FQ: You mention that you were around five years of age when you decided to become a writer. What inspired you to go in that direction?
VANG: I remember being in my kindergarten classroom one day and holding the new 5-10 page booklet of the week. In my little brain at the time, all I could think of was how cool would it be to write a book one day and have people read my stories. From there on, my dream of becoming an author grew transparent and I knew this was where I belonged. Writing without a doubt is my first love and I still cannot believe that I am standing here today, witnessing the fact that I am indeed an author.
FQ: Who would you say are your inspirational writers, and why?
VANG: Poets like Orion Carloto and Lang Leav inspire me as a writer. Something about their storytelling and voice gives me strength to create my own writing. Whenever I’m in a rut or have trouble writing a poem or prose, I make sure to have their books near me to navigate what I want to express and say on paper.
FQ: What would you say was a turning point in your life that led you to write Labyrinth?
VANG: Poetry wasn’t really in my tale of interest until my first semester in college. I was taking a Creative Writing class that gave students an opportunity to dive into poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Being in that class allowed me to explore writing out of my comfort zone and from there, I began to find a love for poetry--something that I didn’t see coming. This led me to continue my writing in poetry and prose; it was also how Labyrinth came to life.
FQ: How do you see dystopian works, such as Labyrinth, as a tool for hope and healing for others?
VANG: Funny enough, I actually did not think of Labyrinth as a dystopian work. I was writing to just express the truths in my imagination while also crossing over to my reality as well. Therefore, I never thought of a fit category it can fall into. However, now that I am thinking about it, Labyrinth can absolutely be connected as a dystopian work of writing. I hope this can be a tool for hope and healing for others in a way where we should allow ourselves to be vulnerable in our thoughts, emotions, and feelings without being uncomfortable. It can be tricky, of course, but hope and healing isn’t a straight line, it can be anything that makes you feel empowered, creative, alive--an outlet to express yourself.
FQ: Who do you hope to be your target audience?
VANG: I never had a target audience in my head before. I remember my editor asking me if I had one and I told her no. I know I should, but I think the reason being is because if I do, I’m limiting the interest of readers outside of what Labyrinth represents. To me, Labyrinth is an exploration of one’s unknownness and also wanting to experience the uncomfortable. This brings an open invitation to those who are willing to walk through the streams of consciousness of what it’s like to be human.
FQ: What one thing do you hope your readers will take away after reading Labyrinth and why?
VANG: The one thing I hope readers will take away after reading Labyrinth is to feel inspired to continue to become who they want to be regardless of the circumstances. Reason being is because we are constantly growing, evolving, and changing; the only thing that we truly have in life is ourselves. It’s important that at the end of the day, we’re proud to be who we are without feeling like we need validation from other people.
FQ: Do you foresee creating more works of poetry, or do you see yourself delving into storytelling?
VANG: It’s funny because I was a writer of fiction first. I have always envisioned my first book to be a novel and not poetry. Like I said before, my love for poetry came quite late. However, my explorations within different genres have allowed me to be open to new forms of writing styles. So, yes, you can expect both poetry and storytelling books in the future.
FQ: Do you have a target audience you plan to reach in future writings?
VANG: I’m a sucker for romance novels, so anyone who fancies the love aura is who I plan to reach in my future writings. However, I am also delving into other alternative genres as well that I never thought I would be going into. So, I’m excited to explore the different kinds of universes my future books will open up to readers.
FQ: Do you have any projects in the works? Describe briefly.
VANG: My mind is always moving and creating on it's own. I’ve been in the process of writing a couple of novels while I was writing Labyrinth already. The one I’m currently working on is about soulmates. I have so many books I want to write, but I know I have to finish them one at a time. My journey as an author has only just begun, but I’m ready for all of my ideas to play into life and for readers to dive into my side of the universe.