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crazy rich asians by kevin kwanI’ve always loved the word serendipity – in my estimation, one of those words that sounds like its meaning. And here’s the circumstance.

I’m writing a new novel. Now that isn’t surprising to any of you, is it? However, this novel is contemporary fiction rather than historical and I’ve been approaching it with some trepidation. My ‘brand’ is historical, my writing friends are mainly from the historical fiction community, I’ve conducted surveys on the topic, this blog is all about historical fiction – see what I mean?

The storyline deals with four expat women living in Hong Kong – the challenges involved with living in a foreign country combined with life challenges facing each of these women (money, sex, family etc.). Since one of my characters is of Chinese heritage – an American Born Chinese or ABC, as I’ve now learned – I wanted to explore an idea involving criminal activity in a Hong Kong based bank.

At my husband’s suggestion, I called a friend who’d had a senior role at a Canadian bank to ask about bank-related crimes. She had a number of ideas and when she learned that the setting is Hong Kong immediately told me I should read Crazy Rich Asians for context.

And here’s the serendipity. My mother had come to dinner two days earlier and brought with her several novels I’d given her to read – Mom is religious about returning books. Sometimes she “returns” a novel that wasn’t mine – and in this case, the novel she “returned” was Crazy Rich Asians.

Serendipity? You betcha. And I’m interpreting that as a clear indication that my next novel – East Rising Sun – is meant to be.

In case you’re interested, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is a fun read, full of larger-than-life characters living in a super-rich world you and I couldn’t even begin to imagine.

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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.