Author Frances Cha on what surprised her while writing ‘If I Had Your Face’

Author Frances Cha on what surprised her while writing ‘If I Had Your Face’

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Hello, Ballerina Book Club readers!

As we wrap up 2020, we asked the Frances Cha — author of the December book pick, “If I Had Your Face” — to answer a few questions that speak to the past, present and future. Read on below, and be sure to check our shelfie tour with the author below!

And in case you missed it, you can check out our live conversation with Cha here.


What surprised you while writing “If I Had Your Face”?

I guess what surprised me the most about the writing process was that when I had the most time — which was in graduate school with buckets of nothing but time to work on craft — I didn’t actually get a lot of writing done on the novel, and it was only after I started working a full-time job (at CNN) and after I had kids that I really started writing desperately. It was only when I could snatch time here and there — on my days off when I was working, or when I had a babysitter for a few hours, or when my eldest started going to school for like, three hours a day, and my mom was in town to watch my second baby — that was when I was hyper-productive. It’s very strange. But desperation is key for me, I guess!


What are you currently reading or working on? 

I’m working on both my second novel for adults and two children’s picture books. I find the picture book medium so magical, and I buy more picture books now than adult books (although I also buy a ton of adult books too!). I just finished reading “Exploring Calvin and Hobbes,” which is an exhibition catalogue of Bill Watterson’s work at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University. It contains the only extensive interview I’ve ever read with Bill Watterson, and is about creativity and art and process and the ruthlessness that you need to make and protect art. Highly recommend! Also just finished and loved a middle-grade book that was astonishing, titled “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo.


What are you looking forward to?

I am really looking forward to … going to performances again in the post-apocalyptic, vaccinated world. Can’t wait to see you [Boylston] perform in person hopefully very soon!!

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Top Image: France Cha, author of "If I Had Your Face." Photo courtesy Frances Cha.