Julie Tieu

Julie Tieu is an author based in the Los Angeles area. After spending many years helping others pursue their goals, she decided to pursue her own. Her debut novel, THE DONUT TRAP will be released Fall 2021 by Avon Books. When she's not working, she dreams of eating her way through new destinations with her husband and two energetic kids. 
For updates, you can follow Julie on Twitter @julietieu or visit www.julietieu.com.
Tell us about your book. 

THE DONUT TRAP is a contemporary romcom about Jasmine Tran, who reluctantly moved back home after graduating college to work at her family’s donut shop. When her former crush, Alex, reappears in her life just as her parents need to revitalize their shop, Jasmine schemes to help her parents and get out of this donut trap before it derails her and Alex’s blossoming romance. The setting for the book was inspired from my experience working in my parents’ donut shop.

How do you weave your culture(s) into your book(s)? How do(es) your culture(s) influence your writing?  

For THE DONUT TRAP, I drew from my own experience as a Chinese-American with parents who came to the U.S. as Cambodian refugees. I mixed in different cultural references that I drew from my diaspora experience, like Mandarin phrases, Vietnamese dishes, and Jasmine’s mom getting pulled to dance at a Cambodian wedding. My goal is to embed these details so that they’re simply part of the backdrop of that character’s day to day life. 

Tell us about your writing journey and how you got where you are today.  

After a difficult job search and having two young kids at home, I wanted to do a project just for me. So I started writing THE DONUT TRAP in 2019 with no intention to pitch it. But once I finished writing, I wanted to query just to see where it would take me. Ultimately, I connected with my agent through #DVpit and she helped me reshape the book to what it is today. My writing journey has exceeded my wildest expectations and I’m beyond excited for the book to release this Fall 2021 with Avon. 

What is your writing process like? 

I’m a plotter, so I’ll try to work out my plot on an Excel sheet until it makes sense. Once I feel good about it, I’ll begin drafting. To stop myself from editing while I’m drafting, I keep a separate document that notes all the things I want to edit later, like words I keep using or jokes I want to include. 

What was your last binge-read? 

Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Sutanto