The Mystery of Moutai: Author Interview with G.X. Chen

I’m interviewing G.X. Chen today, author of “The Mystery of Moutai”. I would like to thank the author for taking the time to answer my interview questions. I hope everyone enjoys the interview!

Author Interview

1)    How long have you been writing?

I was an accidental writer. I wanted to be a scientist when I was a kid but when the Cultural Revolution started, I was home for several years because all the schools were closed down by the Chinese government. When I had nothing to do at home, I started reading novels (instead of solve math problems). My first novel published when I was 24 so I think I started writing when I was in my early twenties. Then I stopped for more than 20 years because I had to work full time while raising my daughter as a single mother. I picked up writing again about two years ago.

2)    What is your favorite genre to write?


3)    Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I haven’t tried anything in the categories of non-fiction; might try later.

4)    Please tell us about your book.

It has all the elements of a murder-mystery plus introduction to Beijing and Chinese culture.

5)    Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Both amateur detectives in the book are my favorites because they are my type – LOL. The killer was my least favored because I disliked those who would do anything to get ahead including lying and hurting others on the way.

6)    What was the hardest part about writing your book?

To find time – I work full-time so it’s very difficult to write every day.

7)    What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I write a few pages every day. Not really, after a while, writing becomes a habit.

8)    How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

About 6 months.

9)    Can you tell us about your editing process?

I write a draft first, set aside for awhile, and then repeat the process of rewriting and editing several times along the way. I also hired a professional editor because I wanted to present my readers a professional book after I decided to publish it myself this time around.

10) Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

No, it’s not a part of a series, but I will certainly use the same characters again in the future.

11) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

If you have a story to tell, write it down.

12) Why should everyone read your book?

It’s an easy and fun read in the form of a puzzle – nothing can beat the joy to be entertained on a commuter train or beach for less than $3J

13) If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Definitely Agatha Christie – I’m a huge fan, bought and read all her books; as well as Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens.

14) What inspired you to write your book?

Refer this to first question.

15) Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Yes, I’m working on another mystery novel. Can’t tell yet.

About the Book

book coverA teenager returns home from school to find a gruesome scene: the apartment he shares with his mother, Shao Mei, in Boston’s Chinatown has been ransacked and she is dead. There is a bottle of Moutai—the most exotic and expensive Chinese liquor—left at the scene and traces of rat poison in one of the two shot glasses on the kitchen counter. This was evidently a homicide, but who could possibly be the killer?

Ann Lee and Fang Chen, close friends of the victim, team up with the Boston police to solve this mystifying crime: why would anyone want to murder a harmless middle-aged woman, one who worked as an unassuming mailroom clerk, with no money, no connections, and presumably, no enemies?

Realizing that important clues behind the motive may be buried deep in the victim’s past, they travel to Beijing, where Shao Mei spent more than fifty years of her life. While there, surrounded by the antiquities of China’s rich and complex history, they stumble unwittingly into a cobweb of mystery and danger. Fearing for their lives but determined to press on, they end up unearthing a scandal more deceptive and far-reaching than either could have imagined.

Disclosure: The three main characters and the victim also appeared in The Mystery of Revenge by G.X. Chen.

About the Author

GraceG.X. Chen is a freelancer who lives in Boston ( both of her mystery novels are based in Boston); permanently moved from China to the US after Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Previously published books include The Mystery of Revenge (a mystery novel) and Forget Me Not: A Love Story of the East (a historic fiction/romance) and several other novels in Chinese.




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