Lydia Kang is one of my bloggy buddies, and a fellow member of the Write On to Build On group.

I stumbled upon her amazing blog The Word Is My Oyster and was immediately hooked by her Medical Monday series, where she writes posts to help writers create more realistic medical scenarios.

Lydia is not only an author, she is prolific blogger, a medical doctor, wife, and mom of three. I am in constant awe of how she juggles all the roles she has to play in life. She is a total rockstar in my book.

Here’s a bit more about Lydia, from her author bio on

Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband, three children, and a terrarium full of stick bugs.

Lydia is represented by Eric Myers of the Spieler Agency.


Without further ado, I present the amazing Lydia Kang!




 The Amazing Lydia Kang


 1.    Tell us three random, unique, or weird facts about yourself.

I used to be a fan of mixed-martial arts fighting. George St. Pierre was my favorite.

I went through a grunge phase (like the rest of my friends in the 90’s) and crowdsurfed the mosh pit at Lollapalooza.

I can crochet itty, bitty snowflakes out of white thread.


2. You are an internal medicine physician by trade. What prompted you to take the leap into the wonderful world of writing?

I always wanted to write, but didn’t know how. I got involved in a writer’s group that combined doctors with poets and writers, and the spark went from there!


3.    What inspired you to write Control? How did Zelia’s story come about?

Zelia’s disability, Ondine’s Curse (or Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome) was rediscovered when I was studying for my Internal Medicine board recertification. Also, I wanted to write about kids with mutations, but in a more scientifically sound way than imagined in the X-men mythology.

4.    CONTROL features characters who have modified genes that give them special abilities. Which of these special abilities did you enjoy writing the most? And what “superpower” would you love to have if you were given the chance?

Wilbert’s is my favorite, because I would get so much writing done if I didn’t have to sleep! I had a lot of fun imagining his trait.

 5.    Zelia’s story is set in Neia (the combined states of Nebraska and Iowa) in 2150. How did you come up with this particular setting for your novel? Magpods and styling wands are pretty cool, but what particular element of your futuristic society did you enjoy writing the most?

I came up with the idea of the clustered states by watching a lot of the news. Politics have always divided our nation, so I considered a country where everyone with the same beliefs just clustered together in particular states. My favorite fictional technology are the efferents—they’re like microwaves where you preload food, then punch in what you want and get it immediately.

6.    If your books were to be made into a movie, which scene would you be most interested in seeing live on the big screen?

Probably the scene under the agriplane towards the end of the book—I’d love to see what the cityscape looked like!

 7.    What books and movies inspired your love for Sci-Fi? Would you ever consider writing in another genre?

I love sci-fi and was influenced by movies, like Blade Runner, and current YA sci-fi, like Beth Revis’s novels. Yes, I would, and I do write in other genres! I’m having fun writing fantasy right now, but I’m thinking of doing more historical and gothic stuff.

8.    Tell us about your path to publication. What is the coolest thing about being a published author?

Control is my third book. I suffered through a lot of agent rejections before I landed an agent and a publishing deal. So yeah—I had a lot to learn and learned it during every spare moment of my time for the last several years. The best thing about being an author is getting my book into the hands of people who don’t know me at all—perfect strangers. That is a trip! Also, I love being friends with other authors. It’s one of the best perks of being an author.

 lydia kang omaha magazine modified

Lydia Kang, photograph by Bill Sitzmann, as featured in the Omaha Magazine

9.    What’s your typical day as a writer like? Do you have any writing-related rituals or quirks?

I check all my email and forums and social media before I can sit and write. Also, I have to listen to music.

 10. You were many hats: author, physician, blogger, wife, and mom among other things. How do you manage to juggle all the responsibilities of each role? Do any of these roles influence your writing?

My doctor work definitely influences my writing, but overall, I’d say just living to my ripe old age (not going to tell you how old!) gave me some life experience that I needed for my writing. How do I juggle? Well, I’m a part time doctor, which allows more time for writing!

 11. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?  Any hobbies, sports, or crafts you like to spend time on?

I used to play piano, draw, knit, crochet, but most of that has been gobbled up by writing now. I love yoga though. I do that to keep in shape.

12. Are you a plotter or pantser? Are there any specific writing tools (books, software, a specific pen J ) you use to work on your novels?

I’m a plotter for the major events of the story, but I pants my scenes. I use Scrivener and love it.

 13. CATALYST, the sequel to CONTROL is scheduled to come out in 2015. How far along are you in terms of writing CATALYST? Are you currently working on any other projects?

Catalyst is in edits right now with my editor. I’m brainstorming my next book right now.

14.  What advice would you like to give to writers on the road to publication?

Read a lot in your genre, and be open to criticism.

 15.  What would you like to say to your young readers? Is there any advice that you would like to give them?

Here’s advice that I need to take myself, given that we’re inundated with electronics and social media. Don’t forget to live. Take a few minutes of every day and just see the world around you, without filters, without hashtags. Just…be.


Find Lydia Kang on the Web:




And follow her blogs:

The Word Is My Oyster

The League of Extraordinary Writers

The Lucky 13s

The Class of 2k13



Come back this Friday for the final part of the Spotlight Week, where I give away a copy of CONTROL.

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5 Responses to “Spotlight Week Author Interview: Lydia Kang”

  1. Loved the interview and CONTROL. And Lydia’s advice to remember to live life is so right on.

  2. Great to read this interview. How fascinating to be able to take your knowledge of medicine and turn it into books. I want that no-sleep-needed gene.

  3. Clustered states – interesting idea.
    I really can’t picture you crowdsurfing though. You had a wild side!

  4. mooderino says:

    Great interview and very interesting too.

    Moody Writing

  5. You must have been excited when St. Pierre was cast in Captain America Lydia! He’s amazing. It’s great that you went through the rejection and came out on top. Congratulations! Thanks for the interview Nutschell.

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