Spinster’s Christmas, a Christian Regency Romantic Suspense stand-alone novel, and I had planned more stand-alone novels with Lady Wynwood and Sol as minor characters in each of them. However, as I began planning the series past that first Christmas book, I realized the storyline was becoming longer and more complex. I fought it for a while because it would have been a really long series—I even tried writing the next book as a stand-alone novel, but I wrote almost 90,000 words and I hadn’t even gotten to the 25% mark in the book! So I decided to structure the series like a Japanese light novel series, in which each book has a complete story arc, but there is an underlying story arc that runs through each of the volumes and isn’t resolved until the end. This is similar to the serial novels being published in the U.S., but those tend to be smaller installments of around 20,000 words, while each of the volumes in my series is around 100,000 words. I have already plotted the entire series and it will be 10 volumes, plus 1 side volume, 1 prequel, and a novella. 

I'm so thrilled that we will be getting 10 books in the Lady Wynwood's Spies series!  Also as a manga fan, I adore the illustrated version of The Spinster's Christmas because it really does give strong Japanese light novel vibes! How did you first become interested in writing? 

I’ve always loved reading, and my parents really encouraged me in my reading because both of them read a lot--my mom likes contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and suspense, and my dad likes science fiction and urban fantasy. One day, after reading Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey, I suddenly felt a burning desire to write my own fantasy book and I started work on it. I haven’t stopped creating stories in my head since. 

Ahhh, if you ever decided to publish fantasy, I'd totally be here for it! How great that your parents passed down their love of reading, I always enjoy seeing that as a librarian. What experiences in your background have contributed to your writing? 

Even though I loved writing, I set my writing down for several years because I felt God was telling me that I was more interested in fame than in writing for His glory. So in college, instead of majoring in English like a lot of writers, I majored in Psychology. It ended up being a really useful major because now when I write, I know how to make my characters seem very real and psychologically resonant with my readers. I’m not sure, but maybe that was God’s plan, for me to not be writing and so choose Psychology rather than English as my major, because He knew the Psychology degree would be more useful to me as a full-time author. 

It's always cool to see how clearly God can direct your path in hindsight even when you can't always in the moment ... Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey? 

Book cover of Sushi for One? by Camy Tang
At an ACFW conference (back when ACFW was American Christian Romance Writers), I went to the 
prayer room with friends and Brandilyn Collins prayed over me. I had been thinking about changing my ethnic-neutral characters to Asian characters but hadn’t told anyone about it, and certainly not Brandilyn. Yet as she prayed over me, she told me “write your heritage.” I knew then that God wanted me to write Asian American characters, which were scarce in the CBA at the time. I wrote a proposal for the Sushi Series, which was bought by Zondervan 18 months after that conference. If Brandilyn hadn’t prayed for me and told me that, I don’t know what direction my writing career would have gone.

Recently, I’ve felt God urging me to write Christian fiction for non-Christian women in Japan, which has a polytheistic religious culture. So I have started indie publishing and have been having my books translated into Japanese. I am slowly releasing the books in eBook and Print Book in international markets and I have been praying God leads hurting women to my books so that they can see what it is to trust in Jesus Christ.

Oh wow, I never knew that about your Sushi Series!  As one of the first (if not the first?) traditionally published CBA fiction series to feature a predominately Asian American cast and main characters, it really resonated to me to see part of myself "reflected" in those novels.  I don't know if you and your publisher get enough credit for how groundbreaking and ahead of it's time it was ... Lastly, if you had to pick only one Scripture verse for you as a personal theme, what would it be and why? 

I have a personal Scripture verse, John 12:32: (Jesus speaking) “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” It reminds me to lift up Christ in my writing, and He’ll be the one to draw people to deeper relationships with Him through my stories. It’s by His power alone that I write and that He accomplishes His purpose through me. 

Thanks so much for sharing part of your story with us, Camy and I look forward to the rest of Lady Wynwood's Spies! Here's the synopsis of Book #1, Archer and if it catches your interest, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below:

"She met him again by shooting him. 

After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends. But her perfect aim fails her, and her arrow hits a piece of paper held by Mr. Michael Coulton-Jones, whom she hasn’t seen much in society in several years. But strangely, her arrow tears a section of the paper with a partial symbol that looks eerily familiar to her. 

He met her again while searching for a killer. 

Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength. But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for. 

Now Michael, who had vowed to never again allow civilians to come to harm, must work with a nobleman keeping dangerous secrets, a human lie detector, a chemist, a fellow former spy, and the one woman he’s never allowed himself to get close to. And it is only this ragtag group that stands against a traitorous organization that could enable Napoleon to conquer the world."

Author Camy Tang has generously offered to gift one reader a copy of Lady Wynwood's Spies #1: Archer! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here! (Ends February 21, 2021) Rafflecopter giveaway here.


  1. Yay! Thanks so much for the interview, Jen! I love that I've known you for so long online!

  2. Thank you for the interview to get to know a new-to-me author. I am currently studying Japanese and learning hiragana and katakana. My best friend is from Japan and I want to be able to someday hold conversations with her in her native language. I am intrigued by this author's call from God to introduce Jesus to non-Christians in Japan and her books sound fun to read.

  3. I enjoyed Prelude for a Lord! I'm looking forward to Camy's new release!


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