Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Interview with Wesley Chu, author of The Lives of Tao and The Deaths of Tao - Giveaway - November 6, 2013

Please welcome Wesley Chu to The Qwillery. Wesley's most recent novel is The Deaths of Tao, which was published in the US and Canada (and as an eBook) on October 29, 2013. The Deaths of Tao will be published in the UK on November 7, 2013.

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery! Please tell us something about your newest book, The Deaths of Tao, that we won't find in the book descriptions.

Wesley:  Hey Qwills, it’s good to be back. I feel like I was just here yesterday (okay, a few months ago). Let’s see, what’s new? Outside of the book description, The Deaths of Tao has a lot of baggage carried over from the first book, and I don’t mean the Tumi kind.

A lot has happened to Roen Tan in between The Lives of Tao and The Deaths of Tao. Roen’s relationships with his friends and loved ones have changed for the worse. War tends to strain relationships after all. He’s no longer the lovable loser he was in the first book but a hardened veteran with a couple suitcases of physical and emotional scars.

TQ:  What sorts of research have you done for The Deaths of Tao and what is the oddest thing you've found so far?

Wesley:  Besides doing extensive research about the entire primate family tree (long story), I set one of my three main plots in Taiwan. Now, I hadn’t been to the island in almost twenty years so whatever memory I had of my birthplace was pretty dated.

I made a trip at the beginning of 2013 to visit for book research and was shocked at how much has changed. Twenty years ago, it was a pretty dirty island with awful infrastructure. Now, it’s damn spotless and has commuter system that puts US cities to shame. The food there is still as awesome as I remember too. By the way, #StinkyTofu4Life.

TQ:  Which character has surprised you the most?

Wesley:  One of the new main characters in The Deaths of Tao is a Genjix commander named Enzo. He’s an Adonis Vessel, a product of the Genjix eugenics program called the Hatchery. Enzo was bred and raised to become the perfect vessel for their Council. He’s charming, brilliant, skilled, well-trained, and damn good looking. He’s that guy that you can’t stand but kind of wish you were friends with. Yes, that guy. His only problem is that he knows how good he is and thinks he’s even better than that. Oh, and he has a tiny little flaw of being a complete psychopath. Oops.
He’s surprised me the most because I had originally viewed him as this insane asshole. And then over time, he grew on me (Enzo. So hot right now. Enzo) and I realized that this dude’s like an onion. He’s got layers of crazy slathered upon layers. By the way, geek points if you got that reference.

TQ:  What's next for Wesley Chu and any chance we'll be seeing any more of Roen and Tao?

Wesley:  I just signed a deal with Tor Books. First up is a book called Time Salvager which I hope hits book shelves in 2015. It’s about a time traveler named James who scavenges for technologies and resources from a more prosperous past. There are strict rules to time traveling though. A salvager can only go back to a dead end timeline—usually a ship before it explodes or a place or event right before a disaster—so that whatever the time traveler salvages does not affect the present. The problem with this job is the salvager experiences the last terrible moments of the victims. That will mess with a guy’s mind after a while.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Wesley:  Glad to be back. You rock as always.

The Lives of Tao

The Deaths of Tao
The Lives of Tao 1
Angry Robot Books, October 29, 2013 (US/Canada)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

The Prophus and the Genjix are at war. For centuries they have sought a way off-planet, guiding humanity’s social and technological development to the stage where space travel is possible.

The end is now in sight, and both factions have plans to leave the Earth, but the Genjix method will mean the destruction of the human race.

That’s a price they’re willing to pay.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Manning Up | A Long Journey | Bye-Bye Mankind | Personal Space ]

The Lives of Tao
The Lives of Tao 1
Angry Robot Books, April 30, 2013 (US/Canada)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

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 ]

Covers by ARGH! Oxford

About Wesley

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 SAG, 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.

Website  ~  Twitter @wes_chu  ~  Facebook

The Giveaway

What:  One commenter will win  a Mass Market Paperback copy of The Lives of Tao and a Mass Market Paperback copy of The Deaths of Tao from The Qwillery.

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on November 16, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without prior notice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The Time traveler novel sounds interesting, Wes. Congratulations on the book sale, too, by the way!

  2. Great interview! Looks like a lot of good books from Wesley Chu to add to my "must read" pile.

  3. These have been on my radar since I first heard about them. They sound great and getting both at the same time would be perfect...also sorry I missed Wes at WFC, I would have liked to say hello!

  4. These look so good. I'm going to get samples now!

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  6. Good interview - excited to learn part of the book is set in Taiwan as I travel there every 6 weeks.

  7. Congrats to Wesley on the new release and thanks for such a fun interview! This is the first I've come across his books and they sound fantastic! thanks for sharing :)

  8. I've had The Lives of Tao on my to read list for some time now. I hadn't realized that there was a sequel coming! I'll have to speed up my reading!

  9. This sounds like such a unique read. I appreciate that.