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Why Should You Read The Lives of Tao? An Interview with Wesley Chu

   Hi, Wesley! Thank you for coming and I hope you are ready for the interrogation interview?

In one sentence, what your book is about?

The Lives of Tao is a modern day sci-fi about an overweight loser who is inhabited by an ancient alien, and is drafted, kicking and screaming, to train and fight a war over control of humanity’s evolution. And cake. Okay, fine, the cake is a lie.

Where did your ideas for The Lives of Tao come from and how long did it take you to write this book?

The Lives of Tao is my first serious attempt at publication. I had previously written a 180k word monstrosity called Woes, Toads, and Crossroads. Yes, we shall never speak of it again. It was inevitably trunked but I learned so much from it that it made writing The Lives of Tao possible.

 I began working on the manuscript on and off in 2007 while *cough* being an officer in a World of Warcraft raiding guild. It wasn’t until Wow and I broke up for the 4th and final time that I began to take writing seriously. By the way, being an officer in a Warcraft raiding guild should be a requirement for future leaders. The amount of tolerance to BS a person develops is amazing.

If the aliens could really possess our bodies who do you think will be safe from possession or what type of person would they look for?

First of all, no one is technically safe. If you’re in the vicinity of a Quasing and they want to possess you, unless you’re wearing a hazmat suit, you’re basically screwed. Of course, most people who are aware of the Quasing welcome becoming a host. After all, who wouldn’t’ want an all-wise alien doling out wisdom in their head?

Usually though, the Quasing try to be picky with who they inhabit. After all, once a Quasing enters a host, they can’t leave until the host dies. That means if a Quasing choose wrong, he’s living with that mistake for a long time.

While most Quasing prefer a new host that is already housebroken, ie…someone who is aware of their existence and preferably has a useful skill that can be used in their civil war, that isn’t always the case. Quasings can’t survive for long in our atmosphere, so if their host dies while on a mission, they only have minutes to find a new host before Earth’s environment tears them apart.

The story in The Lives of Tao is about a Quasing who is highly skilled in covert operations. Unfortunately, his host dies while on a mission and well…the nearest guy is this frozen pizza eating loser who huffs and puffs up the stairs. Obviously, Tao has his work cut out for him.

What type of reader do you think would be attracted to your book, Wes?

Let’s start with: everyone in the entire world would be attracted to The Lives of Tao. In fact, I’m pretty sure most domesticated pets would be too. I highly recommend that everyone get his or her own personal copy (as well as one for each of their pets) so that no one has to share.

Okay, in all seriousness, it’s a fun read with lots of action, a little romance, and an abundance of humor. It’s definitely a sci-fi, but not a punch-you-in-the-mouth sort of sci-fi. Someone even called it poignant, something no one has ever accused me of.

Have you ever read a book and thought "I wish I wrote that!"? If yes, what was it? :)

I think almost every book that I grew up with made me wish I wrote that. From 101 Dalmation to Ender’s Game to Eye of the World, my list of wistful thinking is pretty endless. There are a lot of talented writers out there and I’m always very thankful for the guys who wrote all these fantastic books (Terry Pratchet, Tim Powers, Piers Anthony, Lawrence Watt Evans… the list goes on) that nourished my imagination as a kid.

However, there is one book very near to my heart that still just blows my mind. That’s William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. The genius in that book still knocks me on my ass every time I flip through the pages. Psst… there’s a reason why my name is surprisingly similar to the hero in that book.

Any projects you are working at the moment?

Due to the great initial feedback for The Lives of Tao, the Angry Robot overlords have pushed up the sequel, The Deaths of Tao, from its original February publication date to Oct 31st, 2013. As for the third book in the series, The Rebirth of Tao, that is up to the readers. Make it happen!

I also have the beginnings of a new time travel book in the works. Hopefully, we’ll see that one sometime in 2014. 

Thank you for being such a fantastic guest, Wes, and good luck with the rest of your books!

Wesley Chu was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Chicago, Illinois when he was just a pup. It was there he became a Kung Fu master and gymnast.

Wesley is an avid gamer and a contributing writer for the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. A former stunt man and a member of the Screen Actors Guild, he can also be seen in film and television playing roles such as “Banzai Chef” in Fred Claus and putting out Oscar worthy performances as a bank teller in Chicago Blackhawks commercials.

Besides working as an Associate Vice President at a bank, he spends his time writing and hanging out with his wife Paula Kim and their Airedale Terrier, Eva.
Find Wesley:

 When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.

He wasn’t.

He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes.

Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…

File Under
Science Fiction [ The Tug of War | I Was Genghis | Diary of a Slob | Spy vs Spy
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