One of the dreams on my wish list is to spend more time in Thailand.
At least when it comes to food, there's no snobbery in Singapore.
Asian literature is evolving with the people. It's always a reflection on what's happening to the culture at large.
I remembered that my grandfather had spent his teenage years in Shanghai and that he went back after he finished medical school to work there in a hospital. So I went back into my family archives and was able to find out his exact address; it was a street that was in the French Concession.
I think snobbery is one of the oldest customs in the world, and the rich will always find ways to rank each other and make themselves feel more special than others.
All Americans knew was 'The Joy Luck Club' and children of dry cleaners trying to assimilate. The Asia that I was seeing was a world of people who are incredibly sophisticated, and I wanted to represent that side.
Even if they're not Asian or super rich... everyone has a nagging mother. Everyone has that obnoxious uncle, or that cousin who's a bit too snobby.
I sort of wanted to reveal this other side of Asia: Southeast Asia, where the Chinese have been wealthy for generations and have different ways of relating to money. I wanted to sort of reveal this world to readers.
I've always been drawn to the Edwardian period in England. To me, it seems like such a fascinating time, when the British Empire was at the height of its powers and the strict mores of the Victorian age were dissipating into the decadence of King Edward's reign.
I think, at least for me, I'm so impressed by Shanghai and how all of China continues to evolve. On a style level, you're seeing this increased sophistication and brand awareness.
I was born in Singapore, and I lived there until I was 12. I had a very fortunate upbringing.
In Asia, it's customary to get together with your entire extended family on a regular basis, and it's all rife with politics.
I'm not revealing any deep, hidden secret that there are wealthy people in Asia.
My grandmother used to get her shoes made in Paris in the '30s, and they would be shipped to her in Singapore.
I do believe that peoples' natures can be changed, and they have to be changed if we want to live in this modern world and be a part of it.
To me, families are fascinating. I choose to explore it through comedy and through comic situations.
I've recently rediscovered Anthony Trollope. I used to read him back in college, and a friend turned me on to a whole new series of his work, 'The Palliser Series.' It's a series of seven or eight books.
There's always been this tradition of satirizing these rich groups of people.
'China rich' is the new 'crazy rich.' It's a new level of outrageousness. It comes from this world where overnight fortunes have been made, but the fortunes are so ginormous compared to anything we've ever seen in the history of the world.
If you're the water boiler king of China, you're selling a billion water boilers.
No matter our background, we all have crazy families.
Especially in the West, people want to understand Asia on a deeper level because it's become the engine of the world economy, like it or not.
The characters that populate my books are global nomads in their own right, keeping multiple homes around the world and constantly jet-setting to new places.
My books are comedies; I want to take my readers on a jet-setting romp, make them laugh, make them swoon at the beautiful settings, and maybe even make their mouths water at all the food.