Susie Yang & 'White Ivy': Complicated Conversations Series

By Carinn & Kate

We welcome Susie Yang to discuss her debut novel, White Ivy. After some gushing about our love of this book, the story of a Chinese American girl who is trying to get her version of the American dream at whatever cost, we discuss the benefits and pitfalls of being “other.” ** Ivy Lin meets all the qualifications of a complicated woman. Listen to how Susie took inspiration from stories where people do bad things or self-destruct like Breaking Bad and Gone Girl. (05:33) ** Susie discusses her editing process, explaining all the material left on the cutting room floor and how it helps to examine her work with a reader’s eye. (07:33) ** We read and discuss excerpts from the book about Ivy, including that amazing opening line: “Ivy Lin was a thief but you would never know it to look at her.” (11:10) ** Susie’s winding road to published author includes a doctorate of pharmacy and founding a tech startup. (13:13) ** We return to a favorite theme of fate vs free will and Susie shares stories in her life that felt like more than coincidence, including the fateful way she met her literary agent. (16:20) ** White Ivy introduces us to the Chinese Zodiac, but we come back to the western astrology and our personal views on Geminis (Susie is a Gemini, Carinn is married to one, Kate is mother to one). (19:57) ** We already discussed how Susie edits, but now we dig into the everyday bits of her writing process, her revising process, and her approach to novel number two. (24:27) ** Susie was bursting to share the complicated women who inspire her and have helped shape her writing. There were so many inspirations in her life that she couldn’t limit it to just women! (30:37) ** We ask Susie about a failure or course correction that in hindsight was a blessing or an asset and we love her response about realizing she didn’t have to “live a default life.” (35:00) ** Susie shares what she is loving right now in books, TV, movies and music. (37:34) Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @popfictionwomen and on Twitter @pop_women. To do a full deep dive, check out our website at ( Stay Complicated! We’ve launched a platform at to keep making the podcast you love -- and to make it even better. For a one time contribution to support this episode, use venmo @carinn-jade. Thank you for your support and enjoy the show!!  Support this podcast

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