Today I am happy to say that we have a twin on line to talk about his sister! Um. Yes!! A male author with a female twin sister, J.A. Yang, author of EXCLUSIVELY CHLOE. He has a really cool TWIN relationship (and I think you might just fall a little in love with the sweetness that is Jon)
J.A.Yang has slummed it in the valley with the Wakefield twins; slumber partied with Huey, Dewey and Louie; joined Krakow in stalking Angela; and climbed every mountain with the Von Trapps.
Originally from San Diego, he's lived and traveled the world (okay, not all of it) in pursuit of that most elusive of targets -- unicorns. He's just wrapped up his second book, a fiction novel for teens, and is hard at work on his third one. You can find him online at http://www.jonyang.org/.
So Jon. Where do you fit into the birth order in your family?
There's only two of us and I'm the older twin. However, family lore says that up until the last few weeks, my sister was slated to come out first but somehow I fought my way to the front and came out two minutes earlier. Whew! I wielded the "I'm older than you!" line quite a bit growing up, even if it was by just a few breaths.
Breaths are important and hey, we take what we can get right? So tell us what your sister is like?
My sister has a contagious excitement that tends to spread to the people around her. If she's psyched about something, she'll let you know about it repeatedly and after awhile you find yourself compelled to be excited along with her. Growing up, that meant I was pulled into her gravity and liked all the things she was obsessed with, such as New Kids on the Block and Sweet Valley High, etc.
My sister was boy crazy growing up and I saw her through a lot of boy drama. Saw from afar I might add, because we rarely talked about it. Any information we dug up about each other's crushes could potentially used for retaliation at a later point. We guarded our secrets carefully. Luckily we've mostly outgrown that habit but it took a good twenty five years.
Boy drama is good material for you books! And I bet you continue to grow closer! So, what is different about you and your sister?
In many ways we are complete opposites. She's good at math, I was good at humanities; she had cool friends in high school, my friends played video games and Dungeons & Dragons; she's responsible, I own a toaster. After spending our college and post-college years apart, we had some time in the same city recently and found out that we actually have more in common than previously imagined. We tend to react to things about the same, with her being a bit more emotional, but now we start to notice our similarities as opposed to our glaring differences.
Dude. A toaster is totally responsible! So, what is the best part about having a twin sister?
The best part is never feeling completely alone. Growing up we switched schools a few times and each time, regardless of the friends we had or didn't have, we'd have someone else experiencing the same basic life. Always having a person that knows you around, and who is (usually) loyal to you is something that can't be overlooked. At the end of the day, being twins means you've got a partner in crime any time.
A partner in crime can never be a bad thing! What's the most challenging thing about being twins?
She has the more unique name so we're always referenced as "Georgette and Jon," never "Jon and George." (Oh, everyone calls her "George.") She always gets top billing. Maybe deservedly but still. People tend to remember her more than me and I'm quite often referred to as "George's brother."
So people were all like, hey, George's brother wrote a book? Hee. I tease. What were/are your roles in the family?
Being from a somewhat traditional Chinese family, I was usually treated as the older brother. One thing my parents insisted on though, is that the house rules applied equally to both of us. Up through high school, I had no traditional social life to speak of and was constantly at home. My sister had actual friends and would battle for later curfews and I would reap the benefits even though I never did any of the fighting. Through primary school, I always got slightly better grades and she was more of a cause for parental concern. During college, my sister flipped the script on me, graduated with honors, and got a respectable job and career. Somehow I collapsed and became the black sheep of the family as I meandered to and fro. I'm still trying to dig myself out of that hole. One day!
Um. You have a TOASTER. But seriously (this is the mother in me now because yes I am one hundred years old and I was a late bloomer) we all develop and thrive at our own pace. But I guess with a twin, with all the good stuff there is also a lot of comparing. I think you're doing great though! Published author and all! So what is your fave childhood memory of your sister?
We grew up in Taiwan and because my parents weren't able to take care of both of us at the same time -- they both worked -- we were often in the care of our grandparents. George was with my dad's family and they lived an hour to the south. On the weekends we'd visit and she'd always rush to bring me our house slippers.
Awww. That is so cute. And what a fascinating background. Okay. So now we want to know. Does your sister know secrets about you? Can you share one? How about one of her secrets?
I can't share secrets about her, she would kill me! And I certainly can't give her any of my secrets because there's still a chance she'd use it against me! Usually we find out about each other's secrets through our mutual friends. Even with our newfound respect for each other's secrets, we still don't quite tell each other things straight out.
Arrrrgh. One of these days I will spill a major sister secret online. Yes I will!!! But not today. :) Okay, next question, what is something you never tell your sister, but you should?
Um, that I'm glad she's here and that I appreciate our bond and connection? No question mark, just an exclamation!
That is made of awesome! It's great to have a person who is always there for you in spirit. True confession, I totally miss that for my son. I wish he had a sibling, a SISTER who would have his back no matter what, cause it sounds to me like that`s what you and your sister have. Last question, how does your sister feel about having an author brother?
I went straight to the source for this one and here is her answer:
"It definitely has its benefits and is a great way to start a conversation when meeting someone for the first time. When someone finds out that I have a twin brother, one of the first questions they always ask is what his profession is and when I mention that he's a published author, the conversation easily flows into what type of book, the premise of the book and so forth. I pride myself on having extra autographed copies of the book at all times to potentially give away and it makes me feel just a little bit special. My one greatest fear though is that his books will one day blow up into Harry Potter status and I'll be left in the dust as a boring accountant. Oh wait, that might have happened already."
How much do I love George's answer! See! She thinks you' re awesome. And helpful in social situations. And you totally have a toaster dude!!
Thanks so much for answering my questions so thoughtfully and honestly Jon. I anxiously await your next book. Check out EXCLUSIVELY CHOLE by J. A. Yang.
Chloe-Grace can't help it she's spectacular. How could she not be with celebrity parents who have been the queen and king of Hollywood for years? And Chloe is a celebrity all unto herself as well she's the first celebrity-adopted kid in Hollywood. But now Chloe's sixteen, and she is tired of every undesired moment of the world's attention. She wonders what it would be like to be a "normal" kid in a regular school. To really understand it, though, she would need to go undercover. So after getting a "make-under" at the hands of her mother's fabulous stylist, she enters the "real" world. But she soon finds out that there is just as much drama there as there is in Hollywood....