Trang Thanh Tran writes speculative stories about food, belonging and the Vietnamese diaspora. When not writing, they can be found over-caffeinating on iced coffee and watching zombie movies. She Is A Haunting is their debut novel.
Our interview begins at 00:19
We've got a Substack publication now! On the last day of the month, we share recommendations for two things we reckon you should read/watch/listen to. The beauty of Substack is you can revisit all our old editions and comment on our episode updates to share your thoughts. Come say hi!
Caitlin recommends: The Trial by Laura Bates
An intense survival story about a group of teens stranded on an island after a plane crash. You'll be hooked from the start.
Michelle recommends: Homecoming by Kate Morton
A beautiful and moving novel exploring dark family secrets across parallel timelines in 2018 and 1959.
In this interview, we chat about:
- How 'zombie ants' inspired so many elements of the haunting explored in the novel
- How Trang revises her novels with a reverse outline spreadsheet and how this keeps tension and suspense throughout the novel
- The ongoing consequences of families being split by an ocean
- Feeling like an outsider in the country your parents called home
- Weaving in historical research (without it taking over the story)
- Exploring the relationship between 'expert' outsiders and marginalised communities
- How music inspires Trang's writing process
- Trang's journey to publication – within the year she'd allowed herself to explore writing
- How it felt to see a full Vietnamese name on the New York Times bestseller list
Books and other things mentioned:
- The Burning by Laura Bates
- Just the Gist's episode on the Trashman Yacht Sinking
- See the three covers of Kate Morton's Homecoming here
- The Last of Us (TV series)
- The She Is A Haunting playlist
Follow Trang @nvtran_
She Is a Haunting is available now. Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing us with copies in preparation for the interview.
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