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Abigail Hing Wen Books In Order

Publication Order of Loveboat, Tapei Books

Loveboat, Taipei (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Abigail Hing Wen is a young adult fiction author from Washington DC. Wen was born to a family of immigrants with an Indonesian father and a Filipino mother. Her grandparents had been immigrants to Indonesia and the Philippines, having originally come from Shandong and Fujian provinces in China. Abigail was brought up in Ohio and then went to Columbia Law School and Harvard University. Like her lead character in her debut novel “Loveboat, Taipei,” she also attended the Loveboat program in Taiwan when she was a teenager. After graduating from law school, she found a job in Washington DC where she worked in the Senate. She would then become a law clerk for a federal judge before finally making it big working on artificial intelligence for venture capital organizations in Silicon Valley. While she was climbing the ladder in the corporate world, she still had an interest in authorship. During her free time, she attended the Vermont College of Fine Arts from where she got her writing masters. When she is not working on her novels, she loves to spend time talking long walks with her husband and two children, listening and dancing to music, spending time with extended family in the Bay Area and hanging out with friends.

Just like her character, Abigail Wen has had a multifaceted journey in her professional life. She went to Columbia Law School where she studied under Robert L. Lieff and Benjamin Liebman that were the foremost experts on Chinese law at Columbia. These two were a huge influence and she came to admire Ben Liebman for his creative ideas about the law which he imparted on her. She then went to the D.C. Circuit and worked for Judge Judith Rogers as a clerk before moving on to work in the corporate world. She joined Sullivan & Cromwell LLP where she worked on several legal dsciplines. She has also worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee on innovation policy and tech, on Competition and Business Rights, and the Subcommittee on Antitrust. Since 2008, she has been working in venture capital and tech in Silicon Valley, mostly because she felt the need to be closer to her family. While she was moving up the corporate ladder in tech and legal, she had been writing in her spare time. She got a lot of encouragement from her family, the interdisciplinary culture of the Law School and her husband that was also a graduate of the Loveboat program. She also cites the commencement speech of David Schizer the former Law School Dean who told her graduating class to go practice law and to do something else if they felt like it since the law degree is a bridge to a lot of things. The professor had given an example of a Columbia Law school graduate that had created the popular novel “A nightmare on Elm Street,” and this galvanized Abigail who had always wanted to become an author.

While she had the passion and will to become an author, it required a perfect balancing act between her legal and tech career and professional authorship. Over twelve years, she wrote several novels and none made it to publishing until “Loveboat, Taipei,” which just goes on to show why persistence is so critical. Asked about how she balances it all together, she believes that it is more about shifting rather than balancing. For instance, once she got her debut novel published, her manager at Intel shifted her into a role that was more focused on AI business development and leadership. This was a good move since it allowed her to exercise her imagination and was a less stressful role. Nonetheless, she has asserted that it has not been easy to make the choice between pursuing a career in the corporate world and as an author. It was a hard decision having to take a smaller role in Silicon Valley but her gut told her that she needed to do it if she ever wanted to make something of her writing career. Now that her writing career is chugging away nicely, she has come to a crossroads as she loves Artificial intelligence and working with her team but promoting her novel and working on writing projects is also very fulfilling. Even as she is still working full time in Silicon Valley, she still finds pleasure in writing and intends to fully pursue writing projects going forward.

Abigail Hing Wen’s debut novel “Loveboat, Taipei” is the story of Everett Wong, an eighteen-year-old who prefers to go by the nickname “Ever.” Wong is the daughter of Fujian immigrants that had moved to Singapore before finally settling down in Cleveland, Ohio. Like many Asian parents, they want their daughter to study and become a doctor. Ever had worked hard but had been rejected by several Ivy League schools before she got into Northwestern. But what her parents do not know is that all she wants to do is dance as she has enrolled at the Tisch School of New York University, where she intends to study dance. She is keeping it a secret but before she can inform her parents, they tell her that they have already paid for her to attend the Taiwan Chien Tan heritage program. She knows nothing about Taiwan except that it is a small island just off the Chinese mainland. Ever feels like attending the program would be like a punishment until she arrives. Like many Chinese teenagers, dating is something she has never been allowed to engage in while in high school. The program requires them to go to classes that are taught in Chinese and do electives such as martial arts, calligraphy, Chinese dance, and Chinese traditional medicine. While it is quite a strict program, anything goes in the dorms and at night as the teachers and counselors look the other way when the teens pair up and even sneak out to go clubbing in the night. Ever has a long list of the rules her parents made her adhere to. Now in Taipei, she ticks off each one whenever she breaks it. She loves the freedom but always feels guilty in her parents’ eyes whenever she does something she believes they would disapprove of.

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