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  • Eliza Chan

Looking ahead



2021 was a peculiar year. For most of it, I thought we were still in 2020 and was utterly confused to learn otherwise. I didn't have the time and energy to do a round-up until now, so although late, here it is anyway.


I only published one story in 2021, but it's the story of my heart "More Than One Zodiac in High School" over at Cast of Wonders. You can read or listen to the wonderfully narration by Rebecca Wei Hsieh.


2021 was the year I finally geared up to querying agents and that was a ride. I ended up in an incredible fortunate position of getting to choose from multiple agent offers and ended up going with Alex Cochran of C&W because he won me over with his enthusiasm, thoughtful comments and overall air of knowing what the heck he was talking about.


Writing has been a complicated affair. I was absolutely blind-sided by imposter syndrome after getting an agent and struggled to write anything new for a while. I had nightmares that it was all a joke or a terrible mistake had been made. Anxiety is a lark, isn't it? But I took some time out and focused on some non-writing projects just for myself and that really helped.


Favourite random events in 2021

Moderating a panel on Jin-Yong with Gigi Chang, Fonda Lee and Zen Cho at virtual Eastercon and (mostly) not losing my cool and just fan-girling over them all.


Taking part in the inaugural #APIpit at the eleventh hour and getting a decent amount of agent interest in my tweets. I have enjoyed watching #DVPit and other pitching events over the years but have never participated so really enjoyed being creative with these.


Going on a writing retreat with G.V. Anderson and Jess Hyslop where we wrote, talked shop and drank prosecco.


Favourite Film/ TV of 2021

Squid Game

I don't really think this needs an explanation but South Korean filmmakers are killing it on the social commentary front.


Arcane

If you told me that a League of Legends inspire animation would be one of the best things I watched in 2021, I would've laughed you off the internet. And yet here we are. I ship it.


Shang-Chi

Tony Leung, need I say more? Well you can read my Tor.com article on it in that case.


Encanto

I thought it would be Raya and the Last Dragon but Encanto ripped my beating heart out as I sobbed/sang "pressure like a drip, drip, drip that'll never stop".



Favourite Books of 2021

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

I love Zen Cho's contemporary fantasy more than anything and she took it to a whole other level in this book.


Sistersong by Lucy Holland

I haven't read a book based in British mythology and folklore in a long while and this really scratched an itch I didn't realise I had. The more modern way it addressed gender worked perfectly for me and I'm looking forward to the next one!


Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

I can only aspire to write a book 1/10th as good as this. A brilliant use of a first person unreliable narrator.


Circe by Madeline Miller

FINALLY got around to reading this and although it started slow for me, the evolution of Circe as a character was superb. By the end I was there, hook, line and sinker.







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