Canadian Made Audio producer, Rita Rich talks with 67 year old Canadian author Ian Hamilton, about his popular Ava Lee novels. Rita asks Ian in this interview how is it that he can write about a young Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant, who is also a lesbian? Rich says, “Ian, you Don’t look like an Asian Lesbian.” You know, they may not resemble each other much in appearance. But, Ian writes from what he knows, and that’s the seafood business. He made his first business trip to Asia, in pursuit of seafood, in 1989. Most of his stories center around the scams and scandals, which he intimately knows a lot about.
In another related article, Brian Bethune asked Ian in 2013, how Ava’s character was developed? We have included a small snippet from his article. “I don’t even remember where her name came from,” the Burlington, Ont., writer says, shrugging. The sexual orientation, though, was a deliberate touch. “As I kept writing,” says Hamilton, “I realized she was going to need more of a background. I got to thinking that in any relationship with a man she’d probably be dominant or he’d be like her and maybe she’d then be not so dominant; either way, I didn’t think it would suit her character. Then I had the brilliant idea to make her gay. So I went back into the first novel and set that out.”
As many may know (or not), the main character, Ava Lee, specializes in recovering massive debts that aren’t likely recovered through traditional methods. And, Ian says he writes what he knows about,
In Ian’s first book about Ava Lee, The Water Rat of Wanchai, her character takes shape by learning about her traditional Chinese upbringing, her family dynamic and the people that are most important to Ava. The Ava Lee series began after a life-threatening health scare in 2009, which prompted Ian to write his first in this series of novels. Just two days out of the hospital and recovering from surgery, Ian sat down at his computer and simply began writing. A few short weeks later, the first Ava Lee novel was completed. His inspiration for the Ava Lee series didn’t end when the first book was finished. Half way through writing the first book, an idea for the second book came to Ian and he built it into the plot of the first.
He began writing the second book the day after the first book was finished. The same is true for the third and fourth books. Within eight months, all four books were complete. Ian secured a four-book deal from his publisher before the last two books were even read by the publisher. International rights have been sold into the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany and worldwide Spanish and French rights. Ian is currently working on the continuation of the Ava Lee series and has already completed book number seven.
The seventh novel in the Ava Lee series finds Ava getting caught up in the election for the chairmanship of the Triad Societies. Ava steps into her new business with May Ling Wong and her sister-in-law, Amanda. On a trip to Shanghai, Ava meets with Xu, a young man Uncle had been mentoring and who is also the head of the Triad in Shanghai. Xu makes a business proposal that she and May must consider but I do not want to give to much away for those who have not read it.
Before we end this blog article there are some news and updates from Ian, which he wrote about on his Facebook wall, “as the weather veered towards an unbelievably balmy plus 3 degrees…..”
1. Barry Award: It was announced yesterday that the US edition of The Water Rat has made the short list (5 books) for the award as Best Thriller published in the US in 2014. A great honor.
2. Hamilton Book Club – March 18, 7 p.m., at the Freeway Coffee House, 333 King Street East. Hope to see some of you there. It is an open kind of event. Lots of talk.
3. March 29 – Blue Heron Books, Uxbridge, is hosting a brunch at the Wooden Sticks Golf Course, 11 a.m. He’ll be reading and chatting at that location.
4. Gritlit in Hamilton and Blue Metropolis in Montreal have set dates and times…………Gritlit, April 19, 3 p.m., Hamilton Public Library with David Rotenberg………..and Blue Metropolis, April 25, 6 p.m., Le Petit Salon in Hotel 10 – a one on one interview.
5. Ian says he has started to work on the Couturier of Milan
6. And, Ava Lee is now available in audio format, in the US. They are narrated by the talented Jennifer Ikeda, The Disciple of Las Vegas and The Wild Beasts of Wuhan can be downloaded and enjoyed on your smartphone, tablet or computer. The audio was produced as a digital only title and is sold through various online retailers, including Audible, Barnes and Noble, Downpour and iTunes. Want to hear a snippet of the audiobook? Head over to Audible and click “Play Audio Sample”.
Happy reading everyone! To keep in touch with Ian Hamilton and all things related to Ava Lee, please visit some of the following social sites at: