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Kyla Zhao Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Fraud Squad (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Valley Verified (2024)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kyla Zhao
Kyla Zhao was born and raised in Singapore, and she graduated in the year 2021 from Stanford University, with her MA in Communications (Media Studies) and a BA in Psychology.

Besides writing novels, Kyla also has an extensive magazine editorial portfolio. Previously, she was a lifestyle and fashion writer at Vogue Singapore. She’s also written for the Singapore editions of Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar, interviewed personalities like singer Nathan Sykes, and covered the Asian Television Awards. Her first magazine byline was for Harper’s when she was just 16 years old, giving brides to be advice on luxury wedding preparation.

Writing for magazines meant changing your writer’s voice to suit the vibe of the magazine, since at the end of the day, you’re writing for the magazine brand and not just for yourself. It also feels a lot like a sprint compared to the marathon which is writing a novel. She was writing a magazine article each day during her work experiences, yet she’ll spend years writing and editing just one novel.

Above all else, she hopes to champion Asian representation in her work and write the characters of color that she so very rarely got to read about when she was young.

Kyla still wants to try and understand why Californians adore Patagonia fleeces and hiking so much.

For “The Fraud Squad”, it felt like it just flew on by in the blink of an eye, yet it still took 2 and a half years from writing the first word down to her novel actually coming out. In her final year as a university student, she signed with such an amazing agent. And just one day before her 23rd birthday, she sent Kyla’s novel off to publishers, which felt like the start of this new chapter of her life.

She was fortunate that multiple publishers were interested in buying the novel, so her agent set this auction up where everybody could send in their best bid. Ultimately, Kyla went with Berkley (a Penguin Random House imprint) since they have such an excellent track record for novels written by writers of color and that star characters of color. She lucked out with such an incredible publishing team.

Each of her novels are inspired to certain extents by her own experiences at various stages of her life.

“The Fraud Squad” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2023. One working class woman that infiltrates Singapore’s high society in order to fulfill her dreams risks losing everything in the process, including herself, in this propulsive novel.

Samantha Song, for as long as she can recall, has dreamed about writing for a high society magazine, and she would do anything she had to in order to get there. However the constant struggle to help out her mom making ends meet and her low social status cause her dream to feel merely like some distant fantasy.

Now she finds she’s working at some drab PR firm. Living vicariously through Anya Chen (her pretty wealthy friend and coworker), is the closest that she will get to her ideal life. Up until she meets Timothy Kingston, who is the disillusioned son of one of the elite families from Singapore, and Samantha’s only chance at infiltrating the high society world that she desperately wants to belong in.

Anya and Timothy, much to Samantha’s surprise, each agree to help her make a name for herself on Singapore’s socialite scene. However the borrowed designer clothes and plus-ones to every glamorous event are just able to get her so far. The rest is on Samantha’s shoulders, and she is determined to impress the editor-in-chief of the poshest magazine in Singapore. However the deeper that Samantha continues wading into this fraud, the more that she fears getting exposed, especially with this mysterious gossip columnist out on the prowl for dirt, which forces her to reconcile her pretense with who she truly is before she loses all of it.

This is the perfect debut, filled with high society hijinks, high stakes, and all the joys that come with finding yourself. Kyla delivers an immersive, exquisitely fun, and cinematic unputdownable first novel which will transport you right into the lavish world of Singaporean high society. There’s an irresistibly relatable heroine and rather vibrant cast of characters, and introduces a daring and delightful new voice in Kyla Zhao.

“Valley Verified” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2024. A fashion writer dives into the cutthroat Silicon Valley tech world headfirst, her future threatens to unravel in this addictive novel.

Zoe Zeng has made it in New York’s fashion world, at least on paper. After a series of unpaid internships, she is now a fashion columnist at Chic, gets invited to exclusive industry events, and lives in a quaint apartment in Manhattan.

However life in New York City is not nearly as chic as Zoe had imagined. Her editor wants her to censor her opinions in order to please some bigger brands; she shares her “quaint” (more like small) apartment with three roommates that never let her store kimchi in the fridge, and how is she even supposed to afford the designer brands expected for those parties on such a meager salary?

Then this one day, she gets a job offer at FitPick, an app startup that is based in Silicon Valley. The office perks and tech salary are pretty sweet, however moving to the other side of the country and switching to a totally new industry? Not so very much. But with Zoe’s current career hitting a dead end, she accepts this offer and swaps haute couture for HTML and high fashion for high tech.

However she quickly realizes that in an industry that is claiming to change the world for the better, not everybody’s intentions are pure. With an eight-figure investment being on the line, she has to figure out a way to revamp the image of FitPick despite Silicon Valley’s elitism and her icy colleagues. Or the future of the company will go up in smoke, and hers along with it.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kyla Zhao

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